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Old August 15th, 2007, 03:53 PM   #21
Macca-GC
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South East Queensland is now on Level 5 water restrictions which include:

Residents are being asked to make significant indoor water use savings - such as 4 minute showers. Specific restrictions include:

Gardens - only water existing gardens with buckets or watering cans on allocated days between 4pm–7pm. You can use tank or grey water at anytime.
Vehicles - only use a bucket to spot clean mirrors, lights, glass and number plates
Pools - From 1 July, only top up existing swimming pools from town water as a last resort and only where a rainwater tank or downpipe rainwater diverter is fitted and the premises complies with three of the following - a swimming pool cover, water efficient taps and showerheads, water efficient toilets, water efficient washing machine
New or renovated pools - may only be filled with water sourced from areas not under Level 5 restrictions (ie brought in by truck)
High water users – must submit a water use assessment form to audit their water use and identify saving opportunities.

Residents are being asked to use less than 140L per person, per day, and households less than 800L per day.

Businesses have been required to submit water conservation plans

Brisbane's dams are down to 16.79% and falling at about 1% per month.

The Gold Coast was using approximately 280 Million Litres per day in 2001. We're now down to using between 130 and 140 Million litres per day, despite our population having grown by about 70,000 people over that period.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PresidentBjork View Post
Wow, that's really bad, the Mediterranean has really been suffering from a brutally hot summer.
Related to that here in Britain it's been an exceedingly wet summer (goddamn lazy Azores high), but drought has been an ever increasing problem over the past few years here too.
thanks to that, we had the wettest summer ever. lol. Although it can't be compared with Britain obviously. And no single heat wave, this morning even rained a bit (remember it is August it is not suppose to rain at all), although now it is very sunny and really hot.

We had severe water shortage in the drought years, people should not forget it, despite the mild and wet 2007. So they should be happy and fill some reservoirs with water, cause this is just an abnormal year, and spring was hot! Some mainland hotels in the Algarve started using water from the ocean, using a machine, for gardening. This is important cause gardens were very hardly affected during the drought, and if in drought that water can be used to human consumption. Until now, in Portugal, those machines were only available in the Island of Porto Santo, a arid small dune island near Madeira. The new dam in Alentejo is also important for that area (the hottest and driest of Portugal), that is suffering desertification, they plan to cultivate sugar cane and soy beans for biodeasel and some resorts will make it greener in the near future.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 03:12 AM   #23
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Singapore teams up with WHO to improve water management


16 Aug 07



MORE than 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to safe water could benefit from Singapore's expertise, with the signing of an agreement yesterday between the Singapore government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to jointly promote safe management of drinking water.


The agreement was signed in Stockholm at the annual World Water Week conference, where PUB Singapore was awarded the Stockholm Industry Water Award for its exemplary model of water management.

The agreement runs till 2015 and will see the WHO work with Singapore to improve procedures in several areas. These include the safe use of wastewater for direct and indirect drinking, intra-urban water catchment management, desalination and advanced chemical treatment of waste or sea-water, and the ability of a country's drinking water infrastructure to withstand disruptions or restrictions in supply.

The WHO and Singapore will collaborate on research and organise workshops for capacity building in Asia. Singapore will also second its experts and government officers to the WHO, host conferences, and support the WHO's response to regional chemical contamination of water resources.

Worldwide, more than 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water.

Over 1.6 million people lose their lives each year because they lack access to safe water and sanitation, with 90 per cent of the deaths occurring among children under five in developing countries, a government release said.

Separately, PUB said it has received over $3 million in sponsorship money towards the Singapore International Water Week, which will be held for the first time in June next year.

Players like Black and Veatch, Dayen, Hyflux, Keppel Corp, Salcon, Semb-Corp Industries, United Engineers and Veolia Water have been the first to come on board as founding sponsors, while the Singapore Millennium Foundation has pledged $1.5 million over five years for the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, said PUB chief executive Khoo Teng Chye.

