Author: Matt Caudill

World Water Day 2016

World Water Day Rises to International Prominence

Water Gets Attention As Conditions Change

The 24th World Water Day, which occurred Tuesday, March 22, 2016 with events held all over the world, was also celebrated by the Obama administration with a “White House Water Summit” in Washington, D.C. The administration’s conference theme was innovation, technology, and collaboration to build “a sustainable and secure water future.”

Such language is a departure for senior leaders of the United States in evaluating the condition of the nation’s water. For almost all of its 240-year history, with only episodic interference from nature (the 1930s Dust Bowl), and one big intervention from man (the clean water campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s), the United States has been a place that largely took its water supply and quality for granted. Until very recently, when asked ‘Where does your water come from?” most Americans replied, ‘The tap.’

How quickly things can change in a new century of rapid ecological and economic transformation that has put water supply and quality at the forefront of public priorities across the United States and around the world.

Water Is a Priority

There is nothing like a four-year drought in America’s largest state, a two-year drought in its second largest state, the poisoning of hundreds of children exposed to lead-contaminated water in Flint, and the poison algae that shuts public water systems and now blankets Lake Erie each summer to convince President Obama and his aides to pay attention.

And there is nothing like water shortages in São Paulo, Brazil, a deep two-year drought that is crippling South Africa’s grain harvest, a Syrian civil water touched off by a four-year drought, and a Himalayan flood in India that killed an estimated 30,000 people and laid waste to big hydropower dams to attract the concern of global leaders.

These and other calamities affecting access to and adequate supplies of fresh water are elevating the world’s water to a new position of gravity and priority.

Water security is a new organizing principle, flowing into every corner of the human experience and affecting every dimension of the natural world.

A research paper published this month in Nature, the prestigious science journal, found that two thirds of the world’s people do not have adequate access to water for at least one month per year. Like the hundreds of millions of villagers and slum dwellers in India who transport water in buckets from community wells and tanker trucks, or Africans who rely on knee-high standpoints in informal settlements, the majority of the world’s citizens are well aware that water is an essential resource never to be taken for granted.

Now the other third living in homes and working in offices with easy access to running water will not take it for granted either. California homeowners, their lawns and golf courses turned brown as the desert, faced mandatory cutbacks in water use last year established by the state government. And for the first time the state began regulating groundwater supplies.

Pay Attention, Things Are Changing

Nor will business executives this century see water as anything less than an essential resource that requires clear assessment and long-term care. Just ask the front office personnel at Duke Energy, the largest electric utility in the United States. Duke Energy’s revenue stream is affected, and its stockholders are getting restless, as the company’s losses mount due to the world’s changing climactic conditions. The big investments the company made in more than 2,000 megawatts of hydropower in Brazil are not generating the levels of electricity Duke Energy anticipated because of a severe drought last year that reduced water levels in rivers and reservoirs. In February, Duke Energy announced it wanted to sell its Brazilian hydropower holdings.

Since 2013 the United Nations, which launched World Water Day in 1993, has managed the annual global event according to themes that have become increasingly urgent. In 2013 it was water and cooperation. In 2014, water’s role in generating energy. Last year it was water and health. This year it is jobs.

Another of the significant steps — beyond World Water Day — is that the UN established Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September, that not only embrace water as a priority, but name it as central to achieving other international goals for well-being. This is a fresh and widely welcomed compass heading for responding to the world’s most persistent challenges.

Coming soon for the United Nations and other important international institutions is the next great chapter in understanding water’s role in global affairs — the relationship between water and the international financial sector. Three of the world’s crucial economic sectors — agriculture, energy, and mining — are reeling due to changing hydrological cycles.

Those changes — more powerful and frequent floods, deeper and more frequent droughts — are factors in stranding valuable assets. Adequate supplies of water, and vulnerability to droughts and floods, are is starting to influence investment decisions surrounding trillions of dollars in play in global financial markets.

