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Water Meter Readers are Going Places (Literally)

The Portland Water Bureau currently employs 12 water meter readers responsible for reading meters at homes and businesses on their assigned routes throughout the City of Portland. Meter readers fall under the Customer Services Group, and are based out of the Water Bureau’s Interstate Facility in north Portland.

Picture-024Meter readers work Monday through Friday, in all weather conditions including snow, ice, and frozen rain. Reading a meter may seem easy, but there’s definitely an art to it. Readers are often challenged by inclement weather conditions, piled snow, aggressive animals, parked vehicles, overgrown plants, and construction materials. Oftentimes, customers place compost and recycling carts and garbage containers over their meters on collection day, affecting access and quick reads. Далее

Giant ‘Battery’ Can Store Renewable Energy

LONDON – Norwegian hydropower schemes linked to Europe’s large wind farm projects could successfully act as a backup when wind power fails to deliver enough energy, according to SINTEF, the largest independent Scandinavian research organization.

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Smøla Wind Farm is a 68 turbine wind farm located on the island of Smøla in Norway. Researchers say energy from surplus wind power will provide “battery” power to even out energy supply & demand. Credit: Flickr/Statkraft

With both on- and off-shore wind power being seen as key to reducing the EU’s carbon emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050, a big hurdle for the technology is solving the problem of intermittent power production. Sometimes there will be too much power on offer, and at others too little. Далее

Personal Water Filter Bottle Helps Fund Fight Against Global Water Crisis

It shouldn’t be news to anybody that disposable plastic water bottles and the water that fills them are a bane to our planet. Some 38 billion plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year, and filling a one liter bottle takes three times that amount of water to produce.

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So it really ought to be a no-brainer that we should be using refillable water bottles for our own personal use. However, if you’re concerned about the quality of water you use to fill yours, perhaps it’s time to consider a personal water filter bottle – and not just any one, but one that will also help to fund the fight against the global water crisis by supporting sustainable water projects. Далее

How does water support life on Earth?

Planet Green

life-on-EarthThe planet’s oceans, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water provide homes to countless species of plants and animals, but water supports life in many other ways as well. We use water every day in farming and agriculture, manufacturing and transportation, and power generation, too. In addition, water plays an important role in regulating the temperature of the Earth.

All is not well with this life-giving liquid, however. Supply and demand create thorny issues the world over. According to the United Nations, the planet Earth is facing a “water crisis.” While there is no shortage of water on the planet Earth itself, the major issues are sanitation and access: People who need fresh water often can’t get to it (or it can’t get to them), and sometimes the water that people are able to acquire is dirty and untreated, meaning it can contain disease-causing microorganisms and other contaminants. Далее

52% of Earth’s 9.7 billion people will live in water-stressed areas in 2050, MIT study shows

Earth’s not running out of water any time soon. If you don’t believe me, look at any map that shows the southern hemisphere centered on the south pole…

cat-water-tongue-drinkingBut having access to enough fresh water where it is needed to support ecosystems, grow crops, etc, that’s another story. MIT researchers have used a new modeling software to calculate the ability of global water resources to meet water needs through 2050, and things don’t look too great for over half of what is expected to be world population at that point:

The researchers expect 5 billion (52 percent) of the world’s projected 9.7 billion people to live in water-stressed areas by 2050. They also expect about 1 billion more people to be living in areas where water demand exceeds surface-water supply. A large portion of these regions already face water stress — most notably India, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Далее