This year, the theme is “Water and Sustainable Development,”1 highlighting the issue of water scarcity. Water is a resource used every single day, often times irresponsibly or absentmindedly, making this theme highly relevant for today.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and engineering firm, Janicki Bioenergy, are currently at the forefront of the most recent groundbreaking advances in water science by discovering a way to turn feces into clean drinking water (1).
Without access to clean water we would not be able to drink, bathe, properly clean our clothes, wash dishes or use the toilet. Can you imagine your daily routine without being able to accomplish any of these tasks? The reality is 2.5 billion people (one-third of the total population) lack access to clean water and sanitation.
Dr Adam Jeziorski and his research team from the Department of Biology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario published their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Entitled “The Jellification of North Temperate Lakes”, their paper argues that acidification from industial processes, such as oil production, is having a direct impact on aquatic organisms heavily reliant on calcium, in particular members of the Daphnia genus, the water fleas that are among the dominant planktonic species of these lakes.
As Florida residents drive past dozens of lawn signs and bumper stickers, “Say yes to one” has caught some attention. As the November elections rapidly approach in the state, water conservation has landed at the top spot on the ballot. The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment obtained the number one spot on the ballot for this years’ mid-term elections. If passed, the Land Acquisitions Trust Fund would be required to restore and maintain wetlands including the Everglades, forests, drinking water sources, beaches, rivers and lakes.
Finding out how groundwater is affected by contamination is important to the health of our planet, but recently it has been discovered that contamination histories have been under our noses all along, inside of tree rings. By studying the growth rings of tulip trees, researchers have found an effective way in measuring the amount of pollution in a given area. By examining the two different types of cells within the tulip tree rings, researchers are able to gather sufficient information on the movement of water within the tree and its connection to the quality water supply. When testing contaminated areas, samples were able to indicate the effects of the water contamination on plant life onsite, while also discovering the impact of the flow of contaminated groundwater in trees offsite.
Water is a precious resource here on Earth. Although the surface of our planet is 71% water, only a tiny fraction of that is available for human needs, such as drinking, food production, and sanitation. In fact, a massive 97.5% of Earth’s total stock of water is saline, leaving only 2.5% freshwater, and 70% of that freshwater is locked frozen in the polar ice caps.1 From Earth’s perspective, water is scarce.
Natural resources are essential to human life, many of them being finite. When someone uses a finite resource (forests, fish, clean water), they make that resource less available to others.
As the recent offensive between Israel and Hamas continues to impact civilian life on either side of Israel’s border with Gaza, news agencies around the world have intensified their focus on this troubled region, decrying the loss of life and calling for a lasting ceasefire, which finally seems to be holding.
A recent study has found traces of cocaine in the public drinking water supply. Present in its metabolised form, benzoylecgonine, the street drug was discovered in samples analysed by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), a section of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), as part of an assessment of pharmaceutical contamination.
There have been many news reports, lately, regarding the health risks of leaving plastic water bottles in the heat and later consuming the water. That risk can be linked to the chemical bisphenol A (BPA).