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BREAKING: Another, Completely Separate Spill in West Virginia Is Contaminating The Water

BREAKING: Another, Completely Separate Spill in West Virginia Is Contaminating The Water | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
This spill occurs about a month after a chemical spill polluted the water for 300,000 West Virginians.
Workers have shut down the slurry pumps to stop the spill, but the slurry has contaminated the creek, which flows into the Kanawha River. Responders are trying to contain the spill to Fields Creek in the hopes that it does not reach the Kanawha River. Officials say if the spill does reach the river they don’t think it will affect drinking water because there are no water intakes downstream of the spill. Coal slurry is a mix of solid and liquid waste that’s created from coal preparation, a process that includes washing coal with chemicals like MCHM. The DEP said in a statement that the facility utilizes a frothing chemical called Flomin 110-C that contains MCHM, the same chemical that spilled from a Freedom Industries holding plant and contaminated water for 300,000 West Virginians last month. Lawmakers have been grappling with how to prevent similar spills from happening in the future — West Virginia Sen. John Unger (D), introduced a bill aimed at regulating above-ground storage tanks that was passed unanimously in the Senate, but Tuesday morning’s spill proves that other holding facilities, including impoundments, are also at risk of spills.
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Dead Sea Creatures Cover 98% of Ocean Floor After Fukushima ("the world need to know the truth")

Dead Sea Creatures Cover 98% of Ocean Floor After Fukushima ("the world need to know the truth") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Dead sea life covers about 1 percent of the ocean floor off the CA coast. Now, it seems to be covering about 98 percent after Fukushima.

Throughout the study and the National Geographic coverage of it, climate change is blamed. Never mind the fact that the astronomical increase in sea snot occurred in conjunction with the Fukushima nuclear disaster—they don’t even bother to mention that.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred when an earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the area on March 11, 2011. To this day, the amount of damage is unclear as the Japanese government along with TEPCO (the power company that owns the nuclear power plant) seem to be content to hide the truth.

Measurements taken in March 2012 show sea snot levels to be at about 1%. Just a few months later, they had grown to 98%.

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9 Things You Should Know About Farmed Fish - Mercola ("too much of anything leads to abuse & effects")

9 Things You Should Know About Farmed Fish - Mercola ("too much of anything leads to abuse & effects") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Fish farming may seem like a good idea, but there are many controversies and health risks surrounding this industry.

1. The Omega-3 Levels are Not What You Think

2. Small Prey Fish May be Driven to Extinction

3. Fish Feel Pain and Stress

4. Farmed Fish May Spread Disease to Wild Fish

5. Fish Farms Pollute the Environment and Damage Local Ecosystems

6. Fish Feces Harm Coral Reefs

7. Farmed Fish Escape

8. The Jevons Paradox in Practice

9. Revenues Can’t Offset the Heavy Environmental Costs

 

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Sea level rise since Industrial Revolution greater than in the past - UPI.com

Sea level rise since Industrial Revolution greater than in the past - UPI.com | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Sea level rise since Industrial Revolution greater than in the past UPI.com The scientists used geological evidence of the past few million years to derive a background pattern of natural sea-level rise, then compared that with historical...

At current rates heights may reach 30 inches above the modern level by 2100 and 8 feet by 2200, researchers from the University of Southampton and the Australian National University reported Thursday.

The scientists used geological evidence of the past few million years to derive a background pattern of natural sea-level rise, then compared that with historical tide-gauge and satellite observations of sea-level change for the "global warming" period since the industrial revolution.

"Historical observations show a rising sea level from about 1800 as sea water warmed up and melt water from glaciers and ice fields flowed into the oceans," said Gavin Foster of Southampton's National Oceanographic Center. "Around 2000, sea level was rising by about three mm per year. That may sound slow, but it produces a significant change over time."

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How Do Fish Get Lazy And Fail To Spawn? Global Warming Could Be The Answer ("less horny fish?")

How Do Fish Get Lazy And Fail To Spawn? Global Warming Could Be The Answer ("less horny fish?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Climate change is not only melting Arctic sea ice but also disrupting sea creatures' life cycles.

