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World Rivers Day: Rivers are our most threatened, endangered species - Times of India

World Rivers Day: Rivers are our most threatened, endangered species - Times of India | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
World Rivers Day: Rivers are our most threatened, endangered speciesTimes of India"Even as union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan made a public statement that biodiversity assessment will now be included in the impact assessment, the fact is...

Thakkar says 'World Rivers Day' is the time to take stock of how we are treating our rivers and the communities that depend on them. "The scene looks bleak today. Our rivers are so threatened that if they were a species instead of our life support systems, they would have been declared as endangered, red data book species," says Thakkar.

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Infographic: Why Waste Water?

Infographic: Why Waste Water? | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Requiring all water to be drinkable, regardless of its planned use, wastes water, energy and money. There is a better way.
Bert Guevara's insight:

Why waste water when we can reuse it?

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Starving Sea Lions Washing Ashore by the Hundreds in California ("innocent victims of warming oceans")

Starving Sea Lions Washing Ashore by the Hundreds in California ("innocent victims of warming oceans") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Animal rescuers are reporting five times more sea lion rescues than normal. Experts suspect unusually warm waters are driving mothers away to look for food, leaving pups to swim from home.

Experts suspect that unusually warm waters are driving fish and other food away from the coastal islands where sea lions breed and wean their young. As the mothers spend time away from the islands hunting for food, hundreds of starving pups are swimming away from home and flopping ashore from San Diego to San Francisco.

Many of the pups are leaving the Channel Islands, an eight-island chain off the Southern California coast, in a desperate search for food. But they are too young to travel far, dive deep or truly hunt on their own, scientists said.

This year, animal rescuers are reporting five times more sea lion rescues than normal — 1,100 last month alone. The pups are turning up under fishing piers and in backyards, along inlets and on rocky cliffs. One was found curled up in a flower pot.

“They come ashore because if they didn’t, they would drown,” said Shawn Johnson, the director of veterinary science at Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. “They’re just bones and skin. They’re really on the brink of death.”

This year is the third in five years that scientists have seen such large numbers of strandings. Researchers say they worry about the long-term consequences of climate change and rising ocean temperatures on a sea lion population that has evolved over thousands of years to breed almost exclusively on the Channel Islands, relying on circulating flows of Pacific upwellings to bring anchovies, sardines and other prey.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Why are the baby sea lions (pups) dying of starvation? What other species are starving?

"This year is the third in five years that scientists have seen such large numbers of strandings. Researchers say they worry about the long-term consequences of climate change and rising ocean temperatures on a sea lion population that has evolved over thousands of years to breed almost exclusively on the Channel Islands, relying on circulating flows of Pacific upwellings to bring anchovies, sardines and other prey."

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Massive Sinkholes Break Open As Dead Sea Shrivels ("nature's revenge for water mismanagement")

Massive Sinkholes Break Open As Dead Sea Shrivels ("nature's revenge for water mismanagement") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
There are more than 3,000 sinkholes on the banks of the Dead Sea -- and they're multiplying exponentially, according to environmentalists, as the body of water dries up.
"It's nature's revenge," said Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli Director at EcoPeace Middle East, an organization that brings together...

"These sinkholes are a direct result of the inappropriate mismanagement of water resources in the region."

More than 1,400 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on land. The first sinkhole was spotted in the 1980s. By 1990, there were 40, and 15 years later new chasms are breaking open every day.

With salinity levels ten times that of the Atlantic Ocean, the Dead Sea is evaporating at a rate of nearly four feet per year and large salt pockets are left behind as the water recedes. As ground water dissolves the salt, washing it back into the Dead Sea, empty cavities develop creating massive sink holes.

Bromberg explained that sinkholes develop in clusters, collapsing into each other and creating even larger craters.

"The big fear is that overnight, the road will collapse," Bromberg said of Route 90, which runs along the Dead Sea.

A portion of Route 90 was closed for repairs this week after parts of the road sank some two inches.

Bromberg said the only way to halt the opening of these chasms is to "stabilize" the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea relies on the fresh water of the Jordan River -- but only about 5 percent of the historic flow is currently flowing into the Dead Sea.

Bert Guevara's insight:

If something can be done to remedy the situation, then go ahead and do it! This is an example of possible human intervention to save a natural resource. In the Philippines, water bodies that are dying need to be saved from siltation, poillution, encroachments, etc.

"It's nature's revenge," ....

"Bromberg's organization argues that 30 percent of the historic flow would at least be a step in the right direction.

"If nothing is done, it's only a matter of time until someone dies," he said."

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Rio de Janeiro water pollution a safety issue for 2016 Olympics - CCTV-America

Rio de Janeiro water pollution a safety issue for 2016 Olympics - CCTV-America | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Concerns Rio de Janeiro won't be ready in time for the 2016 Olympics turn to a particular focus on the city's water pollution. CCTV America's Lucrecia Franco filed this report from Rio de Janeiro. ...

