Bioalchemy: turning sludge into clear water

Biological treatment plus ozone can reduce the amount of sludge coming from wastewater treatment plants by a factor of ten

The process was developed by the Water Research Institute (WRI) of the Italian National Research Council and tested and scaled-up as part the EU-funded Innowatech project.

We know that biological processes offer the cheapest way to treat industrial wastewater. But pollutants from industries such as leather, textiles and pharmaceuticals are not easily broken down by .

Global Water Supplies Threatened by Climate Change, Increased Demand @ TreeHugger
Our world’s freshwater supplies are threatened by rapid urbanization, a huge increase in the demand for food, and the diverse effects of climate change on water supplies, and a “radical new approach” is called for, according to a new United Nations report. (…)

Increasing demand and climate change threaten global water supplies – UN report @ UN News Centre

saveplanetearth:

Global Water Supplies Threatened by Climate Change, Increased Demand @ TreeHugger

Our world’s freshwater supplies are threatened by rapid urbanization, a huge increase in the demand for food, and the diverse effects of climate change on water supplies, and a “radical new approach” is called for, according to a new United Nations report. (…)

Increasing demand and climate change threaten global water supplies – UN report @ UN News Centre

saveplanetearth:

Los Angeles schools crowdsource energy-efficiency measures with IBM’s help | ZDNet
Developed in tandem with IBM Business Partners CitySourced and Esri, the analytics solution helps prioritize maintenance issues that can be a drain on electricity and water consumption.

Los Angeles schools crowdsource energy-efficiency measures with IBM’s help | ZDNet

Developed in tandem with IBM Business Partners CitySourced and Esri, the analytics solution helps prioritize maintenance issues that can be a drain on electricity and water consumption.

Can we solve global water scarcity? | Grist
Texas’ rivers and aquifers are among the most heavily depleted in the world. (Photo by Jeff Reid.)
You’re probably doing your part to conserve water, especially if you live in a drought-stricken area. But water is in short supply across the globe because of people’s increasing demands for it — a huge problem for cities, agriculture, and industry that will only get worse with climate change.

Getting an accurate handle on what’s causing the problem has been missing — until now. A new study in the journal PLoS ONE, coauthored by Nature Conservancy scientist Brian Richter, provides fresh insight into the factors behind water shortages in the world’s most important river basins.
The study provides the most comprehensive picture of the global water problem to date, looking at monthly rather than annual changes and digging into the actual causes of water depletion — agricultural, industrial, and domestic — in our ecosystems. While the findings aren’t rosy — more than 2 billion people are affected by water shortages each year — coauthor Richter says there are still reasons to be hopeful … read on to the end of this Q&A with him to find out what they are.

Can we solve global water scarcity? | Grist

Texas’ rivers and aquifers are among the most heavily depleted in the world. (Photo by Jeff Reid.)

You’re probably doing your part to conserve water, especially if you live in a drought-stricken area. But water is in short supply across the globe because of people’s increasing demands for it — a huge problem for cities, agriculture, and industry that will only get worse with climate change.

Getting an accurate handle on what’s causing the problem has been missing — until now. A new study in the journal PLoS ONE, coauthored by Nature Conservancy scientist Brian Richter, provides fresh insight into the factors behind water shortages in the world’s most important river basins.

The study provides the most comprehensive picture of the global water problem to date, looking at monthly rather than annual changes and digging into the actual causes of water depletion — agricultural, industrial, and domestic — in our ecosystems. While the findings aren’t rosy — more than 2 billion people are affected by water shortages each year — coauthor Richter says there are still reasons to be hopeful … read on to the end of this Q&A with him to find out what they are.

Predicting Disasters Of The Future: Economic Disaster, Water Shortages, And Cyber Attacks 
A new report asking experts what disasters they’re afraid of has enough in it to make you hide under the bed. Bad news for optimists: The experts think global catastrophe is more likely than ever.






via fastcompany:

Predicting Disasters Of The Future: Economic Disaster, Water Shortages, And Cyber Attacks 

A new report asking experts what disasters they’re afraid of has enough in it to make you hide under the bed. Bad news for optimists: The experts think global catastrophe is more likely than ever.

via fastcompany:

Cleaner, Cheaper Liquid Fuel from Coal - Technology Review
A new conversion process promises zero carbon emissions during production—but some question whether it will scale.
SRI International is  developing a process that combines coal and natural gas to produce  liquid transportation fuels that are substantially cleaner and cheaper  to make than existing synthetic fuels.
SRI claims its process addresses three liabilities that have slowed  the commercialization of the technology. By blending some natural gas  into the conventional coal-to-liquids (CTL) process, the private  research lab, based in Menlo Park, California, claims to have eliminated  CTL’s carbon footprint, slashed water consumption by over 70 percent,  and more than halved its capital cost.

