Water facilities

  • Nuclear wasteDebate over Ontario, Canada underground nuclear waste facility intensifies

    Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) proposal to construct an underground nuclear waste disposal facility near the company’s Bruce Nuclear plantand on the edge of the Great Lakes is facing growing opposition from local municipalities and environmentalists. The facility would store low and intermediate nuclear waste from OPG’s Bruce, Pickering, and Darlington nuclear facilities. Environmentalists are concerned that a leak in the underground facility would be devastating for communities which depend on water from the Great Lakes.

  • WaterU.S. corporations aware of current, future water risks

    A new survey shows that nearly 60 percent of responding companies — the majority Fortune 500 and publically traded, representing virtually every industry sector — indicated that water is poised negatively to affect business growth and profitability within five years, while more than 80 percent said it will affect their decision on where to locate facilities. This is a stark increase from only five years ago, when water issues affected business growth and profitability for less than 20 percent of responding companies.

  • WaterTotal California water supplies at near-decade low

    Advisory from UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling finds California’s statewide averages of snow, surface water, and soil moisture near 10-year lows. The threat of multi-year period of unsustainable groundwater depletion imminent if drought continues. The data show particularly steep water losses between November 2011 and November 2013, the early phase of the current drought. The researchers estimate that the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins have already lost ten cubic kilometers of fresh water in each of the last two years — equivalent to virtually all of California’s urban and household water use each year.

  • WaterUrgent action needed to save the Great Plains water supply

    Significant portions of the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest bodies of water in the United States, are at risk of drying up if it continues to be drained at its current rate.The body of water, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, spans from Texas to South Dakota and drives much of the region’s economy. Scientists are proposing alternatives that will halt and hopefully reverse the unsustainable use of water drawdown in the aquifer.

  • WaterWorld's shrinking groundwater sources in urgent need of better governance

    Groundwater makes up 97 per cent of the world’s available fresh water. Total global use is estimated by scientists at around 1,000 cubic kilometers a year, with the largest users being India, China, and the United States. Since 1900, the world has drawn down its groundwater reserves by an estimated 4,500 cubic kilometers — and demand continues to increase, especially in arid countries, which are rapidly running short of water that can be affordably extracted. Scientist has urged the world to take better care of its groundwater resources — or risk dangerous scarcities, economic impacts, and potential conflicts in coming decades.

  • WaterUpper Rio Grande to experience growing gap between water supply and demand

    Increasing temperatures and changes in the timing of snowmelt runoff could impact the amount of water available on the upper Rio Grande in the future, says a news study. Temperatures will increase four to six degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the twenty-first century, according to the climate modeling used in the study. Although the modeling projects that total annual average precipitation in the basin will not change considerably, we are likely to see a decreasing snowpack, an earlier and smaller spring snowmelt runoff and an increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of both droughts and floods.

  • WaterSeeds from Moringa oleifera trees better then chemicals for purifying water

    Clean water is essential for good health. In many countries it is still difficult to obtain clean water. Even developed countries can benefit from a process that treats waste water without addition of further synthetic chemicals. Seeds from Moringa oleifera trees can be used to purify water. Researchers have discovered that seed material can offer a more efficient purification process than conventional synthetic materials in use today.

  • WaterNew catalyst for cleanup of nitrites

    Nitrites and their more abundant cousins, nitrates, are inorganic compounds that are often found in both groundwater and surface water — a big problem, particularly for agricultural communities. The compounds are a health hazard, and the EPA places strict limits on the amount of nitrates and nitrites in drinking water. While it is possible to remove nitrates and nitrites from water with filters and resins, the process can be prohibitively expensive. Chemical engineers at Rice University have found a new catalyst that can rapidly break down nitrites.

  • WaterRising temperatures threaten Salt Lake City’s water supply

    In an example of the challenges water-strapped Western cities will face in a warming world, new research shows that every degree Fahrenheit of warming in the Salt Lake City region could mean a 1.8 to 6.5 percent drop in the annual flow of streams that provide water to the city. By midcentury, warming Western temperatures may mean that some of the creeks and streams that help slake Salt Lake City’s thirst will dry up several weeks earlier in the summer and fall.

  • WaterAquifer supplying a third of U.S. irrigated groundwater depleting quickly: study

    The High Plains Aquifer of Kansas — also called the Ogallala Aquifer — supplies 30 percent of the U.S. irrigated groundwater. New study finds that if current irrigation trends continue, 69 percent of the groundwater stored in the High Plains Aquifer will be depleted in fifty years.

  • FrackingBacteria to clean contaminated leftover water used in fracking

    Fracking is a drilling technique which uses lots of water — up to 5-7 million gallons per frack. One well may be fracked several times. The water goes in clean and comes out contaminated with organic substances that render it unfit for reuse. Purifying that water would reduce the pressure on waste disposal sites called injection wells, as well as on sites of wastewater spills. Researchers say that bacteria may someday clean leftover frack water.

  • FrackingAnalysts: arrogance, clumsiness of oil and gas industry caused fracking’s bad image

    Oil and gas industry experts say arrogance, secrecy, and poor communication by the drilling industry have led to public anger over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. These experts are calling for fracking companies to release more information to alleviate public concerns about the relationship between the drilling technology and water contamination.

  • WaterWell water contaminants highest near natural gas drilling: study

    A new study of 100 private water wells in and near the Barnett Shale showed elevated levels of potential contaminants such as arsenic and selenium closest to natural gas extraction sites. Researchers believe the increased presence of metals could be due to a variety of factors including: industrial accidents such as faulty gas well casings; mechanical vibrations from natural gas drilling activity disturbing particles in neglected water well equipment; or the lowering of water tables through drought or the removal of water used for the hydraulic fracturing process. Any of these scenarios could release dangerous compounds into shallow groundwater.

  • WaterU.K. water industry: fracking may contaminate U.K. drinking water

    U.K. water companies have warned the shale gas industry that the quality of U.K. drinking water must be protected at all costs and fracking must not harm public health. Shale gas fracking could lead to contamination of the water supply with methane gas and harmful chemicals if not carefully planned and carried out.

  • Water infrastructureReinvestment in U.S. water infrastructure should be a top national priority

    The U.S. water infrastructure is often called the “invisible infrastructure” – a vast, largely invisible network of pipes and tunnels — nearly 1.4 million miles span across the United States, which is eight times the length of the U.S. highway system. Much of the U.S. infrastructure was built more than a century ago, and currently around 10 percent of these systems are at the end of their service life. If not addressed by 2020, this number could rise to 44 percent. A summit meeting of the U.S. water community calls on Congress to make water infrastructure a top national priority.