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Waste water recycling project will reduce ground water extraction ("leave potable H2O for drinking")

Waste water recycling project will reduce ground water extraction ("leave potable H2O for drinking") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
A €22 million water polishing project will produce some seven million cubic metres of recycled drainage water for industry and agriculture by 2015, Energy and Water Minister Konrad Mizzi said this morning.

Dr Mizzi said this project would be extended to the water recycling plants in Gozo, and in the south of Malta.

The Water Services Corporation  will install a distribution infrastructure from the sewage treatment plants to a number of strategic locations in Malta and Gozo, where there is a concentration of agricultural activity.

The water will then be taken to the fields by bowser.

The project is being carried out by the Water Services Corporation and funded in the most part by the European Structural Fund. 

Dr Mizzi said the main aim of the project was to reduce the amount of water extracted from the water table.

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Worldwide water shortage by 2040 ("hard choices for future water stability; drinking water or energy?")

Worldwide water shortage by 2040 ("hard choices for future water stability; drinking water or energy?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Water is used around the world for the production of electricity, but new research results show that there will not be enough water in the world to meet demand by 2040 if the energy and power situation does not improve before then.

Two new reports that focus on the global electricity water nexus have just been published. Three years of research show that by the year 2040 there will not be enough water in the world to quench the thirst of the world population and keep the current energy and power solutions going if we continue doing what we are doing today. It is a clash of competing necessities, between drinking water and energy demand. 

In most countries, electricity is the biggest source of water consumption because the power plants need cooling cycles in order to function. The only energy systems that do not require cooling cycles are wind and solar systems, and therefore one of the primary recommendations issued by these researchers is to replace old power systems with more sustainable wind and solar systems.

The research has also yielded the surprising finding that most power systems do not even register how much water is being used to keep the systems going.

Combining the new research results with projections about water shortage and the world population, it shows that by 2020 many areas of the world will no longer have access to clean drinking water. In fact, the results predict that by 2020 about 30-40% of the world will have water scarcity, and according to the researchers, climate change can make this even worse.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Drinking water vs. (conventional) energy? We can't have both.

"How to solve the problem?

In the reports, the researchers emphasize six general recommendations for decision-makers to follow in order to stop this development and handle the crisis around the world:

Improve energy efficiencyBetter research on alternative cooling cyclesRegistering how much water power plants useMassive investments in wind energyMassive investments in solar energyAbandon fossil fuel facilities in all water stressed places (which means half the planet)"
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Climate model shows Australia’s rainfall decline due to human-caused climate change ("no other reason")

Climate model shows Australia’s rainfall decline due to human-caused climate change ("no other reason") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
NOAA scientists have developed a new high-resolution climate model that shows southwestern Australia’s long-term decline in fall and winter rainfall is caused by increases in manmade greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depletion, according to research published today in Nature Geoscience.
[EasyDNNGallery|2254|Width|300|Height|600|position|right|resizecrop|True|lightbox|True|title|True|description|True|redirection|False|LinkText||] “This new high-resolution climate model is able...

NOAA researchers conducted several climate simulations using this global climate model to study long-term changes in rainfall in various regions across the globe. One of the most striking signals of change emerged over Australia, where a long-term decline in fall and winter rainfall has been observed over parts of southern Australia. Simulating natural and manmade climate drivers, scientists showed that the decline in rainfall is primarily a response to manmade increases in greenhouse gases as well as a thinning of the ozone caused by manmade aerosol emissions. Several natural causes were tested with the model, including volcano eruptions and changes in the sun’s radiation. But none of these natural climate drivers reproduced the long-term observed drying, indicating this trend is due to human activity.

Southern Australia’s decline in rainfall began around 1970 and has increased over the last four decades. The model projects a continued decline in winter rainfall throughout the rest of the 21st century, with significant implications for regional water resources. The drying is most severe over southwest Australia where the model forecasts a 40 percent decline in average rainfall by the late 21st century.

“Predicting potential future changes in water resources, including drought, are an immense societal challenge,” said Delworth. “This new climate model will help us more accurately and quickly provide resource planners with environmental intelligence at the regional level. The study of Australian drought helps to validate this new model, and thus builds confidence in this model for ongoing studies of North American drought.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Scientific studies could not point to other reasons for the drought (ex. volcano eruptions and changes in the sun’s radiation) except human-caused climate change. This is another evidence of the obvious.