By MATTHEW PHAN
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:34 AM   #24
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Converting waste water into drinkable water is a very controversial scheme despite the existence of technology to do so. It's a huge public relations nightmare.

They key to reducing the impact of water shortages is to conserve. Having an alternate source of water will only do so much when people continue to waste.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RafflesCity View Post
Singapore teams up with WHO to improve water management


16 Aug 07



MORE than 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to safe water could benefit from Singapore's expertise, with the signing of an agreement yesterday between the Singapore government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to jointly promote safe management of drinking water.


The agreement was signed in Stockholm at the annual World Water Week conference, where PUB Singapore was awarded the Stockholm Industry Water Award for its exemplary model of water management.

The agreement runs till 2015 and will see the WHO work with Singapore to improve procedures in several areas. These include the safe use of wastewater for direct and indirect drinking, intra-urban water catchment management, desalination and advanced chemical treatment of waste or sea-water, and the ability of a country's drinking water infrastructure to withstand disruptions or restrictions in supply.

The WHO and Singapore will collaborate on research and organise workshops for capacity building in Asia. Singapore will also second its experts and government officers to the WHO, host conferences, and support the WHO's response to regional chemical contamination of water resources.

Worldwide, more than 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water.

Over 1.6 million people lose their lives each year because they lack access to safe water and sanitation, with 90 per cent of the deaths occurring among children under five in developing countries, a government release said.

Separately, PUB said it has received over $3 million in sponsorship money towards the Singapore International Water Week, which will be held for the first time in June next year.

Players like Black and Veatch, Dayen, Hyflux, Keppel Corp, Salcon, Semb-Corp Industries, United Engineers and Veolia Water have been the first to come on board as founding sponsors, while the Singapore Millennium Foundation has pledged $1.5 million over five years for the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, said PUB chief executive Khoo Teng Chye.

By MATTHEW PHAN
Its amazing why other countries are not yet adopting this technology which has literally been perfected. Because of some stigma (which for me disappears when they mix recycled water with rain water in a reservoir), they rather deprive themselves of a critical water resource and continue to pray for rain and pray for people to save water. That's just wishful thinking. In a perfect society, we won't need new water resources, our current supplies are already enough.

The issue of water woes will only be solved if people both save water and invest in new water technologies altogether. Depending on a single one alone (as in the case of most countries) is useless. Maximise gain minimise loss. Unfortunately some countries don't even adopt any of the two practices above.

Since we can't ensure every drop of water is not wasted, we can ensure every single drop of water wasted is recycled. Even if water is wasted, at least we know "honestly" its being recycled, instead of being not wasted. Wasting a bit of water is worse than Wasting more water and recycling the wasted water.

Last edited by ignoramus; August 16th, 2007 at 10:50 AM.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #26
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Its amazing why other countries are not yet adopting this technology which has literally been perfected. Because of some stigma (which for me disappears when they mix recycled water with rain water in a reservoir), they rather deprive themselves of a critical water resource and continue to pray for rain and pray for people to save water. That's just wishful thinking. In a perfect society, we won't need new water resources, our current supplies are already enough.

The issue of water woes will only be solved if people both save water and invest in new water technologies altogether. Depending on a single one alone (as in the case of most countries) is useless. Maximise gain minimise loss. Unfortunately some countries don't even adopt any of the two practices above.

Since we can't ensure every drop of water is not wasted, we can ensure every single drop of water wasted is recycled. Even if water is wasted, at least we know "honestly" its being recycled, instead of being not wasted. Wasting a bit of water is worse than Wasting more water and recycling the wasted water.
Re-using wastewater will not solve water shortages due to drought. It is not a long-term solution since efficiency is not perfect when wastewater is pushed through the process. If a region sees a prolonged drought, then they ought to adopt a more conservative approach to usage since maintaining existing consumption levels with decreasing returns from recycling will still cause a usage problem.

