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Pollution, rampant trawling hit fish catch along AP coast - Times of India (It's also happening in the Phil)

Pollution, rampant trawling hit fish catch along AP coast - Times of India (It's also happening in the Phil) | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Pollution, rampant trawling hit fish catch along AP coastTimes of IndiaVISAKHAPATNAM: Fish catch in coastal AP has plummeted by almost 40% besides registering a sharp decline in marine biodiversity and disruption in ecosystem with several endemic...

This is direct fallout of indiscriminate and unscientific exploitation by trawler nets, unchecked pollution and lack of implementation of government regulations.

Researchers and experts express concern and point out that alternative methods of fish catching and livelihood for the fishing community are a must to save the marine biodiversity. B Baratha Lakshmi, director, Academic Staff College, Andhra University, who is involved in biodiversity conservation, points out that untreated release of effluents including heavy metals, chemicals and its sewage, pesticides, pharma factories and oil spills from ships have wreaked havoc on the marine life on AP coast.

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LOOK: ‘Scubasureros’ dive for garbage in waters of Hundred Islands ("we need more of them + enforcers")

LOOK: ‘Scubasureros’ dive for garbage in waters of Hundred Islands ("we need more of them + enforcers") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Not all scuba divers at the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City in Pangasinan were diving for pleasure last weekend—some of them were diving for garbage. The divers, dubbed "Scubasureros," are part of cleanup efforts in the tourist attraction, GMA Dagupan's Jette Arcellana reported Monday.

"Kung ikaw ay regular swimmer lang, parang hindi mo siya mapapansin, parang pag gumamit ka talaga ng gauge natin, yung snorkeling gauge natin, makikita mo talaga yung mga ganitong basura," said city tourism officer Solomon Tablang.
It was the first time the scubasureros dived in Hundred Islands since the management of the park was turned over to the local government in 2005.
During last weekend's dives, the scubasureros collected some 10 bags of trash from each of the eight islands they cleaned up.
Most of the trash they collected included plastic items, which can be potentially deadly to dolphins.
"[A]lam niyo kasi ang plastic, hindi nagde-decay yan, and then yung plastic pag nasa tubig it looks like a jellyfish, kaya ito kinakain ng mga dolphin. At yung dolphin naman, ito ang ikinamamatay nito," said city environment officer Narciso Aragon.
The cleanup was a joint effort of the local government unit, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the City Environment Office, the Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police, and local boat operators.

Bert Guevara's insight:

More tourists = more tourists = more garbage! 

Cleaning up is the heroic thing to do. But have they caught any tourist violators? Why apply "kids gloves" on the irresponsible tourist?

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80% of India's surface water may be polluted, report by international body says - Economic Times

80% of India's surface water may be polluted, report by international body says - Economic Times | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Even as India is making headlines with its rising air pollution levels, the water in the country may not be any better.

The report, based on latest data from the ministry of urban development (2013), census 2011 and Central Pollution Control Board, estimates that 75-80% of water pollution by volume is from domestic sewerage, while untreated sewerage flowing into water bodies including rivers have almost doubled in recent years. 

This in turn is leading to increasing burden of vector borne diseases, cholera, dysentery, jaundice and diarrhea etc. Water pollution is found to be a major cause for poor nutritional standards and development in children also. 
Between 1991 and 2008, the latest period for which data is available, flow of untreated sewerage has doubled from around 12,000 million litres per day to 24,000 million litres per day in Class I and II towns. 

Experts say there are glaring gaps not just in treatment of sewerage water but also in case of water treatment itself, used in supply of drinking water as well as for kitchen use etc. 
"Though there are standards, the enforcement is very low. Even the amount of water, which is treated, is also not treated completely or as per standards. And there is no civic agency accountable or punishable for that because we do not have stringent laws," says Puneet Srivastava, manager policy- Urban WASH & Climate Change at WaterAid India. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

When the air and water of a country are both polluted, what kind of citizens will they have in the next decade? Where will the poor citizens go?

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Depletion of world’s groundwater raises alarms | Toronto Star ("what we don't see will just run out soon")

Depletion of world’s groundwater raises alarms | Toronto Star ("what we don't see will just run out soon") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Studies using data gathered from space by NASA have found 13 of the earth’s largest aquifers are being depleted with little or no recharge. The findings have sparked warnings of potentially serious environmental and political consequences.

Underground water supplies are being depleted faster than they can be restored, and more data is needed to determine exactly how much groundwater remains globally, two new studies suggest.

Researchers led by the University of California-Irvine observed 37 of the world’s largest aquifers between 2003 and 2013, and found that 13 were being depleted with little or no recharge to offset water use.

Of this, eight were said to be “overstressed,” showing hardly any natural recharge, while another five were “extremely” or “highly” stressed.

The researchers found that climate change and population growth were making the problem worse. Water depletion, they said, may have negative consequences on sociopolitical situations around the world.

“Given how quickly we are consuming the world’s groundwater reserves, we need a coordinated global effort to determine how much is left,” Famiglietti said.

