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Water You Waiting For?

Water Sustainability & Water Resources Management

Energy Demands Leave Freshwater Resources Feeling the Impact

This article describes the impact of global energy demand on freshwater resources around the globe. Today, the goals of energy policies are to prevent greenhouse gas emissions being released into the atmosphere…but what these policies don’t take into consideration is the fact that petroleum demand drives freshwater resource consumption internationally, whereas gas and electricity demand drives freshwater resource consumption nationally. This international demand puts pressure on water resources in regions where water is deemed scarce right now. The article states that these water scare regions should be considered when policies are being designed in order to ensure the security of freshwater and energy supply. I believe that this is important in relation to water management for many reasons. It is important that when international policies are thought up, ALL aspects and places and things need to be taken into consideration to ensure positive outcomes for all. Of course, not every single thing will be able to be accommodated in certain situations, but it should at least be thought of and attempted to be accommodated…especially when it comes to freshwater. The international demand for freshwater means water wars, and places that are already experiencing droughts and a scarcity of freshwater and now literally being robbed of everything they have. Therefore “it is important to understand…the role of international trade in driving pressures on freshwater resources is key to meeting these challenges”.


 

University of Southampton. (2015, November 16). Global energy demand has adverse effects on freshwater resources of less developed regions. Phys Org. Retrieved from http://phys.org/news/2015-11-global-energy-demand-adverse-effects.html

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Hospitals in South Africa out of Water?

Provinces within South Africa have been experiencing severe droughts. These droughts have caused water reserves to run dry, and taps to stop dripping. This article talks about not just one, but TWO hospitals in Gauteng running out of water. It states that on Wednesday, November 11, Joburg Water (The city of Johannesburg’s water supplier) deployed water tankers to the two hospitals, which were left without water for most of the day. The hospitals believe that the lack of water was because of the pressure of pumping water from one side of the hospital building to the other. Not having water at hospitals is an issue for multiple reasons such as surgeries, and dialysis needs. The patients who were in need of dialysis were sent to other facilities, and non-emergency surgeries were postponed. This article relates to Water Resources and Management, because it goes to show that there are places experiencing severe droughts and in need of a large supply of water such as these hospitals, and these places may not have the proper infrastructure needed to supply water to important facilities such as hospitals. These places need to prepare for times where they may experience water shortages as a result of droughts. The article states that this problem has been resolved in the mean time and Joburg Water will supply more water tankers to the hospital if need be.


Whittles, G., & Bendile, D. (2015, November 12). Water Issues at 2 Gauteng Hospitals Resolved – MEC. Eyewitness News. Retrieved from http://ewn.co.za/2015/11/12/Water-cuts-at-two-Gauteng-hospitals-resolved-says-MEC

Las Vegas Winter Water Restrictions

Water restrictions are becoming more familiar to different places all over the world. Las Vegas Valley is an area that uses a lot of water, mainly to attract tourists. The winter months cause the Valley to have a water restriction, meaning that landscape watering (including drop irrigation) are now limited to one assigned day during the week until February 29, 2016. This article goes on to tell readers that the day is actually assigned, and you can look that up on your own time…or you can find it on your own water bill. The time of day for watering is not restricted, but the government encourages residents to space out the watering times in one-hour intervals during the mid-morning hours. The purpose of this is that the temperature during this time should be above freezing and that will help the soil absorb more water and will help to avoid excess waste runoff. I believe that the water restrictions are a good thing for the Las Vegas Valley, because water is not abundant in the world, and humans (especially in Las Vegas) use more at a faster pace than can be replenished. I believe that the government is also doing a good thing by encouraging water use at a certain time, because it helps to conserve the water…although not everyone may be able to do it at that time. We learned in class today that conserving water is important, and making restrictions may put a toll in our every day uses, and may make our grass look brown, but it will be worth it in order to conserve our freshwater throughout the world. This will help residents not waste any water, especially when a drought occurs where 90% of your water is coming from!


