Tag Archives: Barrhaven

Oldest ice core

The oldest ice core ever drilled outside of the polar regions may contain more than half a million years of climate change.

Researchers from the USA and China on a joint venture went to the Guliya Ice Cap in Tibet. They pulled up a 1,000ft ice core that had history back to the Stone Age, providing us with one of the longest ever records of Earth’s climate history.

What they have found so far reveals one of the recent and rapid temperature rise at some of the coldest mountain peaks in the world. At the American Geophysical Union meeting on Dec.14th, they report there have been a persistent increase in both temperature and precipitation in Tibet’s Kunlun Mountains over the last few centuries. The change is most noticable at the Guliya Ice Cap. In this area the temperature has risen by 1.5 degrees celsius in the last 50 yrs, and average precipitation has risen by 2.1 inches in the last 25yrs. This data appears to support climate change models.

Earth’s largest supply of fresh water outside the poles resides in Tibet. Water issues created by melting ice in the Arctic, Antarctic and the “third pole” are recognized as important contributors to the rise in global sea level.

The “third pole” refers to the high mountain glaciers located on the Tibetan Plateau, and in the Himalayas, in the Andes of South America, on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, and in Papua, Indonesia…all that have been studied by the Ohio researchers.

Of interest to the researchers is the projection from the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change that future temps on Earth will rise faster at high altitudes than at sea level. With the records that they have obtained from across the “third pole” they can contribute to the growing body of evidence that the environmental conditions on the 3rd pole, and the rest of the world have changed significantly in the last century. They note the higher the elevation the greater the rate of warming.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world depend on high altitude glaciers for their water supply. Mountain glaciers are a water source for many major rivers.

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Rain water to drink from storage tanks.

Here is a story about water out of Australia.

You would think that rainwater was nature’s gift of hydration. True , but experts note that untreated rainwater is not considered safe for human consumption. Bacteria can thrive in water tanks and toxic metal traces can be found in roof run off.

We generally view rainwater as clean and tasty but it really depends on how you collect it. It can be recommended for dishwashers, toilets, gardening and the like..just not drinking.

Tank water was recently tested by researchers out of Flinders University in Adelaide. No increase in gastrointestinal illness were noted , but microbes were present in the water. Tank water is used quite often in situations where city water is not present and the inhabitants rely on rain water.

What is in the tank? The main contaminants that make rainwater iffy are microorganisms and traces of toxic metals that can come with air pollution or from roofing materials. The main bacteria to be found in E. Coli, which appears from things like bird poop which gets washed into the tank leading to vomiting and diarrhea.

Not many people report cases of getting ill from their water so there is not much recorded evidence. Consider though that dehydration from diarrhea is the number 1 killer in the under developed world.

For both microorganisms and toxic metals a well maintained filtration system is critical.

Another consideration for tanks that store water is to make sure they do not become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. quality mesh covers of both the inlet and outlet are required.

Even if you have city water maintaining a water tank is still environmentally a good idea. Showering, flushing toilets, and watering gardens with this rain water conserves the water that took time and money to get to your tap.

 

Ottawa man scammed into $8k water softener at the door

In a recent article from CBC Ottawa we find a 74 yr old man ,Tom Gowe, got a reminder to be wary of door to door salespeople.  Tom is now on the hook for monthly payments of $65 for the next ten years for signing up for what he thought was a free, government supplied water purifier.

A man from Ontario Safety Standards knocked on his door to warn him there might be a problem with his water. The man was invited to look at the water tank. Tom was showed brown sediment at the bottom of the tank and told him he needed a purifier. Mr. Gowe believed him , not knowing that some brown sediment was normal.

A contract was signed for what he thought was a free government supplied purifier. The salesman called his office to see if Tom “qualified”…he did.

A system was brought in the same day.

Two weeks later the first bill for $65 was received in the mail. Mr Gowe phoned the company, but was hung up on the only time he got through. In addition to the bills he continued to receive he was informed that the installed system was not a purifier but a water softener.

At 465 a month for 10 yrs he could end up paying nearly $8,000. Police warn  think before you sign.

Water, furnace, air conditioning, and driveway sealing scams are some of the most common fraud cases. Once a contract is signed there is little police can do. Waiting to think over a contract can be the best defence against pushy sales people.

We at Rainsoft Eternally Pure Water Systems do not go door to door.

 

Water Divination..Does it work?

Divining is the method by which some people claim to be able to locate water by walking over an area until they observe a response with an apparatus such as a forked stick, bent rods, or a pendulum..usually held in front of them. It is difficult to objectively determine whether divining actually works.

At present there is no scientific explanation as to why it should work and when it has been tested impartially it has been no more successful than would be expected by chance. A water diviner can walk over an aquifer and predict water will be found at a certain location. A hydrogeologist knows that a well drilled almost anywhere on this aquifer will produce water. The expense is not in finding the well but in constructing a bore hole to pump it out.