"Southern Australia’s decline in rainfall began around 1970 and has increased over the last four decades. The model projects a continued decline in winter rainfall throughout the rest of the 21st century, with significant implications for regional water resources. The drying is most severe over southwest Australia where the model forecasts a 40 percent decline in average rainfall by the late 21st century."

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US water stress may drive energy shift to renewable power ("water-to-energy link vital")

US water stress may drive energy shift to renewable power ("water-to-energy link vital") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
NEWS: Thermoelectric power including gas, coal and nuclear responsible for 40% of US water use
Climate change may drive a shift to more wind and solar power generation, to conserve water, a U.S. Department of Energy report said this week. The report found a risky mutual dependence between water and energy. Energy was needed to pump, treat and transport water, while water was needed to cool electricity generating equipment in thermal power plants such as gas, coal, nuclear and concentrated solar power. Such thermoelectric power accounts for 40% of all U.S. freshwater use. Climate change including more storms and droughts would intensify those mutual risks, the report said. “When severe drought affected more than a third of the United States in 2012, limited water availability constrained the operation of some power plants and other energy production activities,” said the report, “The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities”. “Shifts in precipitation and temperature patterns—including changes in snowmelt—will likely lead to more regional variation in water availability for hydropower, biofeedstock production, thermoelectric generation and other energy needs. Rising temperatures have the potential to increase the demand for electricity for cooling. “These changes and variations pose challenges for energy infrastructure resilience.”
Bert Guevara's insight:
Water-dependent cooling systems of coal, gas and nuclear power plants are now under scrutiny because of water scarcity. The current drought and water stress in many countries of the world is putting into question the sustainability of these conventional power plants. In the Philippines, we are very much dependent on coal and are mulling nuclear power.
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Obama May Make Biggest Marine Sanctuary ("marine conservation makes big stride in Pacific")

Obama May Make Biggest Marine Sanctuary ("marine conservation makes big stride in Pacific") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
And fight seafood fraud.

Obama’s America will potentially expand to a large section of the central Pacific Ocean. The president is set to announce Tuesday a proposal that could create the world’s largest marine sanctuary by barring fishing, energy exploration, and other activities from a swath of the Pacific Ocean. It could also double the area of the ocean that is fully protected. The marine endeavor will also utilize federal agencies to tackle seafood fraud and the global black market for fish. The plan is being led by Secretary of State John Kerry and White House counselor John Podesta. Obama has used executive powers 11 times during his tenure to secure federal lands, most recently to the chagrin of cattle ranchers and Cliven Bundy. Hopefully, tensions with the feds will remain in check before anyone is sleeping with the fishes.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Pres. Obama is on a roll!

After setting his sights on carbon emission limits, now he is setting up a Pacific marine sanctuary. Credits also go to Sec. of State John Kerry and White House counselor John Podesta.

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PH may face import ban over illegal fishing ("a verdict that PH has failed to curb illegal fishing")

PH may face import ban over illegal fishing ("a verdict that PH has failed to curb illegal fishing") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The Philippines, one of the world's biggest fishing nations, is in danger of facing an import ban from the European Union, the world's biggest fish importer, if it fails to curb illegal fishing. Th...

This came after the European Commission announced on Tuesday that it has decided to issue a “yellow card” against the Philippines after the country failed to fulfill its duties as flag, coastal, port or market state in line with international law, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) or United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement.

The EU has taken a decision which highlights areas where the Philippines is not yet doing enough to fight illegal fishing. It identifies certain shortcomings, such as lack of actions to address deficiencies in monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries, and suggests corrective actions to resolve them.

The decision will not, at this stage, entail any measures affecting trade.

“We want the Philippines as partner to combat illegal fishing,” Damanaki, said. “We want the country to improve its legal and control systems as required by international rules. But we also want to signal to the world that the EU will not tolerate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing – a criminal activity which undermines the livelihood of fishing communities and depletes fish stocks. It must be eradicated by all means.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

EU Big Brother is watching our fishing industry. At stake is about P9.8B worth of fish exports.