Floating debris forms a peninsula in one of the water ways that lead to the Guanabara Bay, some 10 kilometers (about six miles) from the starting point for the 2016 Olympic sailing events.

On a three-day visit, inspectors from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) encountered heavy pollution in the city’s bay, which is the venue for the sailing events.
Mario Moscatelli, an independent biologist who has been monitoring pollution in Rio’s bay for more than 18 years, said the city’s waters are not suitable for the games.

“We have now practically all the rivers that flow in the Guanabara bay transformed in ditches of garbage and sewage,” Moscatelli  said. “All the water inside the bay has huge volumes of debris.”

The Guanabara Bay is one of Rio’s most famous post card views, but is heavily polluted. Officials have vowed to treat 80 percent of the sewage by the time of the games that will take place in just 18 months.

Water pollution has become a major hazard for Rio de Janeiro ahead of the Olympic Games, but a team of international Olympic inspectors visiting venues believes the city will meets its promises.

“We want every single venue to be ready for the athletes to compete in a secure and safe manner,” Nawal El Moutawakel, Head of the IOC inspection team said. “We still confirm because we have been given the reassurance that all the venues will meet the level of sustainability and environmentally respected the aspects so that athletes can compete, again, in a safe and secure manner.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

From hereon, hosting the Olympics includes having clean rivers and lakes, not just having big domes. If Metro Manila wants to host the Olympics in the future, it has to clean up Laguna Lake, Manila Bay and Pasig River first.

But how about doing it for the citizens of Metro Manila first?

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Raphael Michels's curator insight, March 3, 1:13 PM

Brazilian government  just worry with the construction of domes, but forgets that we still have other important issues to solve that will influence directly with the well-being of the population and the tourists that'll come to 2016 Olympics.

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DENR urges stakeholders to address water pollution in Boracay (greed choked goose that laid gold eggs)

DENR urges stakeholders to address water pollution in Boracay (greed choked goose that laid gold eggs) | The Water Steward | Scoop.it

hlTHE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) raised concern on Saturday over the water quality problems in Boracay, which could turn off tourists.Environment Secretary Ramon Paje sai...

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) raised concern on Saturday over the water quality problems in Boracay, which could turn off tourists.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said that concerned agencies should immediately address the problem.

"All stakeholders, who benefit from the various tourism and business opportunities of the island, should help maintain the good quality of its beaches," he said.

He said the evident cause of beach pollution, which can be a big turn off for most of the tourists, is the lack of proper drainage system in the area.

Thus, he called for completion of the ongoing sewerage and drainage improvements on the island to help reduce the amount of pollutants directly discharged to surface water and groundwater.

"Concerned authorities, particularly the local government of Malay, Aklan and the Department of Tourism which heads the Boracay Task Force should look into the situation especially since the summer season is fast approaching and we are expecting highest tourist influx at this time," he said.

The DENR's Environmental Management Bureau office in Western Visayas had earlier reported that coliform bacteria levels in a drainage outlet that empties into the sea in Sitio Bulabog in Boracay exceed safe standards and reach 47,460 most probable number (mpn) per 100 milimeter (ml).

The safe level is 1,000 mpn/100ml for waters for swimming and other human contact activities.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This concern was raised many years ago. Why is the alarm raised only now? 

The truth is, tourists have aired this warning over social media in recent years and it's common knowledge by now. I am sorry to repeat the cliche: "I told you so."

"Apart from posing serious health and sanitary problems, coliform bacteria could also adversely affect aquatic resources, including marine life and coral reefs, which, aside from the powdery white sand beaches, form part of the island’s main attractions."

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Record numbers of stranded and starving sea lion pups worry rescue workers ("ocean chaos & mass kills")

Record numbers of stranded and starving sea lion pups worry rescue workers ("ocean chaos & mass kills") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
2015 could be the worst year for stranded sea lions, which have been on the rise for three winters in a row.

In the past two years, high numbers of starving sea lion pups have washed onto California’s beaches and this year may set a record. More than 470 young sea lions have been admitted to rehab centers in the state, and what is considered to be peak stranding season is likely still on the way.

Not only are these young California sea lions sometimes found weighing half of what they should, they are often at an age when they should still be with their mothers—and depending on their milk. "They're extremely emaciated, basically starving to death," veterinarian Shawn Johnson told National Geographic.

Marine biologists aren’t exactly sure what’s lead to the surge of strandings, which began in 2013 when some 1,600 sea lion pups came ashore. That year, NOAA described the situation as an “Unusual Mortality Event” and researchers began looking for a cause.According to The Marine Mammal Center, a rescue facility in Sausalito, “so far there is no evidence of underlying primary infectious disease or toxic insult to suggest what has caused these sea lion pups to strand.”

One theory is that a drop in fish populations may be leading mother sea lions to ween their pups a few months earlier than normal. A related theory is that fewer fish are causing mothers to venture further away from their young in search of food, and the pups—who usually stay on the shores of the Channel Islands—are jumping in the water after them, but are too weak to swim in strong currents.