The study found that increased ocean temperatures may cause large fish to become lethargic, spending more time resting on the bottom and less time swimming for food and reproduction opportunities.

“The loss of swimming performance and reduced ability to maintain important activities, like moving to a spawning site to reproduce, could have major implications for the future distribution and abundance of these species,” Dr. Jacob Johansen, the study’s author, said.  

The study follows news that the amount of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere hit another record high in 2012, continuing an upward trend driving climate change, according to a recent report released by the World Meteorological Organization.

The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in the last 800,000 years, the WMO's fifth annual Assessment Report stated.

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Record sea level, weather extremes mark 2013 ("a warmer 1 deg C scenario means more bad weather")

Record sea level, weather extremes mark 2013 ("a warmer 1 deg C scenario means more bad weather") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Sea levels this year posted a record high, making low-lying coastal populations ever more vulnerable to extreme weather like super-storm Haiyan, the UN said Wednesday.

"Although individual tropical cyclones cannot be directly attributed to climate change, higher sea levels are already making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges. We saw this with tragic consequences in the Philippines," he said.

"Global sea level reached a new record high during March 2013," the WMO said in its report.

At 3.2 mm (0.12 inches) per year, the current average rise is double the 20th-century trend of 1.6 millimetres (0.06 inches) per year, it said.

The WMO said that in 2012, concentrations of greenhouse gases hitd a new high of 393.1 parts per million, a rise of 2.2 parts per million over the previous year and an increase of 41 percent since the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1750.

"We expect them to reach unprecedented levels yet again in 2013. This means that we are committed to a warmer future," Jarraud declared.

The agency said the first nine months of 2013 tied with 2003 as the seventh warmest such period since modern data collection began in 1850.

Global land and ocean surface temperature of about 0.48 degrees Celsius (0.86 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1961-1990 average.

 

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Status of Climate in 2013: ("rate of sea level rise near Phil. 3 or 4 times global average")

Status of Climate in 2013: ("rate of sea level rise near Phil. 3 or 4 times global average") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
World Meteorological Organization - Official United Nations' authoritative voice on weather, climate and water, scientific organization

“The Philippines is reeling from the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the most powerful tropical cyclone ever to hit the country and one of the most intense ever recorded anywhere. It is still struggling to recover from Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) one year ago. Although individual tropical cyclones cannot be directly attributed to climate change, higher sea levels are already making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges. We saw this with tragic consequences in the Philippines,”

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We Should All be Protecting Our Deep Sea Medicine: Spirulina ("we are losing our underwater minefield")

We Should All be Protecting Our Deep Sea Medicine: Spirulina ("we are losing our underwater minefield") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Spirulina is one of the most important natural medicines we have on this planet, and due to destruction of our oceans, it is being depleted.

We say stuff like this a lot, but deep sea spirulina is one of the most nutrient dense, disease-fighting foods we have access to. It is an incredible immune booster, it reduce the chance of dementia and other memory-loss diseases, and it reduces oxidative stress in the body which can cause cancer, heart disease and even diabetes. Spirulina also prevents the damage of human epithelial cells in the intestines, and reduces the environmentally-triggered carcinogenic effects on our bodies. It has effectively reduced or stopped cancers in the head, neck and intestines of human beings, and reduces our overall toxicity tremendously.

Sadly, the radiation toxicity and petroleum by-products – both of corrupt energy corporations – being dumped into our oceans means finding clean spirulina is getting more difficult. Much of spirulina is also full of pesticides due to their prolific use in agriculture, and not at all organic.

Spirulina is a cyantobacterium or ‘green food’ which appears naturally in waters where there are high levels of carbonate and bicarbonate – the same components which affect coral reef viability. As our oceans become more acidic due to industrial waste, pesticide use, radiation, and petroleum, we are killing off ocean life, including abundant forms of sea food and one of the foods of sea creatures – spirulina.

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Pacific Ocean warming 15 times faster than before - USA TODAY ("how much more warming can it absorb?")