"It follows a long period of informal discussions that started in 2012. The decision starts a formal procedure of dialogue and cooperation with the Philippines aimed at solving the established shortcomings.

The position will be reviewed in six months time to see if the Philippines have made enough progress on action plans drawn up by the EU, the Commission said."

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Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt ("decades from now, remember they told you so")

Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt ("decades from now, remember they told you so") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The depletion of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday.

If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.

Global warming caused by the human-driven release of greenhouse gases has helped to destabilize the ice sheet, though other factors may also be involved, the scientists said.

The rise of the sea is likely to continue to be relatively slow for the rest of the 21st century, the scientists added, but in the more distant future it may accelerate markedly, potentially throwing society into crisis.

Two scientific papers released on Monday by the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters came to similar conclusions by different means. Both groups of scientists found that West Antarctic glaciers had retreated far enough to set off an inherent instability in the ice sheet, one that experts have feared for decades. NASA called a telephone news conference Monday to highlight the urgency of the findings.

The West Antarctic ice sheet sits in a bowl-shaped depression in the earth, with the base of the ice below sea level. Warm ocean water is causing the ice sitting along the rim of the bowl to thin and retreat. As the front edge of the ice pulls away from the rim and enters deeper water, it can retreat much faster than before.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The older generation may not live long enough to bare the brunt of sea level rise, but what about the next generation? 

“Today we present observational evidence that a large sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into irreversible retreat,” Dr. Rignot said in the NASA news conference. “It has passed the point of no return.”

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A Simple, Elegant Invention That Draws Water From Air ("for $550, daily water for a family of 7")

A Simple, Elegant Invention That Draws Water From Air ("for $550, daily water for a family of 7") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The WarkaWater is shaped like a vase and looks like an art exhibit. By gathering condensation, it's providing water to Ethiopian villages and could be a solution for thirsty communities worldwide.

WarkaWater, which is named after an Ethiopian fig tree, is composed of a 30-foot bamboo frame containing a fog-harvesting nylon net that can be easily lowered for repairs and to allow communities to measure the water level.

Collecting water through condensation is hardly a new technique, but the creators of WarkaWater say their tree-inspired design is more effective, maximizing surface and optimizing every angle to produce up to 26 gallons of drinkable water a day — enough for a family of seven.

This is where WarkaWater could stand apart — as a lower-tech solution that is easy to repair and far more affordable than digging wells in the rocky Ethiopian plateau.

Each water tower costs $550 — a Playpump is $14,000 — and its creators say the price will drop significantly if they start mass-producing it. The structure takes three days and six people to install and doesn't call for any special machinery or scaffolding.

"Once locals have the necessary know-how, they will be able to teach other villages and communities to build the WarkaWater towers," says Vittori, who is already working on WarkaWater 2.0, an upgraded version that may include solar panels and LED bulbs to provide light after dark.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Water is in our air; harvesting it can be done in a relatively cheap manner without hi-tech gadgets. Here is a successful model, called WarkaWater, which costs around $550 for a family of 7. Technology transfer is also possible.

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Mass Fish Deaths: Millions Have Been Found Dead All Over The World In The Past Month | InvestmentWatch

Mass Fish Deaths: Millions Have Been Found Dead All Over The World In The Past Month | InvestmentWatch | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
By Michael Snyder Millions of fish are suddenly dying all over the planet.  In fact, there have been dozens of mass fish death events reported in the past

So why is this happening?  Why are fish dying in unprecedented numbers all over the world?  When more than six tons of fish died in Marina Del Ray over the weekend, it made headlines all over the United States.  But the truth is that what just happened off the southern California coast is just the tip of the iceberg.  In 2014, mass fish die-offs have pretty much become a daily event globally.  Individually, each event could perhaps be dismissed as an anomaly, but as you will see below when they are all put together into one list it truly is rather stunning.  So is there a reason why so many fish are dying?  Is there something that connects these mass fish death events?  Has something about our environment changed?  


Bert Guevara's insight:

So what is causing all of these mass fish death events (in different parts of the world)?