Groundwater is water that is found in soil or rock layers below the Earth’s surface, as opposed to surface water sources like lakes and rivers. Groundwater basins, known as aquifers, are found around the world.

“The water that we have in those aquifers represents over 95 per cent of the planet’s fresh, available water resources,” said Ken Howard, president of the International Association of Hydrogeologists and a hydrogeology professor at University of Toronto Scarborough.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The problem is happening in the unseen places underneath us. The fact that most of us are "blind" to aquifer behavior, then almost nobody is paying much attention to it. But wait till it runs out; then we scratch our heads.

 

“Without having good information on how these reserves are changing with time, how the water quality is changing with time, that is the sticking point when it comes to properly managing and protecting a resource,” he said.

“It’s out of public sight, and therefore it’s out of political mind. Basically, it’s a hidden resource. Nobody pays any attention to it because for the most part, you can’t see it.”

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Bringing Sustainable Water, Sanitation to the World's Poorest ("2.5b people still have no sanitation")

Bringing Sustainable Water, Sanitation to the World's Poorest ("2.5b people still have no sanitation") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
In its latest progress report, the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council reveals that it has provided 4.2 million people with improved toilets.

It’s estimated that no less than 2.5 billion people – 40 percent of the global population – do not have access to decent sanitation. More than 1 billion reportedly defecate in the open, exposing themselves and their communities to various risks. Among them is diarrheal disease, which WSSCC explains, “is a leading cause of malnutrition, stunting and child mortality, claiming nearly 600,000 under-5 lives every year.”

Formed in 1990 by the U.N. to succeed the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade, WSSCC has since “served as an international coordinating body to enhance collaboration in the water supply, sanitation and hygiene sectors, specifically in order to attain universal coverage for poor people around the world.”

With voluntary contributions from state, private and public sector sources, WSSC has assembled and coordinates the activities of a global network of water, sanitation and health (WASH) professionals. The GSF is its principal project funding mechanism.

“Access to improved sanitation has to be a sustainable reality for every person in the community, regardless of age, gender or disability, in order for the health and other benefits to be enjoyed by all,” GSF program director, David Shimkus, was quoted as saying. “This report shows that GSF-supported programs are making major strides in achieving improved sanitation and hygiene for the most vulnerable, and all stakeholders will continue to work together to ensure such progress continues.”

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Vital Signs: Sea Level ("3.2 mm/year; due to melting and water expansion from warming; pretty fast")

Vital Signs: Sea Level ("3.2 mm/year; due to melting and water expansion from warming; pretty fast") | Water Stewardship | 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 from melting 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:

3.2 mm/year may not look much, but if the sea level rise continues for decades, then it will definitely reach a beach near you.

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Sustainable fishing could produce more profits and more fish: research ("replenishment period needed")

Sustainable fishing could produce more profits and more fish: research ("replenishment period needed") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
LISBON (Reuters) - Global sustainable fishery policies could raise profits in the sector by $51 billion a year, boost the numbers of fish in the oceans and provide more food for the world's people, research

The extensive research, based on data from fisheries representing 77 percent of the world's fish catch, showed that fish stocks could grow very quickly if responsible fishing policies are adopted.

"We found that conservation is a means to an end," said Chris Costello, from the University of California, one of the institutions involved in the research. "This is a bit shocking and we think this is a new finding."

 

The findings of the research, which also involved the Environmental Defense Group and the University of Washington, were released during a World Ocean Summit of business leaders, government officials and conservation groups in Portugal.

The researchers said they were based on a very large database of fisheries, 4,373 in total, compared with previous studies which looked at far fewer.

The preliminary results suggest policies to prevent overfishing, taking measures when fish stocks become depleted and enforcing laws to stop illegal fishing can quickly turn around dwindling fisheries.

Adopting sustainable policies could restore the percentage of world fisheries considered healthy from 45 percent today to 79 percent within 10 years and 98 percent by 2050. A typical fishery could recover in just nine years, the findings showed.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Control the greed! We can't over-fish forever and expect profits to continue.

 

"The data reveal a stark choice: manage fisheries sustainably and realize the tremendous potential of the world's oceans; or allow 'business as usual' to continue to draw down the natural capital of our oceans."

"The research urged governments and businesses to take action soon to ensure fishing can be sustainable in the future and feed the world's growing population."

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Water pollution in India a serious concern a documentary - Every Indian Must Watch This Vi - YouTube

SUBSCRIBE to my channel: LIKE + SHARE Water pollution is serious concern in India yet we give very less attention to it and still the water
Bert Guevara's insight:

This is one of the most disgusting videos I have ever watched. Similar scenes are also found in the Philippines.

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Maynilad to build septage treatment plant in Las Pinas ("after all this time, finally they did it")

Maynilad to build septage treatment plant in Las Pinas ("after all this time, finally they did it") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Maynilad Water Services Inc. said it started building a P363-million septage treatment plant in Las Pinas City.

The South Septage Treatment Plant is located in Barangay Pamplona Uno.

