Water Technology / Treatment

  • Desalination losing ground as a solution to California’s chronic water shortage

    According to the July 2011 census, more than thirty-seven million people live in California, increasing the pressure on the state’s water sources; desalinating sea water as a solution to the scarcity of fresh water is not a new technology — it has been around for more than four decades — but it has more recently been considered as a way to address California’s chronic, and growing, water shortage; a closer examination of the technology and its cost has cooled the initial enthusiasm for it

  • Exploring solutions to growing water shortages

    Most Americans do not pay much attention to how much water they use when they take a shower or when they water the grass, but Michael Sullivan, a global executive at IBM thinks this will change; “Water is a finite resource,” Sullivan told a panel in a conference on water policy; “What we’re dealing with is that there’s a finite supply, and as the population grows and industry grows, we’re stressing that finite supply”

  • Nanotechnology sensor detects mercury in water, fish

    When mercury is dumped into rivers and lakes, the toxic heavy metal can end up in the fish we eat and the water we drink; to help protect consumers from the diseases and conditions associated with mercury, researchers have developed a nanoparticle system that is sensitive enough to detect even the smallest levels of heavy metals in our water and fish

  • Many Americans exposed to drinking water-related gastrointestinal illness

    More than 100 million people in the United States rely on water piped into homes, schools, and businesses from public water systems that get their water from wells, rather than lakes, rivers, and other above-ground sources; much of that water either is not disinfected at all or is not adequately disinfected to kill disease-causing viruses

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  • Students create low-cost biosensor to detect contaminated water

    Diarrheal disease is the second-leading cause of death in children under five years old — killing as many as 1.5 million children worldwide every year; these startling statistics from the World Health Organization (2009) point to the reason why a group of undergraduate students from Arizona State University is working to develop a low-cost biosensor — a simple device that would detect contaminated drinking water

  • Trade-offs between water for food and for curbing climate change

    Earth’s growing human population needs fresh water for drinking and food production. Fresh water, however, is also needed for the growth of biomass, which acts as a sink of carbon dioxide and thus could help mitigate climate change. Does the Earth have enough freshwater resources to meet these competing demands?

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  • Water research thrives as discrepancy between supply and demand for water grows

    The growing discrepancy between supply and demand for water is becoming more challenging each year; developments in water research have the potential to help solve this issue; a new report examines the dynamics of global water research between 2007 and 2011; the analysis highlights the role interdisciplinary and international collaboration plays in the production of high impact water research

  • Bacteria in tap water traced to the water treatment process

    Most of the bacteria that remain in drinking water when it gets to the tap can be traced to filters used in the water treatment process, rather than to the aquifers or rivers where they originated; the findings could open the door to more sustainable water treatment processes that use fewer chemicals and, as a result, produce lower levels of byproducts that may pose health risks; eventually, the work could enable engineers to control the types of microbes in drinking water to improve human health

  • Toilet Challenge, 1: Caltech’s solar-powered toilet wins Reinvent Toilet Challenge

    The World Health Organization reports that 2.5 billion people around the globe are without access to sanitary toilets, which results in the spread of deadly diseases; every year, 1.5 million people, mostly those under the age of five, die from diarrhea; Caltech scientist awarded grant to develop solar-powered sanitation system

  • Toilet Challenge, 2: Loughborough’s hydrocarbonization design wins second Reinvent the Toilet Challenge prize

    Researchers from Loughborough University, located in Leicestershire, United Kingdom , won second prize in the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge; their toilet uses a process called Continuous Thermal Hydrocarbonization which kills all pathogens to create safe to handle, valuable material and uses power from heat generated during processing

  • Toilet Challenge, 3: U Toronto wins toilet challenge third place for sand filter and UV-ray design

    The U of T solution is novel in its simplicity. It uses a sand filter and UV-ray disinfecting chamber to process liquid waste and a smolder chamber, similar to a charcoal barbeque, to incinerate solid waste that has been flattened and dried in a roller/belt assembly

  • Wastewater key to addressing growing global water shortage

    Parched cities and regions across the globe are using sewage effluent and other wastewater in creative ways to augment drinking water, but four billion people still do not have adequate supplies, and that number will rise in coming decades

  • World facing increasingly challenging water situation

    New measure developed for sustainability of global groundwater water supply points to overuse of water in Asia and North America; approximately 1.7 billion people, most residing in Asia, live in areas where groundwater resources or groundwater-dependent ecosystems are under threat


  • California’s hydropower is vulnerable to climate change

    Fifteen percent of California’s electricity comes from hydropower, a cheap and relatively clean energy source; .about 75 percent of this hydropower comes from high-elevation units, located above 1,000 ft.; with most of them located in Northern California and the Sierra Mountains; if California loses snowpack under climate warming, these high-elevation reservoirs might not be able to store enough water for hydropower generation in summer months when the demand is much higher

  • Researcher wins public interest award for research into water safety

    Virginia Tech professor wins prestigious public service award for research work which found that many homes in the nation’s capital were receiving water contaminated with lead leached from city pipes to an extent far exceeding acceptable industry levels; the amount of lead in the water likely put several thousand people, especially children, at risk, yet government agencies, including CDC, used faulty data and analysis to hide the risks