In a surprising new study, Stanford researchers have found that drought-ravaged California is sitting on top of a vast and previously unrecognized water resource, in the form of deep groundwater, residing at depths between 1,000 and nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of the state’s always thirsty Central Valley.
[...] new research could prove controversial among scientists trying to interpret what it means for a state that has battled over water, and its distribution, going back many decades. — washingtonpost.com
Gov. Jerry Brown [...] laid out a revised game plan for dealing with California’s persistent drought, making some conservation rules permanent while also moving to give communities more of a say in deciding how much water they must save.
Brown issued an executive order enshrining a conservation ethic in state regulations — banning permanently some wasteful water practices and ordering regulators to develop new water-efficiency standards designed to drive down long-term urban use. — latimes.com
The tragedy of Flint, Michigan's water crisis seems to worsen with every newly uncovered detail. As a manmade public health crisis provoked by willful denial and compromised safety standards, the entirely preventable poisoning of Flint's water supply with lead stands not only as a failure to care...
Given the threat of ongoing lead exposure and the community’s well-founded mistrust of government, should families be offered at least temporary resettlement while upgrades, repairs and enhancements are made to Flint’s badly contaminated water infrastructure?
I ask this fully aware of how unprecedented and complex such a policy would be. After all, some 9,000 young children may have been exposed to contaminated water. — Washington Post
...centralized urban water systems throughout the world are now under significant stress from increasing population density, water-resource competition, changing precipitation patterns, and new sources of pollutants, such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Even without these pressures, centralized water is, by design, a fracture-critical system—one that is susceptible “to complete and sudden collapse should any part of it fail,” writes Thomas Fisher, Assoc. AIA... — Architect Magazine
Researchers at Cranfield University in the UK have created a prototype of a toilet that works without being connected to water or sewage systems, and that can generate electricity and clean water as it composts waste. [...]
The Nano Membrane Toilet, which has been developed with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would be a kind of ‘super-toilet’, helping to improve sanitation for people without access to utilities – at present some 2.5 billion people around the world. — globalconstructionreview.com
A new study has, for the first time, estimated the total volume of groundwater present on the Earth. The results show that we're using up the water supply quicker than it can be naturally replaced, while future research will seek to determine exactly how long it will be until modern groundwater runs dry.
Groundwater is an extremely precious resource, being a key source of sustenance for humanity and the ecosystems we inhabit. — gizmag.com
“It took multiple spacecraft over several years to solve this mystery, and now we know there is liquid water on the surface of this cold, desert planet,” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.
“It seems that the more we study Mars, the more we learn how life could be supported and where there are resources to support life in the future.” — NASA
David Waggonner is an urban and environmental architect. Since Hurricane Katrina decimated his city, he’s been focusing on urban stormwater management, mapping out designs for New Orleans that would mimic the way Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam deal with water. In the Netherlands, people “invite water into the city,” meaning water is visible everywhere. [...] “In New Orleans, we’ve hidden and squandered the asset.” — theatlantic.com
A pedestrian bridge designed by Olafur Eliasson has opened in Copenhagen, inspired by the Danish-Icelandic artist's childhood in Iceland.
Reminiscent of sailing boats, Cirkelbroen, or circle bridge, is made of five circular platforms in different sizes, each with its own "mast", according to Danish foundation Nordea-fonden [...].
Spanning the Danish capital's Christianshavn canal, the bridge, some 40 meters-long (131 feet), has a section that swings open to allow boats to pass through. — reuters.com
It is a region where America, the global superpower, looks more like a developing nation [...]. Indeed, the water crisis is becoming a humanitarian one -- because the absurd agricultural policy of many arid regions in California is being carried to extremes. More recklessly than elsewhere, wetlands in the state are being dried out to make irrigated agriculture possible.
Agriculture makes up 2 percent of California's GDP, and yet it consumes 80 percent of the state's water. — spiegel.de
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