Tag Archives: freshwater

LET’S COOL OFF ~ ARTIC / ANTARCTICA ~ AH-H-H!

At this very moment so many of us are experiencing the unprecedented current heat wave that I thought it would be a great idea to be able to watch some videos to help us cool off ~ hope you enjoy your armchair visits to the top and bottom of our world ~ the Arctic and Antarctica.

Experience the peacefulness of the icebergs in the Arctic and belugas beneath the waves while listening to singer Demetra Penner’s beautiful voice ~ from explore.org

http://explore.org/#!/videos/player/belugas-power-of-the-sea

Crowning the top of the world, the frozen Arctic Ocean provides an unlikely home for a spectrum of enchanting creatures. Above the ice and below, beluga whales, narwhals, bowhead whales, walruses, and murres prosper ~ from nationalgeographic.com.

Lyn Jarvis, contributing editor of Across the Fence, travels to Punta Arenas Chile and then to beautiful Antarctica and presents two videos of his amazing journey.

“If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart; art and it would be Michael Angelo; literature and it would be Shakespeare and yet it is something greater ~ the only place on earth that is still as it should be ~ may we never tame it…”

Lyn Jarvis travels to Antarctica ~ among the highlights; penguins, seals, humpback whales, and a rolling iceberg!

These videos are so refreshing and cooling for me ~ hope they cooled you off as well. 

DANGER ~ RECYCLE YOUR UV LAMPS!

If you have been following our Rainsoft Ottawa Product description series you know that  ultraviolet (UV) light water disinfection systems are an excellent choice and much more effective than other systems in eliminating unwanted and dangerous microorganisms in your water (city or well).

For those of you who haven’t watched our videos, I am including our Rainsoft UV light water disinfection system video.

I would like to bring your attention to “Keeping Tubes Out of Our Landfills” article in the July/August 2012 issue of WATERCANADA magazine.

We know that: 1) a UV light water disinfection system is a popular choice for eliminating microorganisms, and 2) a UV light water disinfection system is a safer and more environmentally friendly system than a chemical system.

BUT…

It’s vital that you know that these UV lamps contain mercury so disposing of them in a responsible manner is extremely important. Otherwise the mercury will be released into our environment when the old or broken lamps are trashed.

Contact with mercury poses threats to human, animal and environmental health.

Please ensure you dispose of these lamps at a hazardous waste disposal site to keep everyone safe and healthy.  According to the WaterCanada article some provinces do not have a recycling programme in place and some manufactures accept the cost of having the bulbs returned to them for disposal.

If you have any questions regarding the Ultraviolet Water disinfection systems, or about UV lamp disposal please don’t hesitate to call Rainsoft Ottawa at 613-742-0058

 

HARPER GOV’T: SNEAK ATTACK ON OUR ENVIRONMENT

The following are excerpts from AVAAZ.ORG’s Harper Government – Sneak Attack on our Environment:

Avaaz is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.

The Harper government is forcing a massive “budget” bill, C -38, through Parliament that secretly guts our environmental protection laws and threatens our forests, water and wildlife — we only have days to help stop this outrageous bill before it passes.

This sneak attack … giving Harper’s Cabinet complete discretion to approve oil pipeline projects regardless of their impact on threatened species or water. But a member of Harper’s own caucus has threatened to vote against it — we can create an unprecedented outcry calling on Conservative MPs whose districts would be affected by these pipelines to reject the budget. If just one MP breaks ranks, others could follow…

22,000 barrels of oil just leaked into Alberta’s wilderness when a pipeline ruptured, yet Harper’s so-called budget bill would systematically undo the environmental protection laws designed to prevent these spills. If this bill became law, Harper and his cronies would have free reign to snake pipelines across threatened habitats, gut the Fisheries Act, and unleash massive amounts of climate-cooking gases into the world’s atmosphere.

This bill, C-38, would also prevent some seniors from receiving the Old Age Security benefit, make deep cuts to the CBC and toughen requirements for Employment Insurance, all while the government lays off thousands of employees. Harper gave MPs just four days to debate this 400-page bill, despite the massive legislative changes it contains.

The stakes could not be higher — this bill would wreak havoc on Canada’s gorgeous natural environment, could have a devastating impact on a generation of seniors and the unemployed and makes a mockery of our parliamentary process. But with a huge public outcry we can show Conservative MPs that constituents across the country will fight Harper’s misguided budget.

Please click on the link below to add your voice to the petition:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/sneak_attack_on_the_environment/?clTFScb

OMG!!! GREAT WHITE SHARK VERSUS SEA KAYAKER

Before we get to the “OMG” video of this blog I thought I’d share  some amazing background information, featured on the Discovery Chanel video uploaded to YouTube, on the great white shark –  length, weight, speed of travel, nature, favorite foods -“triple hot fudge ice-cream sundae with 3 cherries on top” (SAY WHAT??  I’m sure glad to hear that I taste like a lima bean!

The following is a YouTube video ‘Great White Shark’, uploaded by on Aug 30, 2007 – great white sharks leap out of the water in pursuit of their favorite food.

