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Cape Town is almost out of water. Could Australian cities suffer the same fate?

Cape Town is almost out of water. Could Australian cities suffer the same fate? | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it

The world is watching the unfolding Cape Town water crisis with horror. On “Day Zero”, now predicted to be just ten weeks away, engineers will turn off the water supply. The South African city’s four million residents will have to queue at one of 200 water collection points.

Cape Town is the first major city to face such an extreme water crisis. There are so many unanswered questions. How will the sick or elderly people cope? How will people without a car collect their 25-litre daily ration? Pity those collecting water for a big family.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

The world is watching the unfolding Cape Town water crisis with horror. On “Day Zero”, now predicted to be just ten weeks away, engineers will turn off the water supply. The South African city’s four million residents will have to queue at one of 200 water collection points.

Cape Town is the first major city to face such an extreme water crisis. There are so many unanswered questions. How will the sick or elderly people cope? How will people without a car collect their 25-litre daily ration? Pity those collecting water for a big family.

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Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources
Curtin University embarks upon organising and supporting global challenges - beginning with the UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge 2015.  The links connected here should not be seen as endorsements but rather suggested starting points for critical discussions. http://ecochallengeaustralia.com.au
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UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge Australia | Serious Game for Schools | Water and Sustainability

UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge Australia | Serious Game for Schools | Water and Sustainability | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it

Curtin University is proud to announce that it is once again the Australian organiser for participation in the UNEP-DHI EcoChallenge.

 

Water is essential for all life as we know it. A simple fact that sometimes feels forgotten as political and commercial interests take priority.

 

UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge Australia provides an exciting and authentic learning experience for students through the online strategic game “Aqua Republica”. Addressing national curriculum priority dimensions of Sustainability and Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia the experience provides many learning opportunities across social studies, science, humanities, health and physical education, english, geography, and more.

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Satellites could hold key to stopping water theft in Murray-Darling Basin - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Satellites could hold key to stopping water theft in Murray-Darling Basin - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
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Adorable kids' protest starts sustainability snowball at Perth's Winthrop IGA

Adorable kids' protest starts sustainability snowball at Perth's Winthrop IGA | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
After 40 years in the grocery business, Jack Keeley was a bit surprised to find himself the focus of a children’s protest.
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Young people driving local change for global sustainability.

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QuestaGame

QuestaGame | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
The real-world mobile game where you compete to save life on earth.
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The real-world mobile game where you compete to save life on earth.
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Whistleblowers at risk - the cost of defending our future

Whistleblowers at risk - the cost of defending our future | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
As the UN moves to recognise the right to a healthy environment, our community is spotting signals of the right to defend it coming under threat. Already in 2018, 66 environmental activists have been killed. In Cambodia, a sentence was upheld against anti sand-dredging campaigners, while in China a man was sentenced to prison after reporting illegal pollution. Elsewhere, a pact binds 24 Latin American countries to protect defenders of the environment. How far will the UN's protection reach?
Kim Flintoff's insight:
As the UN moves to recognise the right to a healthy environment, our community is spotting signals of the right to defend it coming under threat. Already in 2018, 66 environmental activists have been killed. In Cambodia, a sentence was upheld against anti sand-dredging campaigners, while in China a man was sentenced to prison after reporting illegal pollution. Elsewhere, a pact binds 24 Latin American countries to protect defenders of the environment. How far will the UN's protection reach?
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Climate Changed – Erin Biba –

Scientists on the ground in the world’s forests are witnessing big changes as trees adapt (or not) to the world’s new climate

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Scientists on the ground in the world’s forests are witnessing big changes as trees adapt (or not) to the world’s new climate

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Why I ‘Believe’ in Climate Change — and Why it Doesn’t Matter

In total, 536 humans have been in space. Ever. They’re the only ones who have seen our spheroid planet from above. And yet most of the seven billion of us alive today would agree that the earth is…

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In total, 536 humans have been in space. Ever. They’re the only ones who have seen our spheroid planet from above.

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Cities Are Short on Housing. That’s Bad News for the Climate.

This is an important fight, because housing policy is about more than just bloated rents. The dearth of affordable homes is also making it harder to guard against air pollution and climate change. Sky-high prices are forcing families to live farther from work in neighborhoods that are heavily polluted or prone to flooding, making it all the more urgent that policymakers find a solution.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

This is an important fight, because housing policy is about more than just bloated rents. The dearth of affordable homes is also making it harder to guard against air pollution and climate change. Sky-high prices are forcing families to live farther from work in neighborhoods that are heavily polluted or prone to flooding, making it all the more urgent that policymakers find a solution.