Bert Guevara's insight:

What's wrong with our oceans? Whales and sea lions dying in large numbers!!! The capacity of these sea creatures to adapt to changing ocean environment appears to be low. This is where we need man to intervene and remedy the situation, if possible.

"Whatever the cause of the strandings may be, rescue workers are on alert and are doing their best to keep the young animals from dying, with the hope that they can eventually be returned to the wild."

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To Save Coral Reefs, First Save the Mangroves - National Geographic ("this resets coastal priorities")

To Save Coral Reefs, First Save the Mangroves - National Geographic ("this resets coastal priorities") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Coral reefs are in danger of bleaching in open water, but in the sheltering roots of mangroves, some have found a home.

With coral reefs in decline and NOAA calling for a larger protected area for reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Geological Survey scientists are pointing out another strategy to save reefs: First save the mangroves.

Mangrove trees' thickets of stilt-like roots protect coastal land from erosion and help mitigate the damage of tsunamis and hurricanes.They may also serve as a haven for corals, according to a recentreport in Biogeosciences.

Warming waters have not been kind to coral reefs. Heat causes corals to release the photosynthetic algae that live within and help feed the reefbuilding creatures—a phenomenon called bleaching, which is often fatal. In the Caribbean, where bleaching is widespread, more than 50 percent of the area that was covered by reefs in the 1970s is no longer.

In the mangroves of Hurricane Hole on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, however, Caroline Rogers of the USGS made a startling discovery. Growing among the tree roots were more than 30 coral species, including four threatened species. Some of the older corals must have survived bleaching that devastated the nearby reefs, suggesting the mangroves protected them.

By 2030, more than 90 percent of the world's coral reefs will be endangered by bleaching, acidity from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, tourism, and other threats.

Researchers are looking for refuges for corals to hide out in, including deeper reefs with cooler water. These places may become top conservation priorities. 

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is an important consideration in the coral reef protection program. The Philippines needs more mangroves along its very long coastline to save some of its coral reefs.

"The corals in mangroves may also have evolved to be more resistant to bleaching than their brethren on reefs, the researchers speculate. Previous studies suggest that corals that are accustomed to environmental fluctuation can better weather extreme heat.

"That raises hope that these more bleach-resistant corals may be able to recolonize dead reefs."

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A Government Science Agency Had To Redo Its Graphs Because Ocean Temperatures Went Off the Charts | VICE News

A Government Science Agency Had To Redo Its Graphs Because Ocean Temperatures Went Off the Charts | VICE News | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The world's oceans are warming as much as 100 times faster than at any time during the past 800,000 years.

The graph's upper bound was raised 25 percent in order to plot the rise in the amount of energy stored in the oceans, an event triggered by increasing amounts of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions.

It's not the first time the agency was forced to revise the size of its graphs. NOAA has amended charts three other times, including once for sea level rise, since they began posting them in 2008.

According to research published by NOAA scientists in 2012, the spike in ocean heat content from 1955 to 2012 was around 24 x 10^22 Joules: That's 2,400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules. For perspective, if that amount of heat were transferred to the lower six miles of the atmosphere, temperatures would rise about 36 degrees Celsius (65 Fahrenheit).

The importance of the updated NOAA data, however, is less in the fact that the agency had to adjust its charts. Instead, say scientists, the new high temperature illustrates the dramatic warming of the oceans, which is frequently overlooked, with much greater attention being paid to atmospheric temperature increase. 

Oceans can absorb about 1,000 times more heat than the atmosphere. At least 90 percent of extra heat trapped by human-generated greenhouse gases can be found in the world's oceans. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

When scientists first made ocean warming charts, they didn't expect it to be this warm, too soon! Now they have to increase the upper limit.

"It takes a lot more energy to heat water than to heat air," Jennifer Francis a climate scientist at Rutgers University, told VICE News. "The steady upward climb of deep ocean temperature is staggering. And nothing other than increased greenhouse gases caused by burning fossil fuels can explain it."

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UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity ("time to protect seas beyond close borders")

UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity ("time to protect seas beyond close borders") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
UN member states agreed Saturday to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters, in a move heralded by environmental organizations.

The eventual UN treaty would be the first to specifically address protection of marine life, calling for the preservation of vast areas threatened by pollution, overfishing and global warming.

But the agreement was reached only after a small group of countries engaged in fishing and ocean mining blocked a more rapid timeline during the discussions between experts from the 193 member countries.

A majority of nations called for quick action but several countries such as the United States, Russia, Canada, Iceland and Japan expressed reluctance.

The treaty represents international zones that make up 64 percent of the world's oceans or a total of 43 percent of Earth's surface.

"This is the biggest biosphere on earth and there is no legal instrument in place to establish national parks at sea to protect marine life," Karen Sack of the Pew Charitable Trusts told AFP.