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Solar-Powered Pump System Could Bring Clean Water to 800 Million People | EarthTechling

Solar-Powered Pump System Could Bring Clean Water to 800 Million People | EarthTechling | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
An Austrian company hopes to play a large role in ending the water crisis with a technology powered by renewable energy.

“There are two main obstacles faced by the communities in this crisis—either communities have no access to clean drinking water at all or they have to rely on water pump systems that require a lot of maintenance, which in many cases is simply not available locally,” Dr. Birgit Stuck, field researcher for Pumpmakers, said in a promotional video.

Pumpmakers’ inexpensive system incurs no running costs while using solar energy to pump water from as deep as 300 feet, even on cloudy days. The company, which began working on the project in 2011, used “maintenance-free” materials to make it easy to construct and use.

While the solar pumps have been providing clean water for the people of Ndzofuine, a remote village in Mozambique, since 2012, Pumpmakers now envisions people and other companies strengthening their own local economies by providing the systems to their communities. Most of the components for the pump can be manufactured locally. Once Pumpmakers latest round of crowdfunding is complete, the company will be able to offer some of the hard-to-find components on its website, like the gear unit.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Solar power can go a long way in pumping water to upland communities which have no electricity. 

“Our goal is to establish Pumpmakers.com as the platform that connects local pumpmakers with underserved communities and with organizations such as NGOs and private supporters,” according to the company video.

“With the power of the crowd, we can create a meaningful tool to prevent the shortages of water and poverty worldwide.”

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Don’t freak out, but you may be drinking recycled toilet water

Don’t freak out, but you may be drinking recycled toilet water | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
People everywhere from D.C. to El Paso to Orange County have toilet water recycled into drinking water. Chill out already!

Back in 2009, Reuters reported that Disneyland drinking fountains were circulating “a small quantity of water that once flowed through a sewer.” In fact, more than 2 million Orange County residents drink purified wastewater, due to this drought thing you may have heard about. Same for El Paso. One Washington, D.C., suburb gets about 5 percent of its drinking water from recycled sewage and has been using the process since the ’70s.

Plus, the water is, you know, CLEANED between your toilet and your mouth. (Don’t make us break out the “pee is super-sterile” line.) According to NPR, it’s chlorinated, filtered, and subjected to reverse osmosis. Everything from viruses to pharmaceuticals and chemicals are filtered out. One resident of the O.C. even did a taste test comparing bottled water to former toilet water, and he couldn’t tell them apart — something cats have been telling us for years.

Considering that the global population is booming, climate change means increasing drought, and some people don’t have access to clean drinking water at ALL, this really ain’t so bad. If 5 million Singapore residents can get used to it, so can we!


Bert Guevara's insight:

It's El Niño time again; Angat Dam is drying up. Metro Manila should have a Plan B for water supply -- using recycled water should be discussed seriously as an option.

"Considering that the global population is booming, climate change means increasing drought, and some people don’t have access to clean drinking water at ALL, this really ain’t so bad. If 5 million Singapore residents can get used to it, so can we!"

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A Blueprint for Protecting the World's Oceans ("time to take a closer look; are we doing enough?")

A Blueprint for Protecting the World's Oceans ("time to take a closer look; are we doing enough?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it

One percent of the global ocean is closed to fishing. Is that a good thing?

Only 2 percent of the ocean is currently covered by some sort of MPA. (In contrast, 12 percent of the world's land is protected in national-park systems and wildlife preserves.) And only half of that 2 percent—a mere 1 percent of the ocean—is classified as "no-take," or completely closed to fishing and other extractive activity.

The international conservation community has long heralded the role of MPAs in protecting ocean resources. But amid growing concern over how to save the seas from overfishing, acidification, and "dead zones," ecologists and economists are beginning to ask a fundamental question: Are these special conservation zones actually achieving anything?

Such queries are especially important in light of news that Palau, a small island nation in Micronesia, intends to turn its entire territory into one giant marine reserve. Commercial fishing would be banned from Palau's coasts to the outer reaches of its Exclusive Economic Zone—in sum, an area of about 230,000 square miles. Palau, it seems, has decided that attracting more tourists and scuba divers is worth shunning the commercial fishing industry.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In February an article in Nature identified five factors as "essential" to the success of any MPA, with "success" measured by the biomass of all fish and the diversity of species in an area.