Maynilad said the facility would be able to treat 250 cubic meters per day of septage, which are collected from the septic tanks of its customers in Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Pasay; and Bacoor, Cavite, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite.

Maynilad said the septage treatment plant, partly funded by a World Bank loan, will use a "screw press dewatering system." This particular technology is used for treatment of septage that requires minimal operational costs.

"Wastewater from households that is not properly treated can pose serious and long-term threats to the health of communities and the environment. To date, we operate 17 wastewater treatment plants capable of treating 520 million liters of wastewater per day," Maynilad President and CEO Ricky P. Vargas said.

Maynilad, the water concessionaire for the West Zone, is setting aside 7.61 billion or around 44 percent of its total capital expenditures for 2015 for wastewater management projects.

Bert Guevara's insight:

After all the bustling new cities in the South of Metro Manila have sprawled, it is only now that we see a waste water treatment facility being constructed.

The crude system of "seeping" individual septic tanks is a painstaking process that still leaves a lot of septage water untreated. What about houses that have waste water draining directly into our drainage systems? Have they been all inspected and corrected yet? No wonder Manila Bay smells like a sewer.

 

"Maynilad said the facility would be able to treat 250 cubic meters per day of septage, which are collected from the septic tanks of its customers in Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Pasay; and Bacoor, Cavite, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite."

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Aquaponics 4 Idiots - The Idiot Proof Way of Building an Aquaponic System ("a proven way of smart agri")

Aquaponics 4 Idiots - The Idiot Proof Way of Building an Aquaponic System ("a proven way of smart agri") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The idea was so simple it's mind-boggling... It's about balance with nature , which is automatic, for example:

1. Trees provide us with Oxygen to breathe...

2. We breathe out Carbon-Dioxide, and...

3. In turn the trees breathe the Carbon-Dioxide... and breathe out Oxygen.

It's automatic... we don't have to think about where and how we're getting our oxygen... it just happens.

Well, what if you could do the same thing for plants? So their food supply is automated. You can, with AQUA-PONICS. It is the combination of hydroponics with aqua-culture.

Aqua-Culture is the process of growing fish in a tank... and it has one big problem... Fish produce Ammonia, Algae, Minerals, and all kinds of other by-products that need to be constantly filtered.

Wait a minute! Plants eat Ammonia, Algae, Minerals and Nitrates! Everything that fish produce naturally!

What if you connect the two together? This is where the magic of aqua-ponics comes in!...

If you connect the fish-tank water to the water of the hydroponics system... your plants get anautomatic food supply of almost everything they need to grow from the fish water... and in turn... the plants filter the water for the fish.

It's a win/win/win situation for everyone:1. The plants get rich alive nutrients around the clock.2. The fish are happy as their water is filtered by nature every day. 3. You get healthier plants (a lot more of them), and A LOT of benefits...

This way, your plants exist in a natural balanced relationship with the algae/fish, which makes them grow faster and healthier.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In case you haven't read about the wonder of aquaponics yet, here are some basic facts which are very useful.

 

"Up to 10 Times More Plants! With aquaponics you place plants closer together on a float system above the water, therefore it fits 10 times more plants in the same space! The roots of the plants are always in nutrient rich water and there's no over-crowding! Inside the eBook you'll find out exactly how to place the floats, which material to use, and how to plant your seedlings inside."

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The Empty River of Life ("taken for granted, rivers may disappear and may not return as expected")

The Empty River of Life ("taken for granted, rivers may disappear and may not return as expected") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Drought has affected all of Iran but nowhere is its effect more visible than in Isfahan, where the water that once flowed under the Bridge of 33 Arches has vanished.

There have not been that many storms in Tehran, Iran’s sprawling metropolis, which stretches from the mighty Alborz mountain range in the north far into the dry plains to the south, toward the holy Shiite city of Qum. Actually, there has not been much rain here for years.

Signs of the drought in Iran — which, according to experts, has lasted for more than two decades — are not very visible in the capital. There are many parks and trees because of the active city government.

But make no mistake: The city is dry. Its underground water supplies are depleted, and officials have long warned that, one day, the trees will dry up and water might need to be rationed.

Outside Tehran the situation is much worse, and some experts predict that the south will become uninhabitable if the drought persists.

Still, to the dismay of those aware of Iran’s water problems, many in Tehran keep washing their cars with water from wells that they somehow believe will fill up miraculously — even though average rainfall has dropped and the city’s population has tripled in the past 30 years.

“The well is endless. The water comes from deep inside the earth,” my neighbor assured me after I asked if it was really necessary to “wash the street,” as he calls drowning the asphalt in gallons of water to clean the dust. “God has given us this water to use,” he said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Disappearing rivers are happening all over the planet, including the Philippines. People take it for granted that the rivers will return in time; but long droughts have made the seasonal return of the rivers delayed longer and longer. 

 

"Nowhere is the drought more visible than in Iran’s former capital, Isfahan, a desert city 250 miles south of here. It is home to a once mighty river, the Zayanderud, or the River of Life, that cuts through the historic center like a clumsily rolled out carpet.

