“In the Middle East, swaths of countryside have been reduced to desert because of overuse of water. Iran is one of the most severely affected. Heavy overconsumption, coupled with poor rainfall, have ravaged its water resources and devastated its agricultural output. Similarly, the United Arab Emirates is now investing in desalination plants and waste water treatment units because it lacks fresh water. As crown prince General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan admitted: “For us, water is [now] more important than oil.”
The Guardian published a worrying article about the increasing threat of global water crisis, identifying some of the most water-starved areas across the globe, including Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. The piece also reveals that the figure now stands at more than one billion individuals – that’s one in seven people on the planet – now that don’t have access to fresh drinking water.
“The system has one other major advantage over conventional heat pumps – it can heat water up to 90C rather than the usual 50C-60C, which means it can be used in old as well as new buildings. For the first time, retrofitting homes that use gas-powered boilers to drive heating systems that require very hot water becomes a realistic possibility.”
BBC News has been exploring how residents of Dammen in Norway have been heating their city by extracting water from the local fjord. The heat pumps the local council has been using are less energy intensive than other types of heating technology, providing three times the amount of thermal heat than electric heating.
“On the sweltering afternoon of 26 February, they painted colourful protest murals on the legs of a bridge that crosses one of São Paulo’s most important water sources, nestled in the Serra da Cantareira mountain range.
Months earlier, as fears of drought loomed over the region, Thiago Mundano had tagged the words “Welcome to the Cantareira desert” on to an abandoned car under the same bridge. That image became an icon of crisis as water supplies fell to a historic low and taps ran dry in South America’s largest city.”
According to The Guardian, residents of São Paulo have taken to the streets to start a movement in order to raise awareness of the severe droughts in the area. Artists in the city are painting murals on abandoned vehicles, bridges and buildings to bring attention to the water problems and also act as a way of measuring how much water levels are rising and falling.
“A few years ago Bill Gates teamed up with an engineer named Peter Janicki to create an ingenious machine that uses the same ingredient that taints water supplies—human waste—to clean them. The “Janicki Omniprocessor”, which looks something like a miniature power plant, can turn waste from 100,000 people into 86,000 liters of clean water a day while generating enough electricity to power itself. “The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle,” Gates wrote on his blog.”
The British Psychological Society wrote about a device that has some things in common with the Desolenator – but on a much larger power plant-esque scale. Interestingly, the piece looks into the psychological implications of drinking water that was once sewage – a fascinating read!
Finally, this harrowing photo gallery from Sky News documents the shocking effects that rubbish from the Olympics is still having on Brazil’s ecosystem.
Main image via Flickr Creative Commons.