The next issue comes with industrial use. How easy is it to convert the chemicals-laden wastewater into something drinkable? Is the cost worth it? Regular household wastewater wouldn't be hard to filter through, but for a large city, the industrial component would make up a sizeable portion of wastewater.

The problem with water shortages these days is typically due to cyclical changes to weather patterns. It might be dry this year but it could flood next year. The variability of weather patterns these days makes such an expensive investment in renewable water technologies unsustainable. Singapore launched the water recycling scheme because Malaysia threatened to stop exporting water, not because of a hedging strategy for drought or weather-related disasters.

The key to solving our water woes is education, conservation, and exploration of new technologies. The first two are easy to do. The third one won't be useful unless it is quite certain the existing sources have been exhausted, which is unconvincing without a few decades of empirical data.

Paying the money to build something that won't solve the problem is indeed wishful thinking.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #27
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Enough water here.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Its amazing why other countries are not yet adopting this technology which has literally been perfected. Because of some stigma (which for me disappears when they mix recycled water with rain water in a reservoir), they rather deprive themselves of a critical water resource and continue to pray for rain and pray for people to save water. That's just wishful thinking. In a perfect society, we won't need new water resources, our current supplies are already enough.

The issue of water woes will only be solved if people both save water and invest in new water technologies altogether. Depending on a single one alone (as in the case of most countries) is useless. Maximise gain minimise loss. Unfortunately some countries don't even adopt any of the two practices above.

Since we can't ensure every drop of water is not wasted, we can ensure every single drop of water wasted is recycled. Even if water is wasted, at least we know "honestly" its being recycled, instead of being not wasted. Wasting a bit of water is worse than Wasting more water and recycling the wasted water.
On the contrary, I believe there is a rapidly growing global interest in harnessing technologies like NEWater to diversify water sources to tackle the issue, more so with the increasingly unpredictable climate and increasing urbanization. As with with new technologies and concepts, education is key to gaining widespread public acceptance. The emphasis of recycling should be stressed. Personally I did baulk at the idea a few years back, but not anymore. For your info, NEWater is now being supplied to many of the major shopping centres in Orchard Rd and gradually islandwide.

Singapore lends expertise in wastewater management to Queensland

11 Apr 07



SINGAPORE : Singapore's expertise in the water industry has gained international recognition.

Besides lending its experience in wastewater management to Queensland, Australia, it is also hosting an international event next year where key global players will meet.

Recycled water, known here as NEWater, has helped Singapore ensure its water sustainability.

Now the state of Queensland in Australia will be doing the same.

At a summit on desalination and water re-use in Singapore, a minister from Queensland said by the end of next year, the Australian state will use recycled water as part of drinking water.

It will pump recycled water into its dams and reservoirs, before piping it to homes - similar to what Singapore is doing.

It has been getting advice from Singapore, with one of PUB's top engineers sitting on its panel of international experts.

Harry Seah from PUB's Director for Technology Office has been an advisor on Queensland's Expert Advisory Panel set up by the state's Water Commission since early this year.

"We've been working especially with the PUB on implementation of water recycling in Queensland, using some of their previous expertise and get the NEWater scheme up and running," says Craig Wallace, Minister for Natural Resources and Water, Queensland, Australia.

"That's part of my visit - to attend the water summit and to have a look at some of the NEWater factories and see the regulation in use. We'll certainly be using that expertise and also the expertise Singapore played in rolling out the projects."

In getting its people to accept the idea, Queensland held a public education programme to address some concerns about using recycled water as well as help residents overcome the "yuck" factor.

"Before the process is explained, some people do have some impressions which are incorrect, and unfortunately are peddled by some people in our community who want to give the wrong impression. But I think the public of Queensland, as the public of Singapore has shown, will be too smart for those peddlers of misinformation," says Mr Wallace.