1. No-take: 

2. Enforced: 

3. Old: 

4. Large: 

5. Isolated: 

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60% of China underground water polluted: report - Phys.org ("this may be irreversible")

60% of China underground water polluted: report - Phys.org ("this may be irreversible") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Sixty percent of underground water in China which is officially monitored is too polluted to drink directly, state media have reported, underlining the country's grave environmental problems.

Water quality measured in 203 cities across the country last year rated "very poor" or "relatively poor" in an annual survey released by the Ministry of Land and Resources, the official Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.

Water rated "relatively" poor quality cannot be used for drinking without prior treatment, while water of "very" poor quality cannot be used as a source of drinking water, the report said.

The proportion of water not suitable for direct drinking rose from 57.4 percent from 2012, it said.

China's decades-long economic boom has brought rising environmental problems, with large parts of the country repeatedly blanketed in thick smog and both waterways and land polluted.

Pollution has emerged as a driver of discontent with the government, sparking occasional protests.

China's environment ministry last week estimated that 16 percent of the country's land area was polluted, with nearly one fifth of farmland tainted by inorganic elements such as cadmium.

Premier Li Keqiang announced in March that Beijing was "declaring war" on pollution as he sought to address public concerns, but experts warn that vested interests will make it difficult to take action.

Bert Guevara's insight:

If your underground water supply is polluted, where else can you go? Even China's rainwater becomes contaminated because of the air and land pollution; surface waterways are severely polluted too. 

I wonder how modern technology can clean underground water, if it is at all possible.

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Some corals adjusting to rising ocean temperatures, Stanford researchers say - Stanford University News

Some corals adjusting to rising ocean temperatures, Stanford researchers say - Stanford University News | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Stanford University News
Some corals adjusting to rising ocean temperatures, Stanford researchers say
Stanford University News
Some corals adjusting to rising ocean temperatures, Stanford researchers say.

To most people, 86-degree Fahrenheit water is pleasant for bathing and swimming. To most sea creatures, however, it's deadly. As climate change heats up ocean temperatures, the future of species such as coral, which provides sustenance and livelihoods to a billion people, is threatened.

Through an innovative experiment, Stanford researchers led by biology Professor Steve Palumbi have shown that some corals can – on the fly – adjust their internal functions to tolerate hot water 50 times faster than they would adapt through evolutionary change alone. The findings, published April 24 in Science, open a new realm of possibility for understanding and conserving corals.

"The temperature of coral reefs is variable, so it stands to reason that corals should have some capacity to respond to different heat levels," said Palumbi, director of Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "Our study shows they can, and it may help them in the future as the ocean warms."

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a welcome development as most people are worried that coral bleaching may continue unabated.

Still, this doesn't mean that ocean warming can be tolerated by the rest of sealife. Dire consequences are still expected from continued ocean warming and acidification.

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10 ways to stop being a water waster ("many daily habits waste water; it's time for pro-activity")

10 ways to stop being a water waster ("many daily habits waste water; it's time for pro-activity") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it

There is no resource more precious than water. There is also no resource that is misused, abused, misallocated, and misunderstood the way water is. Safe drinking water, healthy and intact natural ecosystems, and a stable food supply are a few of the things at stake as our water supply is put under greater and greater stress.

1. No drips

2. Install new water-saving fixtures

3. Cultivate good water habits

4. Stay off the bottle

5. Go beyond the lawn

6. Harvest your rainwater

7. Harvest your greywater

8. At the car wash

9. Keep your eyes open

10. Don't spike the punch


Bert Guevara's insight:

We are all duty-bound to conserve water.

"The picture might look grim, but opportunities to be more efficient abound. Many people have had water-saving etiquette pumped into them at one point or another, so hopefully we can make a good case for conserving the stuff with practical, everyday water-saving strategies as well as some more high-tech approaches."

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Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Decimates Fish Populations in ... ("too many downsides for dirty coal")

Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Decimates Fish Populations in ... ("too many downsides for dirty coal") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
A study from researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published this month provides strong new evidence that mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia is devastating downstream fish populations.

