Possibilities to eliminate the issues relating to wastewater.


Photo credit: AZO Cleantech

Caution, no drinking water. Only 0.3 % of the water on the Earth�s surface is suited for use as drinking water. KIT scientists study possibilities of improving wastewater use. (Photo: KIT)

KIT Researchers Propose New Ways to Utilize Wastewater

Written by AZoCleantech

A team of researchers from the “Water-Energy Group” of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are studying possibilities to eliminate the issues relating to wastewater.

Wastewater is considered to be of no use. Washing water is said to an average temperature of 30 °C. Toilet water can be used not only for producing fertilizers or biogas but also as valuable resources that otherwise is dumped in the sewer system unused. What is worse is that annually, over 2 million people die from diarrheal diseases because of the wrong use of wastewater.

Although water covers around 72% of the Earth’s surface, only 0.3% can be utilized as drinking water.

Read the full article: AZO Cleantech

With that in mind, wastewater is no waste. It contains thermal energy, chemical energy in the form of carbon compounds, and valuable plant nutrients. Now, we have to develop processes for the use of these resources.

Helmut Lehn, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Accessible fresh water in North Africa and the Middle East has fallen by two-thirds over the past 40 years

Photo credit: UN News Centre

Morocco Photo: UNDP/Dylan Lowthian

UN agriculture agency warns of water scarcity in North Africa and Near East

Accessible fresh water in North Africa and the Middle East has fallen by two-thirds over the past 40 years, posing a huge challenge requiring “an urgent and massive response,” the head of the United Nations agriculture agency said today.

Access to water is a fundamental need for food security, human health and agriculture, and sustainable water use for agriculture requires transforming food systems and diets, said Jose Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in a news release on his visit to Egypt.

Per capita availability of fresh water in the region is now 10 times less than the world average, he said, underscoring the need for a significant overhaul of farming systems.

A recent FAO study showed that higher temperatures may shorten growing seasons in the region by 18 days and reduce agricultural yields a further 27 per cent to 55 per cent less by the end of this century.

The rising sea level in the Nile Delta is exposing Egypt to the danger of losing substantial parts of the most productive agriculture land due to salinization.

Read the full article: UN News Centre

Low-Cost Water Treatment to Solve Water Scarcity


Photo credit: Nature World News

Researchers from the State University of New York have released a new study that elaborated a new method to use sunlight to distill drinking water.
(Photo : Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Researchers Use Sunlight, Black Paper as Low-Cost Water Treatment to Solve Water Scarcity

Researchers from the State University of New York have released a new study that elaborated a new method to use sunlight to distill drinking water.

The idea behind the research is not surprisingly new as it has been used as early as 500 B.C.E. when Aristotle deduced that salt can be removed from seawater using sunlight. This is why solar stills are still being used since the industrial revolution, but prove ineffective in producing a sufficient amount of water enough to sustain a person who wants to survive in the wilderness.

Qiaoqiang Gan, the co-author of the study published in the journal Global Challenges, created a solar vapor generator and condensor. His method uses porous water with carbon black, a material that has near-zero “reflectivity” and can absorb an extremely large amount of solar heat.

Gan’s team put a carbon-covered paper on top of a foam and a thermal insulator. This focuses heat onto the carbon layer, which is then placed on a dirty water source. Interestingly, the “paper” acts as a sponge, with the carbon as an evaporator.

It is a known fact that majority of the world is covered with water. Unfortunately, most of that is not suitable for people to drink. According to Salon, if we exclude seawater, glaciers and ice caps, less than one percent of the planet’s water could be found in lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers. Even then, the water from these places still has to be treated to get rid of harmful chemicals.

