• Water technology

    Some 3,000 foreign visitors and more than 25,000 local participants are expected to attend the November 2011 WATEC, one of the world’s premier water technology events; the emphasis of this year’s conference and exhibition, the be held in Israel 15-17 November, will be on showing how water technology translates into successful projects and enterprises — both for the developed world and those at risk of severe water insecurity; there are about 400 water technology companies in Israel; 200 of them are already exporting their technologies to other countries — exports estimated to be between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion in 2010

  • Nuclear matters

    NC State researchers develops material to remove radioactive contaminants from drinking water; the material is a combination of forest byproducts and crustacean shells; the new material not only absorbs water, but can actually extract contaminates, such as radioactive iodide, from the water itself; this material, which forms a solid foam, has applications beyond radioactive materials

  • Water

    Seven European countries, containing 35 percent of the European population, face a risk of water shortfall; University College Cork will coordinate a 3 million Euro EU project for the development of novel smart sensing materials for applications in water purification technology and clinical diagnostics

  • Infrastructure

    Scientists will bio-engineer bacteria to break down large amounts of solid waste using anaerobic digestion (without oxygen) in a reactor based on existing technology used by distilleries and pharmaceutical companies; they hope to be able to capture the gas from the process to generate electricity. Because the system would not produce other waste products, they also hope it could improve wastewater treatment in the developed world

  • Water

    Alan Arakawa, the mayor of Maui County, has proposed spending nearly $44 million on water infrastructure projects in 2012, a sharp increase of $20 million from current spending levels;the budget increases would go to the Department of Water Supply which has requested funding to undertake several critical infrastructure investments; the department would allocate $10 million to rehabilitate the Waikamoi flume, which is a critical source of water for Upcountry residents; the department also wants to spend $200,000 to improve water pipelines in Paia-Haiuku and $2.3 million for Wailuku-Kahului water source improvements; council members have balked at the large budget increases needed to pay for these projects

  • Water

    This winter, heavy snowfall in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming have helped to avert a water crisis along the Colorado River; after an eleven year drought in the region, residents have begun to worry about impending water shortages; the Colorado River supplies nearly thirty million people in seven states with drinking water as well as Mexico; the heavy snows could bring only a brief moment of respite; with demand exceeding supplies and with each year bringing less water, there is potential for a future disaster; if supplies continue to decline, water deliveries will be reduced when Lake Mead’s water level drops below 1,075 feet; as of 1 February, Lake Mead’s water level was at 1,091feet

  • Next year water infrastructure projects and programs are expected to see massive budget cuts as President Obama has proposed slashing infrastructure spending at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) will see nearly $400 million cuts and the Clean Water SRF will be cut nearly $600 million; according to Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, these cuts in SRF budgets reflect a return to a more “sustainable level”; states worry that cuts will make it difficult to fund future infrastructure upgrades; reports have shown that the United States faces a $500 billion shortfall for water infrastructure funding over the next twenty years

  • Water

    Contaminated drinking water is the world’s leading killer with more than 3.4 million people a year, including two million children, dying from water borne diseases; to help combat these preventable deaths, one Australian university student has designed an affordable solution to provide clean drinking water to people across the world; the device, called the Solarball, can provide up to three liters of clean water a day by harnessing the energy from the sun; the Solarball can be manufactured cheaply, is simple to use, and made of durable materials; it was designed specifically for use by people in hot, wet, tropical climates

  • The water we drink

    As the United States ramps up its natural gas production, water supplies are at risk as treatment plants are not equipped to handle the chemical laden waste water produced from the drilling process; New York is finalizing guidelines for drilling companies using the hydrofracking process; few water processing plants in New York are capable of filtering out the corrosive salts from the millions of gallons of waste water; treatment plants are hesitant to make the necessary upgrades to handle the waste water as it would cost them millions of dollars; the facilities also worry that even with upgrades they may not be able to treat the water properly

  • The water we drink

    America’s largest underground coal mining company, Consol Energy, is constructing a $200 million water treatment plant in West Virginia, after being fined $5.5 million by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); in 2009 discharge from Consol’s mining operation caused a toxic golden algae bloom that killed aquatic life along thirty miles of Dunkard Creek; the advanced waste water treatment plant will be the largest facility in Appalachia; the plant will be capable of treating 3,500 gallons of water per minute and will remove more than forty-three tons of dissolved solids, including eleven million pounds of chloride

