Failure to protect and invest in nature has left the world’s rivers in crisis, threatening the water supply of more than five billion people according to a new study. Pollution, dam building, agricultural runoff, conversion of wetlands, and water-works engineering have severely impacting global river systems, the first- ever health assessment of the planet’s riverine ecosystems reported in Nature last week.
‘What made our jaws drop is that some of the highest threat levels in the world are in the United States and Europe,’ says Peter McIntyre, a co-author of the report who is a zoologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the U.S. Read more
PlayPumps International, a US non-profit organization, has come up with a very innovative way to help Africans obtain clean water for their families. The PlayPump is a sustainable, patented water pump that gets its power from children. The PlayPump is a merry-go-round that doubles as a water pump.
The spinning of the merry-go-round pumps clean water from underground into a 2,500 liter tank, standing seven meters above the ground. A simple tap makes it easy to draw water. All excess water is diverted from the storage tank back down into the borehole. The pump is able to produce up to 1,400 liters of water per hour at 16 rpm from a depth of 40 up to 100 meters.
Women and girls in Africa are primarily responsible for collecting enough water each day for cooking, drinking and cleaning. This often means hauling heavy water containers for many miles taking, on average, three hours a day. The weight of the water containers is equivalent to about 44 pounds (20 kg). Many young girls and women must walk as much as six miles every day to retrieve water for their families. Some have to make the trip twice. Read more
Biological oceanography is a field of study that seeks to understand what controls the distribution and abundance of different types of marine life, and how living organisms influence and interact with processes in the oceans.
Biological oceanographers study all forms of life in the oceans, from microscopic plants and animals to fish and whales. In addition, biological oceanographers examine all forms of oceanic processes that involve living organisms. These include processes that occur at molecular scales, such as photosynthesis , respiration, and cycling of essential nutrients , to largescale processes such as effects of ocean currents on marine productivity. Read more
Aquaculture, a type of agriculture, is the practice of cultivating aquatic animals and plants in managed aquatic environments. Aquaculture in salt-water or marine environments is called mariculture. Fish culture, or pisciculture, refers to the husbandry of finfish . The most popular aquaculture species are finfish grown in fresh waters, accounting for over 40 percent of total aquaculture production (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1998).
Ancient and Modern Aquaculture
Aquaculture has a long history, but for much of the world it remains somewhat of a novelty, being practiced less than agriculture or capture fisheries .
Although carp ponds are rooted in antiquity, they are still popular today, and enthusiasts worldwide maintain associations devoted to these fish. Shown here are colorful koi, originally bred from the common grass carp, swimming in a pond at a Japanese garden and teahouse. Carp have religious and cultural significance in Asia and other parts of the world. Read more
High energy costs are one drawback of making clean water from waste effluents. According to an article in the journal Biomicrofluidics, which is published by the American Institute of Physics, a new system that combines two different technologies proposes to break down contaminants using the cheapest possible energy source, sunlight. Microfluidics — transporting water through tiny channels — and photocatalysis — using light to break down impurities — come together in the science of optofluidics.
“These two technologies have been developed in parallel but there have been few efforts to employ the natural synergy between them,” says author Xuming Zhang of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. “Our results showed a dramatic improvement in the efficiency of the photocatalyst.” Read more