Read the full article: Nature World News

Solar-Powered Water Purifier for Global Drinking Water Shortages


From the top left corner, moving clockwise, the four images depict: University at Buffalo students performing an experiment, clean drinking water, water evaporating, and black carbon wrapped around plastic in water with evaporated vapor on top evaporated water. Credit: University at Buffalo. – http://www.azocleantech.com/images/news/NewsImage_23909.jpg

New Solar-Powered Water Purifier Could Help Address Global Drinking Water Shortages

Written by AZoCleantech

You have seen how Bear Grylls turns polluted water into drinking water with little more than plastic and sunlight. Based on this survival technique, academics have now added a third element – carbon-dipped paper – to create a highly efficient and inexpensive method to turn contaminated water and saltwater into potable water for personal use.

The idea could help address drinking water shortages worldwide, and especially in developing areas and territories affected by natural disasters. This is described in a study published online today (Jan. 30, 2017) in the Global Challenges journal.

Using extremely low-cost materials, we have been able to create a system that makes near maximum use of the solar energy during evaporation. At the same time, we are minimizing the amount of heat loss during this process.

Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo

Other members of the research team are from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University at Buffalo‘s Department of Chemistry, Fudan University in China, and the lab of Gan, who is a member of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics and UB’s RENEW Institute, an interdisciplinary institute dedicated to solving complex environmental problems.

Solar Vapor Generator

In order to perform the study, the research team created a small-scale solar still. The device, known as a “solar vapor generator,” uses the heat converted from sunlight to clean or desalinate water. Here’s how the device works:

Read the full story: AZO Cleantech

HyperSolar to produce hydrogen and clean water from polluted water


Photo credit: Treehugger

Video screen capture HyperSolar

Prototype uses solar energy to produce hydrogen and clean water from polluted water

Derek Markham

Solar and nanoparticles and hydrogen, oh my!

The promised hydrogen economy keeps getting pushed back farther into the future, it seems, as producing hydrogen sustainably and at a low cost is always just around the bend in time, and while hydrogen has its share of opponents, it also has its boosters, such as HyperSolar, which looks to bring a breakthrough to scalable renewable hydrogen production.

Although this element is one of the most abundant in the universe, and the third most abundant on Earth, it’s also the lightest, which makes it rare in our atmosphere (meaning we can’t just hoover it up from the air). Hydrogen isn’t exactly known for its energy-density, but it is one potential storage solution for building a more sustainable energy system, if it can be produced efficiently with renewable energy, and then stored and distributed efficiently, as opposed to the current major source of hydrogen, which is steam-reformed natural gas.

Those are some big ‘ifs’ that won’t be solved overnight in the clean hydrogen quest, but HyperSolar believes it has the next step for producing low-cost, scalable, renewable hydrogen, with the source being polluted or dirty water, and the energy from the sun. Instead of using electricity from a separate solar array to power
an electrolyzer, this prototype has its solar energy component directly submerged in the water, with its “Self-contained Photoelectrochemical Nanosystem” technology that is “designed to mimic photosynthesis.” According to the company, this nanoparticle-based system enables a much more efficient electrolysis process than one powered by a separate solar input, which would have higher losses of transmission between the sun and the actual hydrogen production, and it says its system could “significantly” lower the cost of hydrogen electrolysis.

HyperSolar calls it the H2 Generator, and so far, it’s a lab-scale prototype, but the company believes it can be scaled up effectively, with the technology put to work turning wastewater or other non-potable water into hydrogen, “at or near the point of distribution.”

Read the full article: Treehugger

Solar-powered water purification system



Solar-powered water purification system a huge success in Mexican village : TreeHugger

The remote jungle village of La Mancalona on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico has gone from a place where clean water was scarce, bottled water expensive and soda much cheaper to a place where they have a reliable source of purified water and a profitable business in just two years.This positive change is thanks to an MIT-designed solar-powered water purification system that the village was the first to take for a test drive.The reverse osmosis system consists of two photovoltaic solar panels that power a set of pumps that push both brackish well water and collected rain water through semiporous membranes that filter and purify the water. The system produces about 1,000 liters of clean water a day for the village’s 450 residents

Read the story: CRAENGINEERING

Over half of the drinking water comes from forests

Photo credit: Treehugger

© SFI | SFI Audit, Tate’s Hell State Forest in Florida

How forest certification standards keep our drinking water clean

Did you know that over half of the drinking water in the United States and nearly two thirds of the drinking water in Canada comes from forests?