  • The water we drink

    By fall 2007, during the second year of a three-year drought, Atlanta had roughly three months’ supply of water remaining while Athens, Georgia was down to approximately fifty days; another drought dramatically lowered New York City reservoirs to 33 percent of capacity in 1981; droughts in those cities and their surrounding regions were typically longer and more frequent centuries ago than they were for most of the twentieth century; a return to historic climate patterns would bring more frequent and prolonged droughts

  • Infrastructure

    The city of Lodi, California is in the midst of building a new $36 million water treatment plant, and is considering privatizing the facility; the new plant will open in 2012 and provide the city with one-third of its drinking water; Lodi is in a tight financial situation and is considering methods to reduce costs like privatizing the new treatment plant; the treatment facility is expected to cost $1.8 million to operate annually with an additional $1 million for payroll; Lodi residents have proposed that the city hire a private company to save money on payroll

  • The water we drink

    A $250 million wastewater treatment plant in North Las Vegas suffered a major setback after county commissioners denied the plant’s request to use county land; the city had planned to route treated water through unincorporated county territory and pay the county $50,000 a year, but the county voted six to one against the plan; county commissioners say that the city has not been cooperative; commissioners were particularly upset about the city’s lucrative deal with Nellis Air Force Base that would take $1.25 million in revenues from the county each year; the plant has been under construction for years and needed the use of a Clark County pipeline to operate

  • GovSec 2011

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to roll out its new Community-Based Water Resiliency (CBWR) Electronic Tool this spring; the tool is designed to give organizations in charge of critical water infrastructure a way to assess their community’s ability to continue delivering water in the event of service disruptions and enhance resiliency; a major natural disaster or terrorist attack could leave large portions of a state without access to drinking water for months; Matthew Everett from the EPA will be present at the upcoming Government and Security Expo to discuss the EPA’s new initiative; the conference will be held from 29 March to 31 March in Washington, D.C.

  • The water we drink

    Last Tuesday, a man convicted of defrauding the U.S military of millions of dollars on water purification contracts requested the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out his 210-month sentence because a key witness was unable to testify; Richard E. Long was convicted of bribery, wire fraud, and money laundering for WATEC, Inc., a Tennessee based firm that provides water purification services to the military; Long accepted $550,000 in bribes in exchange for rewarding contracts worth as much as $66 million to WATEC, Inc.

  • The water we drink

    Within a generation, water demand in many countries is forecast to exceed supply by an estimated 40 percent.
    In other parts of the world prone to flooding, catastrophic floods normally expected once a century could occur every twenty years instead; meanwhile, spending on technologies and services to discover, manage, filter, disinfect, and desalinate water, improve infrastructure and distribution, mitigate flood damage, and reduce water consumption by households, industry, and agriculture is expected to rise to a trillion dollars annually by 2020

  • The water we drink

    Even without the effects of climate change, as much as 40 percent of the world’s population will be living under water scarce conditions by 2020; climate change is expected to influence future water scarcity through regional changes in precipitation and evaporation; most climate models suggest rainfall is likely to decrease in the subtropics and increase in mid-latitudes and some parts of the tropics; in the latter, mitigation efforts could actually reduce the amount of extra water potentially available

  • The water we drink

    Global demand for water is projected to exceed supplies by 40 percent in 2030, and Canada may be the answer to minimizing water shortages; it is estimated that in the next twenty years, one third of the world will only have half the water it needs to cover daily needs; to prevent these shortages, researchers are scrambling to develop technologies and practices to reduce water consumption, discover new re-processing techniques, and improve infrastructure; Canada’s water experts are well-suited to assist in this effort as they have gained valuable experience from managing 9 percent of the world’s fresh water supplies

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that an old metal recycling plant in Oxnard, California, now a federal Superfund site, was leaking lead, zinc, and other dangerous chemicals into nearby wetlands; when the plant closed, it left nearly 700,000 cubic yards of unattended waste laden with heavy metals and small amounts of radioactive thorium; high costs have hindered cleanup efforts and local residents have become frustrated with the drawn out efforts; the wetlands that are endangered by the old metal recycling plant are located in Ormand Beach and are home to several rare and endangered species

  • The water we drink

    Recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents show that Pennsylvania’s drinking water has been contaminated with radioactive waste from natural gas drilling; energy companies have been extracting natural gas with a new drilling technique called “hydrofracking”; this process results in millions of gallons of wastewater that is contaminated with dangerous chemicals like highly corrosive salts, carcinogens, and radioactive elements; EPA documents reveal the process has been contaminating drinking water supplies across the country with radioactive waste; in Pennsylvania more than 1.3 billion gallons of radioactive wastewater was trucked to plants that could not process out the toxins before it released the water into drinking supplies