"Over the past three years, however, the river has been dry, the result of little rainfall and a lack of sufficient water management. Residents who in the past would stroll along Isfahan’s riverbanks and breathe in the cool breeze off the flowing water instead cover their faces to defend against the dust blowing from the dry riverbeds."

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Eating the drought: How much water goes into your meal? ("after consuming so much, then food is waste")

Eating the drought: How much water goes into your meal? ("after consuming so much, then food is waste") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
California's crippling drought has prompted conservation efforts, such as replacing grass lawns and minding how long you leave the tap water running. But what about the food on your plate? Agriculture uses 80% of California's water supply, and producing what you eat can require a surprising amount of water. The number next to the plate below represents the direct and indirect amount of water required to produce your food plate, based on U.S. data from the Water Footprint Network. Food items are assumed as fresh (unfrozen) and do not include the footprint for cooking (when applicable).

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This info-graph is fantastic! It shows you how much water is used to produce every ounce or pound of your food. Check it out and be aware of the critical role of water in our survival.

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It’s a Keeper: New Report Shows the Magnuson-Stevens Act is Working ("allow oceans to repopulate")

It’s a Keeper: New Report Shows the Magnuson-Stevens Act is Working ("allow oceans to repopulate") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Fish lovers, rejoice! Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released record breaking news, showing yet again, that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. In its 2014 Status of Stock...

Fish lovers, rejoice! Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released record breaking news, showing yet again, that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. In its 2014 Status of Stocks report, NMFS reported that overfishing and overfished numbers are at an all-time low, and the number of rebuilt fish stocks has grown to 37!

Since 2007, the percentage of stocks that are facing overfishing, or that are already overfished, has decreased—even though fishing is increasing. This points to positive rebuilding progress for our nation’s fisheries. It is clear that sound science and managing the long term future of our fisheries is working for America’s fish stocks as well as for the country’s economy.

 It is important that this progress continue. More than 1.7 million jobs in the United States rely on commercial and recreational fisheries, contributing $199 billion annually. This is in large part thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, our country’s fisheries management law.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act is an invaluable tool for protecting the economic benefits realized by our nation’s fisheries. This law is critical to preserving the health and integrity of our ocean’s complicated and delicate marine ecosystems.  The Status of the Stocks report further proves that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is making important strides toward ending overfishing, and we can’t afford to stop now.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Here is one good news for the fishing industry, at least in the US. We can follow this model for the fish population to recover from overfishing.

 

"Ocean Conservancy looks forward to future improvements to the Magnuson-Stevens Act to continue our achievements in rebuilding fisheries so that we may realize the long-term ecological and economic sustainability of our nation’s fisheries."

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Our public water future - closing out the corporate profiteers ("rift between private & public owners")

Our public water future - closing out the corporate profiteers ("rift between private & public owners") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Private water companies have never been more aggressive in their sabotaging of efforts to 'make water public', writes Satoko Kishimoto, with legal threats and challenges launched under 'free trade' agreements. But as citizens worldwide reject corporate water profiteering, the trend of water re-municipalisation has gathered unstoppable momentum.

Unfortunately on the ground, the promise of private water services has all too often turned into a mirage. Starting in 2000, increasing numbers of cities (from Atlanta to Accra, Berlin to Buenos Aires) have demanded a return to public water services as prices rose and services declined.

In the face of growing criticism, the World Water Forum has toned down its talk of privatisation - this year the language is all about "innovative investment", promoted most typically through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

But on closer examination, this is another mirage. PPPs are not an "innovative" financing mechanism but a cherry-picking exercise: one that allows water multinationals the most attractive contracts (and all profits), while governments assume the risks.

In the case of Bandung in Indonesia, for example, the PPP guaranteed a private company a 20% profit rate in exchange for an investment of $500 million in water infrastructure, that could only be paid back because of the presence of profitable local industries.

But this cherry-picking means that the public sector is left operating only in regions where cost recovery is not possible - and it prevents the public sector - that can borrow at cheaper rates and is not required to pay back shareholders - to use earnings from more profitable districts to support extending service in less well-serviced low income areas.

Research by Public Services International Research Unit shows that despite the big expansion of PPPs in recent years, financing for all infrastructure across the world still predominantly comes from public sources, as high as 90%.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Water should be accessible to the public at the least possible cost. Infrastructure investments, however, bring in private profiteers who are exercising ownership over water resources. The public should be more aware.

 

"Investment in the public sector can deliver far better results than public-private partnerships. 'Our Public Water future' shows that the 235 cities (that have remunicipalised) provide better services - not only because they can reinvest all profits into infrastructure, but also because they are better placed to consider other issues such as labour rights, environmental conservation and democratic accountability.

"Undistracted from competing for markets, public water operators are also linking up through Public Public Partnerships to share learning and best practice, and build capacity of less well-resourced utilities."