"We can demonstrate that the water is pure and clean. It will be a major boost not only for our drinking water supply in south east Queensland but also industrial supplies."

Mr Wallace says 70% of its population has given the idea the thumbs up.

Queensland has been recycling 13% of its wastewater, but that is primarily used for irrigation of golf courses, sugar cane plantations, pastures and other industry.

This is the first time it is using recycled water for potable use.

The state has been facing acute water shortage as a result of Australia's worst drought in more than a century.

Besides Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory is also exploring the use of recycled water as part of its drinking supply.

Mr Wallace adds the state will be building an education centre on water recycling, similar to the NEWater Visitor Centre in Bedok, to educate residents and children on the topic.

Meanwhile, Singapore will be hosting another international water event next year.

The Singapore International Water Week, to be held in June, aims to create business and technology networking opportunities among water experts.

There will also be fun-filled water festival that will have activities which bring Singaporeans and the international participants together.

"The highlight of the Singapore Water Week will be an international water prize. It will be awarded to individuals who have applied innovative technologies to solve water problems or implemented effective policies that have significantly improved living conditions," says Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

"This prize recognises the real, wide-scale benefits that have been achieved through innovation and effective management."

Details of the prize will be announced later, but PUB says it will most likely be in cash form, similar to the annual Stockholm Water Prize.

Water is an important resource globally and the Singapore government has identified water and the environment as a key growth sector. It has allocated some $330 million over the next five years to promote R&D in this industry.

The Singapore Desalination and Water Reuse Leadership Summit, which will be on till Thursday, is attended by more than 100 global leaders.

It aims to promote awareness of global issues on water reuse and desalination among participants, and provide a platform to share best practices.

Delegates will also get to tour Singapore's water recycling plants and visit the NEWater Visitor Centre in Bedok.


Hasnita A Majid, Channel NewsAsia
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #29
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City's water supply in dire straits
23 July 2007
Hong Kong Standard

Hong Kong could begin to feel the pinch of increased water demand in the mainland as early as five years from now, an academic has warned.

Hong Kong University associate professor of geography Frederick Lee Yok-shiu said he estimates mainland authorities may decrease the supply to Hong Kong in favor of Pearl River Delta cities such as Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou within the next five to seven years.

"Five, six, or seven years down the line, increasing competition may lead to a change in the way water [from Guangdong] is going to be distributed among the different cities," Lee told The Standard.

WWF Hong Kong senior conservation officer Alan Leung Sze-lun said: "It would obviously affect daily life."

The Organization for Economic Co- operation and Development released a report last week highlighting the mainland's dire water situation among its myriad other economic woes that have been exacerbated by unbridled economic development. "Among the 600 larger cities, 400 suffer from water shortages," the report said.

China has one of the lowest water resources per capita in the world, and also faces severe pollution of many of its water sources that poses a "major threat to human health."

The report added: "China's water situation is of high concern ... Many water courses, lakes and coastal waters are severely polluted as a result of agricultural, industrial and domestic discharges."

Leung said the water shortage is exacerbated by heavy pollution in Guangdong. Though the region receives adequate rainfall, the rivers are increasingly polluted, thus further depleting reserves.

The mainland's shortage has yet to affect Hong Kong, and changes would not occur until at least the end of next year because of an agreement signed by Guangdong suppliers in 2006 guaranteeing an unchanging water supply to Hong Kong.

"In the foreseeable future, the next four to five years, there will be no problems," Water Supplies Department senior engineer Suen Kwok-keung said.

Suen would not say whether he expects prices to rise when the agreement lapses and the two regions renegotiate next year, but he said the city is investigating alternatives to mainland supply.

The department is currently studying alternative water resources in its Total Water Management Program, including desalinization of seawater.

But the high cost of desalinization may place it low on the list of immediate options to address an impending water problem.