That’s hardly news for long-time followers of the controversy surrounding mountaintop removal, a coal mining practice that involves blowing off the tops of mountains to access thin seams of coal and dumping the waste into valleys below. In 2010, a group of 13 prestigious biologists published a paper in Science, the nation’s premier scientific journal, that found:

“Our analyses of current peer-reviewed studies and of new water-quality data from WV streams revealed serious environmental impacts that mitigation practices cannot successfully address… Clearly, current attempts to regulate [mountaintop removal mining] practices are inadequate.”

The authors of the study published last week found a 50 percent decline in the number of fish species and a two-thirds decline in the total number of fish in streams below mountaintop removal mines in West Virginia’s Guyandotte River drainage. They made this important contribution to the science by using rigorous methodology to isolate several types of waterpollution most likely to have caused these staggering declines.

But a more important contribution of the study may be that it draws the focus of water pollution impacts away from mayflies and other aquatic insects and onto a far more popular and charismatic organism that not only is important to rural people’s way of life, but supports a multi-billion dollar sportfishing industry in Appalachia.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Aside from killing the fish population, it is killing a major job creator on this mining site - sport fishing. Coal mining becomes a losing proposition for the host community.

"Widespread damage to fish populations could also be important from the pocketbook perspective that political leaders in Kentucky and West Virginia take seriously. According to data from the American Sportfishing Association, recreational fishing creates a lot more jobs than mountaintop removal does in the states where it occurs:"

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Pacific Nation Bans Fishing in One of World's Largest Marine Parks ("another Pacific fish sanctuary")

Pacific Nation Bans Fishing in One of World's Largest Marine Parks ("another Pacific fish sanctuary") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Kiribati announces "very significant" step at U.S. Our Ocean conference.

Anote Tong, the president of Kiribati—a chain of islands about halfway between Hawaii and Fiji—announced Monday that commercial fishing will end in the country's Phoenix Islands Protected Area on January 1, 2015.

"We will also close the area around the southern Line Islands to commercial fishing to allow the area to recover," said Tong, who spoke at the Our Ocean conference hosted by the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. The southern Line Islands also will be closed to fishing by the beginning of next year.

The Phoenix Islands and the southern Line Islands represent some of the most pristine coral reef archipelagos in the Pacific, says National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala, who led the first underwater expedition to the five uninhabited southern Line Islands in 2009 as part of National Geographic's Pristine Seas project.

Sala's team of scientists found healthy coral reefs, abundant predator populations, and pristine lagoons carpeted with giant clams and shark nurseries.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A tiny island nation that controls a vast area of the Pacific Ocean has announced it will ban all commercial fishing in a massive marine park that is the size of California.

"... Kiribati's announcement -- "very significant." Decreasing the impact of fishing will "preserve biodiversity, large predators, and reefs,..." 

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Infographic: Climate change and our ailing oceans

Infographic: Climate change and our ailing oceans | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Bert Guevara's insight:

What do you think will happen to the fish population and marine world if oceans in the world get warmer and more acidic? Can we turn it back if it becomes too warm or too acidic?

Check out this infograph.

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10 facts about our amazing oceans › Science Features (ABC Science) ("care more by understanding first")

10 facts about our amazing oceans › Science Features (ABC Science) ("care more by understanding first") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it

1. Earth's oceans are unique in the Universe — as far as we know

2. For every species of marine life we know of, at least another three are yet to be discovered

3. Water takes around 1000 years to travel all the way around the whole globe

4. Half of all the oxygen we breathe is produced in the ocean

5. The oceans may seem vast, but they're small compared to the overall size of our planet

6. Rogue waves really do exist

7. Oceans hold around 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere

8. The great garbage patch is more like a plastic soup

9. The Atlantic Ocean is getting bigger and the Pacific Ocean is getting smaller

10. The most remote point in the oceans is called Point Nemo

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Oceans cover most of our planet, but we still have a lot to learn about this incredible ecosystem. Brush up on your knowledge of our watery world for World Oceans Day - June 8.

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Guardians of ancient ‘mangrove highway’ ("guarding the coastal lifeline as volunteers is amazing!")

Guardians of ancient  ‘mangrove highway’ ("guarding the coastal lifeline as volunteers is amazing!") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
As sunlight faded that late afternoon, Zaldy Casidsid dipped his paddle again into the brackish waters of the mangrove forest in Barangay (village) Tigbao in Aroroy town, Masbate province.