Cleaner, Cheaper Liquid Fuel from Coal - Technology Review

A new conversion process promises zero carbon emissions during production—but some question whether it will scale.

SRI International is developing a process that combines coal and natural gas to produce liquid transportation fuels that are substantially cleaner and cheaper to make than existing synthetic fuels.

SRI claims its process addresses three liabilities that have slowed the commercialization of the technology. By blending some natural gas into the conventional coal-to-liquids (CTL) process, the private research lab, based in Menlo Park, California, claims to have eliminated CTL’s carbon footprint, slashed water consumption by over 70 percent, and more than halved its capital cost.

As long as it flows freely from our taps, many of us fail to fully  appreciate the wonders of clean, abundant water. While Cynthia Barnett  is not the first to point out that we’re straining the limits of our  water supplies, Blue Revolution stands out for its deep  reporting, clearheaded analysis, and solutions-oriented approach. By  speaking to water experts and managers of all stripes and traveling the  globe to see success stories—and failures—Barnett shows how the United  States might work out its vexing water problems.

Keep reading …

via utnereader:

As long as it flows freely from our taps, many of us fail to fully appreciate the wonders of clean, abundant water. While Cynthia Barnett is not the first to point out that we’re straining the limits of our water supplies, Blue Revolution stands out for its deep reporting, clearheaded analysis, and solutions-oriented approach. By speaking to water experts and managers of all stripes and traveling the globe to see success stories—and failures—Barnett shows how the United States might work out its vexing water problems.

Keep reading …

via utnereader:

Tele-Present Water by David Bowen

I rarely use the phrase ‘mind blown’, but this is one of those rare occurrences.

An art installation which combines real-time data, mechanical puppetry, and a physical grid representation usually employed virtually with computers:

This installation draws information from the intensity and movement of the water in a remote location. Wave data is being collected in real-time from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data buoy station 46246, 49.985 N 145.089 W (49°59’7” N 145°5’20” W) on the Pacific Ocean. The wave intensity and frequency is scaled and transferred to the mechanical grid structure resulting in a simulation of the physical effects caused by the movement of water from halfway around the world.

Link to the artist’s website for this work can be found here

via prostheticknowledge:

10 Mega-Construction Projects That Could Save the Environment — and the Economy | oi9.com
8. The Desert Aquanet The Shimizu Corporation has proposed to create a matrix of artificial and interconnected seawater lakes in  the desert, each with an artificial island in its center for farming and  city construction. Theoretically, the lakes would cool the air above  each island, making the land arable (after desalination) and the  adjacent territory livable for humans. It’s unknown what effects the  lakes may have on global weather patterns or, even the potential fallout  of the lakes themselves — but first the project would have to get past  the biggest hurdle of them all: the question of sovereignty.

10 Mega-Construction Projects That Could Save the Environment — and the Economy | oi9.com

8. The Desert Aquanet
The Shimizu Corporation has proposed to create a matrix of artificial and interconnected seawater lakes in the desert, each with an artificial island in its center for farming and city construction. Theoretically, the lakes would cool the air above each island, making the land arable (after desalination) and the adjacent territory livable for humans. It’s unknown what effects the lakes may have on global weather patterns or, even the potential fallout of the lakes themselves — but first the project would have to get past the biggest hurdle of them all: the question of sovereignty.

7 Billion: How Did We Get So Big So Fast? (by npr)

It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion — in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population, especially in the West.

As higher standards of living and better health care are reaching more parts of the world, the rates of fertility — and population growth — have started to slow down, though the population will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

U.N. forecasts suggest the world population could hit a peak of 10.1 billion by 2100 before beginning to decline. But exact numbers are hard to come by — just small variations in fertility rates could mean a population of 15 billion by the end of the century.

Produced by Adam Cole
Cinematography by Maggie Starbard