In a recent study, the non-profit National Association of State Foresters (NASF) confirmed that the best management practices used by harvesting professionals and required by forest certification standards are paying off in maintaining the water quality in our forests that translates into the clean water coming out of our faucets.

“Best management practices are an effective way of protecting water quality and preventing pollution,” Florida State Forester Jim Karels said. “Much of the nation’s drinking water originates from forests, and these measures ensure that those lands continue to provide such an important societal need.”

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is one example of a certification standard with requirements to implement best management practices for water quality. In the recent study, NASF recognized the role of SFI in advancing water quality in managed forests, and promoting improved harvesting practices: “… SFI [has] made important contributions to improved best management practices implementation through logger training, landowner outreach and water quality requirements.”

Read the full article: Treehugger

Australians cut water consumption in half

Photo credit: The CS Monitor

A traditionally dressed Australian Aboriginal performer has a drink of water as he prepares to participate in a traditional dance during an event on Sydney’s Coogee Beach May 27. Australians have had to cope with water shortages through innovative and practical means.

How Australians survived a 13-year drought by going low-tech

Residents of Melbourne, Australia, cut water consumption in half by capturing rainwater and using efficient toilets and washing machines.

If you think California’s four-year drought is apocalyptic, try 13 years. That’s how long southeastern Australia suffered through bone-dry times.

But it survived. When the so-called Millennium Drought ended in 2009, residents of Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, were using half the amount of water they had when it began.

A group of researchers from the University of California, Irvine, set out to investigate how Melbourne, a city of 4.3 million people, dramatically cut water consumption, and whether the city’s experience might hold lessons for California and other drought-stricken regions.

The short answer? Salvation came from a $2,000 rainwater tank rather than a $6 billion desalinization plant.

As the Millennium Drought dragged on, authorities approved the construction of costly infrastructure projects similar to those now being considered in California, including that expensive desalinization plant.  But the researchers found that conservation and recycling were the keys that got Melbourne through year after rainless year, according to the study published May 26 in the journal WIREs Water. 

Melbourne residents took advantage of government rebates for home rainwater tanks to capture runoff from roofs, using it to water plants and flush toilets. The state of Victoria also changed the building code to require the tanks in all new homes.

By 2009, about a third of homes were capturing free water from the sky and supplying 2 percent of Melbourne’s potable water.

Read the full article: The Christian Science Monitor

What if people refuse others the access to safe drinking water ?

Photo Credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Flickr/ EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

Thousands die in Yemen in fights over water

by Rehab Abd Almohsen

“The conflict in Yemen is exacerbating water scarcity by reducing access to safe drinking water. If urgent action is not taken, the country will fall into further humanitarian crisis.” by Fawzi Karajeh, FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa

Speed read

  • Up to 4,000 people die each year in fights over scarce water resources
  • The civil war means around 20 million people are without clean drinking water
  • Solar power could pumps working during power cuts, but this adds to depletion problems

Clashes over water are killing up to 4,000 people a year in Yemen, its government says.

These conflicts, which predate the country’s civil war, include raids on wells and other fights over water access involving armed groups, according to Yemen’s interior ministry.

This compares with more than 2,500 deaths so far in the civil war that began in March and involves an alliance led by Saudi Arabia fighting supporters of Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former president who was ousted in 2012.

According to a regional representative of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the civil war has left around 20 million Yemenis without access to drinking water.

“With the current conflict, the number of people that don’t have access to clean water is believed to be more than 80 per cent of the population,” says Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, who represents the FAO’s Near East and North Africa region.

Yemen has the highest water scarcity in the world, he says, with more than half the population lacking a regular supply of drinking water even before the fighting began.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Water-efficient farming technologies needed

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Villagers using a hand-operated water pump in a typical low-lying suburban area on the edge of Bacolod. 