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Scientists Baffled Over Unprecedented Warming of Ocean Off Atlantic & Pacific Coasts ("cause unclear")

Scientists Baffled Over Unprecedented Warming of Ocean Off Atlantic & Pacific Coasts ("cause unclear") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Oceanographers are puzzled by an accelerated burst of warming sea that threatens the fisheries of the American Atlantic coast. The Woods Hole Oceanographic

Their findings came after analysis of data from sensors—called bathythermographs—dropped 14 times a year from the container ship Oleander, which for 37 years has travelled between New Jersey and Bermuda. Each detector takes the temperature of the water column as it sinks up to 700 meters.

What they were startled to discover was an unexplained, and unprecedented, rise in the water temperatures that may be linked with an equally mysterious sea level anomaly: sea levels are going up, but they are going up faster off the north-east coast of the U.S. than almost anywhere else.

“The warming rate since 2002 is 15 times faster than from the previous 100 years,” says Glen Gawarkiewicz, a WHOI senior scientist and one of the authors of the report.

“There’s just been this incredible acceleration to the warming, and we don’t know if it’s decadal variability or if this trend will continue.”

To make sure of their perspective, the authors compared their analysis with surface data from the Nantucket lightship and other such installations along the coast, from 1880 to 2004. The new study shows that the warming is not just confined to surface waters.

Although there must be some link with the steady rise in atmospheric temperatures because of global warming as a result of human-made carbon dioxide emissions, the oceanographers suspect there may also be another explanation, so far undiscovered.

Off the Pacific coast, meteorologists have been scratching their heads over the appearance in 2014 of a “remarkably” warm patch—1,500 kilometres across in every direction and 100 metres deep—that could be linked to “weird” weather across the continental US that has seen heat and drought in the west and blizzards and chills in the East.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Ocean warming is not easy to explain or to link with global warming, but they are both warming up beyond the traditional earth cycles. Read this article.

 

"A second study in Geophysical Research Letters links the warm Pacific puzzle to the big freezein the eastern states in 2013 and 2014.

Once again, there doesn’t seem to be a direct connection with climate change, but it raises the specter of changes to come.

“This is a taste of what the ocean will be like in future decades,” Dr Bond says. “It wasn’t caused by global warming, but it’s producing conditions that we think are going to be more common with global warming.”

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U.N. votes to create ocean conservation treaty | The Japan Times ("half the planet is w/o protection")

U.N. votes to create ocean conservation treaty | The Japan Times ("half the planet is w/o protection") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution Friday to develop a treaty for the conservation of marine life in the high seas. The resolution, adopted by

The resolution, adopted by consensus, launches the first global treaty process related to the oceans in over two decades and the first on the protection and sustainable use of animal and plant life in sea areas beyond the territorial jurisdiction of any country.

It authorizes a preparatory committee to meet in 2016 and 2017 and make recommendations on provisions for a legally binding legal instrument under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea — and the General Assembly. It says the 193-member world body will decide in 2018 on convening a formal treaty negotiating conference.

The resolution follows a commitment by world leaders at the Rio+20 environment conference in Brazil in 2012 to address the protection of the high seas.

“The high seas account for nearly half our planet — the half that has been left without law or protection for far too long,” said Sifa Tsenikli of Greenpeace. “A global network of marine reserves is urgently needed to bring life back into the oceans. This new treaty should make that happen.”

Elizabeth Wilson, director of international ocean policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts, said the commitment of world leaders shouldn’t be underestimated. “Launching these negotiations marks the beginning of a new era in ocean conservation,” she said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Who is protecting the oceans beyond the nations' boundaries? 


“The high seas account for nearly half our planet — the half that has been left without law or protection for far too long,” said Sifa Tsenikli of Greenpeace. “A global network of marine reserves is urgently needed to bring life back into the oceans. This new treaty should make that happen.”

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10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans ("nothing is too small a task to save our endangered oceans")

10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans ("nothing is too small a task to save our endangered oceans") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Oceana has compiled a list of suggestions for green – dare we say blue? – lifestyle choices that can help preserve the oceans for future generations.1. Join OceanaMore than 550,000 members and e-activists in over 200 countries have already joined Oceana - the largest international organization focused 100 percent on ocean conservation. Become a Wavemaker here.

Oceana has compiled a list of suggestions for green – dare we say blue? – lifestyle choices that can help preserve the oceans for future generations.

1. Join Oceana

2. Vote responsibly. Contact your representative.

3. Eat sustainable seafood.

4. Reduce energy use.

5. Use reusable plastic products.

6. Properly dispose of hazardous materials.

7. Use less fertilizer.

8. Pick up garbage and litter near beaches.

9. Buy ocean-friendly products.

10. Share with a friend.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our embattled oceans need our help. Check out some of the things we can do on our level.

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Stunning aerial photos of the world's aquaculture operations ("fishing's never been the same")

Stunning aerial photos of the world's aquaculture operations ("fishing's never been the same") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
June marks World Oceans Month, a time to learn and share what is important about the huge swathes of the world that the oceans cover.

Making up more than 90% of the habitable space on the planet and home to a majority of Earth’s life, the importance of our oceans cannot be overstated.

In President Barack Obama’s statement on the U.S.’s own National Oceans Month, he stated a need to “[ensure] the long-term health, resilience, and productivity of our marine environments.” Included in that commitment was the protection and continued “sustainability of our world's fisheries.”