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Curtin researchers share secret seed recipe for better biodiversity

Curtin researchers share secret seed recipe for better biodiversity | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it

Curtin researchers share secret seed recipe for better biodiversity

Curtin University researchers have developed a seed-coating technology that can help bring degraded landscapes back to life and repair damaged ecosystems. New research, published in the journal Seed Science and Technology to

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Curtin researchers share secret seed recipe for better biodiversity

Curtin University researchers have developed a seed-coating technology that can help bring degraded landscapes back to life and repair damaged ecosystems.

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Planet or plastic? – Johanna North –

The global hypocrisy angers me immensely. The stereotypes and prejudices are frustrating. While India as a country will be deemed trashy and polluted and the people unclean and ignorant, an average Finn or a person of another developed country will have a bigger carbon footprint and use more plastic than a typical Indian. But we Westerners get the trash out of sight very efficiently. Thus we praise ourselves for our ability to keep a clean, unpolluted environment.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Imagine your home. There you have a big, secret closet. You don’t have the time or energy to clean your house properly or to find out about the proper methods for waste disposal. Nor have you thought about these issues beforehand in your consumer decisions. But you do not want to live in the middle of a chaotic wasteland. So what do you do? You keep just tossing everything in the secret closet, where it will accumulate day by day, but hidden from your eyes and thoughts. Out of sight, out of mind. You can pat yourself on the back. You are a tidy, well-organised human being. At least until the closet can’t take in any more waste and you’ll be in the middle of a much bigger disaster than you would have originally had to deal with.

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The Water Cycle

The Water Cycle | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
This series focuses on some of the different sources of water available to us for the water cycle, as well as a look at how to manage demand for water. Interesting short videos that can be used to deliver the Earth & Space Sciences curriculum, for students in Year 2 thinking about use of the Earth’s resource of Water, Year 7 studying renewable resources via the water cycle or by Year 10 when thinking about modeling a global systems cycle.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
This series focuses on some of the different sources of water available to us for the water cycle, as well as a look at how to manage demand for water. Interesting short videos that can be used to deliver the Earth & Space Sciences curriculum, for students in Year 2 thinking about use of the Earth’s resource of Water, Year 7 studying renewable resources via the water cycle or by Year 10 when thinking about modeling a global systems cycle.
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Appropriate Water Technology – Gaia Education –

Introduction
The link between fossil fuel reserves and war has been a clear pattern for decades, yet equally many violent conflicts and wars have already been fought over the access to water. Water is already a very scarce resource and at the same time as water is wasted and contaminated at a gigantic scale there are still a seventh of the world’s population without access to a safe water supply. There are serious issues with the world’s water and the systems we have designed to manage and care for water are deeply insufficient.

25 million people die each year from contaminated water. That is equivalent to the population of Canada
Every 8 seconds a child dies from contaminated water.
1.4 billion people have no access to safe drinking water.
2.4 billion people have no access to sanitary systems -one person in three.
(From Troubled Water by Anita Roddick and Brooke Shelby Biggs, 2004)
Kim Flintoff's insight:
IntroductionThe link between fossil fuel reserves and war has been a clear pattern for decades, yet equally many violent conflicts and wars have already been fought over the access to water. Water is already a very scarce resource and at the same time as water is wasted and contaminated at a gigantic scale there are still a seventh of the world’s population without access to a safe water supply. There are serious issues with the world’s water and the systems we have designed to manage and care for water are deeply insufficient.25 million people die each year from contaminated water. That is equivalent to the population of CanadaEvery 8 seconds a child dies from contaminated water.1.4 billion people have no access to safe drinking water.2.4 billion people have no access to sanitary systems -one person in three.(From Troubled Water by Anita Roddick and Brooke Shelby Biggs, 2004)
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Not so fast: why the electric vehicle revolution will bring problems of its own

Not so fast: why the electric vehicle revolution will bring problems of its own | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it

After years of being derided as a joke by car manufacturers and the public, interest in electric vehicles has increased sharply as governments around the world move to ban petrol and diesel cars.

We have seen a tremendous rise in availability, especially at the premium end of the market, where Tesla is giving established brands a run for their money. Electric cars are likely to penetrate the rest of the market quickly too. Prices should be on par with conventional cars by 2025.

Electric cars are praised as the answer to questions of green and clean mobility. But the overall sustainability of electric vehicles is far from clear. On closer examination, our entire transport paradigm may need to be rethought.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Electric cars are praised as the answer to questions of green and clean mobility. But the overall sustainability of electric vehicles is far from clear. On closer examination, our entire transport paradigm may need to be rethought.