Don’t put irrigation above drinking water

by Joe Turner

“Agriculture uses 70 per cent of the world’s freshwater extraction, which means improvements in efficiency could make a big difference.” Toby Bruce, Rothamsted Research

Speed read

  • Population growth and climate change will put pressure on water like never before
  • Prioritising irrigation for food security risks leaving urban populations dry
  • Water-efficient farming technologies could mean there is enough to go round

Water policies and technologies aiming to help meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) must rebalance the attention given toagriculture over drinking water, a report issued last week (15 May) has found.

The Water for Food Security and Nutrition report was commissioned by the Committee for World Food Security, a UN body based in Rome. It makes eight recommendations, saying that better access to technologies could make water use in farming more efficient, as well as improving access to drinking water for disadvantaged people.

The report warns that population growth and climate change will put more strain on freshwater supplies, particularly in low-rainfall areas like Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Much of the available groundwater in these regions has already been extracted, with 80–90 per cent being used for irrigation in agriculture, leaving lakes and groundwater at historically low levels.

Using techniques such as rain-fed agriculture, and introducing better technologies to harvest and store water, and reduce losses through evaporation, could go some way towards ensuring enough drinking water remains, the report says.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

You want clean drinking water ? Pay for it !

Photo credit: IPS News

Whether they like it or not, many Africans faced with the possibility of having to access water through prepaid meters have resorted to unprotected and often unclean sources of water because they cannot afford to pay. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/IPS

Prepaid Meters Scupper Gains Made in Accessing Water in Africa

By Jeffrey Moyo

Despite U.N. recognition that water is a human right, international financial institutions such as the World Bank argue that water should be allocated through market mechanisms to allow for full cost recovery from users.

While many countries appear to have met the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, rights activists say that African countries which have taken to installing prepaid water meters have rendered a blow to many poor people, making it hard for them to access water.

“The goal to ensure that everyone has access to clean water here in Africa faces a drawback as a number of African countries have resorted to using prepaid water meters, which certainly bar the poor from accessing the precious liquid,” Claris Madhuku, director of the Platform for Youth Development, a Zimbabwean democracy lobby group, told IPS.

Prepaid water meters work in such a way that if a person cannot pay in advance, he or she will be unable to access water.

As a result, African rights activists like award-winning Terry Mutsvanga from Zimbabwe and other civil society organisations are against the idea of prepaid water meters.

“If one has to pay upfront before accessing water, then it would mean those in most need would be denied access,” Mutsvanga told IPS, adding that water is a global human right.

Read the full article: IPS News

Proliferation of boreholes in Nigeria

Photo credit: This Day Live

Drilling a borehole

Threat of Boreholes

There are concerns among the residents of Tsaunin Kura GRA, Sabon-Tasha area of Kaduna metropolis over the proliferation of boreholes in the community. John Shiklam writes

The proliferation of borehole as a source of water for domestic use by residents of Tsaunin Kura GRA in Sabon -Tasha area of Kaduna metropolis is raising serious environmental concern among members of the community.

Unlike most government reserved areas (GRAs), where almost every amenity, from good road network to provision of electricity and potable water is provided by the government, the case of Tsaunin – Kura is different as the community had been solely responsible for the provision of these basic amenities following neglect by the state government.

Tsaunin Kura, a GRA populated by the Christians in the southern part of Kaduna metropolis, is the only GRA without motorable roads since its inception many years ago and it was only in 2013, that residents had to mobilise their resources for the grading of the roads to make them motorable. The state government later intervened by grading some of the roads.

But the failure of the Kaduna State Government to provide potable water  has left residence with no choice than to indiscriminately dig the ground for their water needs

Fears are being expressed about the environmental implication of concentration of boreholes and wells in the community in the future, if steps are not taken immediately to reverse the trend through provision of water to the area by the state water corporation.

Chairman of part of the Tsaunin Kura GRA, behind Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Mr. Timitayo Omole, in an interview with THISDAY said the present challenge requires urgent attention.

According to him, there are 13 boreholes within a radius of 150 metres, in different houses in the community, noting that the story is not peculiar to his side of the GRA alone.

Read the full article: This Day Live

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