Suen said desalinized water costs HK$7.80-HK$8.40 per cubic meter compared with the HK$4.50 per cubic meter cost of imported water plus treatment. Such a price disparity, coupled with significant government subsidies of imported water, may shelve desalinization until the situation becomes dire. "If the cost of water rises dramatically, it makes desalinization financially viable," Lee said.

Other options include a water recycling program on a city and household level. Lee advocates such a water recycling system, whereby "gray" water, or household wastewater, could be processed and reused as nonpotable water.

The program, according to Lee, would need to be legally mandated for all new buildings in order to have any kind of effect.

But once again, the low cost of water usage currently in the city makes a fight against wastage difficult.

"Right now, water's too cheap for this kind of initiative," Lee said.

He suggests the government cut its 50 percent subsidy of water for city consumers, though he admits that politically it would be "an extremely unpopular move."

In the short term, raising public awareness about water scarcity may be the most feasible move.

Lawmaker Choy So-yuk said the "fastest way of partially solving our water consumption problem" is to promote water saving throughout the territory. Suen said the Water Supplies Department is primarily trying to educate the city's youth before bad habits form.

His department has held public seminars and roving exhibitions at schools, sponsored promotional events with schools and children's magazines, and brought in educational visits to tour water treatment works in Hong Kong.

Choy said the government must also bear some of the burden.

"The government should immediately address this problem of meeting water demand as an issue of self- reliance," she said.

Choy said she would call for the government to conduct a comprehensive study of how to gradually solve the imminent water shortage problem, and to have a target year by which the city would rely on its own water supply.

"This is for Hong Kong's benefit in the long run," Choy said.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:52 PM   #30
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Coalition: 29 cities have agreed to conserve water
12 July 2007

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Twenty municipalities in Canada and nine in the United States have adopted a goal of reducing water consumption 15 percent by 2015, according to a coalition of Great Lakes cities.

Among the largest participants are Chicago; Grand Rapids; Buffalo, N.Y.; Hamilton, Ontario; Montreal; Rochester, N.Y.; Toledo, Ohio; and Toronto.

Eleven of the 29 municipalities already have formal water-conservation plans in place, officials at the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative said Thursday.

The Chicago-based group is a coalition of mayors and other local officials from the two neighboring nations that works with federal, state and provincial governments to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes.

The mayors within the group, which is meeting in Grand Rapids through Friday, passed a resolution last year to which municipalities could voluntarily commit that calls for the 15 percent reduction in water use. Some cities, such as Toronto, already had established conservation programs.

Toronto's plan, in place since 2001, will cost an estimated $74.3 million through 2011 but save the city more than $220 million in equivalent capital-infrastructure costs.

It's also expected to save $29 million in operating costs during the period and $4.5 million per year thereafter. The Toronto plan also will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lower residential water bills, the coalition said.

The group's representatives plan to reconvene before 2015 to develop a 2025 goal.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:52 PM   #31
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Californians urged to cut water after driest year

LOS ANGELES, July 1 (Reuters) - Southern Californians, fond of their private pools, golf courses, garden sprinklers and the ubiquitous car wash, are being urged to reform their water-guzzling ways after the region's driest year on record.

A mere 3.2 inches (8.1 cm) of rain -- less than a quarter as much as usual -- fell on downtown Los Angeles in the year beginning on July 1, 2006, the lowest since records began 130 years ago.

A hot summer of short showers is forecast to follow.

Rainfall totals were little better in other nearby cities, something experts say is a reminder that current water consumption levels seem unsustainable.

The water sources hundreds of miles away that transformed Los Angeles from a semi-arid town 100 years ago into the nation's second-largest city are also shrinking.

"We have a system that is at risk, especially if we continue to have population growth, putting people in dry places and figuring a way to overcome local water limits," said David Carle, author of "Water and the California Dream."

Local water sources would support a population of about 3 million in southern California. Yet 18 million people now live here.