The treaty would concern "conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction," creating in particular, "marine protected areas" and sharing of benefits derived from the deep sea, such as marine genetic resources, the text said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Protecting the seas should go beyond immediate country borders. It's now time to care for the high seas, as the wealth of our oceans have to be protected.

"The eventual UN treaty would be the first to specifically address protection of marine life, calling for the preservation of vast areas threatened by pollution, overfishing and global warming."

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We can fix the Gulf dead zone — for $2.7 billion a year ("who foots bill? why not nip it in the bud?")

We can fix the Gulf dead zone — for $2.7 billion a year ("who foots bill? why not nip it in the bud?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
It will cost $2.7 billion to stop dumping fertilizer in the Mississippi, where it ends up killing off everything in the Gulf of Mexico. And it's worth it.

Every year, millions of tons of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers wash down the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf of Mexico. There, instead of fertilizing corn, they fertilize the growth of algae, which blooms extravagantly and, in turn, creates a massive boom in microorganisms. There are so many aquatic microorganisms reproducing, eating algae and respiring at once, that they literally use up all the oxygen in the water. Anything else that needs to breathe oxygen — all the other marine life — dies.

It’s a tough problem to solve, because there isn’t any one fertilizer spigot that we can turn off. The stuff is washing off thousands of fields, up and down the vast Mississippi watershed. A group of scientists and economists detailed the various options in a paper published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Farmers could plant more cover crops, install bioreactors to filter their drainage, or change their land use.

The experts also came up with a number for how much all with would cost: $2.7 billion a year.

Either farmers or taxpayers are going to have to pay that bill. In Iowa, the fight over who ponies up is coming to a head: The Des Moines Water Works is spending so much money to filter nitrates out of the water that it is going to sue the counties upstream for polluting. The chair of the Water Works told the Des Moines Registerthat he had no choice but to sue:

“This is the only way that we see that we can engage the government, especially the state of Iowa, in a serious discussion about regulating those pollutants that are dumped into our source water.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a problem all over the world where chemical fertilizers are used. Aside from soil desertification, water dead zones are created. Where does the solution begin? Or do we just repair the damage and accept the situation?

"The farmers upstream from Des Moines are feeling a lot of pressure to make changes, but there’s no reason they should be the only ones targeted while others get a free pass. Either way, everyone will probably end up paying for it."

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Water Source for Almonds in California May Run Dry ("what do you do when the wells run dry?")

Water Source for Almonds in California May Run Dry ("what do you do when the wells run dry?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The business of growing almonds has thrived in California despite drought because of a federally controlled project that allowed for Sacramento River water flows, but the law requires that that source nurture salmon as well during scarcity.

California’s almond orchards have been thriving over the past decade and now provide an $11 billion annual boost to the state economy. Covering 860,000 acres, they account for 80 percent of world production. But the growth coincides with another record development here — drought — and the extensive water needs of nut trees are posing a sharp challenge to state water policy.

Farmers in the area where almond production has been most consistent have relied on water from a federally controlled project that draws its supply largely from the Sacramento River. But that source is less reliable because of legal requirements that in a time of scarcity, waterways that nurture California salmon must also get available water flows.

Almonds “have totally changed the game of water in California,” said Antonio Rossmann, a Berkeley lawyer specializing in water issues. “It’s hardened demand in the Central Valley.”

Farmers are planting almonds because, as permanent crops, they do not need to be replanted after every harvest. They have been steadily taking over from cotton and lettuce because they are more lucrative. “That’s the highest and best use of the land,” said Ryan Metzler, 45, who grows almonds near Fresno.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The well-loved almond fruit plantations are in trouble with water sources.

When the wells run dry, what now California?

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Vital Signs: Sea Level ("the increase is now 3.17mm per year or 56.35mm total since 1996; what now?")

Vital Signs: Sea Level ("the increase is now 3.17mm per year or 56.35mm total since 1996; what now?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Vital Signs of the Planet: Global Climate Change and Global Warming. Current news and data streams about global warming and climate change from NASA.

Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water coming from the melting of land ice and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The first chart tracks the change in sea level since 1993 as observed by satellites.

The second chart, derived from coastal tide gauge data, shows how much sea level changed from about 1870 to 2000.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Rising at 3.17mm per year, the sea level has risen by 56.35mm since 1996. This consistent trend was monitored by NASA satellites, so they are quite accurate.

What will earth citizens do?

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Andres Oppenheimer: Canal calamity looms in Nicaragua ("haste leading to environment disaster?")

Andres Oppenheimer: Canal calamity looms in Nicaragua ("haste leading to environment disaster?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The $50 billion project hasn't had a serious environmental impact study.

Jaime Incer Barquero, a respected former Nicaraguan environment minister and university professor who is nominally an environmental adviser to Ortega, told me in a telephone interview that the Nicaragua canal project is “a foretold disaster.”

“It will lead to the contamination and death of aquatic life in Lake Nicaragua, which is Latin America’s biggest tropical lake,” Incer Barquero said. “It will also mean that the Nicaragua Lake may lose forever its capacity to provide potable water to all of Nicaragua, including the capital.”