Brean, H. (2015, November 4). Las Vegas winter water restrictions now in effect. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved from http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/las-vegas-winter-water-restrictions-now-effect

Azerbaijan Solves Water Problems

Azerbaijan is a country that is directly in between Western Asia and Eastern Europe. It has always suffered water shortages and uneven distributions, and now Azerbaijan relies on water from outside of the country to supply it’s residents. This article states that freshwater supply has always been a priority within the country, and finally this issue has been handled…hopefully! At the end of October, an ultrafiltration water purification facility complex was opened. The facility is able to hold 570,000 cubic metres of water per day, and once all of the water has gone through the process, it is transmitted to consumers via pipeline. This facility complex is now bringing regular and high-quality water to the residents of Baku (Azerbaijan’s capital) and those in the Absheron Peninsula. The article states that this is a great historic event because from now on, Baku will be receiving clean water, and will now fully meet the standards of the World Health Organization. It is projects such as this one, the Hamilton Harbour one (we learned in class) and many others, that we see great progress towards a better world, whether it be providing water to communities, as water is a right, or cleaning up a body of water in which our drinking water comes from. All in all, these actions are going to be costly, but when the public is involved and aware, there is greater potential for positive and historic outcomes such as the new water facility for Azerbaijan, allowing for fresh and clean drinking water.


Orujova, N. (2015, October 29). Azerbaijan solves water supply problems. AzerNews. Retrieved from http://www.azernews.az/azerbaijan/89247.html

A Water Treatment Plant For Doddridge County

It is important that water is treated in a town, most importantly for human health and human needs. Doddridge County in the U.S. is experiencing excitement about a wastewater treatment plant that Antero Resources are hoping to have built and operational by 2018. The article claims that the plant will have 3 separate products that come from the flowback (water to be treated) which are freshwater, salt and sludge. I think this is a very efficient and environmentally “clean” way at treating water. By separating these 3 products, residents can have clean freshwater, and the salt can also be put to use instead of it just going to waste. Lastly, the sludge is apparently going to be put into a landfill which will be built right beside the treatment plant. This is efficient because the sludge does not need to be transported by road. The freshwater that is produced will be pumped into wells and will be used to fuel the hydraulic fracturing process within the plant. Another important feature of this plant is that it provides jobs, and is becoming a plus to economic development for the county. Although there are many benefits to this treatment plant, it also comes with many negative aspects. It could allow for the cost of water and taxes in Doddridge county to increase, and causes a larger amount of traffic on roads. Although this is all true, I still believe the plant is doing good by separating the flowback that is entering the plant, and making good reusable use out of it, instead of letting it just sit as ultimately sludge. This shows that companies are beginning to look at water resources in a more sustainable way.


Tuggle, Z. (2015, October 25). Antero Resources moves forward with plans for water treatment plant, no date set for groundbreaking. The Exponent Telegram. Retrieved from http://www.theet.com/news/local/antero-resources-moves-forward-with-plans-for-water-treatment-plant/article_2e6a560b-19ed-56e8-b0fd-d346d9e00427.html

Kochi – Many Resources But Little Access

Kochi, India is a city that has many water resources. The problem? The city is associated with the German Water Partnership, making the water source to the city fall into the privatized sector. This news article is about a conference that was set up by the Kochi Corporation and the German Water Partnership to confront some of the problems with accessing water resources in Kochi. The city is experiencing problems with the water resource management system, and problems in developing approaches for sustainable management of the natural water resources within the city. Although the city has so many water resources, the residents of Kochi still do not have complete access to safe drinking water. Their drinking water contains high amounts of iron and salinity. Another problem the city faces is the excess runoff from fertilizers and chemicals that have contaminated the ground water. Lastly, proper sewage management and solid waste management is an issue in the city. All of these issues all revolve around updated infrastructure, and proper treatment of the city’s water. These problems are major as they can cause health concerns, and water is a human right, therefore the residents of Kochi should have access to clean and safe drinking water! The article claims that the German Water Partnership is introducing German technologies to India which are cheap and applicable to the country’s geography. As we have seen in many examples in this class, the privatization of water can reflect many negative aspects onto cities, especially in prices of water and access to safe drinking water…especially when it comes to vulnerable countries. Some may say that India is a vulnerable country, but let’s hope that the German Water Partnership does not actually take advantage of Kochi, and actually helps the residents of Kochi gain access to clean water, and safe drinking water!