The Eastern Sierra mountains, from where Los Angeles gets about half of its water supply, had its second-lowest snowpack on record this year. The Colorado River, whose waters are piped in via a 242-mile (389-km) aqueduct, is in its eighth year of drought.

Mandatory cuts are not envisaged for now, but officials have urged homeowners to cut water usage by about 10 percent, or 20 gallons (76 litres) a day.

"We have spent years preparing for years like this," said Andy Sienkiewich, resource implementation manager at the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, which serves some 18 million people.

"We have built up substantial water storage reserves, both underground and in surface water reservoirs. We have also invested heavily in waste water recycling and water conservation measures," Sienkiewich said.

SPRINKLERS WATER SIDEWALKS

Low-flush toilets and clothes washers that save up to 50 percent of water have resulted in huge savings over the years.

But the biggest challenge lies in Southern California backyards where home sprinklers keeping lawns lush and green account for as much as 70 percent of summer water use.

"What's growing in areas of Southern California is mostly not native vegetation. They have created urban forests of lawns and trees that are dependent on a whole lot of water," said Carle.

"I have seen sprinklers not only watering the grass but watering the road, the driveway and the sidewalk."

Over-watering -- not drought -- is the most common cause of plant deaths in Southern California gardens.

So-called "smart sprinklers" linked to satellite weather systems that adjust watering depending on forecast rain or clouds are on the rise.

More than 30 Los Angeles city parks are using the weather-based sprinklers but the cost and lack of mass retail distribution mean they have yet to gain widespread home use.

The MWD says it has had some success with training programs for homeowners, businesses and the building industry that encourage replacing lawns with drought resistant plants like cactus and rocks.

But water officials admit they have their work cut out for them trying to wean southern Californians off their passion for lawns.

In the last official California drought, from 1987-1993, some homeowners in Santa Barbara made headlines by painting their shriveled-up grass with green paint.

Carle said Southern California has a history of long droughts, one of them lasting 100 years, back to the 10th century.

But that was before mass population increases spurred by aqueducts built by Los Angeles engineer William Mulholland at the turn of the 20th century.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:53 PM   #32
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Desalination no answer to water crisis-WWF

GENEVA, June 19 (Reuters) - Removing salt from sea water to overcome a worldwide shortage of drinking water could end up worsening the crisis, environmental group WWF warned on Tuesday.

Desalination, the filtering and evaporation of sea water, is very energy-intensive and involves significant emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are a factor in the shrinking supplies of freshwater, the Swiss-based group said.

Spain, Saudi Arabia, Australia and other arid countries should rely more on water conservation and recycling and avoid huge desalination projects that have been linked to pollution and ecosystem damage.

"The quite possibly mistaken lure of widespread water availability from desalination ... has the potential to drive a major misdirection of public attention, policy and funds away from the pressing need to use all water wisely," it said.

Concerns about global warming, which could exacerbate droughts and erode the world's icecaps and glaciers, which provide 69 percent of global freshwater supplies, are expected to spur investments in the technology.

Some farmers have used water from desalination to grow "unsuitably thirsty crops in fundamentally dry areas," the WWF said, an unsustainable trend given its high energy costs: "It seems unlikely that desalinated agriculture is economic anywhere".

"Regions still have cheaper, better and complementary ways to supply water that are less risky to the environment," it said.

The WWF, or World Wildlife Fund, estimated there were more than 10,000 desalination plants around the world. It said the sector would likely grow exponentially in coming years as governments seek to supply water to fast-growing arid areas in the United States, India, China and elsewhere.

Half of the world's desalination capacity is in the Gulf area, where wealthy oil-producing nations use it for about 60 percent of their water needs.

Australian cities have also relied heavily on the technology and Spain has used it extensively to support real estate development, agriculture and even golf courses along its Mediterranean coast.

Large-scale desalination engineering could also endanger sea life, the WWF said, urging further research into the tolerance of marine organisms and ecosystems to higher salinity and brine waste, byproducts of the salt removal process.