Virgilio Natural Jr. of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Integrated Coastal Resource Management Project (ICRMP), said Buklod had been tasked by the government with guarding and conserving the mangrove in preparation for its declaration as a marine sanctuary in 2015.

Casidsid said he and his fellow members took up the challenge before they were formally registered as an association in 2011.

The DENR and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) provided the group with assistance worth more than P380,000 to buy high-grade life vests, small boats for paddling through the tunnel of mangroves and two bigger ones, and to build a tree house, complete with kitchen, which the members use as a gathering place and reception area for tourists and visitors.

After pledging to protect the ancient trees, Buklod members refrained from using nails and concrete on the bamboo walks that weave through tree branches. “We do not want to hurt these trees,” Casidsid said.

The place used to be the habitat of alligators, many bird species and mudskippers before some farmers began cutting the trees to make charcoal. Casidsid used to be one of them before he became aware of the importance of mangroves during a DENR campaign.

In Matalangtalang, Erlito Tupas heads the Sama-Sama Fisherfolk Association, a group tasked by the DENR-ICRMP with safeguarding the 37-hectare Matalangtalang Marine Sanctuary from illegal fishers. Tupas and the 57 members of his group take turns in inspecting the boundaries to discourage fishermen from fishing there.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a prime example of a healthy partnership between the local community and the government in protecting the environment. This is how it should be done. Read on.

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E. Coli Contaminates Portland, Ore., Tap Water - NBC News ("how vulnerable is our water supply?")

E. Coli Contaminates Portland, Ore., Tap Water - NBC News ("how vulnerable is our water supply?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
All of Portland, Ore., was told Friday to boil its tap water after the city found E. coli in water samples.An alert sent to people who live in the city and n...

An alert sent to people who live in the city and nearby warned that they "should boil all tap water used for drinking, food preparation, tooth brushing and ice for at least one minute. Ice or any beverages prepared with un-boiled tap water on or after May 20 should be discarded."

 

In all, 670,000 customers are under the order, health officials said at a news conference. "Animal waste" — fecal matter — in the water was the likely source of the E. coli, they said.

There were no immediate reports that anyone had been sickened by drinking the water.

Samples taken three times between May 20 and May 23 "confirmed the presence of total coliform and E. coli in routine drinking water samples," the Portland Water Bureau said.

This is the second water problem in two months for Portland. In April, the Portland Water Bureau diverted nearly 36 million gallons of water from a reservoir after officials feared it was tainted by a teenager's urine.

Bert Guevara's insight:

How vulnerable to contamination is your water supply? If it comes from dams, how safe are the water sources?

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Rio Pollution Latest Problem in Olympic-Bound City - Guardian Liberty Voice ("lessons of pollution")

Rio Pollution Latest Problem in Olympic-Bound City - Guardian Liberty Voice ("lessons of pollution") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Guardian Liberty Voice
Rio Pollution Latest Problem in Olympic-Bound City
Guardian Liberty Voice
Now, the latest problem coming out of Rio is that there is a pollution problem in the waters of the Olympic-bound city that has many worried.

Over the last week a document was obtained, courtesy of the Associated Press that confirmed a highly polluted area in Guanabara Bay, the location where the 2016 sailing events will take place. In the document addressed to Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, environment secretary Carlos Francisco Portinho stated that by the time of the Olympics, the bay might be able to cut pollution just over 50 percent. This is problematic as there was a promise of 80 percent by the time of the Olympic Games.

The contaminates found in the waters of Guanabara Bay includes various sewage, which has been found to be a cause of diseases such as dysentery, cholera and hepatitis A, among many others. For this reason alone, it is not surprising that the sailing’s governing body does not want to risk athletes’ lives by competing in the bay. As a matter of fact Allan Norregaard, a Danish bronze medal winner, has said the body of water was the most polluted place he had ever been.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Rio is paying the price for lax pollution policies. The Olympics hangs in the balance.

"... Debris in the waters is not a good thing. For the canoeing event, imagine if debris gets in the way of the competition. ... However, it is a whole other story if athletes have to maneuver around garbage in a body of water that should be environmentally safe.