 

Aquaculture, the raising of seafood and other marine life in controlled aquatic environments, has become more widespread in past decades as overfishing has depleted wild fish stocks. From small seaweed and kelp operations in Japan and China, to the dizzying mosaic of oyster beds in France, here is a look at how humans are using, and altering their environment to feed the world.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Improving the way we culture seafood has never been more commercialized. The expansion of the world's aquaculture facilities has been awesome, to say the least. These pictures will give us a glimpse of what is happening in the seafood world.

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Protecting Indonesia's Coral Reefs - YouTube ("educating the community is best way to protect corals")

http://www.worldbank.org/id - Indonesia's coral reefs are a global treasure yet they are in danger. The World Bank Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management P...

Indonesia's coral reefs are a global treasure yet they are in danger. The World Bank Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Project, or Coremap, helps communities revive damaged reefs and improve conservation efforts. Local fishermen are trained to monitor the reefs, and local schools include ecosystem conservation in their curriculum.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The best way to protect the coral reefs is to make the community understand the value they have on the survival of their families. This Indonesian experience highlights the need for effective education as a method of coral reef protection.

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This Lake In India Is So Polluted It Caught Fire ("this is how a river was overrun w/ chemicals")

This Lake In India Is So Polluted It Caught Fire ("this is how a river was overrun w/ chemicals") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Whoever said water couldn't burn didn't pollute hard enough.

Residents in Bangalore, India, were alarmed earlier this week when a local lake caught fire. For several weeks, Bellandur Lake has been

The foam apparently caught fire last week, burning for most of last Friday night, as seen in a shocking video recorded from its banks, the Bangalore Mirror reported. Experts told the outlet a slurry of oil and phosphorus from untreated industrial waste and sewage likely created the conditions for the combustable cocktail to ignite. Areas of nearby wetlands that had helped to filter the lake in the past were destroyed by development.

"These wetlands used to act as purifiers. But all such wetlands surrounding the lake have been encroached and there is no place for natural purification. Hence the pollution at these lakes is uncontrollable," an unnamed officer for the local pollution control board told the Mirror.

Apart from the alarming, positively hellish prospect of a lake of fire, residents have also reported allergic reactions and a burning sensation possibly caused by toxins released by the foam, which caught fire again on Monday, according to The News Minute. The froth has swelled to a height of as much as 12 feet due to recent rains, and has spilled over the banks of the lake.

City officials have called for an investigation into the rampant pollution, which is alsonoticeable on another lake nearby.

"Foam, fire, what next? A Loch Ness monster?" a resident told local television outlet NDTV.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I thought our Manila creeks were bad enough. Take a look at this Indian river - it burns!


"Residents in Bangalore, India, were alarmed earlier this week when a local lake caught fire. For several weeks, Bellandur Lake has been covered with several feet of toxic foam that some have said resembles snow from far away, according to The Hindu. Beneath the snow-white lather, the water has turned black from chemicals and sewage."

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Where the River Runs Dry - The New Yorker ("when users thought the water runs forever")

Where the River Runs Dry - The New Yorker ("when users thought the water runs forever") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
It’s the most important river in the West—and it exemplifies everything wrong with water use in America.

All that human utility has costs; the river suffers, in varying degrees, from many of the same kinds of overuse and environmental degradation that threaten freshwater sources around the world. The Colorado’s flow is so altered and controlled that in some ways the river functions more like a fourteen-hundred-mile-long canal. The legal right to use every gallon is owned or claimed by someone—in fact, more than every gallon, since theoretical rights to the Colorado’s flow (known as “paper water”) vastly exceed its actual flow (known as “wet water”). That imbalance has been exacerbated by the drought in the Western United States, now in its sixteenth year, but even if the drought ended tomorrow problems would remain. The river has been “over-allocated” since the states in its drainage basin first began to divide the water among themselves, nearly a century ago, and scientists expect climate change to strain it further, in part by reducing precipitation in the mountains that feed it.

Not long ago, I travelled as much of the Colorado’s length as can be followed in a car. I began near the headwaters, put three thousand miles on three rental cars, and ended, eventually, in northern Mexico, where the Colorado simply runs out. So much water is diverted from the river as it winds through the Southwest that, since the early nineteen-sixties, it has seldom flowed all the way to its natural outlet, at the upper end of the Gulf of California, and since the late nineteen-nineties it has made it there only once. People who drive into or out of the town of San Luis Río Colorado, in the Mexican state of Sonora, sometimes complain about having to pay a six-peso toll to cross a bridge that spans only sand.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Another over-used river runs dry. So many rivers all over the world are disappearing. Should we just look for another river to exploit when the present one dries out?

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Food companies are unprepared for global water scarcity, says new report ("may raise production costs")

Food companies are unprepared for global water scarcity, says new report ("may raise production costs") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Using public data, a nonprofit ranked the best and worst companies in terms of water use. The results were sobering

In many cases, companies included in the report aren’t tracking water use beyond their own operations, or aren’t tracking it well, according to Ceres. That’s a problem given that some of the top water uses come from their supply chains.