Big institutional investors and banks, like JP Morgan Chase and sovereign wealth funds, are making decisions to divest from fossil fuel companies. Due to their consequences on the Earth’s ecosystems, declining market value, and the availability of cleaner and less expensive alternatives, energy resources like coal, and to some extent oil and uranium, are started to get stranded as economic assets. The rising risk from financing conventional energy sources also is beginning to strand industrial assets too, the installations — power plants, hydropower dams, smelters, important mining and agricultural equipment suppliers — that process and consume those resources.

In India, the powerful 2013 Himalayan flood in Uttarakhand destroyed hydropower dams and convinced several companies to exit the hydropower industry, selling dams at a fraction of their operating cost.

In China, as national leaders pivot on coal mining and coal-fired power to conserve water, reduce pollution, and make the transition to cleaner renewable energy sources, hundreds of mines are closing. With much less demand from China, global coal prices have fallen to below $US 43 per metric ton, less than half the price in 2008.

In South Africa, two immense 4,800-megawatt coal-fired power plants, Medupi and Kusile, are years overdue, more than $US 20 billion over budget, and are factors in the nation’s economic turmoil. By the time they are projected to be finished in the early 2020s, water scarcity in the rivers that supply process water to the two plants may prevent both from operating at full capacity.

It is grave, complex, and unanticipated conflicts like these that are turning World Water Day into a signature annual international event. Given the circumstances emerging around water it also would be a good idea for the next president to make the White House Water Summit an annual event as well.

Originally published on Circle of Blue – By Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue – March 22, 2016

If you would like some more information about how Metro Water Filter of the South can help you with your residential or commercial water filtration needs, please contact us and we would be more than happy to help.


New Company Makes Washing More Efficient

download (2)Even the appliances we use today have been updated to address issues surrounding water conservation. It’s relatively easy to install a low-flow toilet or a low-flow shower head, but saving money on washing clothing is much more challenging.

One startup company, AquaFresco, is attempting to make doing laundry more efficient by reusing the water used in washing a load of clothes. The company says that in the typical laundering process, 20 gallons or water is used along with detergent in order to remove a very small amount of dirt. Rather than sending wash water down the drain and into the sewer system, the company has developed a way that will allow washing machines reuse up to 95% of the wastewater used in the laundering process.

The technology, developed by three MIT graduate students, will allow consumers and institutions to substantially reduce the amount of water that is used. The team of students were the third place winners in MIT’s Water Innovation prize. Hotels and hospitals will especially benefit from this technology.

The company says that the technology will be available in the near future and will not require a major overhaul in infrastructure or require people to drastically change their behavior.

At Metro Water Filter, our water quality experts can help you improve your green image and keep your filtration in top condition. Call Metro Water Filter today to find out more about how we can help maintain or improve your water quality.


Where can i buy levitra online Nanopore Materials Continue Development

images (25)Though our planet is covered with water much of it is undrinkable because it is salt water. With growing concern about the availability of fresh water in many communities across the country, there has been more talk about building desalination plants, but these require a lot of energy. Engineers in the US have been working on coming up with more energy-efficient methods for removing salt out of seawater. If successful, such a solution could be used to give people access to drinking water and water for crops, which is especially important for drought-stricken areas.

Conventional desalination relies on reverse osmosis to channel seawater through a thin plastic membrane, but the process is very slow. To make it faster, water pressure must be raised, but this requires more energy to operate.

One of the materials that has been developed for desalination would allow a large amount of water to pass through very tiny holes called nanopores that block salt and other contaminants. The material is made up of a sheet of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) that is a nanometre thick. So far, this material has proved to be the most successful out of several types of materials that the engineers tested, and 70% better than graphene.

According to Mohammad Heiranian, first author of the study, the molybdenum disulphide membrane “allows the water to pass through it with far less resistance. In addition, the molybdenum in the center attracts water, and then the sulphur on the other side pushes it away, so we have much higher rate of water going through the pore.”

Researchers are currently working with manufacturers in order to help make such a process of desalination closer to being a reality.

