Showing posts from July 29, 2007

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Manila, Philippines: Rows of shanties contribute to the pollution of an inland river. A recent report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the global development network of the United Nations, noted that more than 10 million Filipinos have no access to safe drinking water, while more than 21 million lack basic sanitation.

Photograph: Mike F Alquinto/EPA

Guangxi province, China: Girls play on parched land. Last year a severe drought left more than 2.4 million people short of drinking water.

Photograph: AP

Hyderabad, India: Women struggle through a crowd to reach a mobile water tanker in a slum area.Photograph: Mahesh Kumar/AP

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya: One of thousands of dead flamingos on the dry lake bed. The number of flamingoes living on the lake had declined dramatically, a number of factors have been blamed including the receding waters of the lake, and pollution.

Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

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Pray for our Earth...And then please go out and m…

In Praise of Tap Water

In Praise of Tap Water

Published: August 1, 2007

On the streets of New York or Denver or San Mateo this summer, it seems the telltale cap of a water bottle is sticking out of every other satchel. Americans are increasingly thirsty for what is billed as the healthiest, and often most expensive, water on the grocery shelf. But this country has some of the best public water supplies in the world. Instead of consuming four billion gallons of water a year in individual-sized bottles, we need to start thinking about what all those bottles are doing to the planet’s health.

Here are the hard, dry facts: Yes, drinking water is a good thing, far better than buying soft drinks, or liquid candy, as nutritionists like to call it. And almost all municipal water in America is so good that nobody needs to import a single bottle from Italy or France or the Fiji Islands. Meanwhile, if you choose to get your recommended eight glasses a day from bottled water, you could spend up to $1,400 annually…

Lack Of Public Water Plagues Rural Tennessee

Tammy Blatt washes dishes outside near the drums of water that she and her husband, Wayne, must buy and haul twice a week, at considerable expense, since their well went dry in April. The Blatts live on a farm near Carthage in Smith County. (SHELLEY MAYS / THE TENNESSEAN)

Jason Thompson of Sumner County holds a glass of water taken from his spring. The water, which contains high levels of iron and bacteria, is not drinkable, and they have to haul water. (SHELLEY MAYS / THE TENNESSEAN)

Tina Pearson wipes tears from her face after talking about how her children might have drunk contaminated water from her well. (SHELLEY MAYS/THE TENNESSEAN)

Eva Shachno discusses the retaining pond her family uses to hold water from a creek. Her husband built a pump system to carry water to their trailer for bathing and washing clothes. (SHELLEY MAYS/THE TENNESSEAN)

Lack Of Public Water Plagues Rural Tennessee
Sunday, 07/15/07

Lack of public water plagues rural Tennessee
Cost to connect all is $1.7B; some use r…

African Mapping Highlights Risk Of Drought and Flood

African Mapping Highlights Drought and Flood

African mapping highlights risk of drought and flood
The map will help predict droughts Nell Barrie
27 July 2007
Source: SciDev.Net

The European Space Agency (ESA) has produced maps of soil moisture levels in southern Africa, and says they will help predict floods and droughts.

The maps of countries in the Southern African Development Community were published online last week (16 July) and will be available to governmental and independent organisations free of charge.

Conventional methods of measuring soil moisture are expensive and inaccurate as each measurement has to be done on-site. ESA's ENVISAT satellite measures soil moisture levels by emitting radar waves and measuring the energy bounced back by the soil.

High levels of soil moisture can lead to flooding and erosion, and low levels cause crops to wilt and die.

Annett Bartsch, project coordinator at Vienna University of Technology, Austria, explained how the maps are used. "Area…