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The latest Xprize winner harvests drinking water from the air

The latest Xprize winner harvests drinking water from the air | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it

Judges have chosen the winner of the Water Abundance Xprize, and it might just be vital to solving some of the world's most difficult shortages. The Skysource/Skywater Alliance has earned $1.5 million for WEDEW (Wood to Energy Deployed Water), a system that converts air into drinking water using natural resources for power. The heart of the technology imitates clouds by cooling warm air and collecting the condensation in a tank. A biomass gassifier, meanwhile, vaporizes wood and other organic material to generate the necessary power for the system.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Judges have chosen the winner of the Water Abundance Xprize, and it might just be vital to solving some of the world's most difficult shortages. The Skysource/Skywater Alliance has earned $1.5 million for WEDEW (Wood to Energy Deployed Water), a system that converts air into drinking water using natural resources for power. The heart of the technology imitates clouds by cooling warm air and collecting the condensation in a tank. A biomass gassifier, meanwhile, vaporizes wood and other organic material to generate the necessary power for the system.

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We must strengthen, not weaken, environmental protections during drought – or face irreversible loss

Australian rural communities face hardships during extended drought, and it is generally appropriate that governments then provide special support for affected landholders and communities.

However, some politicians and commentators have recently claimed that such circumstances should be addressed by circumventing environmental laws or management – by, for example, reallocating environmental water to grow fodder or opening up conservation reserves for livestock grazing.

But subverting or weakening existing protective conservation management practices and policies will exacerbate the impacts of drought on natural environments and biodiversity.

Kim Flintoff's insight:
Australian rural communities face hardships during extended drought, and it is generally appropriate that governments then provide special support for affected landholders and communities. However, some politicians and commentators have recently claimed that such circumstances should be addressed by circumventing environmental laws or management – by, for example, reallocating environmental water to grow fodder or opening up conservation reserves for livestock grazing. But subverting or weakening existing protective conservation management practices and policies will exacerbate the impacts of drought on natural environments and biodiversity.
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Protect rural towns from bottled water giants

Protect rural towns from bottled water giants | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
Right now in the state of Victoria a state election is just two months away. Even if Asahi does stop bottling Stanley's water, there is nothing stopping the company from hopping across to the next valley and sending its trucks there
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Right now in the state of Victoria a state election is just two months away. Even if Asahi does stop bottling Stanley's water, there is nothing stopping the company from hopping across to the next valley and sending its trucks there
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What if clean energy was as easy as pressing ‘print’? | Crosscut

What if clean energy was as easy as pressing ‘print’? | Crosscut | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
Imagine if you could turn almost any surface into a solar panel: office windows could power the buildings that house them. Your backpack could charge the devices inside while you walk down the street. In a disaster, the tent walls of emergency shelters could generate enough energy to improve conditions for the people inside.

What if solar power was so cheap and efficient that even cloudy places like the Pacific Northwest could rely on it? Scientists at the Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington are making this future a reality by developing light, thin, cheap, flexible solar panels you can print like newspaper.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Imagine if you could turn almost any surface into a solar panel: office windows could power the buildings that house them. Your backpack could charge the devices inside while you walk down the street. In a disaster, the tent walls of emergency shelters could generate enough energy to improve conditions for the people inside.

What if solar power was so cheap and efficient that even cloudy places like the Pacific Northwest could rely on it? Scientists at the Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington are making this future a reality by developing light, thin, cheap, flexible solar panels you can print like newspaper.

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Context-Based Water Targets: Why should business care?

For decades scientists have been warning that human impacts are pushing life on our planet beyond its capacity and into a new era in our planets history: the Anthropocene. An era where humans are the primary drivers of planetary change rather than natural forces. Collective human demands on the earth’s regenerative capacity is predicted to continuing growing steadily, assuming current population and income trends remain constant, and exceed such capacity by 75% by 2020. Year-on-year, more areas are impacted by water scarcity and extreme events, like droughts and floods, are becoming more regular and more destructive.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

For decades scientists have been warning that human impacts are pushing life on our planet beyond its capacity and into a new era in our planets history: the Anthropocene. An era where humans are the primary drivers of planetary change rather than natural forces. Collective human demands on the earth’s regenerative capacity is predicted to continuing growing steadily, assuming current population and income trends remain constant, and exceed such capacity by 75% by 2020. Year-on-year, more areas are impacted by water scarcity and extreme events, like droughts and floods, are becoming more regular and more destructive.

