• Securing the California Delta's levees before a major earthquake

    In the event of a major earthquake or flood and many levees failing simultaneously in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, as many as 515,000 residents and 520,000 acres of land would be in immediate danger; the long term effects could be even more widespread, as nearly 28 million residents depend on the Delta for water and irrigation; California lawmakers have increasingly turned their attention to securing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s levees, but experts say that only little progress has been made

  • Florida City to inject treated sewage directly into underground aquifer

    Florida’s Biscayne Aquifer has begun to run low and communities are exploring alternative sources of water as well as methods to stretch existing sources; the city of Pembroke Pines plans to inject treated sewage water 60 to 200 feet below ground directly into underground aquifers rather than use the existing practice of pumping treated water into nearby wetlands, lakes, or fields, where it will slowly trickle down into the aquifer over several months or years

  • Arizona County to fingerprint employees with access to sensitive facilities

    Pima County, Arizona, is moving to fingerprint more employees who work with kids and populations who need special assistance, who deal with sensitive data, or who have access to critical infrastructure facilities such as wastewater treatment plants; “We don’t want guys with criminal backgrounds knowing how our radio system is constructed. The same with wastewater, which could be compromised,” John Moffatt, the county’s director of Strategic Technology Planning, said

  • Wastewater treatment lowers pathogen levels

    New analysis shows that pathogens levels in municipal water have dropped since the implementation of federal regulations on treating sewage in 1993; these treatment guidelines have proven to be extremely effective with 94 percent to 99 percent of all pathogens in biosolids eliminated after wastewater treatment

  • Seaweed: the new trend in water purification

    UConn biologist Charles Yarish is turning his enthusiasm for seaweed into a new system for cleaning up waterways; Yarish’s most recent endeavor will use seaweeds to clean up pollution from human sources, as well as waste from fish and even people; this approach, dubbed extractive aquaculture or bioextraction, promises to use the physiological properties of seaweeds and other organisms to clean up excess nutrients in polluted areas, making them healthier, more productive, and more economically viable

  • Freshwater sustainability challenges shared by Southwest and Southeast

    Twenty-five years ago, environmentalist Marc Reisner published Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, which predicted that water resources in the West would be unable to support the growing demand of cities, agriculture, new research offers new support for most of Reisner’s conclusions, using data and methods unavailable to him in 1986

  • Haiti's escalating crises come down to lack of clean water

    Haiti’s corrupt and indifferent government has done little to improve water and sanitation since a 12 January earthquake, making it likely that the cholera epidemic there will continue to spread; even before the quake, more than a third of Haitians lacked access to clean water; now, more than two-thirds of Haitians have no access to clean water; less than one-fifth of the population has access to a simple latrine or toilet

  • Nature's desalination: bacteria turn salty water fresh

    The growing global shortage of water has led to a growing interest in desalination to produce fresh water from seas and estuaries; conventional desalination plants, however, consume large amounts of energy; the solution: a bug-powered desalination cell that takes salt out of seawater

  • One in five global businesses affected by growing water shortages

    Experts say that by 2030 global water demand would outstrip supply by 40 percent; a new survey reveals that we do not have to wait that long: drought, shortages, flooding, and rising prices are already damaging companies in water-intensive industries

  • China to push sea water thousands of miles inland

    Chinese officials say they have a found a solution to uninhabitable deserts of Xinjiang in west china: pump raw sea water thousands of miles from the coast to fill Xinjiang’s dried-up salt lakes and desert basins in the hope that it will evaporate and encourage rainfall over drought-stricken areas of northern and northwestern China; the sea water would be carried through a pipeline made of plastic and fiberglass; water experts have condemned the proposal

  • Crumbling water infrastructure needs investment boost

    Water pipes and treatment systems in the United States are in a sorry state, but nearly two-thirds of voters and just over half of businesses would be willing to pay more for their water to ensure its quality and availability; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that at the current rate of investment, the funding gap for water infrastructure could grow to as much as $224 billion by 2022

  • Rubber dam at Tempe Town Lake bursts, emptying lake overnight

    An inflatable rubber dam (called “bladder”) on Tempe’s Town Lake exploded, sending a wall of water into the Salt River bed; at least three-quarters of the about one billion gallons of water had drained overnight; those parts of the rubber dam which are wet have held up, but a plan to keep those parts of the dam which are above water failed, exposing the rubber to scorching sun that has damaged the material

  • Siemens's leak location and monitoring system reduces losses in drinking water supplies

    Precise knowledge of water losses is essential for operating and planning the maintenance of drinking water networks efficiently; Siemens’s new solution not only continuously checks for leaks, but also pinpoints them automatically; this is done by setting up district metering areas, in which the inflows and outflows of water are measured by ultrasonic flow meters

  • New sensor speeds water analysis

    New sensor creates a single procedure for in-situ monitoring of chlorinated hydrocarbons in water, obviating the need for laboratory-based technologies for the analysis of water contaminants, which are time consuming, labor intensive and expensive

  • Flooding risks along the Mississippi River underestimated by Army Corps of Engineers

    Scientists argue that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in an effort to correct old data on water flows in the Mississippi, may have led to underestimates of the current risk of flooding on the Mississippi between the Ohio and Missouri Rivers, and to inadequate preparations by government agencies