water

US Water Consumption Lowest in Decades

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - One of the challenges we can expect to face in a climate-changed world is a dramatic redistribution of water resources. Some areas will experience drought, as California and all of the Southwest is currently facing, while others will be forced to deal with flooding, either from massive storms or snowmelt in the spring. These are enormous challenges which could threaten our economy and in some cases our livelihoods. The question of how we can prepare for this is an overwhelming one, though we know that we can surely benefit by becoming more resilient. In this context, this means, among other things, reducing the level of water consumption required for our way of life. That also implicitly means reducing our energy consumption, since the two are so inextricably linked.

There is some good news on that score. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), in a report issued earlier this week, water use in the US, as of the year 2010 has fallen to the lowest level since before 1970. This was largely due to reductions in the two largest water consuming activities: thermoelectric power generation and agricultural irrigation. The biggest drop was in withdrawals for feeding and cooling thermal power plants, which accounts for about 45% of all water withdrawals. That number fell by 20%. This derived from a migration away from fossil fuel plants, particularly coal, as well as improved efficiency. Irrigation, which accounts for another 33% of all withdrawals, fell by 9%. Public water supply withdrawals also fell by 5% despite an increase in population. The only areas that saw increases were aquaculture and mining. What’s not clear is whether that trend will begin to reverse with severe droughts like the one currently underway in California, which has already reversed decades of progress in air quality improvement.

These numbers were rolled up at a national level. Drilling down into the numbers, as the folks at the Hamilton Project did, shows a wide variation in water usage and water availability across the various regions of the country. Just because the national average is down, deosn't mean that some areas aren't struggling.

H&M Proves Sustainable Fashion Is Possible

Can a company with 3,300 clothing stores around the world create sustainable fashion? Swedish company H&M is showing that it is possible. The clothing retailer recently launched a new collection, Conscious Denim, for women, men and children. At least 50 percent of each garment is made from sustainable materials including organic cotton, organic linen and recycled wool.

California Senators Introduce Legislation To Help Ease the Pain of Drought

All of California is in a drought and a huge swath of the state is in the worst category, exceptional drought. The drought is causing major problems for the state, including wildfires. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to over 4,000 wildfires across the state since January 1. One of those wildfires is currently raging within Yosemite National Park. Water wells are also going dry in some communities.

Hospital In California’s Drought Stricken Central Valley Will Use Recycled Water

In case you live in a bubble and don’t know that California is in the third year of one of its worst droughts, driving through many towns in the state this summer might give you a clue something is not normal. Many public properties feature brown lawns, as do many lawns in residential areas. The San Joaquin Valley is one area that is already dry due to its desert climate.

Water Needs Energy, and Energy Needs Water: Canadian Power

A quarter of the energy supply in Ontario is provided by renewable waterpower (1). On the flip side “generating steam and pumping, treating and heating water consume 40% of Ontario’s natural gas and 12% of our electricity usage.” (2)  
 

The Water Bearers: Exclusive Interview with Xylem Watermark and Mercy Corps

In his message for World Water Day 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized the importance of access to clean water in "our efforts to build stable societies and lives of dignity for all," specifically calling for "innovative strategies." Here's one partnership that has been successful in answering that call 

#Toast to Water Gives You a Chance to Join in the Celebration

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Last week marked the 21st anniversary of World Water Day. The day was designated by the UN General Assembly in 1993, to celebrate and raise awareness of issues surrounding water. This year’s celebration took place in Tokyo, focusing on the theme of “Water and Energy.” The two-day event featured numerous workshop and talks by experts from all over the world.

Other events included a meeting of the US Water Partnership, a public-private partnership featuring a broad range of Federal agencies, household-name corporations, universities and NGO’s focusing on water issues, particularly in the developing world. Among their signature initiatives are efforts to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) across Africa, improved water security in South Asia, a Great Rivers Partnership providing integrated sustainable solutions for entire river basins, and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), which focuses on ways to respond to the impacts of a rapidly changing climate on water resources.

The US State Department hosted a Water Technology Event in Washington, showcasing exemplary water technologies.

AsiaWater 2014, Asia’s #1 water and wastewater industry event, also took place last week in Kuala Lampur.

All in all, whether you are watching the waves crashing onto the beach, or watching the snow as it begins to melt, it was—and is—a great time to take a minute and appreciate the incredible role that water plays in all of our lives. Considering the fact that some 60% of our bodies consist of it or that we cannot live without it should be reason enough.

This year for the first time, there is an opportunity to do just that, using social media to participate in the Toast to Water campaign. This kickstarting engagement action has spurred thousands of people to send in selfies or short videos illustrating some way in which water is important to them or just raising a glass in a toast.

For example, Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of the famous ocean crusader Jacques Cousteau, can be seen making her toast to water, here. General Colin Powell also got in on the action, along with Colorado Rockies slugger Michael Cuddyer, and Congressman Mike Honda. Many others, by those less famous, toast to water, for providing a home for their fish, for helping to brew their coffee, and for providing fresh produce. Twitter hashtag #toasttowater has dozens of photos and hundreds of tweets by people toasting to water. Check it out. You just might see someone you know.

Water Wars: Fighting Over Earth's Most Precious Fluid

With global water use growing at more than twice the rate of human population increase in the last century, the issue of water security is quickly rising to the top. When it comes to life's most precious fluid, mankind has two very different choices: conflict or cooperation

Canadian Business and Water Leaders Talk Innovation

The sustainability challenges facing Canadian business leaders and water experts are unsurprisingly similar:

“How can companies design resilient sustainability programs that can survive leadership changes, economic downturns, political shifts and other setbacks?”

Pages

Subscribe to water