The planned transoceanic waterway will require the dredging of an area of about 64 miles across Lake Nicaragua, which will release millions of tons of mud and other sediments. That will pollute the water of the entire lake, depleting oxygen and killing fish and other aquatic species, he said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A foretold disaster ...

"If Nicaragua’s $50 billion transoceanic canal scheduled to start construction Dec. 22 becomes a reality, it could be the world’s biggest environmental disaster in recent memory.

"A group of 15 international environmental experts ... concluded that the Nicaragua Canal project should not start without a proper environmental impact study, Nicaragua’s Confidencial magazine reported."

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The incredibly stupid way that Americans waste 1 trillion gallons of water each year ("fix that leak!")

The incredibly stupid way that Americans waste 1 trillion gallons of water each year ("fix that leak!") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Much of the problem is household leaks that are right before our eyes.

And amazingly, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it may also be the amount of water that Americans needlessly waste, every year, because of leaky kitchen and bathroom faucets, malfunctioning toilets, errant sprinkler systems and much else. These leaks “can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes,” the EPA said.  The agency gets the figure — which is at the center of its “Fix a Leak Week” campaign, running this week — by combining together data on home water use with population statistics.

How could we cluelessly waste such a vastness of water? “I think how it goes unnoticed is, people see a couple of drips coming out of their shower head, or sprinkler outside, or faucet, it doesn’t seem like that much,” said Karen Wirth, who does marketing and outreach for the EPA’s WaterSense program.

Leaky pipes notwithstanding, much of the problem is hardly invisible. Rather, it comes from things we’re all aware of, like leaking faucets. A simple tool from the U.S. Geological Survey allows you to calculate how much water these can waste, showing that one faucet leaking one drip per minute adds up to 34 gallons per year — so you can begin to see how this adds up. The number for 1 million homes with a single faucet leaking at this rate, meanwhile, would be more than 34 million gallons. And of course many leaks drip much more than once per minute — and many homes have more than one leaky faucet.

Bert Guevara's insight:

When the government-run MWSS ran Metro Manila's water system, the water loss due to leakage was 60%!!! I wonder what the figure is today, after the privatization.

"The agency recommends not only fixing leaky faucets and toilets (of course) but running a home water leakage test. It’s really simple: Look at your water meter just after leaving your home (with all water using fixtures and devices turned off) and then upon returning. And see if it has moved.

“I think what people don’t understand is what the magnitude of the compounded problem is,” Wirth said .

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World's Top Chefs Say Eat Small Fish to Make Big Difference ("everyone can choose to cooperate")

World's Top Chefs Say Eat Small Fish to Make Big Difference ("everyone can choose to cooperate") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Want to make a big impact on the health of our oceans? Think small, top chefs say. As in anchovies and sardines. That's the message from 20 of the world's leading chefs, who gathered in northeastern Spain on Tuesday to draw attention to what they hope is a simple solution to the threat...

Driving the chefs' involvement is the campaign by Oceana aimed at convincing consumers to embrace eating more small oily fish. Known as "forage fish," they're part of the food chain that feeds larger fish, such as tuna or swordfish, both of which are threatened. The smaller fish are abundant enough to feed both the larger predators as well as plenty of people, says Oceana chief scientist Michael Hirshfield.

But though anchovies, sardines and similar small fish are treated as delicacies in much of the Mediterranean, in the rest of the world they often end up as feed for farmed salmon, chicken and pigs.

"They feed 3 pounds of fish to make 1 pound of salmon. That's not a great way to feed a planet," said Andy Sharpless, Oceana's CEO and author of "The Perfect Protein." ''We can feed tens of millions more people if we simply eat anchovies and other forage fish directly rather than in form of a farmed salmon or other animals raised on fish meal and fish oil."

Their point isn't to criticize the farmed seafood industry, the chefs said. Rather, they want to lead by example. They agreed to serve small oily fish at their restaurants as much as they as they can, to train younger chefs that the fish are as good for the planet as for the plate, and to develop recipes that make it easy for the average consumer to prepare them at home.

"We need to take advantage of species that there are in great abundance," Acurio said. "We as chefs with the magic and the passion and the talent we have can provoke and convince people to consume them and influence the market. As chefs we can create a consciousness to inspire many other cooks."

Bert Guevara's insight:

Acurio said the chefs' best contribution to promoting consumption of small fish might be creating simple meals anyone could cook. "If we can invent concept products, like the best burger you have ever eaten mixed with anchovies, that's one way to popularize it," he said.

"This campaign is trying to raise ethical and environmental public awareness," he said. "If you take care of your health, you also take care of the planet's health. It is as simple as that and it is something that everyone needs to understand."

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California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now? ("not much left for future gen")

California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now? ("not much left for future gen") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Given the historic low temperatures and snowfalls that pummeled the eastern U.S. this winter, it might be easy to overlook how devastating California's winter was as well.