Pacific Ocean warming 15 times faster than before - USA TODAY ("how much more warming can it absorb?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The Independent Pacific Ocean warming 15 times faster than before USA TODAY In a study out today in the journal Science, researchers say that the middle depths of a part of the Pacific Ocean have warmed 15 times faster in the last 60 years than...

Most of the heat that humanity has put into the atmosphere since the 1970s from greenhouse gas emissions has likely been absorbed by the oceans, according to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-sponsored group of scientists that issues reports every few years about the effects of global warming.

"We're pumping heat into the ocean at a faster rate over the past 60 years," said study lead author Yair Rosenthal, a climate scientist at Rutgers University. "We may have underestimated the efficiency of the oceans as a storehouse for heat and energy," he added. "It may buy us some time — how much time, I don't really know. But it's not going to stop climate change."

"With global warming, you don't see a gradual warming from one year to the next," Trenberth said. "It's more like a staircase. You trot along with nothing much happening for 10 years and then suddenly you have a jump and things never go back to the previous level again."

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3 Disturbing Fukushima Facts The Government Is Covering Up ("horrors won't go; TEPCO hiding truth!")

3 Disturbing Fukushima Facts The Government Is Covering Up ("horrors won't go; TEPCO hiding truth!") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The mega Fukushima meltdown continues to assault the planet on a daily basis with barrages of radioactive fallout. Here's what you're not being told.

1. Fukushima Radiation Readings Continue to Hit New High - ... In fact, the incident was classified as a ‘Level 1 anomaly’ before it was revealed that radiation levels were skyrocketing to new highs as recently as September 4th of 2013. ...

2, Plant Operators Caught Faking Radiation Readings - ... And there were no signs they would ever tell the truth unless forced to. It wasn’t until an independent investigation revealed the actual levels of radiation released from the plant (around 2 1/2 times more than TEPCO would even admit) that TEPCO was forced to go on record and state that the radiation levels they released were indeed much lower than reality ...
3. Radioactive Caesium-137 was Mostly Drained into Pacific Ocean - ... The independent investigation into Fukushima radiation levels not only exposed the lies by TEPCO regarding the radiation explosion at the plant, but that around 78% of the caesium-137 released by the plant was funneling into the Pacific Ocean. The plant now states that the three reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant released about 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances. About 20% fell on Japanese land, 2% somewhere on land outside the country, and a whopping 78% remainder is believed to have entered the Pacific Ocean.

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55 die daily in PH from lack of proper sewerage - Rappler ("it's sickening!")

55 die daily in PH from lack of proper sewerage - Rappler ("it's sickening!") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Rappler
55 die daily in PH from lack of proper sewerage
Rappler
PLAYGROUND. For some kids in Paco, Manila, the flithy creek under Zamora Bridge is their playground. All photos by Pia Ranada/Rappler.

The lack of a "pozo negro" or underground container for manure and waste made this the cheapest and most convenient course of action for some Paco residents.

"Naghuhukay na lang po sila ng butas sa tabi ng estero (They just dig holes in the ground beside the creek)," said 13-year-old Annie Casignia, a Paco resident, describing the makeshift toilets of some of her neighbors.

Paco's lack of a proper sewerage system is symptomatic of the greater malady afflicting the entire country.

More than 20 million Filipinos still have no access to proper sanitation and sewage facilities. Only 10% of the population is connected to sewerage systems, according to statistics from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The problem refuses to stay underground. The country's crappy sewerage leads to economic loss of more than P78 billion a year. The largest chunk of the loss, 71%, goes to health impacts due to poor sanitation, according to a 2008 study by World Bank. Pollution of water resources accounts for 23% of economic costs while other welfare impacts and damage of poor sanitation to the tourism industry are responsible for the rest of the loss.

According to the DENR, 55 people die daily from diseases caused by a lack of proper sewerage and sanitation facilities. These include leptospirosis, malaria, dengue, Hepatis A, Hepatitis E, and Typhoid fever.

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Wave of jellyfish shuts down Swedish nuke reactor ("nature brings down a behemoth; not the last time")

Wave of jellyfish shuts down Swedish nuke reactor ("nature brings down a behemoth; not the last time") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
It wasn't a tsunami but it had the same effect: A huge cluster of jellyfish forced one of the world's largest nuclear reactors to shut down -- a phenomenon that marine biologists say could become more common.