"The worst of Rio’s environmental problems is the fact that the contaminants found in the bay could cause recurring or fatal diseases to athletes. This would be a major liability for not only Rio officials, but for the Olympic Committee as well."

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Ocean acidification on climate change can kill fish life, say experts | WNN – Women News Network

Ocean acidification on climate change can kill fish life, say experts | WNN – Women News Network | The Water Steward | Scoop.it

Researchers warn that marine life could be dramatically affected as climate change threatens to cause severe reduction of plankton–the key source of nutrient−in some ocean regions by the end of the century.

There are plenty more fish in the sea − but not for too much longer in some parts of the world, researchers say. And the reason is very simple: the food on which they all depend faces a marked decline.

Phytoplankton are the single-celled plants that are the basic building blocks of most marine life. In particular, they sustain zooplankton − tiny animals that are eaten in turn by fish. The study found evidence that, by 2100, zooplankton biomass will be 11% less than it is today, with obvious implications for the fish that feed on them.

The report says that sea surface temperature is predicted to increase by 2ºC on average globally by 2080-2100. The consequences of this increase will include changes in ocean circulation and higher water column stratification, where water of different densities forms distinct layers instead of mixing, affecting the availability of nutrients.

The depletion expected in the amount of plankton in the marine food web could reduce fish biomass in 47% of the total global ocean area, especially in tropical oceans.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Bad news for fish-eaters. Future supply decreasing due to ocean acidification, due to excess carbon emissions.

“In the ocean regions that lose more phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass, fish biomass may also decrease dramatically.” He said this would especially affect pelagic species − deep-sea fish that are not bottom dwellers.

He said the oceans’ role in moderating climate change would also be damaged: “As there will be less phytoplankton, absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere by the oceans will be lower, as plankton is responsible for half of the planet’s photosynthetic activity. This in turn will reduce the ocean’s capacity to regulate the climate.”

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Your Garbage Is Polluting Even The Deep, Remote Reaches of the Ocean - Smithsonian ("man's footprint")

Your Garbage Is Polluting Even The Deep, Remote Reaches of the Ocean - Smithsonian ("man's footprint") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet
Your Garbage Is Polluting Even The Deep, Remote Reaches of the Ocean
Smithsonian
... civilization.

Our planet's oceans are huge and mysterious, and there are still stretches of the ocean floor that remain unexplored. But that doesn't mean they're pristine and untouched: a new study foundeven the deepest, most remote areas of the oceans contain man-made litter. As a species, we're just a bunch of slobs.

An international team of researchers led by the Institute of Marine Research's Christopher Pham performed the most extensive survey of the ocean floor yet, using remotely-operated camera vehicles and trawling nets to check for trash in 32 sites ranging from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. In 588 separate surveys, the team found man-made trash every single time.

The garbage observed included fishing nets, beer cans, food packaging, and even a toilet, though plastic was by far the most prevalent material. That poses a particular hazard, since deep sea creatures often die from mistakenly eating plastic.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Where man hasn't yet reached in the depths of the oceans, there garbage lies!!!

Is garbage man's footprint in today's world?

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US city to pump sewage water directly into homes - YouTube ("drought can do this even to the richest")

Wichita Falls, Texas, is getting ready to pump sewage water directly back to residents' homes, instead of into the Wichita River. This will be the first time...

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is the beginning of Climate Change adaptation for drought-hit cities. A US city has decided that it has to be done.

This is a warning to indifferent people who continue to pollute our water supplies -- one day you might also be drinking your own "poopie" water!!!

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Manila Bay swimmers ignore floating garbage ("only in the Philippines; swimming at any cost")

Swimmers in Manila Bay enjoys the beach despite of the filth and the floating garbage that surrounds the area. Subscribe to the ABS-CBN News channel! - http://goo.gl/7lR5ep Visit our website...
Bert Guevara's insight:

This summer tradition of swimming in garbage-filled coastal areas shows the strange resiliency of the Filipinos against known risks. 

This complacency towards health risks from dirty waters shows the short-sighted value of present pleasure vis-a-vis the long-term effects. Can someone explain this to me in scientific terms?

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