Monthly Archives: March 2018

NASA has produced the first 3 dimensional numerical model of melting snowflakes in the atmosphere. The model produces a better understanding of how snow melts can help scientists recognize the signature in radar signals of heavier, wetter snow….the kind that breaks power lines and tree limbs. this could be a step forward in improving predictions of this hazard.

Warrior Up!

Canadian teen Autumn Peltier , a 13 yr old from Manitoulin Island, tells the United Nations to “warrior up”, give water the same rights as people.

She went on to say that her people believe water is alive , has a spirit. Water deserves to be treated as a human , with human rights, with personhood so we can protect our waters.

The UN Secretary General had invited her to speak to help launch the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development. By 2050 one in four people on Earth will live in a country where the lack of fresh water is chronic or recurrent.

A spokes person for the President of the General Assembly said it is not common to see a 13yr old address the 193 member states of the UN. They were moved as she was amazing.


March 22…World Water Day

Microplastics found in 90% of bottled water

The World Health Organization has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water. A new study has found that some 90% of the most popular water brands have been found to have tiny pieces of plastic. A prior study found there to be high levels of plastic in tap water.

The most common type of plastic fragments found was polypropylene…the same plastic used to make bottle caps. bottles analysed were bought in the USA, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico,Lebanon,Kenya, and Thailand.

The WHO spokesperson said there is no evidence of an impact on human health, but notes it is an area of concern. Further study will be required to inform a more thorough risk assessment.

By themselves the microplastics found in the bottled water may not amount too much but consider that plastics are building up in marine animals, which means we are being exposed, some of us every day. Microplastics in the water, toxic chemicals in the plastics, and plastics in the fish on our plates.

Evidence of Water Deep in Earth’s Mantle.

Scientists analyzing diamond impurities or inclusions have found naturally forming ice crystals that point to water rich regions deep below the surface of the Earth.

The finding of these ice crystals is the first direct evidence of fluid water pockets may be found as far as 500 miles below the surface. The extraordinary research found diamonds pushed up from the Earth’s interior had traces of a unique crystalized water called Ice-V11.

The scientists were actually looking for carbon dioxide , but stumbled upon the ICE-V11

How to find water in the desert.

Here is a video from a survival expert who tells us how to find water in the desert. The video is from a solo endurance challenge in the Australian Outback.


Ontario First Nations Community has first clean drinking water in 14years

Slate Falls, a First Nations Community in northwestern Ontario has been under a boil water advisory for 14 years…not any more. They have a new treatment plant.

The community of 300 people is some 550 kilometers north of Thunder Bay. The opening of the water treatment plant means better care, better health, clean water for the children and the elderly.

For 20 years Slate Falls got their water from a series of pump houses, but none of these facilities was able to provide clean water from 2004 on. The water that was taken from a nearby lake, ran through a filter, and briefly through a chlorination system. The capacity of the systems was not sufficient to get rid of the E.coli and other contaminants. All water for drinking had to be boiled. Some people actually bought bottled water for drinking , but that gets expensive.

In 2016 the federal government pledged $11.6 million for the treatment plant.

There are still 81 long-term boil water advisories in first Nations Communities in Canada. The government of Canada has pledged to end all such advisories by March 2o21. The budget promises an additional $172.6 million over 3 yrs beginning in 2018-2019 for projects to ensure the pledge is met.

Slate Fall’s new plant will not only provide clean water, but includes firefighting infrastructure such as water pumps and hydrants.

Sea Swimming Increases Ailments

From the University of Exeter we have a finding that people who swim, bathe, or take part in water sports in the sea are substantially more likely to experience stomach bugs, ear aches, and other types of illness than those who do not.

This large scale research analysis is the first systemic review to examine the evidence on whether spending time in the sea is associated with increased risk of reporting a variety of ailments.

Results showed that sea bathing doubled the odds of reporting general ear ailments, and the odds of reporting earaches rose 77%. For gastrointestinal illness the odds increased by 29%.

In higher income countries like the United Kingdom, there is the perception that swimming in the sea is of little to no health risk. This appears not to be so. The researchers feel this indicates that the pollution is still an issue affecting swimmers in some of the world’s richest countries. Investment in water treatment has been improving in recent years, but seawater is still polluted from sources including industrial waste, sewage, and runoff from farmland.

The researchers whittled down more than 6,000 studies to 19 which met strict criteria. All the studies were in high income countries since 1961 in countries including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Norway.

The purpose of the study was not to scare people away from the sea as there are health benefits as well…exercise, well-being , connecting to nature. however , it is good for people to know the risks and make informed decisions. We have come a long way in terms of cleaning up our water, but the evidence shows there is still work to be done.