Operators of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden had to scramble reactor number three on Sunday after tons of jellyfish clogged the pipes that bring in cool water to the plant's turbines.

Jellyfish are not a new problem for nuclear power plants. Last year the California-based Diablo Canyon facility had to shut its reactor two after gobs of sea salp -- a gelatinous, jellyfish-like organism -- clogged intake pipes. In 2005, the first unit at Oskarshamn was temporarily turned off due to a sudden jellyfish influx.

Nuclear power plants need a constant flow of water to cool their reactor and turbine systems, which is why many such plants are built near large bodies of water.

Marine biologists, meanwhile, say they would not be surprised if more jellyfish shutdowns occur in the future.


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The "Deadly Trio" of Carbon Dioxide Threatens the World's Oceans - Motherboard (blog)

The "Deadly Trio" of Carbon Dioxide Threatens the World's Oceans - Motherboard (blog) | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Sky News Australia The "Deadly Trio" of Carbon Dioxide Threatens the World's Oceans Motherboard (blog) “At carbon dioxide concentrations of 450-500 ppm (projected in 2030-2050) erosion will exceed calcification in the coral reef building process,...

Earth’s oceans are currently more acidic than they have been in at least 300 million years, according to a report released today by the International Program on the State of the Ocean (IPSO). If that's the case, it's a condition that may have shoved us mostly unawares into the next great extinction event. 

The IPSO researchers explain that acidification is one of three primary symptoms currently threatening our planet’s waters. The other two members of what they coined the “deadly trio” are ocean warming and deoxygenation. While all three have their own unique and detrimental effects on the ocean, they are all connected by a single source of causation: carbon dioxide.

Beyond their common carbon history, this triad is otherwise significant because “most, if not all, of the Earth’s five past mass extinction events have involved at least one of these three symptoms of global carbon perturbations," reads the report. But how did it get this way?

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A Monstrous Mess: toxic water pollution in China ("noone seems to care though kids are wondering")

A Monstrous Mess: toxic water pollution in China ("noone seems to care though kids are wondering") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
A team from Greenpeace East Asia's Detox campaign recently discovered an unsettling sight off the coast of South Eastern China. Next to the city of Shishi, a centre for children's clothing production, they discovered a huge black plume of wastewater around the size of 50 Olympic swimming pools on the sea's surface; a large dark scar on the water easily visible via satellite imagery.

Further research indicated that this plume was coming out of a discharge pipe from the Wubao Dyeing Industrial zone and more specifically, the Haitian Environmental Engineering Co. Ltd wastewater treatment plant which serves 19 of Shishi's textile dyeing facilities.

The toxic water pollution scandal uncovered at Wubao, Shishi is just the tip of the iceberg. In China alone there are 435 discharge points like the one serving Wubao, spanning the coast and releasing 32.2 billion tons of wastewater into the sea each year. In 2012, a staggering 68% of them had records for illegal discharge while 25% had never met national environmental standards, according to official data from China's state Ocean Administration.

The use of hazardous chemicals during the manufacture of children's clothing poses a large-scale problem in China and around the world. Not only is it leading to environmental pollution locally, as seen from the discharges in Wubao, residues of these substances can also be found amongst the millions of products, sold and exported across China and to countries all over the planet from textile towns such as Shishi and Zhili. For example, 70 – 80% of products produced in Shishi are exported to countries in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and Africa.

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Climate change puts 40% more people at risk of absolute water scarcity, study says ("why waste water?")

Climate change puts 40% more people at risk of absolute water scarcity, study says ("why waste water?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Water scarcity impacts people's lives in many countries already today. Future population growth will increase the demand for freshwater even further.

Yet in addition to this, on the supply side, water resources will be affected by projected changes in rainfall and evaporation. Climate change due to unabated greenhouse-gas emissions within our century is likely to put 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity than would be without climate change, a new study shows.

