That’s exactly what happened to Pacific island countries of Tuvalu and it’s neighbor Tokelau. Saltwater intrusions have rendered their groundwater undrinkable and the strong La Niña has reduced the amount of precipitation to these countries. Rising sea levels and climate change are at least partially to blame.Filed under environment, global warming, sustainability, water resources | Tags: climate change, groundwater, sustainability, water resources | Comment (1)
Interesting story in Time today about the Dead Sea. Apparently, it is losing 3 vertical feet of water each year, exposing 65 ft of seabed along the shore! The usual culprit? Less than 2% of freshwater from the Jordan River makes it into the Dead Sea compared to the amount just a few decades ago.Filed under Uncategorized | Tags: agriculture, biodiversity, chemicals, climate change, environmental management, geology, groundwater, oceans, sustainability, water, water resources | Comment (0)
Some parts of US (Texas, Arizona, etc.) have been under severe drought for quite some time. See the latest drought monitor. Researchers are now saying that the Southwest is currently undergoing aridification – modification to a desert landscape. This has long-term repercussions to world’s economy.Filed under crops, energy, environment, global warming, sustainability, water resources | Tags: climate change, drought, environmental management, groundwater, sustainability, water, water resources | Comment (0)
Guest blog by Brian Smart and Katharine Callaway
The 330,000 plus residents of Charleston County use approximately 114 million gallons of water per day (Mgal/d) only about 12 percent of which is from ground water sources. The other 101 million gallons come from surface water sources, mainly the Edisto River and Bushy Park Reservoir. This raw water is subject to runoff from rainwater, agriculture, industry and air pollution, which deposit chemicals, bacteria and organic contaminants in the streams and rivers feeding the lakes and reservoirs. Intensive treatment is necessary before the surface water is suitable for human consumption. The water treatment plant in Hanahan has the responsibility of making our water safe to use. After being screened to remove large objects such as tree branches, dead animals and garbage, a combination of chlorine and ammonia is added to the water to kill bacteria and viruses, and lime is added to adjust the pH levels. Next, aluminum sulfate is mixed into the water, acting as a coagulating element to bond with the previously added chemicals, now dead bacteria, viruses and other microscopic material and cause them to drop out of the water stream as sediments. These sediments are disposed of by spraying them on a forested area near the water treatment facility. Finally, the water is passed though a series of fine mineral filters and then treated with more chlorine, ammonia and lime, as well as fluoride to keep your teeth healthy and orthophosphate to prevent heavy metals from leaching out of your plumbing. If anything can live through this process, it must be a very tough organism indeed.
Here’s some “surprising” news. Your tap water could be unsafe to drink if you live close to a powerful industry that pollutes… and US EPA may not intervene on your behalf! Here are some interesting articles that appeared in NY Times about toxic drinking water. Link. Be sure to watch the videos on those pages – very disturbing. Also, there was an interesting documentary on PBS’ Frontline called “Poisoned Waters,” which is very interesting. You can watch that show on their website.
Interestingly, SC DHEC was quoted as saying that protecting business interests was very important for their mission! As an example, here’s a link to articles about the nexus between business interests and DHEC at the expense of public health. Link.Filed under chemicals, environment, geology, sustainability, water pollution | Tags: chemicals, coal, contamination, environment, environmental management, groundwater, India, pollution, sustainability, water pollution, water resources | Comment (0)