New technology protects drinking water from impurities, contamination, terror attack

European researchers have developed new tools to alert water utilities when impurities and/or contaminants enter the water system. Whether the impurities enter the system accidentally (due to repair work) or as the result of a terror attack, the new technology will trigger an emergency management system to protect citizens.


New book rethinks the future of water

In his new book, “Back to the Well: Rethinking the Future of Water,” author Marq de Villiers re-thinks the world’s water crisis. Separating the crisis into two problem areas, water shortages caused by drought and shortages caused by contamination, de Villiers argues that the shortages should be solved at a local level with local solutions.

One example is Windhoek, Namibia, where officials orchestrated the first operation to recycle the city’s wastewater into drinking water.

Read more here: Water problems need local solutions

From The Province – As parched United Arab Emirates runs out of groundwater, relying on sea poses its own risks

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – As skyscrapers and gleaming towers rose with lightning speed across the United Arab Emirates over the past two decades, the Gulf nation’s thirst for water grew at an enormous rate — so much so that today, it threatens to dry up all of the country’s groundwater in as little as 15 years, experts say.

To quench that demand, cities across the seven emirates that make up the UAE rely on desalinated seawater to supply 98 per cent of their drinking water, but that comes with a tremendous environmental and fiscal cost.

Now, officials are looking at new technologies to cover that demand, while acknowledging the risks ahead.

Read more here: As parched United Arab Emirates runs out of groundwater, relying on sea poses its own risks

November 19th is World Toilet Day!

World Toilet Day is Thursday, November 19th.

How is this a water issue? Because 2.4 billion people worldwide lack access to improved sanitation, including millions of children who suffer from health-related issues as a result. Risk of diseases and malnutrition stem from little to no access to fresh drinking water and a sanitation infrastructure. World Toilet Day brings attention to these issues.

Find out more here:

UN report: Eliminating Discrimination and Inequalities in Access to Water and Sanitation

“At present, nearly 663 million people still live without access to improved drinking water sources, roughly 2.4 billion do not have access to safe sanitation, and nearly 1,000 children under five years old die every day because of water and sanitation-related disease.”

Read more here: UN-Water Releases Publication on Eliminating Discrimination and Inequalities in Access to Water and Sanitation

Climate change, persistent flooding impacts Alexandria’s water resources

Climate change may be to blame for persistent flooding in Egypt’s second-largest city, says the World Bank. The city has been burdened by recent heavy rainfall, five times the normal October total. Officials point to a failing water infrastructure, which has compounded the flooding and has caused at least five deaths.

Officials warn the persistent flooding may also impact agriculture and drinking water. Since Alexandria lies low to sea-level, there is a significant risk for seawater to infiltrate the city’s fresh water system. Without an alternative fresh water resource, the possibility could mean catastrophe for a city already in the midst of a crisis.

Read more here: Egypt: Alexandria flooding may be new norm because of climate change

How to avert a global water crisis?

Current global water usage is unsustainable. Recent studies show that 70% of the world’s fresh water is being used for agriculture, while many countries – including the U.S. – are using 40% for energy production. How much is left for drinking water?

Water usage and allocation has become a hot-button issue. What can be done to avoid a water crisis globally?

Read more here: Water shortage is one of the top global risks, how can we avert it?

Central Asia to experience water crisis in 35 years – From AzerNews

The sharp seven-fold growth of the population of the Earth in the twentieth century has created one of the gravest global problems of present – the lack of fresh water, the source of all life.

Around the world, 748 million people lack access to a clean drinking water source, while billions more lack drinking water that barely meet safety standards, according to a UN report released in 2015.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts that more than 4 billion people will be living under serious water shortages by the mid-2030.

Read more here: Central Asia to experience water crisis in 35 years

Growing up in a drought

Children in California are growing up in a drought. Water is considered a luxury, a precious resource and it is not to be wasted. For these children, there is no such thing as bath time, drinking water is never to be wasted and the concept of outdoor water play is a luxury.

In ‘Crying over spilled water: Raising toddlers during a drought,’ CBS News reports on one family’s effort to educate their young children on the importance of water during the California drought. Read more here

Chemical Plant’s Explosion in China Affects Local Waterways

On August 12th, two explosions ripped through a chemical plant in Tianjin, China, killing at least 123 people. The New York Times covered the devastation  and the aftermath with an extensive report here on Thursday, August 13th.

But, the long-term effect on local communities has been far more deadly. Officials of the Ministry of Environmental Protection have reported cyanide levels in local waterways 350 times more than what is considered safe. The city’s drinking water has been declared safe, but thousands of fish have washed up dead on the riverbank since the explosions.

Water Online explores the devastating effect of the chemical explosion on the local community in ‘Cyanide Infects Tianjin Waterways After Chemical Plant Explosion’. Read more here.