"The steepest increase of global water scarcity might happen between 2 and 3 degrees global warming above pre-industrial levels, and this is something to be experienced within the next few decades unless emissions get cut soon," says lead-author Jacob Schewe of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. "It is well-known that water scarcity increases, but our study is the first to quantify the relative share that climate change has in that, compared to -- and adding to -- the increase that is simply due to population growth."

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Shrimp Fishing Banned in Gulf of Maine Due to Ocean Warming | EcoWatch ("a dire taste of the worse")

Shrimp Fishing Banned in Gulf of Maine Due to Ocean Warming | EcoWatch ("a dire taste of the worse") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it

Warming ocean waters in New England have caused shrimp populations to fall so low that shrimp fishing in the Gulf of Maine has been banned for the 2014 season.

The situation is so dire that it’s possible the ban could be extended for more than a year. The Section considers the stock to have completely collapsed with little prospect of recovery in thenear future.

Many fish in the Gulf of Maine are not surviving long enough to mature—a process called recruitment—due to increasing water temperatures and a decline in phytoplankton, which comprises the shrimp’s diet, the Section said.

“Given the overwhelming evidence of recruitment failure and stock collapse and continuing unfavorable environmental conditions, the Section felt it was necessary to close the 2014 fishery to protect the remaining spawning biomass and allow as much hatch to take place as possible,” Terry Stockwell, the Northern Shrimp Section chairman, said.


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Mapped: The World’s Water Crisis ("Phil belongs to the high stressed areas that need attention")

Mapped: The World’s Water Crisis ("Phil belongs to the high stressed areas that need attention") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The Aqueduct Project of the World Resources Institute has released the first ever index ranking countries by “water stress”—the ratio of water being withdrawn to available supply.

The world’s most water-stressed countries are an eclectic group including both desert countries like Saudi Arabia and tropical islands like Saint Lucia and Jamaica; wealthy countries like Singapore and poor ones like Yemen.

As I mentioned Tuesday, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority recently signed a deal that will involve in the construction of a desalination plant in Southern Jordan to provide billions of gallons a year to all three places. All three are among the most water-stressed countries on Earth.  

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How high will sea levels rise? - Washington Post (blog) ("what's the consensus?")

How high will sea levels rise? - Washington Post (blog) ("what's the consensus?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
How high will sea levels rise?
Washington Post (blog)
Sea-level rise could prove to be one of the most far-reaching effects of global warming. Coastal regions will have to spend billions on defenses. Cities like Miami could find themselves submerged.

So here's one way to get a better sense for the broader debate: A new study in QuaternaryScience Reviews simply asked 90 experts on sea-level rise for their projections, based on their work. This isn't new scientific research, but it does give a very useful overview of the current state of research.

The results? The experts, on average, think global sea levels will rise somewhere between 0.7 and 1.2 meters by the end of the century if global warming continues unchecked. By contrast, they say, if we cut emissions quickly and drastically, we can likely get that down to between 0.4 and 0.6 meters:

A few points stand out here:

-- These values are higher than the "consensus" view from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC projected an 0.5 to 1.0 meter rise by 2100 in the case of unchecked warming. This survey offers higher values, with a 1.5 meter rise possible at the upper end. Why the difference?

Some back story: There are a variety of approaches that scientists take to model sea-level rise. First, there are "process-based" models that try to capture all the various physical processes that can cause the oceans to creep upward (such as melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, groundwater pumping, the melting of mountain glaciers). The problem? It's difficult to capture all of these processes precisely.

 

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Not Enough (Cod)Fish In The Sea? - WBUR ("organic fish farms, can they be certified?")

Not Enough (Cod)Fish In The Sea? - WBUR ("organic fish farms, can they be certified?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
WBUR
Not Enough (Cod)Fish In The Sea?
WBUR
There's long been a debate over exactly how many fish there are in the sea — especially cod.

"The problem is, organic rules are based on how you treat the soil. So how do you apply that to things like seafood?" says Patty Lovera, with Food and Water Watch.