While desalination could have important uses in some cases, such as environments with brackish water, the WWF said that big plants ought to be approved only in circumstances where they meet a real need and must be built and operated in a way that minimises broader environmental damage.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #33
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The new public enemy #1: bottled water

WASHINGTON, Aug 15, 2007 (AFP) - It's a hugely beneficial liquid in a slim cylinder of plastic, but for US environmentalists, it is the new public enemy number one: bottled water.

With US bottled water sales growing nearly 10 percent annually -- and the trash from tossed containers climbing just as quickly -- calls for Americans to go back to drinking tap water have surged since the beginning of summer.

"This country has some of the best public water supplies in the world," the New York Times said in an editorial earlier this month.

"Instead of consuming four billion gallons (15 billion liters) of water a year in individual-sized bottles, we need to start thinking about what all those bottles are doing to the planet's health."

As was pointed out at World Water Week in Stockholm on Monday, US personal consumption per capita, including water from all sources, hits 400 liters (106 gallons) each day -- compared to 10 liters (2.6 gallons) a person in developing countries.

And US consumers are drinking more bottled water by the day. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, growth in bottled water sales last year was 9.7 percent, making the total market worth about 11 billion dollars.

Bottled water in the United States does not mean mineral water, even if Americans grumble more and more about paying a high price to drink water with little to distinguish it.

At the end of July beverage giant PepsiCo was forced by public pressure to explain on its Aquafina bottled water that the contents inside come from ... the tap.

Pepsi's response "is an important first step," said Gigi Kellett, director of the "Think Outside the Bottle" campaign.

"Concerns about the bottled water industry, and increasing corporate control of water, are growing across the country," she said.

From mineral springs or from public pipes, water once in a bottle is expensive. The New York Times estimated that for some consumers the bill could hit 1,400 dollars a year -- for an amount that, taken from a home faucet, might cost less than half a dollar.

And it is not always better.

"Bottled water sold in the United States is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water, according to a four-year scientific study," the National Resources Defense Council recently reported. It also said regulation has not guaranteed more pure water in bottles.

Another point of attack is the packaging waste, which Earth Policy Institute tied to an issue of US security policy: oil imports.

According to the institute, it costs the United States 1.5 million barrels of oil a year to produce the plastic bottles used for water.

And if one adds the energy required to transport it -- especially premium water imported all the way from France, Italy and even the Fiji islands -- the negative impact on the environment rises quickly.

The anti-bottled water campaign has gotten political support: the mayor of San Francisco has stopped supplying water in containers to his staff, telling them to drink what comes out of the faucet.

And New York has launched a campaign to persuade its inhabitants to stick to public sources to quench their thirst.

Feeling they were at the center of the target, bottled water producers went on the defense last week, in part arguing that bottled water helps liberate consumers from calorie-heavy sweet sodas.

"The bottled water industry has recently been the target of misguided and confusing criticism by activist groups and a handful of mayors who have presented misinformation and subjective criticism as facts," the International Bottled Water Association said.

Association president Joseph Doss said they were being unfairly singled out.

"If the debate is about the impact of plastic packaging on the environment, a narrow focus on bottled water spotlights only a small portion of the packaged beverage category and an even smaller sliver of the universe of packaged products," he said.

"Any efforts to reduce the resources necessary to produce and distribute packaged goods -- and increase recycling rates -- must focus on all packaging," he said.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:07 AM   #34
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California officials expect to cut water supplies

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - California's major urban areas and farmers should brace for cuts in water supplies following a federal judge's ruling that limits how much water may be pumped from the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, water officials from around the state said on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger ruled on Friday that less water must be pumped from the inland delta system east of San Francisco to protect the delta smelt fish as it spawns.

Farms throughout California's Central Valley depend on delta water to irrigate fields and the water is conveyed to cities and towns in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles region. An estimated 25 million Californians use delta water.