Express News Service. (2015, October 20). Conference Deliberates on Water Issues. The New Indian Express. Retrieved from http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/Conference-Deliberates-on-Water-Issues/2015/10/20/article3088295.ece

Future of the Colorado River

As climate change is a current & ongoing issue around the globe, more places than others are experiencing it first hand. This article mentions that a main concern for the U.S. over the next 50 years, is whether or not there will be enough water in the Colorado River to support the 36 million users within 7 states and in parts of Mexico as a result of climate change. Researchers believe that with climate change, the Colorado River will experience reduced stream flow. Predictions about this issue range from a decline in stream flow of 9% to 45%…which suggests that more research should probably be done! Although more research could probably be done, the three-year study that was done showed that over the next 50 years there will be a significant shortfall between water supply & demand on this river system. In relation to this course, I believe it is important for the state of Colorado to look at this as an important ecological and environmental issue. Because so many people rely on this river, it is important that people try and do their best to conserve the water in whatever ways they can…all it takes is one person to start something, and then others will catch on. Colorado should bring this issue to the table, and make citizens aware of what is happening to their water, and as they need it for their everyday lives, maybe they’d start taking initiative to conserve, which is a starting point to dealing with this important issue.


Associated Press. (2015, October 13). U.S. scientists urge government to support more research on Colorado River. CTV News. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/u-s-scientists-urge-government-to-support-more-research-on-colorado-river-1.2607057

Third-World Conditions in a First-World Country?

In Thunder Bay, members of the Neskantaga First Nations group are speaking up about not having access to safe drinking water. The children in the community have been contracting skin illnesses believably from the 21-year boil-water advisory that Neskantaga has had. Not only are the children getting sick, but each household in this First Nations community lives on three bottles of water per day. This article brings about the topic of “who owns water” which we learned about in class. The First Nations communities in places far North (such as Thunder Bay) were once neglected by the government due to their far North & isolated communities. The community was told by the federal government that their water infrastructure could be upgraded for $1.1 million, but instead their water usage has been rationed. Without the proper water infrastructure, children are going to continue getting sick from the drinking water. There is clearly an inequity in regards to human rights and water access. This First Nations community lives in a country where water is granted a human right, and they aren’t even being provided with that right for reasons such as isolation…this is very difficult to understand, especially considering First Nations are native communities to Canada, it’s land AND it’s waters. Why is there inequity to begin with in regards to services and human rights in this country? It is important that communities such as the Neskantaga First Nations come forward with such problems, as everyone deserves to be heard & deserves the right to a safe & healthy life.


Thompson, J. (2015, October 5). Chiefs say fed failing First Nations on drinking water. TBnewswatch. Retrieved from http://www.tbnewswatch.com/News/375995/Chiefs_say_feds_failing_First_Nations_on_drinking_water

Thirsty Parking Lots?

The video of the parking lot in the U.K. absorbing 4,000L of water in 60 seconds has gone viral. This permeable concrete is a new & improved concrete that can potentially combat urban flash flooding from sudden & heavy storms. This article mentions that in the U.S., when storm water overwhelms urban streets, it usually drains into wastewater systems which causes untreated sewage to be discarded into local waterways and public beaches…gross! The article continues by mentioning that storm water is also a pollutant to rivers, streams & reservoirs all over this blue planet. So, not only is this concretes purpose to drain the storm runoff from storms, but it also proves itself by filtering other pollutants such as motor oil residue! Although this idea of concrete for urban areas sounds super ideal and awesome, it can also be looked at negatively…a) this concrete is disrupting the land use, as it was once green grass I’m sure, now it’s black concrete & b) in relation to this class, some would wonder where this water is going once it’s been absorbed into the concrete…is it being recycled to conserve our depleting water resources? Where’s this water going? To find this answer, I quickly reviewed another news article (from KawarthaNOW) which claims that the water is recycled through the ground and into pipes which divert it from nearby storm drains. So, this permeable concrete seems to be a great way to not only conserve the world’s fresh water, but to combat flash flooding in dense urban areas! Want to learn more? Just watch below!


Goodyear, S. (2015, September 28). A Parking Lot That Drinks Stormwater. The Atlantic City Lab. Retrieved from http://www.citylab.com/design/2015/09/a-parking-lot-that-drinks-stormwater/407692/

GreenUP. (2015, October 1). Depave to create another piece of paradise in Peterborough. KawarthaNOW.  Retrieved from http://www.kawarthanow.com/kawarthanowguide/2015/10/01/depave-paradise/

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