Most companies also don’t have incentives in place – either internally or for their processors or farmers – for improving water conservation or reducing water pollution, the report said.

“Water is an important issue for us and for the food and beverage sector,” Holdorf said. “I think all of us have plenty of work to do.”

Ceres also highlighted examples of strong water management policies. For example, Campbell Soup, Dean Foods, Molson Coors and Unilever offer executives financial incentives for achieving water management goals.

Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg, Nestle and Unilever have deadline-driven goals to expand sustainable water management practices, which range from planting cover crops to reduce water runoffs and soil erosion to capturing and storing rainfall, across the majority of their suppliers.

Ceres recommends that companies work more closely with their suppliers, including farmers, to collect good data, secure water supplies and conserve more. Businesses should also support watershed protection and report water risks regularly to their board of directors and shareholders, the group claims.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Since water is practically free, companies and the public have taken it for granted. Now that the supply is critical in many regions, the water situation changes drastically. The government will have to step in more decisively, if they want to prepare for the long-term viability of water supply.

 

"Meanwhile, investors who want to include water risks in their financial analyses should demand more comprehensive water use reporting from their portfolio companies and make investment decisions accordingly, Ceres suggests. According to the report, they should consider three key factors: how much water is needed, how secure the water supply is, and how the management deal with water scarcity, pollution and other related risks.

“Right now, a lot of what we are producing is linked to the fact that water is free,” Barton said. “We will see a shift.”

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Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape ("this threat is happening all over the Pacific, including the Phil")

Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape ("this threat is happening all over the Pacific, including the Phil") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The waters of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape are home to some of the world's most productive fisheries and unique biodiversity. CI is working to end destructive fishing practices, support marine protected areas and foster regional cooperation.

What are the issues?

Overfishing
Worldwide, around 30% of fisheries are overexploited or depleted. In the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, both industrial and small-scale fishermen are catching too many fish to meet growing demand. This leads to a loss of jobs, incomes and food supplies — and puts protected areas in grave danger.

Bycatch
Bottom trawlers and industrial longline vessels unintentionally snare sharks and turtles, resulting in drastic reductions in populations, like the eastern Pacific population of the critically endangered leatherback. Up to 50% of the remaining Pacific leatherbacks are caught each year by longline fishermen.

Destruction of coastal habitats
The area’s coastlines are impacted by tourism, fishing and the recent boom in “aquaculture,” or fish farming. In one coastal province of Ecuador, shrimp farming — a particularly damaging form of aquaculture driven by high global demand — has led to the destruction of 80% of the region’s critical mangroves.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The issues of overfishing, bycatch and destruction of coastal habitats have to be addressed immediately, otherwise we may not be able to recover our losses. The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) is one proven approach, but there are many challenges. In the Philippines, the urgency is critical.


"The Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape covers an area nearly three times the size of Texas. It’s an enormous challenge to monitor what’s going on in an area that big — and to protect it from threats like illegal fishing, overfishing and pollution. But CI is facing this challenge head-on. Since we began work in the region in 2004, we’ve supported the creation or expansion of more than 20 marine protected areas (MPAs). And we’re working around the region to restore the critical coastal areas, end destructive fishing practices such as overfishing and trawling and coordinate cooperation among the governments of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador to create a more sustainable Pacific Ocean."

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Senator Ejercito files Watershed Protection Bill ("urgently needed water security measure")

Senator Ejercito files Watershed Protection Bill ("urgently needed water security measure") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

SENATOR Joseph Victor G. Ejercito files yesterday Senate Bill No. 2748   or otherwise known as the Protection of Watershed Supporting the National Irrigation System (NIS) Act.

 

          SB No. 2748 aims that the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the “watersheds supporting the national irrigation system” in the country will be ensured in order to assure that these considered areas cannot be touched by man’s insensitivity to nature and his environment.

 

The proposed bill covers all  the 143 identified watersheds supporting the National Irrigation System, as identified in Section 6 of the proposed bill, and all watershed areas as may be proclaimed before and after the passage of the proposed measure.

 

Currently, the Philippines has 143 Watersheds supporting 165 National Irrigation Systems with a total area of  4,318,172 million hectares more or less, The water that comes from these watersheds areas and flows to the River Systems provides irrigation water to rice lands and other agricultural lands planted of different crops. There are only about 483,820 hectares, more or less, being serviced by the 143 River Watersheds, but based on the NIA data, 868,509 hectares of agricultural land are being irrigated and roughly 368,000 hectares of these have existing facilities but need restoration and rehabilitation.

 “With the on-ongoing drought experienced by many provinces in our country which threaten our agricultural production and food supply, this proposed bill is very timely to promote and protect the various watersheds that provide the socio-economic base to a growing population through the utilization of watershed resources. I hope that the leadership of both Houses and the Executive Department will realize that this proposed bill caters to the basic human needs, like water and food, and a law like this should be passed not only for ourselves but for the other generations to come,“ Senator Ejercito said.
Bert Guevara's insight:

The country needs this law badly.