To solve the problem of fitting fish farms into the same policy as land-based farms, federal regulators are simply rewriting the rules. The NOP — with help from the National Organic Standards Board, or NOSB, and its own Aquaculture Working Group — is now developing a set of guidelines that specifically address aquaculture. They would allow up to 25 percent conventionally grown material — specifically fishmeal — in the diets of farmed fish certified as organic. The plan would be to slowly scale this amount down over the years, though critics say they doubt this process would occur.

To solve this, the federal government is proposing to allow fish farms to use meal only from "sustainable" fish species.

So what exactly does that mean? Miles McEvoy, the deputy administrator of the National Organic Program, tells The Salt that for now, the term "sustainable" remians undefined and unregulated.

The fishmeal question is likely to continue to be contentious for open-ocean fish farms. But inland fish farms could potentially be in a better position to abide by organic laws, says Zeke Grader, of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations in San Francisco. "I think it's possible for there to be organically farmed fish, but they would have to be raised in completely closed, recirculating systems that don't touch the ocean," Grader says.

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Recycling closed-loop shower is cleaner, greener, and can save you $1,000 per year | ExtremeTech

Recycling closed-loop shower is cleaner, greener, and can save you $1,000 per year | ExtremeTech | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
A Swedish company has launched the OrbSys recycling shower -- a new kind of shower that saves up to 90% of the water and 80% of the energy consumed by a normal shower.

The shower achieves such huge savings by being a closed-loop, recirculating system, much in the same way that astronauts aboard the International Space Station re-use their waste water. In a world that’s rapidly running out of fresh water and consuming more energy than it should, the OrbSys Shower is an innovation that we should pay heed to. Even if you don’t care about the environment, the OrbSys can (apparently) save you more than $1000 per year in water and energy costs.

The OrbSys shower, devised by Orbital Systems in Sweden, is essentially an advanced real-time water filtration system packaged as a recycling shower. You turn the shower on, start bathing, but instead of the waste water running directly into your house’s drainage pipes it enters the special (patented) OrbSys filtration system. We don’t have a whole lot of details on what actually happens inside the OrbSys black box — instead, all we have is a rather impressive list of specs. The OrbSys shower removes more than 99.9% of contaminants, and actually pumps out cleaner water than the water entering your house from the main water supply. The process is capable of retaining most of the heat in the water, resulting in huge energy savings. The system can operate in real time at up to 24 liters (6.3 gallons) per minute — more than enough to sustain a strong, invigorating flow of water (your shower at home probably uses around 15 liters per minute).

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How badly are we overfishing the ocean? - Washington Post (blog) ("fish stocks definitely declining")

How badly are we overfishing the ocean? - Washington Post (blog) ("fish stocks definitely declining") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
How badly are we overfishing the ocean? Washington Post (blog) The pessimistic view, famously expressed by fisheries expert Daniel Pauly, is that we may be facing "The End of Fish." One especially dire 2006 study in Science warned that many...

"Several deeper analyses of the status of the majority of world fisheries confirm the previous dismal picture," they conclude. "Serious depletions are the norm world-wide, management quality is poor, catch per effort is still declining."

So, in their paper, Pitcher and Cheung review a number of recent studies that use indirect measurements instead. For example, they note that recent analyses of fish catches suggest that about 58 percent of the world's fish stocks have now collapsed or are overexploited:

"Given the increase in global fishing effort, the lack of increase in global fisheries catch in the last decade and the fact that most productive areas have now been exploited by fisheries," Pitcher and Cheung note, it's quite possible that "global exploited fish stocks are likely to be in a decreasing trend."

"It all depends where you look," Pitcher said in an interview. "There are a few places where fisheries are doing better: The U.S., Australia, Canada, Norway. But those are relatively rare. In most places, the evidence suggests that things are getting worse." Given that the United States imports 91 percent of its seafood, that's an important caveat.

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13 Vietnamese arrested in Philippines over sea turtles - Phys.Org ("why???")

13 Vietnamese arrested in Philippines over sea turtles - Phys.Org ("why???") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
13 Vietnamese arrested in Philippines over sea turtles Phys.Org "Upon initial inspection, it was found out that the said foreign fishing vessel is loaded with undetermined (number of) pieces of dead sea turtles," said Benigno Caabay, a station...