Statewide, we've been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet of total water yearly since 2011. Roughly two-thirds of these losses are attributable to groundwater pumping for agricultural irrigation in the Central Valley. Farmers have little choice but to pump more groundwater during droughts, especially when their surface water allocations have been slashed 80% to 100%. But these pumping rates are excessive and unsustainable. Wells are running dry. In some areas of the Central Valley, the land is sinking by one foot or more per year.

As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water — and the problem started before our current drought. NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century.

Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.
Bert Guevara's insight:

If this happened in the Philippines, what can we do?

Several steps need be taken right now. First, immediate mandatory water rationing should be authorized across all of the state's water sectors ...

Second, the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 should be accelerated. 

Third, the state needs a task force of thought leaders that starts, right now, brainstorming to lay the groundwork for long-term water management strategies. 

Finally, the public must take ownership of this issue.


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Australia Uses the Motion of the Ocean to Generate Zero-Emission Electricity ... - GOOD Magazine

Australia Uses the Motion of the Ocean to Generate Zero-Emission Electricity ... - GOOD Magazine | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The Carnege Perth Wave Energy Project is the first wave-generated, grid-connected power array in the world.

CETO 5 (the fifth iteration of the CETO technology) is a modular array of three, entirely-submerged 240 kW buoys and water pumps. As oceanic waves move the buoys, they in turn activate the pumps, pushing pressurized water through power turbines, while simultaneously feeding into a desalinization system. This short video created by Carnegie Wave Energy, the company behind the CETO system, shows how it works.

According to Carnegie Wave, CETO has a number of potential commercial advantages over other wave power generating systems (as attn asks: “there’s more than one?”): CETO’s modular design allows for customizable scalability, and its being entirely submerged renders the equipment less susceptible to damage from storms and air erosion. What’s more,explains Australian Energy Minister Ian Macfarlane, the ebb and flow of the ocean is a much more reliable source of power than comparable green-energy systems, such as wind and solar. 

Plans are already underway for a CETO 6, expected to generate four times as much power as the current system. As Carnegie Wave Energy CEO Michael Ottaviano told The West Australian: "The great thing about it is we know it works. The challenge from here on is really about scale and cost."

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Australia Uses the Motion of the Ocean to Generate Zero-Emission Electricity and Desalinate Water Simultaniously - a game changer!!!


The potential of wave energy is tremendous. We just need someone smart enough to make it happen... or maybe it's already here.

 

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House OKs bill penalizing dumping of ships waste into sea ("another good law that awaits enforcement")

House OKs bill penalizing dumping of ships waste into sea ("another good law that awaits enforcement") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that will prevent and control pollution caused by waste materials from ships.

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that will prevent and control pollution caused by waste materials from ships.
Among the prohibited acts under the bill are the discharge of oil, oily mixture, noxious liquid substances, and other harmful substances in packaged form, sewage, garbage from any Philippine ship or any other ship while within Philippine waters.
House Bill 5377 seeks to implement the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships or Marpol 73/78, including its annexes and subsequent amendments.
The measure, known as the proposed “Prevention of Pollution from Ships Act,” shall cover Philippine ships, wherever they may be found, and foreign-flagged ships, whether or not they are registered with state parties to the Convention.
Exempted from the coverage of the proposed law, however, are warships, naval auxiliary ships and man-of-war vessels.
A violator may face a fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million, while the dumping of garbage or sewage will pay not less than P25,000, but not more than P2 million.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is an important development in solid waste management. If we are complaining about ocean garbage, then we have to help the government enforce this new law.

The meat is in the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) and of course, the implementation.

"A violator may face a fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million, while the dumping of garbage or sewage will pay not less than P25,000, but not more than P2 million.
"A corresponding fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million will be slapped on ships that emit other harmful substances.
"HB 5377 creates the Marine Pollution Adjudication Board with quasi-judicial powers to hear marine pollution cases."

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, February 16, 12:36 AM

This is an important development in solid waste management. If we are complaining about ocean garbage, then we have to help the government enforce this new law.

The meat is in the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) and of course, the implementation.

"A violator may face a fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million, while the dumping of garbage or sewage will pay not less than P25,000, but not more than P2 million.
"A corresponding fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million will be slapped on ships that emit other harmful substances.
"HB 5377 creates the Marine Pollution Adjudication Board with quasi-judicial powers to hear marine pollution cases."

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Over 100 whales dead after washing up on New Zealand beach - CNN.com ("ocean chaos?")

Over 100 whales dead after washing up on New Zealand beach - CNN.com ("ocean chaos?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Scores of whales stranded on a remote New Zealand beach got back in the water, only to return to land -- leaving more than 100 of them dead, agency says.

They are among the 198 pilot whales that got stuck Friday on Farewell Spit, a thin claw of land that reaches out into the sea from the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island. The spit forms the top of Golden Bay, an area where whales get stranded frequently because of its protruding coastline, gently sloping beaches and system of currents.

