Water Technology / Treatment

  • Chemical spillsW.Va. residents still wary about their drinking water

    The January 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia, which contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 residents, has changed how residents use public water. Authorities claimed the water was safe for consumption on 13 January, since MCHM levels had dropped below a federal safety threshold of one part per million. Residents remain skeptical, with some collecting rain water, and other relying on clean water distributed by non-profits.

  • 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.

  • WaterInternational food trade can alleviate water scarcity

    International trade of food crops led to freshwater savings worth $2.4 billion in 2005 and had a major impact on local water stress, a new study finds. Trading food involves the trade of virtually embedded water used for production, and the amount of that water depends heavily on the climatic conditions in the production region: It takes, for instance, 2,700 liters of water to produce one kilo of cereals in Morocco, while the same kilo produced in Germany uses up only 520 liters. The researchers found that it is not the amount of water used that counts most, but the origin of the water.

  • WaterNew technique allows better monitoring of water quality

    Researchers have developed a new technique that uses existing technology to allow researchers and natural resource managers to collect significantly more information on water quality to better inform policy decisions. In addition to its utility for natural resource managers, the technique will also allow researchers to develop more sophisticated models that address water quality questions.

  • WaterPeople want to save water, but do not know how

    Many Americans are confused about the best ways to conserve water and have a slippery grasp on how much water different activities use, according to a national online survey. Experts say the best strategy for conserving water is to focus on efficiency improvements such as replacing toilets and retrofitting washing machines. The largest group of the participants, however, nearly 43 percent, cited taking shorter showers, which does save water but may not be the most effective action.

  • Water securityThe combination of drought and warming climate places severe strain on California’s water supply

    As stores of water in the West are reduced — whether by usage in drought, evapotranspiration in heat, or both — warming temperatures also see the snowpack on the wane. The two phenomena together could put severe strain on water supplies, with implications for ecosystems, industries, and people alike. Even at their most severe, the droughts of decades and centuries past did not occur in tandem with today’s degree of temperature change or have to contend with the demands of a population that in California alone now numbers above thirty-eight million residents. As needs for water grow ever greater, so, too, do the potential threats to its supply.

  • Contamination clean-upCarbon nanotube sponge helps in water clean-up

    A carbon nanotube sponge capable of soaking up water contaminants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, more than three times more efficiently than previous efforts has been presented in a new study published today. The carbon nanotube (CNT) sponges, uniquely doped with sulphur, also demonstrated a high capacity to absorb oil, potentially opening up the possibility of using the material in industrial accidents and oil spill clean-ups.

  • 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.

  • WaterNatural gas saves water, reduces drought vulnerability

    A new study finds that in Texas, the U.S. state that annually generates the most electricity, the transition from coal to natural gas for electricity generation is saving water and making the state less vulnerable to drought. Even though exploration for natural gas through hydraulic fracturing requires significant water consumption in Texas, the new consumption is easily offset by the overall water efficiencies of shifting electricity generation from coal to natural gas. The researchers estimate that water saved by shifting a power plant from coal to natural gas is 25 to 50 times as great as the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing to extract the natural gas.

  • 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.

  • EnergyWater shortage hobbles expansion of shale gas drilling

    Many point to the large reserves of shale gas as promising U.S. energy independence in the near future. Extracting shale gas, however, requires huge amounts of water, and growing water shortages have already led to conflicts over water use between shale gas developers and farmers. Such conflicts are only going to intensify.

  • WaterQuick ID for water pathogens

    By Anthony King

    New research purports to help people stay healthy by developing a real-time water bug testing that could precisely identify the culprits responsible for waterborne disease.