It is not possible to completely discard water divining as some people seem to be able to locate buried pipes with the aid of rods and twigs. One theory for this is the muscles in the body react to some electromagnetic effect caused by the presence of metal or of the water flowing through the pipe; the rods then amplify this effect so the searcher becomes aware of them. Another theory is that some diviners know from experience and local knowledge where groundwater is likely to be located and subconsciously cause the reaction.

Whether divining actually works or not is a matter of debate. Even if the electromagnetic theory works for pipes there is no reason why it should detect the slow , diffuse movement of ground water. I have personally had an experience with water diving. A neighbour gave me a couple of metal rods bent in a certain way and had me walk over his septic tank…as I walked over the tank the rods dipped down. There was no mistaking the pull. So for me there is something to divination.

Green Roof Project

Candiac , Quebec has partnered in a venture with a real estate developer  and a local urban agriculture company for an innovative green roof project that would see vegetable gardens on 74 new townhouses.

The thinking is that rooftop agriculture and energy production is the way of the future, in a sustainable developement approach. In this project the roof top space to be developed is equal to two football fields…space that would normally be undeveloped.

74 homes will be set up to accommodate organic vegetable gardens whose 3 annual crops will be sold locally. Another 74 homes will be set up with 6 solar panels each to produce green energy.

The vegetables will be grown in Smart Pot containers that won’t let earth through , but drain water from the drip water irrigation system which reduces water consumption.

Every week during growing season specialized staff will take care of the gardens. the veggies will then be taken and sold to local restaurants , markets, or direct to citizens. Profits from the normally unused space will go to defer the cost of the administration of the condos. Each unit with five large Smart Pot containers will have a$2000 crop harvest potential per year. The initial investment will be paid for by the third year.

 

Dumping waste Princess Cruise Lines fined $40 million

Carnival Corp’s Princess Cruise Lines will plead guilty to seven felony charges for polluting the seas and deliberate acts to cover it up. The plea comes with a record $40 million criminal penalty.

The charges come from the illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste from the Caribbean Princess cruise ship and the intentional acts to cover it up. Shares of Carnival , the world’s largest cruise operator were down 2% after the announcement.

The Caribbean Princess had been illegally dumping since 2005 using bypass equipment to get around pollution prevention equipment. Investigators were tipped off to this activity by a whistle blower engineer who reported illegal dumping. A cover up was ordered, subordinates were called on to lie, and removal of the pipe was sought. Assistant Attorney General John Cruden said in a statement “This is a company that knew better and should have done better.”

Investigators found the Caribbean Princess and 4 other Princess ships engaged in two other illegal practices affecting water discharge. The Caribbean Princes  visited ports in 9 US states and 2 territories. Perhaps polluting all along the way.

Cruise ship travel in general has caused concern among environmental groups and governments over water contamination and waste as the industry adds passengers, routes, and larger ships.

Cruise Line International Association, which represents the industry, has pledged to take steps to reduce cruise travel’s environmental impact and has said cruise line must follow international standards.

Rethinking the Value of Water

 

Recent research from Oxford University displays the increasing pressure on measuring, monitoring, and managing water locally and globally. A frame-work is put forward to value water for sustainable development. to guide better policy and practice. The value of water for us has been long recognized, not least because we need safe drinking water to survive. The investment to keep ourselves in a good quantity of quality water is vast, estimated at $114billion per year.

There is a need however to rethink the value of water for a number of reasons. First water is not just about sustaining life, it also plays a critical role in furthering developement. Water’s value is seen in the UN’s Sustainable Developement Goals….poverty elimination, ending hunger, sustainable cities, even peace and justice. Water security is a global concern. Water shortages, flooding , and pollution have a negative impact and are seen as a global threat. Consider that the World Bank has put out that the cost of drought in cities is 4x greater than a flood…a single drought in rural Africa can ignite a chain of deprivation and poverty across generations.

 

We need to recognize there is a growing need to rethink the value of water. A value that goes beyond monetary value or price. To direct future policies and investment we need to see valuing water as a governance challenge.

An international;l team led by Oxford University has published a paper in which the chart a new framework to value water for the Sustainable Developement Goals. Valuing and appreciating the cultural benefits of water are only one step. Valuing and managing water requires parallel and coordinated action across 4 priorities..measurement, valuation, trade offs, and capable institutions for allocating and financing water.

From the authors of the study they feel they are responding to a global call to action as the negative impacts continue to build, also water sustains developement and so must be managed..and 2017 has been a water shed for rivers. Four rivers  have been granted the rights and privileges of legal persons. This unprecedented recognition of the cultural and environmental value of rivers in law makes us consider the role of rivers in society and sustainable developement.