At Metro Water Filter, we are committed to helping ensure that clean water is available to everyone today and tomorrow. We can help keep the water treatment system for your business or city in good condition. Contact us today for more information.


Coastkeepers Fight to Keep Water Quality High

downloadFor many organizations such as San Diego-based non-profit San Diego Coastkeeper, raising awareness about clean water has been a long hard road. The organization works to pressure government into repairing and replacing old sewer and water lines, as well as corporations to get them to improve their water usage.

Twenty years ago, only a few people were really concerned about water quality. Today, it’s an entirely different story. San Diego Coastkeeper is now helping San Diego city officials usher in a new era of water conservation in the area that includes water-recycling and reclamation.

San Diego Coastkeeper, which calls itself “the biggest little environmental organization nobody’s ever heard of,” has achieved this by active lobbying, community outreach, diplomacy, and even litigation in order to make increased water quality a priority in the region.

In 1999, Coastkeeper won its first major court victory against Southwest Marine, now called BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair. The company was held legally accountable for discharging pollution into the bay and was cited for cleanup of the mess. In 2005, Coastkeeper was able to reach a legal settlement with the city of San Diego. The settlement forced the city to spend millions of dollars in upgrades to sewage infrastructure that had been leaking waste on a daily basis.

“It’s a group that really at its core is about advocacy,” said Bruce Reznik, who now works as executive director of Los Angeles Coastkeeper. “At its heart we are an organization, a movement that stands up and says, ‘These waterways belong to all of us, and we’re not going to allow people to pollute.”

San Diego Coastkeeper is one organization in a network comprised of over 260 “waterkeeper” organizations in more than 21 countries.

Water quality is important to everyone. It’s important that your city or business have access to clean water. It is clear that communities, industries and everyone are standing up for keeping our waterways clean and ensuring water quality.

Helping your community or business provide clean healthy water for everyone is our specialty at Metro Water Filter. Call our offices to schedule to meet with one of our water quality experts today.



Atlanta Takes More Water from Chattahoochee

download (58)If you live in the Atlanta Metro Area, then you’ve got really good odds that your drinking water comes from the Chattahoochee River. As Atlanta’s population grows, the demands on the river are going up, and that’s been causing a long-standing water war with neighboring states.

That war just had another shot fired when Atlanta approved new regulations that allows Atlanta to take more water from the river during drought conditions. But this could put the water quality of the Chattahoochee at even greater risk. Previously, there was a requirement that the intersection of the Chattahoochee and Peachtree Creek had to have a water flow of 750 cubic feet per second. This was so that downstream fish and recreational areas would have enough water. It was also so there would be sufficient dilution of sewage wastes from 12 sewage plants downstream of this point.

 

With less water flowing through the area now, it could put a lot of fish and even tourism at risk. The Georgia Water Coalition has named the Chattahoochee one of Georgia’s “Dirty Dozen”, one of the twelve water sources with the most water quality problems.

 

It’s now more important than ever to ensure your business has adequate filtration in place to handle Atlanta’s water quality problems. If you would like to have your system inspected, contact Metro Water Filter for an estimate. Water filtration is our only business. We will make sure that your system can handle any changes in pollution levels.


Pipe Corrosion Lead to Elevated Lead Levels in Flint

download (36)Earlier this month, we discussed the water quality issues that residents of Flint, Michigan were facing. It turns out that the situation is much more dire than it first appeared. The elevated levels of lead that were found in the water were also showing up in the bloodstreams of the city’s school children.

Because of this, the State of Michigan removed its top official in charge of water and admitted that they had failed to control corrosion in the city’s water pipes, which were the cause for the high lead levels.

The city’s staff employed a federal protocol they believed was appropriate. Unfortunately, according to Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Water Quality, that protocol wasn’t adequate to address the situation. Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder, has called for a review of the situation by a third party.

“We do not know whether the misapplication of federal rules was intentional or due to negligence. That’s why the Legislature needs to have a robust role in any investigation, and in ensuring those responsible for Flint’s water crisis are held accountable,” he said.