Sea turtles are protected under Philippine law and catching them is punishable by at least 12 years in jail.

In recent years, Philippine authorities have frequently caught foreigners, often Chinese, catching or buying sea turtles in the waters off Palawan.

In November last year, in the same area where the Vietnamese were caught, the Philippine navy rescued more than 100 sea turtles from poachers. But the fishermen, whom authorities believed to be Chinese, escaped.

The issue of foreigners poaching endangered species has become sensitive in the Philippines, with environmentalists calling for stronger action against the perpetrators.

Following pressure from their governments, the foreigners often have the charges dropped or lessened, allowing them to be deported quickly back home.

Caabay said fisheries experts were still determining what species of turtles were caught, although he stressed they were all protected under local laws.

The turtles were frozen and packed tightly in the cargo hold of the fishing vessel, he said.

Turtles are used in traditional medicine or are served as delicacy in many Asian countries.

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The Immediate Climate Threat Is Water Scarcity, Not Rising Sea Levels - Atlantic Cities ("I thirst!")

The Immediate Climate Threat Is Water Scarcity, Not Rising Sea Levels - Atlantic Cities ("I thirst!") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
The Atlantic Cities The Immediate Climate Threat Is Water Scarcity, Not Rising Sea Levels The Atlantic Cities When it comes to explaining how climate change will harm future civilization, many media outlets (including this one) tend to focus on...

When it comes to explaining how climate change will harm future civilization, many media outlets (including this one) tend to focus on hurricanes or rising sea levels. These are natural topics to generate interest in the heating Earth – the mental image of a city overrun with briny water, like New Orleans after Katrina, is charged with worry and doom.

But what the media should be focusing on is not the ocean but the land, specifically how dried out vast regions are becoming and the major effects it's having on societies. Intense droughts influenced by climate change are happening now, devastating farmers, causing mass migrations, and perhaps even contributing to the recent uprisings in the Middle East.

Arguing that the media should pound less on rising sea levels might not be appropriate when talking with somebody from the Pacific islands, or any other low-lying area that's anticipating nasty flooding. But the most punishing impacts of sea-level rise – excluding, perhaps, itsdebilitating amplification of tidal surges as with Superstorm Sandy – isn't expected to occur until later in the century. Meanwhile, many researchers say that climate change is actively worsening droughts and shriveling up access to water for hundreds of millions of people.

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Farmers in Kansas are starting to adapt to declining stocks of groundwater - The Economist

Farmers in Kansas are starting to adapt to declining stocks of groundwater - The Economist | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Farmers in Kansas are starting to adapt to declining stocks of groundwater
The Economist
The market value of the agricultural output of the state's western congressional district is the highest in the country.
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Warming oceans may cause higher mercury levels in fish - Washington Times ("what about my seafood?")

Warming oceans may cause higher mercury levels in fish - Washington Times ("what about my seafood?") | The Water Steward | Scoop.it
Washington Times Warming oceans may cause higher mercury levels in fish Washington Times WASHINGTON, October 4, 2013—Higher ocean surface temperatures triggered by global warming may cause fish to accumulate larger amounts of mercury, posing an...

Mercury pollution is mainly caused by coal-fired power plants, steel producers, incinerators, and cement makers that release it into the air. Other sources of mercury pollution are thermometers, batteries, consumer electronics and automotive parts that are manufactured, utilized or disposed of incorrectly. This pollution accumulates in oceans and waterways and is turned into methylmercury by bacteria found in the water.            

Moving its way up the food chain as larger fish eat smaller contaminated fish, mercury fails to dissolve and instead accumulates in a fish’s body at increasing levels. The mercury concentration in the bodies of large predatory fish who live a long time, including swordfish, tuna, mackerel and sharks, can be over 10,000 times higher than that of the surrounding environment, according to the Nature Conservancy.

Odorless and invisible, mercury in fish is difficult to detect and cannot be eliminated by trimming the skin or removing the bones. In the human body, mercury acts a neurotoxin that interferes with nervous system and brain functions.

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