Breaching (fish and mammals jumping out of the water)

Cape Town, South Africa, “Great White Shark Jumping”.  A shark attacks a seal at Seal Island  – airborne shark jumps out off water 12′ – another YouTube video uploaded by on Sep 22, 2007.

In the past I’ve posted a few blogs concerning: The Great Barrier Reef; and Our Coral Reefs are in Crisis.  I have just learned about the very important role that great white sharks play in the life of the coral reefs.

Having received permission of the Coral Reef Alliance, I would like to share excerpts of their article, “CORAL Campaigns to Protect Sharks” (link provided at end of blog) with you:

Sharks are commonly misunderstood and widely feared. These remarkable animals, however, are incredibly important for overall ocean health and, in particular, for coral reefs.

Sharks are often “apex” or top predators, helping to regulate species abundance and diversity while maintaining balance throughout an ecosystem. Studies have shown that coral reef ecosystems with high numbers of apex predators tend to have greater biodiversity and higher densities of individual species.

The loss of apex predators in a reef ecosystem upsets the natural food web and changes the composition of the reef community, eventually leading to the decline of critical reef species like herbivorous fish. With fewer herbivores, algae can become overgrown, suffocating the reef and reducing the number of available niches for fish species. In addition to being important for overall ecosystem health, sharks are also valuable to the tourism industry and to the economic health of coral reef destinations.

Despite their ecologic and economic value, shark populations are declining at an alarming rate. Roughly thirty percent of shark species are threatened or nearly threatened with extinction, and the status of another roughly fifty percent is unclear due to insufficient data.

NOW WHAT YOU’VE WAITED FOR – THE “OMG’ PORTION of this blog – click on link below photo

“A fishing trip off the coast of Australia takes a frightening turn when a great white shark starts harassing a sea kayaker” Discovery Channel “Outdoor Thrills” – Untamed and uncut.

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/outdoor-thrill-videos/

Link to the Coral Reef Alliance (a most worthy cause!) web site –

http://www.coral.org/sharks

AMERICA’S PROTECTED WATERWAYS

We highly recommend “AMERICA’S WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS” – a National Geographic article, published November, 2011 by Joel K. Bourne, Jr., and the associated Gallery of Photos of the Rivers photographed by Michael Melford (stunning!)

Links to the article, Photo Gallery and Michael Melford’s web site are listed at end of blog.

America‘s Spectacular Wild Rivers

These Scenic Waterways Thrive Under Federal Protection
in the United States


More than four decades after it became law, a little-known federal act safeguards hundreds of primordial waterways.

Photographs by Michael Melford

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River gorge is not so much a river as an exuberant expression of water at play… Today it is one of the ultimate white-water experiences in the United States, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

John Craighead, now 95, is legendary in the field of wildlife biology, … Yet the proudest achievement of John Craighead’s long and storied life, he says, is the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

 … “It took a decade of reports, lectures, and political wrangling, but when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968, much of its language came from the Craigheads. The initial act spared eight rivers and narrow buffer zones around them from dams and development. Today the list has grown to more than 200 rivers in 39 states and Puerto Rico.”

Article link –

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/11/americas-wild-rivers/bourne-text

      Photo Gallery link –

http://bit.ly/rL1Ng4

       Michael Melford’s web site –

http://www.michaelmelford.com/

IVY COLLEGES SHUNNING BOTTLED WATER JAB AT $22 BILLION INDUSTRY

BOTTLED WATER IS COMING UNDER ATTACK ON COLLEGE CAMPUSESTo contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Theen in New York at atheen@bloomberg.net

More than 90 schools, among them Brown University and Harvard University are banning the sale or restricting the use of plastic water bottles, unnerving the $22 billion retail packaged-water industry in the U.S. The University of Vermont is the latest to join the movement, announcing in January it would stop sales early next year.

     A forklift moves bails of plastic bottles at the San Francisco Recycling Center. More than 9 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in the U.S. last year.

The industry is growing 5.4 percent annually. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty

    

Discarded water bottles lay in a trash can in Washington, D.C. Students at Brown, in Providence, Rhode Island, started a campaign to reduce bottled water consumption in 2010 and more than a dozen U.S. schools have campus-wide bans on the sale of plastic water bottles. Photographer: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Freshmen at colleges across the country are being greeted with  stainless-steel bottles in their welcome packs and encouraged to use hydration stations where free, filtered water is available. Brown, which used to sell about 320,000 bottles of water a year in vending machines and campus stores, ended sales in dining halls in 2010. Harvard and Dartmouth College are installing hydration stations in new buildings to reduce trash.

“The product just doesn’t make common sense,” Sarah Alexander, 20, an environmental-studies major at Hanover, New Hampshire based Dartmouth, said by e-mail. “Companies are taking something that is freely accessible to everyone on the Dartmouth campus, packaging it in a non-reusable container and then selling it under the pretense that it is somehow better than tap water.”

In response to the growing movement, the water industry released a video on YouTube last month poking fun at “Ban the Bottle,” an organization that advocates banning one-time-use plastic water bottles. The spot, which features “Star Wars”- like music and flashbacks of antiwar demonstrations, says bottled water is a safe, convenient product that is “one of the healthiest drinks on the shelf” and that its packaging is recyclable.