However, some in the state legislature such as Michigan Senate Minority Leader, Jim Ananich (D-Flint), argues that both the State and the EPA put their own interests ahead of those of the citizens of Flint.

Up until last year, the city of Flint was getting its water from Detroit Water and Sewage Department. The City of Detroit has been using phosphates to treat the issue of water corrosion in its pipes to ensure “optimized corrosion control,” as is called for by federal guidelines.

When the city of Flint opted to leave Detroit’s water and sewer system and began using its own backup water source from the Flint River, they never added phosphates. A water quality study conducted by Virginia Tech found that water from the Flint River was 19 times more corrosive than water previously obtained from Detroit.

The decision to use river water was a temporary solution. The city was waiting until the Karegnondi Water Authority completed a pipeline that would transport water from Lake Huron and send it to Flint.

Everyone depends on clean drinking water. Federal guidelines exist to help ensure water quality today and into the future. If you are the person who is responsible for meeting and maintaining the water quality goals for your community, you know how important your job is. At Metro Water Filter, our experts can help you ensure the level of water quality your city or business depends upon. Contact our offices today to schedule a meeting with one of our water quality experts.


New Initiative to Control Algae Blooms Begins

download (26)Today with concerns over water quality at an all-time high across the country, we love hearing about solutions that both industry and communities think up to help improve our precious water resources.

After concerns over recent algae blooms in the Ohio River and Lake Erie due to increased levels of nitrogen in the water, a pilot project has been initiated in the Ohio River Basin area that may offer a solution to the problem of algae blooms.

American Farmland Trust and the Electric Power Research Institute recently announced the establishment of the nation’s first interstate water quality trading market. This new water quality trading market will offer a way for industries to purchase water quality “credits” from farmers in the watershed. In turn, watershed farmers use the funds from the project in order to make improvements on their farms. These improvements can further reduce the amount of fertilizer that typically runs off fields of crops and from barnyards and livestock areas.

According to a letter that Brian Brandt, the director of Agricultural Conservation Innovations at American Farmland Trust, sent to the editor of the New York Times; the water quality trading market estimates that they will keep over 12,000 pounds of nitrogen and 3,800 pounds of phosphorous out of waterways from some 29 farm projects in just the first year of operations.

According to Brandt, once the program reaches its full scale, it could make a “significant positive impact on the water quality and health of the watershed.”

Are you meeting your water quality goals? Keeping the water supply clean, healthy and available for everyone for years to come is part of what we do best at Metro Water Filter. We can help you meet your goals for clean water for your city and your business. Call our offices to schedule to meet with one of our water quality experts today.



Bad Water Leads to Elevated Lead Levels in Flint Residents

 

download (6)What happens when a city changes how it gets its water and the change is definitely not for the better?

Residents of the city of Flint, Michigan are finding this out after a recent report revealed that children living in the city showed elevated levels of lead in their bloodstreams.

Since the change in the water supply, the elevated levels of lead in children in two of the city’s zip codes have tripled. Many families out of concern for the health and welfare of their families have opted to purchase bottled water, some spending as much as $15 per week.

The problem began after the city opted to stop getting its water from Detroit and start getting its water supply from the Flint River last year.

The state of Michigan has begun distributing water filters to the residents of Flint because of growing concerns about the city’s water quality. Charities, individuals and private organizations have been distributing bottled water for a number of weeks. The United Way, according to the Genesee County Health Department, has been working to insure that Flint Schools have access to secure water filter systems.

A public health emergency was declared last week and the Mayor of Flint, Dayne Walling said in a statement to the media that, “Any bottled water donations we receive will be used for our children and other high risk groups, such as our seniors.”

The Mayor and the city’s Technical Advisory Committee that is made up of water experts is due to meet in the near future in order to discuss both short and long term solutions to the problems the city of Flint is now facing with its water supply.

Having contaminants that put the health of citizens at risk is a serious concern. It is the nightmare of anyone who is responsible for the water supply of any city or business.

If your business or city is facing concerns over access to clean water, contact Metro Water Filter today to speak with our water filtration experts.