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Our commitment to the environment - inditex.com

Our commitment to the environment - inditex.com | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
Environmental responsibility is fundamental to how we do business. We follow strict standards and policies, and take special measures in water, energy, biodiversity and resource management.
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Better Technology Isn’t The Solution To Ecological Collapse

We cannot innovate our way out of planetary disaster. We need to ditch our addiction to GDP growth
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We cannot innovate our way out of planetary disaster. We need to ditch our addiction to GDP growth

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The Future Of Food & Climate Change: Sustainability & Technology To The Rescue

As the world’s population rises and the climate worsens, the future of food security is at risk — but can tech save the day?

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As the world’s population rises and the climate worsens, the future of food security is at risk — but can tech save the day?

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Ecosystems across Australia are collapsing under climate change

Our research, recently published in Nature Climate Change, describes a series of sudden and catastrophic ecosystem shifts that have occurred recently across Australia.

These changes, caused by the combined stress of gradual climate change and extreme weather events, are overwhelming ecosystems’ natural resilience.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Our research, recently published in Nature Climate Change, describes a series of sudden and catastrophic ecosystem shifts that have occurred recently across Australia.

These changes, caused by the combined stress of gradual climate change and extreme weather events, are overwhelming ecosystems’ natural resilience.

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Can We Innovate Our Way Out of an Impending Water Crisis?

Water, particularly in the Western United States, has always been inextricably linked to the economy. Historical investments in infrastructure like the Hoover Dam and the California Aqueducts have…
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Water, particularly in the Western United States, has always been inextricably linked to the economy. 

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It will take decades, but the Murray Darling Basin Plan is delivering environmental improvements

It will take decades, but the Murray Darling Basin Plan is delivering environmental improvements | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
Amid the politics, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was originally designed primarily to restore the rivers’ environment. While questions have been raised over the plan’s governance, economics, and political commitment by the states, it is important to note that, more than five years after the plan’s adoption, the environmental benefits are slowly but surely being seen.

The Long-Term Intervention Monitoring Project began in 2014 to monitor and evaluate environmental outcomes from Commonwealth environmental water – the water being delivered into the Murray-Darling Basin by the plan.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Amid the politics, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was originally designed primarily to restore the rivers’ environment. While questions have been raised over the plan’s governance, economics, and political commitment by the states, it is important to note that, more than five years after the plan’s adoption, the environmental benefits are slowly but surely being seen.

The Long-Term Intervention Monitoring Project began in 2014 to monitor and evaluate environmental outcomes from Commonwealth environmental water – the water being delivered into the Murray-Darling Basin by the plan.

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Hannah Bürckstümmer: A printable, flexible, organic solar cell | TED Talk

Hannah Bürckstümmer: A printable, flexible, organic solar cell | TED Talk | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
Unlike the solar cells you're used to seeing, organic photovoltaics are made of compounds that are dissolved in ink and can be printed and molded using simple techniques. The result is a low-weight, flexible, semi-transparent film that turns the energy of the sun into electricity. Hannah Bürckstümmer shows us how they're made -- and how they could change the way we power the world.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Unlike the solar cells you're used to seeing, organic photovoltaics are made of compounds that are dissolved in ink and can be printed and molded using simple techniques. The result is a low-weight, flexible, semi-transparent film that turns the energy of the sun into electricity. Hannah Bürckstümmer shows us how they're made -- and how they could change the way we power the world.

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Six ways to improve water quality in New Zealand's lakes and rivers

Six ways to improve water quality in New Zealand's lakes and rivers | Curtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources | Scoop.it
Two years ago, New Zealanders were shocked when contaminated drinking water sickened more than 5,000 people in the small town of Havelock North, with a population of 14,000. A government inquiry found that sheep faeces were the likely source of bacterial pathogens, which entered an aquifer when heavy rain flooded surrounding farmland.

A second phase of the inquiry identified six principles of international drinking water security that had been bypassed. Had they been followed, the drinking water contamination would have been prevented or greatly reduced.

Here, I ask if the approach recommended by the Havelock North inquiry to prevent drinking water contamination can be extended to reduce the impacts of nutrient contamination of freshwater ecosystems.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Two years ago, New Zealanders were shocked when contaminated drinking water sickened more than 5,000 people in the small town of Havelock North, with a population of 14,000. A government inquiry found that sheep faeces were the likely source of bacterial pathogens, which entered an aquifer when heavy rain flooded surrounding farmland.A second phase of the inquiry identified six principles of international drinking water security that had been bypassed. Had they been followed, the drinking water contamination would have been prevented or greatly reduced.Here, I ask if the approach recommended by the Havelock North inquiry to prevent drinking water contamination can be extended to reduce the impacts of nutrient contamination of freshwater ecosystems.
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