• Protecting drinking water systems from deliberate contamination

    The importance of water and of water infrastructures to human health and to the running of the economy makes water systems likely targets for terrorism and CBRN (chemical, biological, and radionuclide) contamination. Reducing the vulnerability of drinking water systems to deliberate attacks is one of the major security challenges. An international project has developed a response program for rapidly restoring the use of drinking water networks following a deliberate contamination event.

  • Improved water purification technology reduces logistics burden

    The logistics burden of supplying water to deployed troops is comparable to that of fuel and the economic cost is high. The Department of Defense (DoD) currently relies on a number of water desalination systems to produce clean water from local sources, but all of these systems have size, weight, and power (SWaP) constraints that affect their suitability for some missions. DARPA initiated the Materials with Novel Transport Properties (MANTRA) program to improve water desalination technologies and reduce their SWaP requirements.

  • Discoveries in nanotechnology to make clean, fresh drinking water more plentiful

    The University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will begin funding a series of ambitious research collaborations that apply the latest discoveries in nanotechnology to create new materials and processes for making clean, fresh drinking water more plentiful and less expensive by 2020.

  • New microfluidic chip useful in counterterrorism, water and food safety

    A new process for making a three-dimensional microstructure that can be used in the analysis of cells could prove useful in counterterrorism measures and in water and food safety concerns. Researchers developed a new microfabrication technique to develop three-dimensional microfluidic devices in polymers. Microfluidics deals with the performance, control, and treatment of fluids that are constrained in some fashion.

  • Current methods of reducing arsenic contamination of water are not effective

    Arsenic is now recognized to be one of the world’s greatest environmental hazards, threatening the lives of several hundred million people. Naturally occurring arsenic leaches into water from surrounding rocks and once in the water supply it is both toxic and carcinogenic to anyone drinking it. New research finds that most of the current technologies used around the world to reduce arsenic contamination are ineffective.

  • Improving “crop per drop” boosts global food security, water sustainability

    New study shows increasing crop water productivity could feed an additional 110 million people while meeting the domestic water demands of nearly 1.4 billion.

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  • A majority on Earth will soon face severe, self-inflicted water shortage: scientists

    A conference of 500 leading water scientists from around the world, held last week in Bonn, issued a stark warning that, without major reforms, “in the short span of one or two generations, the majority of the nine billion people on Earth will be living under the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water, an absolutely essential natural resource for which there is no substitute. This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable.”

  • Silica particles purify water by acting as oil magnets

    Engineers develop an innovative method designed to purify water through the rapid removal of oily pollutants. The technology involves the deployment of surface engineered silica particles, which act as oil magnets in water, adsorbing oil, yet repelling water.

  • Arsenic contamination in food and water supplies

    After virtually eliminating arsenic as a useful tool for homicide, science now faces challenges in doing the same for natural sources of this fabled old “inheritance powder” that contaminates water supplies and food, threatening more than thirty-five million people worldwide.

  • Using plants for herbal defluoridation of drinking water

    A filtration system based on a medicinal herb can quickly and easily remove “fluoride” from drinking water, say researchers in India. The technology uses parts of the plant Tridax procumbens as a biocarbon filter for the ion.

  • Better management of water resources in Canada

    Canadian agriculture is faced with great opportunities, but also challenged by water — related risks and uncertainties. An expert panel convened by the Council of Canadian Academies has found that water and land resources in Canada can be more sustainably managed by developing forward — thinking policies and effective land and water management strategies, adopting effective governance mechanisms, and harnessing technological advancements.

  • Water managers can now consult new U.S. water evaporation maps

    The amount of water available for people and ecosystems is the amount of annual precipitation — that is, snow or rain — minus the amount of annual evapotranspiration.  Evapotranspiration itself is the amount of water lost to the atmosphere from the ground surface. Scientists map the long-term U.S. evapotranspiration rates for the first time.

  • The sobering reality of water security

    Agriculture is one of the world’s most insatiable consumers of water. Yet, it is facing growing competition for water from cities, industry, and recreation at a time when demand for food is rising, and water is expected to become increasingly scarce.

  • Novel technology to tackle global water challenges

    The University of Alberta will unveil new technologies its researchers and students will use to replace inadequate water purification and monitoring equipment in remote communities in Canada and India.

  • The ground is key to cleaner environment, water

    While many people recognize that clean water and air are signs of a healthy ecosystem, most do not realize that a critical part of the environment is right beneath their feet. The ground plays an important role in maintaining a clean environment by serving as a natural water filtration and purification system.