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Water News Around the World

21 Oct 2019 9:41 AM | Tyler Eldridge (Administrator)

In response to Richard’s Local Water News blog from earlier this year, this blog has been written to highlight some worldwide water news. As the new water year begins and the end of the calendar year approaches, here are five uplifting water stories that could help improve our quality of life down the road!

  • 1)     Agreements signed for the Reintroduction of Salmon to the Upper Columbia River:

From Victoria News in Canada, three leaders of Indigenous groups and two governmental groups have agreed to begin the process of ensuring salmon can reach their once thriving numbers in the Upper Coloumbia River. For the last 80 years dams have prevented the salmon from traveling along their traditional migratory routes, many of these through the state of Washington. The lack of salmon making their traditional runs effects the entire ecosystem, so the First Nations and several governmental agencies made sure an agreement was signed to explore the best ways to reintroduce salmon. In turn, a way of life for the Syilx Okanagan, Ktunaxa, and Secwepemc peoples and their communities could be restored as they will have access to these fish once again. There are, however, plenty of things to consider, such as the best way to manage dams to allow the fish through, climate change, and how the reintroduced salmon will interact with some endangered species now in the basin. This is progress though, and in a world where so many of our ecosystems are consistently fragmented, progress towards reconnecting them is what we need. Read the full story at Vicnews

  • 2)     Global Science Award Given to Teen for Microplastic Removal:

From The Journal in Ireland, an 18 year old from Ballydehob was given the top award in the 2019 Google Science Fair. His project focused on the removal of microplastics from water using ferrofluids and magnets. The teen did point out that while not as effective on polypropylene plastics, it did show effectiveness with fibers found in washing machines. The experiment showed removal of 87% of microplastics in water samples, with a sample size of 1,000 tests. Could ferrofluids be our answer to the rising microplastic issues? Meet the 18 year old who believes so and watch his presentation video at TheJournal

  • 3)     Microfragmenting of Coral to Help Grow Back Coral Reefs:

This story is from late 2018 and comes from Tech Maven. Coral reefs can take up to 75 years to reach sexual maturity in nature, however after a coral broke into pieces in the lab a new study was born! Researchers at the International Centre for Coral Reef Research and Restoration found that the corals grew back to their initial sizes in a few weeks rather than the three years it took to grow the original coral piece. What scientists found even more amazing was that once these fragments grew and they touched each other, they recognized themselves and fused together forming one large coral. This process speeds up coral growth by nearly 40 times! The restoration process is in full swing along the Florida Keys. Read more about the crew and check out their BBC Earth Video online at Sci-Techmaven

  • 4)     Creating Drinking Water from Air:

A story from March this year in the Jerusalem Post provides insight on the Isreali company Watergen, a group determined to bring clean water to just about anywhere in the world just by pulling it out of the atmosphere. Their devices have been improved yearly since they were established in 2009, and have already provided aid in disaster locations across the world, included the United States! Essentially, the device pulls in air, filters the air, then through their heat exchange and cooling process condenses into water. Once filtered and hardened the water can be used as fresh drinking water. With just an electricity supply, the largest generator can create 5000 gallons of drinking water in a day. For more information on the company tackling a shortage of water around the globe visit the JPost

  • 5)     The Ocean Cleanup is Successfully Gathering Trash in the Pacific Ocean:

This story comes out of the Netherlands and is the most recently updated story on this list. If you haven’t heard of The Ocean Cleanup it is worth following. The group was founded in 2013 with a goal of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch using drifting systems and the ocean currents. The devices drift along the currents and collect plastic, and would just need to be “harvested” for their contents every few months by a small fleet of ships. In early October of this year they announced that the most recent prototype launched in June was successful in collecting and retaining both visible plastics and microplastics as small as 1mm. They still have much work to do in improving their design and growing their fleet, but once fully functional they hope to reduce the size of the garbage patch by half within the first 5 years! Obviously there is much to be done when it comes to cleaning up our oceans, but with companies like The Ocean Cleanup we are moving in the right direction. To learn more about the group, their design, and its sustainability check out their website at TheOceanCleanup.

This blog was written by Tyler Eldridge, a Wastewater Laboratory Coordinator for the City of Greeley, and volunteers with RMWQAA as the main contact for website related issues. He has 3 years of experience in the industry and holds a BA in Biological Science from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

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