"The proposed bill covers all  the 143 identified watersheds supporting the National Irrigation System, as identified in Section 6 of the proposed bill, and all watershed areas as may be proclaimed before and after the passage of the proposed measure.

"According to the bill, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) thru the Bureau of Forest Management in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture thru the National Irrigation Authority shall have exclusive and primary jurisdiction, control and management on all identified watersheds supporting the National Irrigation system."

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Pacific Ocean "Warm Blob" Due To Reduced Heat Loss ("messed up ocean reacts to heating and produces blob")

Pacific Ocean "Warm Blob" Due To Reduced Heat Loss ("messed up ocean reacts to heating and produces blob") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The one common element in recent weather has been oddness. The West Coast has been warm and parched; the East Coast has been cold and snowed under. Fish are swimming into new waters, and hungry seals are washing up on California beaches.

A long-lived patch of warm water off the West Coast, about 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal, is part of what’s wreaking much of this mayhem, according to two University of Washington papers to appear in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

“In the fall of 2013 and early 2014 we started to notice a big, almost circular mass of water that just didn’t cool off as much as it usually did, so by spring of 2014 it was warmer than we had ever seen it for that time of year,” said Nick Bond, a climate scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, a joint research center of the UW and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Bond coined the term “the blob” last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington’s state climatologist. He said the huge patch of water – 1,000 miles in each direction and 300 feet deep – had contributed to Washington’s mild 2014 winter and might signal a warmer summer.

Ten months later, the blob is still off our shores, now squished up against the coast and extending about 1,000 miles offshore from Mexico up through Alaska, with water about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal. Bond says all the models point to it continuing through the end of this year.

The new study explores the blob’s origins. It finds that it relates to a persistent high-pressure ridge that caused a calmer ocean during the past two winters, so less heat was lost to cold air above. The warmer temperatures we see now aren’t due to more heating, but less winter.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It's not from outer space, but this "blob" cannot be explained categorically by scientists but merely monitored. It affects marine life, temperature and weather patterns - both droughts and extreme winters. The "blob" continues to affect the Pacific Ocean and nearby coastal areas.


“It’s an interesting question if that’s just natural variability happening or if there’s something changing about how the Pacific Ocean decadal variability behaves,” Hartmann said. “I don’t think we know the answer. Maybe it will go away quickly and we won’t talk about it anymore, but if it persists for a third year, then we’ll know something really unusual is going on.”

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New NASA Satellite Gets the Dirt on Soil Moisture | Climate Central ("how bad is global drought?")

New NASA Satellite Gets the Dirt on Soil Moisture | Climate Central ("how bad is global drought?") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
NASA's SMAP satellite has sent back the first global look at soil moisture, a key drought indicator.

Soil moisture is a critical indicator of drought. For decades, ground observations have done the heavy lifting but they’re few and far between. That’s why NASA spent $1 billion to launch a soil moisture monitoring satellite earlier this year. After months of calibration, the satellite dubbed the Soil Moisture Active Passive mission or SMAP (go ahead and try not to say “oh, SMAP” in your head), has sent back the first global view of soil moisture.

SMAP uses two instruments — a radar and radiometer — to measure soil moisture at a 5.6-mile resolution, all with the goal of providing a better view of how water moves across the planet, particularly on land (a helpful piece of knowledge for humans). The above map was created using the radar, which sends microwave pulses from the satellite down to the Earth’s surface 426 miles below, and then measures the backscatter that pops back up. For the map, good soil moisture in places such as the Amazon basin and forests of northern Canada is indicated in red. In comparison, drier spots from the Arctic tundra to the Sahara Desert are in blue.

The shifts in soil moisture from week-to-week or year-to-year is a key piece of information for people working in fields and forests. It provides a key measure of drought and an indicator for forecasting out river flows, reservoir levels, the severity of wildfire season and crop irrigation availability.

SMAP’s equipment also allow it to monitor whether soil is frozen, muddy or dried out. The frozen-or-not part could prove particularly insightful for Arctic permafrost, which stores large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. That permafrost is expected to thaw as the planet warms, but observation stations in the region are sparse and estimates of that thaw could get a boost with the new data.

More soil moisture data is also key for climate scientists looking to understand what areas are likely to get drier due to climate change. SMAP’s high-resolution data means they’ll be able to refine their models and help everyone from farmers to firefighters understand what the future could have in store.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Here is a preview of the new satellite equipment that measures soil moisture. Red is good; blue is bad.


SMAP uses two instruments — a radar and radiometer — to measure soil moisture at a 5.6-mile resolution, all with the goal of providing a better view of how water moves across the planet, particularly on land (a helpful piece of knowledge for humans). The above map was created using the radar, which sends microwave pulses from the satellite down to the Earth’s surface 426 miles below, and then measures the backscatter that pops back up. For the map, good soil moisture in places such as the Amazon basin and forests of northern Canada is indicated in red. In comparison, drier spots from the Arctic tundra to the Sahara Desert are in blue.

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