When it first happened, conservationists -- 140 trained volunteers in the Golden Bay area as well as experts from New Zealand's Department of Conservation -- rushed to water down the giant mammals, cover them and ideally refloat them back into the water.

Thankfully, workers on the scene until about 8 p.m. Friday (2 a.m. ET) were successful in getting the whales back into the open water -- albeit not before at least 24 whales had already died.

But it didn't last.

According to the Pacific island nation's Department of Conservation, "Unfortunately, the whales restranded, this time closer to the base of Farewell Spit.

That spurred government staff, the trained volunteers and members of the public to head to this beach early Saturday. As of 11:30 a.m. (7:30 p.m. ET Friday), 103 whales were confirmed dead.

"People are working with about 60 living whales," the New Zealand agency said then on its website. "... It is very cold and windy at the site."

Bert Guevara's insight:

Surely, something's wrong in the ocean environ. If an autopsy is possible, the cause of this mass "grounding" should be known as soon as possible to save the whales.

"The stranding of large sea mammals -- something that usually happens naturally -- is nothing new to New Zealand, where the Department of Conservation responds, on average, to 85 such incidents a year.

"But most of the time, it's just one or two whales or dolphins. Mass strandings are rare, especially on the scale of what's happening around Golden Bay."

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World has not woken up to water crisis caused by climate change: IPCC head

World has not woken up to water crisis caused by climate change: IPCC head | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
By Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Water scarcity could lead to conflict between communities and nations as the world is still not fully aware of the water crisis many countries face as a result of climate change, the head of the U.N. panel of climate scientists warned on Tuesday. The latest report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts a rise in global temperature of between 0.3 and 4.8 degrees Celsius (0.5 to 8.6 Fahrenheit) by the late 21st century. Countries such as India are likely to be hit hard by global warming, which will bring more freak weather such as droughts that will lead to serious water shortages and affect agricultural output and food security. "Unfortunately, the world has not really woken up to the reality of what we are going to face in terms of the crises as far as water is concerned," IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri told participants at a conference on water security.

"If you look at agricultural products, if you look at animal protein - the demand for which is growing - that's highly water intensive. At the same time, on the supply side, there are going to be several constraints. Firstly because there are going to be profound changes in the water cycle due to climate change."

Development experts around the world have become increasingly concerned about water security in recent years.

More frequent floods and droughts caused by climate change, pollution of rivers and lakes, urbanization, over-extraction of ground water and expanding populations mean that many nations such as India face serious water shortages.

In addition, the demand for more power by countries like India to fuel their economic growth has resulted in a need to harness more water for hydropower dams and nuclear plants.


Bert Guevara's insight:

The backlog in information dissemination, on a global scale, is one reason why I continue posting links like this. There is so much to know but very few media outlets carrying the news. One reason may be that the news reporters themselves are not updated.

"If you look at agricultural products, if you look at animal protein - the demand for which is growing - that's highly water intensive. At the same time, on the supply side, there are going to be several constraints. Firstly because there are going to be profound changes in the water cycle due to climate change."

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Why Dump Treated Wastewater When You Could Make Beer With It? ("won't make a diff when you're drunk")

Why Dump Treated Wastewater When You Could Make Beer With It? ("won't make a diff when you're drunk") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
An Oregon company has developed a high-tech process for turning sewage into pure drinking water. Now it's asking the state for permission to give its recycled water to a group of home brewers.

Clean Water Services of Hillsboro says it has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. The company, which runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area, wants to show off its "high-purity" system by turning recycled wastewater into beer.

Clean Water Services has asked the state for permission to give its water to a group of home brewers. The Oregon Brew Crew would make small batches of beer to be served at events – not sold at a brewery.

But as of now, the state of Oregon doesn't technically allow anyone to drink wastewater, no matter how pure it is.

The Oregon Health Authority has approved the company's request for the beer project. But the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission will also have to sign off on it before anyone serves a beer made from recycled sewage.

The process includes three different treatment methods: ultra-filtration, which filters the water through very small pores; reverse osmosis, which passes the water through a membrane that blocks chemicals from passing through; and enhanced oxidation, which uses ultra-violet light and an oxidizing chemical to break down contaminants.

Bert Guevara's insight:

With clean water sources dwindling, use of recycled water will invade more homes. Maybe "recycled water" beer will taste better?

"When people think about it enough it makes sense, although the initial knee-jerk reaction might be 'yuck,'" he said. "We want to start having this conversation now before we get into the drought situation that California and Texas and Australia have gotten into, so we can get the rules and safeguards in place that will allow greater use of this resource."

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The 10 Most Important Water Stories in 2014 ("the future of clean water will impact quality of life")

The 10 Most Important Water Stories in 2014 ("the future of clean water will impact quality of life") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
California's multi-year drought grew dire enough in 2014 to prompt Governor Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency in January. By the end of the year, California had experienced the driest and hottest 36 months in its 119-year instrumental record...