Cuts in delta water supplies would come on the heels of a winter in California with little rainfall and as much of the most populous U.S. state contends with an especially dry summer. At least 15 people have died in Los Angeles County, the state's biggest county, amid a heat wave this week.

Wanger's ruling will force water agencies to impose unprecedented conservation programs, said Roger Patterson, an assistant general manager with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, during a telephone conference call.

"We have moved into an area of tremendous uncertainty," Patterson said.

Other officials on the conference call also said they were concerned about potential cuts in water supplies and how drawn down supplies would be replaced.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, has said Wanger's decision would have a "devastating impact" on California's economy and that it strengthens his case for a $5.9 billion water works plan he proposed in January.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, wants to invest $4.5 billion in surface and groundwater storage and put $1 billion toward restoring the delta, a proposal that would include building a new conveyance system to draw water from the delta and deliver it throughout California.

Democrats who control California's legislature oppose new dam construction and a new delta conveyance is controversial. California voters rejected a measure in 1982 calling for building such a conveyance known as the Peripheral Canal.

(Reporting by Jim Christie)
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Old December 11th, 2007, 03:50 AM   #35
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Water conservation in LA relatively flat
10 December 2007

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Despite a plea from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to conserve water, residents and businesses have failed to reach that mark, according to city records.

Water use remained relatively flat from June, when Villaraigosa asked for a 10 percent reduction, through October, compared with the same period last year. City water officials said they planned to wait several more months to see if water supplies improve before resorting to harsher measures.

Southern California cities have called upon residents to conserve water because of a drought in the Colorado River basin and a less than abundant snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Some critics believe Villaraigosa should endorse mandatory restrictions, much like those that have helped the city of Long Beach reap significant water savings this fall.

"More than anything, I want a commitment from the mayor to work toward a more sustainable future and to reduce water use in Los Angeles," said Miriam Torres of the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water. "People in Los Angeles have to think of water as a precious resource and not a commodity."

The next step could be to start enforcing an ordinance that restricts times for lawn sprinkling and other water uses.

City consumers used a little less than 1 percent more water from June through October than they did in the same period last year, according to records from the Department of Water and Power.

But the mayor's request may have had some effect. Water use was up more than 20 percent in May compared to the same month in 2006.

"Use was running completely in the wrong direction," said DWP spokesman Joseph Ramallo. "We've arrested a problem."
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Old December 11th, 2007, 07:31 AM   #36
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Just enforce restrictions, they're not hard to follow at all.

After all, there's just been a massive shift here, with many houses being built with or installing rainwater and greywater collection systems.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #37
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Water-starved China begins work on massive water diversion project
28 December 2007

BEIJING (AP) - China started digging Friday an ambitious water diversion project that will see vast amounts transported from the fertile south of the country to the arid north, state media reported.

Work started on a tunnel underneath the Yellow River in the eastern province of Shandong as part of a planned 486 billion yuan (US$66 billion, euro45 billion) network of canals aimed to divert water from the southern Yangtze River, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Building the South-North Water Diversion project, which was approved in 2002, could take 60 years, the government has said.

The Yellow River tunnel will be completed in three years, Xinhua said.

China, especially the northern part, is undergoing a serious water shortage, with 130 cities facing extreme shortages. Intense demand by booming Chinese industries, farms and sprawling cities has left many areas without adequate water supplies.

China supports 21 percent of the world's population with just 7 percent of its fresh water supplies.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #38
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Is there always the worry of a water shortage in any major city (unless that city has tons of lakes)?
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
Is there always the worry of a water shortage in any major city (unless that city has tons of lakes)?
Depends. Tropical cities get a lot of moisture, and if the excess is stored properly, they don't need to go to a lake or the ocean for water.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:10 PM   #40
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Where does Las Vegas and Phoenix get most of their water from?? I just don't understand how we can sustain those 2 cities into the future... seems so wasteful
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