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Yachting on Lake Eyre

The Lake Eyre Yacht club members are going to be able to get on the water once again. The Lake Eyre basin is the lowest natural point in Australia at about 15 metres be;low Sea level. The average annual rainfall is 125mm…meaning the lake and surrounding creeks and streams are usually dry.

The seasonal rains arrived 1,000kms away, a couple of months ago, in the upper Diamantina catchment in western Queensland. Members of the Yacht Club have been tracking the progress of the flood waters through outback Queensland. Water reached Lake Eyre on May 15th. Two days after the water arrived 3 yachts were sailing the majestic Eyre waters.

When full Lake Eyre is the Largest Lake in Australia, and as salty as seawater. This year the flood waters have not been enough to fill it completely.


Water Parks in the Maritimes

It is getting for the time for summer vacations…if traveling to the Maritime Provinces is on the to do list consider these great family outings.

1) Gaspereau River, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Grab a tube and let all your troubles float away.

2) Water Wizard Waterslides, Woodstock, New Brunswick

Great slides and awesome water guns.

3) Nashwaak Tubing, Durham Bridge, N.B.

a great way to spend some time on the water…$10-$12 will get you a lot of fun.

4) Upper Clements, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Includes the Fundy Spray Waterslide, the Sizziboo Sizzler Flume Ride , and more.

5) Shining Waters, Cavendish Beach, PEI.

Spend a great sunny day enjoying this great local water park.

6) Gallan’s Mirimachi River Tubing, Doyle’s Brook, NB.

Since you will be on the river for a while, you can bring refreshment in their special tubes that hold coolers.

7) Atlantic Playland, Hammond’s Plain, NS.

Close to Halifax…great day trip.

8) Magic Mountain, Moncton,  NB.

Tons of water based options including the Lazy River and Wave Pool.

Get out and enjoy your summer!



Hydroelectric Power: How it works

How do we get electricity from water?

A power source is used to turn a propeller like piece called a turbine, which then turns a metal shaft in an electric generator, which is the motor that generates the electricity. The hydroelectric plant uses falling water to turn the turbines.

The thing is to build a dam on a large river that has a drop in elevation. The dam stores up lots of water in the reservoir. Towards the bottom of the dam is there is a water intake. Gravity causes the water to enter the dam and fall down a large tube. end of the tube is a large turbine which is moved by the water. The turbine’s shaft goes into the generator which produces the electricity.

Now we have power . This power must then be transmitted to your home over a system of power lines.

The water continues past the propeller to be released into the river past the dam. Note: it is not a good idea to be close downstream when the water is being released.

Hurricanes are moving slower

New research is showing tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are now travelling across our planet at a slower rate. No big deal right..wrong. By traveling at a slower pace they drop far more rain and the flooding is far more devastating. This new research can be combined with related research from a month ago that suggests that warming temperatures from global warming will slow storms even more.

The two studies taken together show that climate change could already be increasing the dangers posed by hurricanes and typhoons in ways never before imagined. Slow moving storms can increase storm surge, increase the amount of time that structures are subjected to strong winds, and increases rainfall.

The research shows that from 1949 to 2016 tropical cyclones across the globe reduced their speed by 10%. With more time over an area , more moisture will be dropped….leading to increased flooding.

Shimla..ran out of water May 20/18

The Himalayan city of Shimla, home to 172,000 people ran out of water a few days ago. Water supplies have been critically low for the last three years..now the taps have run dry.

Shimla was formerly the summer capital of the British Raj and is still popular for Indians to escape the oppressive heat on the plains. Residents must now line up for hours to collect water from government tankers, to get bottled water, or pay steep prices from “water mafia” types.

Tourism is big for the local economy, but travelers are asked to stay away from Shimla for a while. Dozens of police officers have been deployed to guard water distribution centres. Protests have broken out as the population suffers.

The government blames lower than expected snowfall causing rivers and streams to dry. Others blame chronic mismanagement. The city should be receiving 70m litres of water per day..but 40% is lost due to leakages. One of the 5 major water sources is believed to have become contaminated. Climate change is also named as an influencer.

Around 600million Indians are experiencing high water stress according to the World Resources Institute. Major cities like Delhi and Bangalore have faced disruptions in water service in recent years. In 2016 riots broke out in two states over how to share the water resources.

This week we looked at Pakistan and Indian…both have serious water concerns.

Pakistan’s coming “absolute water scarcity”

It looks like Pakistan will be in a position of absolute water scarcity by 2025.

The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources forecast this result in a new report which claims the country touched the water stress line in 1990, then crossed into water scarcity in 2005.

Urgent research is required to find a solution…but their are no government funds available.

Pakistan has the 4th highest usage rate for water, but is dependent on water from a single source… the Indus River Basin in India where rainfall has been declining possibly due to climate change.

About a million people live in Pakistan’s most populous city, Karachi, but very few have running water after the land has gradually dried up, forcing many residents to queue for hours for their water.

The former chair of the Water and Power Development Authority says water policy is virtually non-existent in the country. Policy makers are acting like absentee landlords. Water has become the property of the landlords and deprived the poor.

So we are seeing poor water management, climate change combined with population growth and urbanization…and a lack of political will to address the situation.

There are no proper water storage facilities in the country. No new dams have been built since the 60’s. Warnings of massive corruption in the water sector have been sounded as some wish to profit from the scarce and vital resource.

Troubles ahead.

How Did Water Get To Earth?

Water..covers &0% of the surface of the Earth, so important to life on Earth but where did it come from.

Scientists have come up with several ways water got to Earth, including it was always here or in dirty ice balls called comets. Asteroids are also on the list as originators of water. More than 4 billion yrs ago Asteroids pummeled the planet in great numbers in a period called the great bombardment.

Samples of asteroids  called carbonaceous chondrites, show they contained water. The heat of impact would be great with the resulting loss of water. Scientists at Brown University  and John Hopkins have shown through experiments on a smaller scale that the water could have been captured in Earth’s rock.

Using NASA’s vertical gun, a 3 story high apparatus designed to fire projectiles at a target at different angles, the scientists shot pea sized pebbles called antigorite at pumice. This mimics an asteroid hitting Earth , but on a small-scale. The gun shoots the pebbles about 10 ft, but at a speed of 11,000 miles an hour. At an impact angle of 45 degrees as much as 30% of the water was captured.

If this were to be the impact of a real asteroid the water could be later released as steam from lava flows and contribute to life on Earth.

The scientists recognize that this process would not account for all the water on Earth, but is new information on an important subject.