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Some questions answered

How much of the Earth is water in 2019?

71%..with 96.5% being salt water.

How much water do we use everyday?

Estimates can vary, but each person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day. The largest single use is to flush the toilet…after that showers and baths.

Can the Earth run out of water?

Water as a vapor in our atmosphere could potentially escape into space from Earth. As a whole we may never run out of water, but clean ,fresh water is not always available where and when we need it. 50% of the world’s fresh water can be found in only 6 countries.

We can not live without water…let us take care of it and ourselves.

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The Damage from Hurricane Dorian in the Atlantic Provinces

Hurricane Dorian hit the Atlantic provinces on Sept.7, 2019, causing 105 million in insured damage. 70% of the damage was to personnel property, 25% to commercial property, and 5% to vehicles.

$22.5 million insured damage in New Brunswick.

$2.5 million in insured damage in Newfoundland and Labrador.

$62.2 million in insured damage in Nova Scotia.

$17.5 million in insured damage in PEI.

$300,000 in insured damage in Quebec

Geographically Halifax, Moncton, and much of PEI suffered a large portion of the damage..although reports of damage was wide spread.

 

When it hit on September 7 it was a post tropical storm but was still hurricane strength with sustained winds of 155mph. Due to rain saturated ground and trees being in full leaf many large trees were uprooted causing many power outages. The heavy rain also caused flooding of homes and businesses.

Hurricane Dorian shows again how devastating Mother Nature can be. Severe, unpredictable weather is becoming more frequent, resulting in higher costs to homeowners, insurers, and governments. Last year in Canada insured damage in Canada exceeded $2 billion.

…and it appears to be getting worse.

Ditch the delicate wash cycle to save our seas.

New research led by Newcastle University has shown it is the volume of water used during the wash cycle  rather than the spinning action which is the key in releasing plastic microfibres from clothes.

 

Millions of plastic fibres are shed every time we wash our clothes. These tiny fibres drain out of our washing machines and potentially out into the marine environment.

Once out in the oceans these micro fibers are injested by the fish, and it has been proven that they are now present in the deepest parts of our oceans.

The N.U. team measured the release of the plastic fibers from polyester clothing for a range of cycles and water volumes. Counting the fibres released , the team found the higher the volume of water the more microfibers released. 800,000 more fibers were released in a delicate wash than a standard cycle.

 

Ethiopia dam dispute

In East Africa water is precious with several countries depending on the Nile river.

Now a new dam in Ethiopia could threaten supply downstream.

Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt are holding an emergency meeting in Khartoum to discuss sharing the water.

Becoming Benthic..Microplastics in the Great Lakes.

From the Great Pacific garbage patch to inland rivers, plastics are among the most widespread contaminants on Earth. Microplastics…those particles smaller than 5 milimeters are everywhere, building up as a permanent part of the planet’s sedimentary levels.

Now using the Great Lakes as a laboratory, sedimentary petrologist Pat Corcoran and her students at UWO are studying the behavior of microplastics as a geologic phenomenon.

The team found that the more organic debris in the samples,  the more microplastics. Benthic microplastics- those incorporated into into the lake bottom sediments- were also numerous near high population areas.

 

Surprisingly, not all plastic fibers found in benthic samples were plastic. Under analysis only 33% were plastic..the rest was dyed cotton or cellulose. It was also found there was little corelation between pop density or industry and the number of pellets. Instead , pellets were concentrated near tributaries…rivers and creeks are the main pathway used by the plastic pellets to reach the lskes

Zimbabwe’s Capitol Runs Dry.

Tempers are rising for the 2 million people of Zimbabwe;s capitol of Harare. The Capitol and surrounding area find themselves without water after the authorities shut down the main treatment plant, raising fears of disease after a cholera outbreak …while the economy crumbles even more.

Officials in Harare have struggled to raise the $2.7 million needed per month to import water treatment chemicals. Meanwhile, water levels in polluted reservoirs are dropping because of drought.

People are still using toilets..but there is no water, so the filth is backing up. The situation is critical as another 2 million non residents enter the city each day using the services and doing business.

At the main reservoir, Chivero, plastic bottles, car tires, and algae float in shallow , green , foul smelling water. Typhoid is on the rise. Wells are low or dry.

What water there is is rationed to 2o liters a day, and requires hours to get.

The situation looks bad, and looks to get worse before it gets better.

Carp Aquaculture goes back 8,000 years

Researchers analyzed fish bones excavated from the Early Neolithic Jiahu site in Henan Province, China. By comparing the bones and body lengths the researchers provide evidence of managed carp aquaculture at Jiahu dating back to 6200-5700BC.

Despite the importance of farmed fish to the world economies, the origins of aquaculture remain unknown. The Shijing, the oldest surviving collection of ancient Chinese poetry, mentions carp being raised in a pond in 1140BC. With this in mind the researchers set out to discover if aquaculture started earlier than thought.

At the completion of the study researchers felt that there were 3 stages of fish farming in prehistoric Asia. First, humans fished the marshy areas where carp gather in spawning season. Secondly, the marshy areas were manged by digging channels, controlling water ways and circulation so the carp could spawn and the juveniles harvested. Third, came constant human management.