‘Serious Issues’

There “are really serious issues over here, and now you’re dealing with bottled water?” Joe Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association, based in Alexandria, Virginia, said in a phone interview.

 While “there are anti bottled-water groups   going from campus to campus,” Doss said he doesn’t consider it “a big threat” at this point.

More than 9 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in the U.S. last year, and the industry is growing 5.4 percent a year, according to Gary Hemphill, senior vice president of the Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York consulting firm. Sales to colleges and universities aren’t tracked separately.

The bottling industry may be worried about losing brand loyalty from college kids, said Eric Meliton, an industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan.

“If they lose that access, yeah, you would see a big drop-off on that demographic,” Meliton said in a phone interview. College students are “on the go, they’ve got backpacks and they may not choose to use bottled water.”

Saving Money

Reducing or eliminating plastic bottled water saves students money and has the environmental benefit of reducing the need to truck bottles across the country, Niles Barnes, project coordinator with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, said in a phone interview.

“It’s a really tangible, sustainable activity that students can get behind,” Barnes said.

Students at Brown, in Providence, Rhode Island, started a campaign in 2010 to reduce bottled water consumption and the school stopped selling it in dining halls that September. Brown holds about 50,000 bottles in reserve in case of a natural disaster or to distribute at graduation or other events, Chris Powell, director of sustainable energy and environmental initiatives, said in an interview.

“There’s an environmental impact to the waste” of disposable water bottles, Powell said. “We realized there were alternatives that we could put in place that everybody was agreeable to.”

Culture Shift

Dartmouth is trying to “shift the student culture” about purchasing bottled water, said Rosi Kerr, the school’s director of sustainability. Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey, promotes a “Drink Local” initiative to reduce plastic bottle waste.

Some departments at Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard have banned the purchase of bottled water for meetings. Cornell University has a reduction campaign, as does Yale University.

 The University of Pennsylvania encourages administrative offices to use   hydration stations rather than bottled water.

Sitting back and “doing nothing” as environmental groups campaigned to ban bottled water wasn’t an option for the water industry, the water association’s Doss said. His niece, a student at The College of Charleston, alerted him to an effort on her campus, and he said there is an “active movement” across the nation.

More than a dozen U.S. schools have campus wide bans on the sale of plastic water bottles, according to Barnes.

Sweetened Beverages

Some colleges with a history of activism have rejected bans on packaged water. The University of California, Berkeley opted against the idea on concern it would drive students toward sweetened beverages, said Trish Ratto, a university health services official. So did Columbia University, after students said they’d buy it elsewhere, according to Nilda Mesa, assistant vice president of environmental stewardship at the New York based college.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-07/ivy-colleges-shunning-bottled-water-jab-at-22-billion-industry.html

Brown philosophy major Terrence George, 21, calls the university’s policy an “unwarranted assault” on bottled water.

“The bottled water ban is downright absurd,” he said. “I’m buying apple juice and tea every night instead of water. Last time I went to the dentist, I have a few more cavities than usual.”

Here are a few links both for and againstBottled Water Bans: (Some views also express the other side of the coin)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy5p7at7vf0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZGDueSjf8o

http://www.banthebottle.net/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfgaIJ_LQzY

PART 2 – NEW YORK CITY’S WATER TANK CONSTRUCTION

 NEW YORK CITY’S WATER TANK CONSTRUCTION 

Video on the creative craftsmanship of New York’s rooftop water tanks:

As you will see in the videos, two companies in New York build water towers, both of which are family businesses in operation since the 1800s. Even though there are steel constructed tanks, wooden ones are preferred because they can be easily assembled and transported to rooftops in parts and cost less.

“Rosenwach Wood Water Tanks Help Shape The City Skyline”

“They’re a signature part of the city skyline, and even in the 21st century, wood water tanks still have a unique and necessary job here, providing water to millions of homes.” – NY1’s Jeanine Ramirez

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtrx5oBskAY&feature=related

The New York Times staff photographer Richard Perry took some great photos of Rosenwach putting up water tanks, which was part of his project photographing different products and companies still manufacturing in NYC.

  You can also watch a rooftop water getting a facelift:

Water tanks / water towers are a rooftop fixture of the New York City skyline and are the subject of fascination for many. But sometimes they need a facelift to repair the damage of the elements. This video shows one of these Manhattan fixtures getting a tune-up. Filmed in the late fall of 2011, it’s sped up 2.5X.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=fQl0xKHiI9Q

Time lapse of a water tank being built at 266 Riverside Drive, NYC. Shot & Edited by Ben Bryant benbryant.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpyVXSPvy5Q&feature=related

Safety falls a little lower on the priority scale when Discovery channel’s, Mike Rowe, assists a team of carpenters on top of a New York skyscraper.

In a thoughtful look back at his most challenging and hazardous apprenticeships, Mike makes a practical case for safety and reaffirms the critical role of individual responsibility in a dangerous world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=H0u56J3EFks&feature=endscreen

  See you back here tomorrow for Part 3:      

Word Above The Street organization’s

                               “The Water Project”, Spring 2013