To combat the plastics and other trash piling up in the ocean, Seabin Project is working to install hundreds of its floating garbage cans at marinas and ports around the world.
Tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year creating a so-called “sea of plastic,” a mass of garbage floating in the water that can stretch for miles. But the Australian-based Seabin Project is trying to stop the water bottles, plastic bags, styrofoam and other debris before they ever make out into the open ocean. Their solution is a floating garbage can called a Seabin that’s submerged in the water at marinas, ports, yacht clubs and floating docks. Read more
Melbourne’s transport uses 311 billion litres of water each year – equivalent to flooding the city’s centre 8 metres deep. That’s just one of the findings of our study looking at how much water different modes of transport use.
We found that cars are the most water-intensive mode of transport, using on average 6.4 litres of water per passenger, per kilometre. Diesel trains use 5.2L per passenger-kilometre (pkm) and electric trains use the least, at 3.4L per pkm.
This means that a typical commuter can use between 140L and 350L of water per day to travel to work and back. This is at least as much as a Melbourne resident’s daily household water use of 160L. Read more
This is the first of two articles looking at the increasing reliance of Australian cities on desalination to supply drinking water, with less emphasis on alternatives such as recycling and demand management. So what is the best way forward to achieve urban water security?
Removing salts and other impurities from water is really difficult. For thousands of years people, including Aristotle, tried to make fresh water from sea water. In the 21st century, advances in desalination technology mean water authorities in Australia and worldwide can supply bountiful fresh water at the flick of a switch.
Achieving water security using desalination is now a priority for the majority of Australia’s capital cities, all but one of which are on the coast. Using the abundance of sea water as a source, this approach seeks to “climate proof” our cities’ water supplies. Read more
What is the best solution to the problem of water security in Australia? Finding an answer to this question is no easy matter. There is still much we don’t know about the nature and impact of climate change on freshwater resources in Australia, and public opinion is divided about how best to tackle a problem that is not yet well understood. Ensuring ongoing water security is not simply a technical and environmental matter, but an inherently social one as well.
CSIRO’s State of the Climate Report 2012 suggests more frequent droughts in much of southern Australia. At the same time, wet periods may become more intense in some years. One thing is clear: climate patterns in Australia are changing and water resources planning must adapt accordingly.
All possible initiatives to ensure water sustainability have social ramifications and costs that need to be considered. This is true regardless of whether the option is water restrictions, rainwater tanks, dam expansion, water recycling, or desalination. Read more
The geographic locations where Americans live are shifting in ways that can negatively affect the quality of their drinking water.
Cities that experience long-term, persistent population decline are called shrinking cities. Although shrinking cities exist across the U.S., they are concentrated in the American Rust Belt and Northeast. Urban shrinkage can be bad for drinking water in two ways: through aging infrastructure and reduced water demand. Read more