21 November 2014

This Week in Water

Want to keep up with the on-going ravages of the historic California drought? The Pacific Institute is a good place to start. [Hint: things are not pretty.]

San Diego is spending $2.5 billion to see if it can successfully turn sewer water into drinking water.

Meanwhile, hydrofracking oil and gas companies pumped nearly three billion gallons of waste water into California's underground aquifers, contaminating water that could have been used for drinking or irrigation.

Fracking sites in the U.S. guzzled billions of gallons of water (between 10 and 25 million gallons each) between April, 2010, and December, 2013, many of which are in drought-stricken Texas.

Fracking will now be allowed in the George Washington National Forest which sits atop the Marcellus shale formation that runs from upstate New York to West Virginia.

Seems fracking doesn't just pollute the groundwater, but contaminates the air near the sites as well.

There is, apparently, a waterless method for fracking which avoids most of the pollution problems typically associated with this form of extraction; it's just that no one seems to want to use it.

Detroit's water inequities continue.

An oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of New Orleans blew up, killing 1 and leaving 3 injured.

Turns out it is a virus epidemic that has been melting the starfish along the coast from Mexico to Alaska. No one is quite sure what caused the outbreak.

Frasure Creek Mining company may have been falsifying tens of thousands of measurements of the amount of pollutants it has been dumping into the waters of Kentucky's coal country. And not on the low side. Kentucky regulators are defending their failure to catch these violations.

Global warming is heating up groundwater, not just the Earth's atmosphere and oceans. No real surprise there.

The population of the Republic of Kiribati, a remote Pacific island nation halfway between Hawaii and Australia, is seeking to relocate as sea levels continue to rise unabated and drinking water becomes evermore contaminated.

Tons of ocean garbage seems to end up in the pristine Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, one of the largest marine refuges in the world. NOAA is working to clean up the mess and prevent further pollution.

Factory waste "evaporation ponds" in China have turned out to be environmental disasters.

Japan has cut its whaling targets in the Antarctic by two-thirds in a bid to resume its annual whale hunts.

Some scientists are developing carbon nanotube technologies to extract usable quantities of water from the humidity of the air.

Others have come up with tiny man-made islands that suck the pollution out of the water.

Fontus is a solar-powered, self-filling water bottle that turns air into water as you ride your bike.

European authorities have certified the use of a salt-water powered car on its roads. The Quant e-Sportlimousine purportedly has 920 hp and a top speed of 217.5 mph and can get 373 miles on a tank. The German-built vehicle uses electrolyte flow cell technology. [h/t to the always delightful writer/activist/blogger/cyber-friend Frances Madeson]

According to a University of Texas geoscientist, a major tectonic event opening up a deep oceanic gateway between the predecessors of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans may have triggered a rise in sea levels, a change in ocean chemistry, and an upsurge of nutrients from the deeps during the Cambrian era which would explain a controversial surge in evolution that resulted in the sudden appearance of almost all modern animal groups.

1 comment:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

But EBOLA is the real threat to humanity!11!

- FAUX Nooze and Y'all Qaeda