1. The California Drought Becomes an Emergency

2. Tigris and Euphrates River Dams Influence Islamic State Expansion

3. U.S.-China Climate Agreement Includes Water-Energy Provisions

4. The U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act Turns 40 Amid Mounting Safety Lapses 

5. Evidence of the Link between Climate Change and Extreme Hydrologic Events Grows Stronger

6. America Becomes More Water-Efficient as U.S. Water Use Drops Dramatically

7. China's South-North Water Transport Canal Opens

8. Algal Blooms Foul Water Worldwide

9. Water-Saving Renewable Energy Technologies Become Mainstream

10. Water Shutoffs in Detroit Are Factor in Largest U.S. Municipal Bankruptcy

Bert Guevara's insight:

Care to know what happened to global water supply in 2014? Here is a summary of the Top 10 water events according to Peter H. Gleick, President of Pacific Institute.

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Marco Fuentes's curator insight, January 21, 3:58 PM

añada su visión ...

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Insatiable greed: Poison fishing destroying marine life in River Indus – The Express Tribune

Insatiable greed: Poison fishing destroying marine life in River Indus – The Express Tribune | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The dead fish are sold as poultr­y feed.

Hundreds of juvenile fish were found dead in the Rice and Nara Canals after fishermen poured poisonous chemicals into the water to maximise their catch. The incident occurred after the closure of the canals for the annual repair and maintenance of the Sukkur Barrage from January 6 to January 20.

Once a year, the seven offshoots of the Sukkur Barrage are closed for maintenance and repairs, due to which the gates at the head of the canals are closed and water is allowed to flow downstream into the river. The water collects in small ponds at various sites of the canals. It is in these ponds where the greedy fishermen pour poisonous chemicals that kill the smaller fish which are then sold as poultry feed.

On Saturday, a large number of dead fish were found in the Rice and Nara canals, which were believed to have died as a result of the poisonous chemicals. The substance is so hazardous that it has allegedly been responsible for the deaths of a number of rare blind Indus dolphins over the past few years. The relevant departments have, however, failed to take action against the perpetrators.

According to locals, the fishermen pour the chemicals into the water late at night and then send their children to collect the dead fish in the morning. The dead fish is either sold to fish farmers to be used as feed or to the poultry industry. The addition of these chemicals not only harms the juvenile fish but also other marine life, such as the fresh water turtles and the Indus dolphin.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is mass murder!!! - worse than dynamite fishing. In the end, even the water is poisoned. Not only is greed at play here; also apathy. For his part, the Sukkur fisheries department deputy director Ghulam Mustafa Gopang expressed ignorance about the incident. He added, however, that officials of the fisheries department, wildlife department and the World Wildlife Fund had met the Sukkur SSP in this regard, who had assured them of full cooperation. Moreover, teams of officials of the fisheries department had been deployed at various points to discourage the practice, he revealed."

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Infographic – Save Our Waters ("if we don't manage water supply now, clean water will be rare soon")

Infographic – Save Our Waters ("if we don't manage water supply now, clean water will be rare soon") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
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Bert Guevara's insight:

Water supply and aquatic life are both in danger at the rate man is abusing the planet's water resources.

Check out the infograph and find out why.

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Coral Triangle countries work to protect marine resources ("borderless waters require teamwork")

Coral Triangle countries work to protect marine resources ("borderless waters require teamwork") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Coral Triangle countries are helping to avoid a natural and humanitarian toll in the Indo Pacific by conserving ocean habitats that are critical for the fo

The Coral Triangle is a six million kilometer marine area that directly sustains and protects more than 120 million people in coastal communities across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste.

“As a source of food, income, and protection from severe weather events, the ongoing health of the Coral Triangle’s marine ecosystems is critical,” said  Naoko Ishii, CEO and chairperson of the Global Environment Facility during the recent World Parks Conference held in Sydney, Australia.

“We applaud the leadership of Coral Triangle countries in taking on the responsibility of conserving and managing the region’s marine resources for the benefit of the people that depend on them,” Ishii said.

“Since it came together in 2009 to form the CTI-CFF, the six Coral Triangle countries and partners have collectively demonstrated notable achievements in the sustainable management of critical coastal and marine ecosystems essential to support food security and livelihoods in the Coral Triangle,” said Prof. Ir. R. Sjarief Widjaja, chairman of CTI-CFF Interim Regional Secretariat, hosted by Indonesia.

“We are delighted that the partners remain committed in their support and cooperation to secure the large-scale changes required to halt and reverse the threats facing this precious region.

Bert Guevara's insight:

What is the Coral Triangle, where the Philippines is a part of?

"“These marine protected areas are designed in such a way that they will generate significant income, livelihoods, and food security benefits for our coastal communities, as well as conserve the region’s rich biological diversity,” she said.

"The Initiative reaches out to varied constituencies in the region such as fishers, businesses, local governments, women leaders, and scientists who are pivotal in planning and managing marine and coastal resources effectively."

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