Tag Archives: St. Albert

Not all Antarctic glaciers are melting.

A new study has found that not all Antarctic glaciers are melting. There has been some attention lately given to the melting and breaking off of large areas of ice on the Antarctic Peninsula. This activity is not seen on the western Ross Sea coast. The pattern of advance and retreat of the ice pack is not evident here.

The western Ross Sea is an area of great importance to the Antarctic, with a large and diverse ecosystem. It is also the home of several research stations , including the U.S. McMurdo station..the largest on the continent.

Historical maps and satellite images going back 50yrs were used to study some 700kms of coastline, including 34 large glaciers. All showed normal activity. The results suggest changes in the drivers of glacier response to climate..air temp, snowfall, and ocean temperature has been minimal over the lat 50 years.

This comes as interesting news given the recent cracking up of the Larsen C Ice Shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Rome faces water rationing.

From the foundational myth of Romulus and Remus coming from the river…water has been inherent to the foundation of Rome. With ancient aqueducts and  baroque fountains water symbolizes Rome’s dominion over nature.

Today though Rome is facing a drought and high temperatures. The Mayor is looking at water rationing for 1.5 million Romans to 8hrs a day. In June to save water Rome began shutting off the water to some of the cities many water fountains , some of them historical landmarks. 

The city’s water utility Acea, is rushing to repair some 2,000kms of the 7,000kms of water piping. Hundreds of litres per second is being saved as the work is done. The piping is so antiquated that they estimate that some 44% of the water is stolen, spills into the ground or pools on the streets. 

So far Rome is experiencing the second hottest spring/summer recorded in the last 60 yrs, also one of the driest with 26 days of rain vs 88 in 2016. 7 of Italy’s 20 regions have declared an emergency to address the drought. Crops have also been damaged to the tune of 2 billion euros. even the Vatican has turned off some 100 fountains.

So many people in Rome thought an abundance of water was their birthright. As we find throughout the world water is never an issue until it is an issue..and then it becomes a big issue. The loss of 44% of the water in their utility speaks to someone took their eye off the infrastructure and now they have to pay the price.

Water on the Moon

In a new study scientists at Brown University conclude that the moon may have a large amount of water in it. A significant resource as we plot to inhabit the moon and beyond.

Glass beads picked up during the Apollo Missions of the 70’s have been tested and shown to contain water. Until 2008 we thought the moon was waterless, but with the study of satellite data  large deposits of water are thought to be trapped in volcanic deposits across the moon’s surface. These would be lunar deposits untouched by the Apollo Missions. The data suggests the water is found in nearly all areas looked at..the Apollo samples were not a fluke. The interior of the moon may be wet.

At present the origin of the moon is thought to be debris from a large Mars sized object crashing into earth. The heat from such a collision should have vaporized all hydrogen needed to make water. With water being found the origin of the moon will need to be rethought.

A big consideration will be is the water extractable? Will we be able to mine it and use it in quantities that we allow us to supply future moon habitation? Not having to bring water from earth would certainly help in terms of space and weight.


Ground water pumping trying out great plains

Farmers in Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas , and the Texas panhandle produce about 1/6 of the world’s grain. The single greatest source of ground water the High Plains Aquifer provides the moisture for all that growth. However, a group of researchers has found that after more than 50 yrs of ground water pumping long segments of rivers are drying up and the collapse of large stream fishes. If pumping practices are not changed more rivers will be under pressure.

What is important to note that what is being seen here has implications for watersheds around the world. Irrigation accounts for 90% of the water use globally..local and regional aquifers are drying up. 


Essentially , over time we are drying up the land…at some point a wall will be hit. Future generations may lose the ability to work the land , grow crops, water the animals, lose trees and grass and so on. 

Reusable water bottles have more bacteria than dog toys.

Water bottles

Refilling your water bottle we think is a good way to save money, be eco- conscious , and help you be healthy. Nope, not exactly.

A new study has found that refillable water bottles can harbor more bacteria than your dog’s toys.

4 different water bottles were tested by athletes for 1 week. The average athlete’s water bottle contained 313,499 CFU( colony forming units of bacteria) The dogs toys tested had 2937 CFU.

The type of bottle plays a role as well. Slide top bottles had the worst rating with 933,340 CFU’s. Straw top bottles were best at 29.4 CFU. Screw top had some 160,000 CFU, while a squeeze top had 161,971 CFU.

Interestingly the slide top had the most bacteria by far , but the type of bacteria in the squeeze top was more harmful. Over 60% of the bacteria found on the water bottles could make you sick.

So what to choose…

The recommendation is the straw top bottle, with the fewest germs, most being non harmful and naturally occurring. The research also points to choosing stainless steel over plastic. Don’t let your water bottle remain half full and sit at the bottom of your gym bag or in the car for a period of time. Do wash your bottle in the dishwasher, or wash in a soapy, or bleach solution after each use.




Israel..a water power.

Back in the 1930’s British economists put it out there that the Jewish and Palestinian area that is now Israel had enough water to support a maximum 2 million people. So how does an area that is 60% desert, with a population increase of 10x since 1948 become a water exporter. The have enough water to export water to the Palestinians and Jordan. As well ,Israel exports billions of dollars of peppers, tomatoes, melons and other water intensive produce.

How did Israel do this? Early leaders recognized the importance of water. Centralized water planning was instigated, water prices were real, regulators were appointed, the citizens were educated to conserve, they desalinated sea water, drip irrigation was instituted, and all sewage was treated and recycled for the crops.

…and so a water power was born.

Being in a relatively arid area help people in the area be aware of water issues going back a long way. In the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods water laws developed pertaining to the specific ownership of wells, rules regarding public water pipes, canals, and reservoirs. Rights of travelers to water holes was dealt with, pollution at water holes was not allowed, sewage must be kept away. It sounds like the people who live in the present day Israel were primed for centuries as to the crucial importance of water as a resource.


Against the odds, with a growing population, growing economy,and a drop in rainfall Israel has become a world leader in water management. Unlike some of their neighbors they do not have a water crisis.


Certainly there are concerns as most wells are used for drinking water and irrigation. There is a fear that as waste water is returned to the fields, over time it makes the earth salinated and causes a drop off in agriculture.

Nunavut get $230 million for upgrades.

To improve drinking water and waste water systems in Nunavut the Federal and Territorial  Governments  are investing $230 million. Nine projects across nineteen Nunavut communities will receive the funding to make upgrades to their water , waste water, and solid waste systems. 

The investments will be in green infrastructure, protecting the environment, supporting local economic opportunities, improving family income and quality of life for those living and working in the North. 

Federal officials will be going to Nunavut to establish the priorities with the various territorial and community leaders. In Arviat, Chesterfield Inlet, and Sanikiluak storage capacity, and enhancing water treatment and distribution are the main issues. Kugaaruk and Kimmirut require upgrades to the waste water system are required. Grise Fiord, Gjoa Haven, and Igloolik need  better waste management and recycling services. 

The federal gov’t is supplying $170 million and Nunavut $58 million.