Opinion: Water and the World We Want

HAMILTON, Canada, Feb 25 2015 (IPS) – We have entered a watershed year, a moment critical for humanity.

As we reflect on the successes and failures of the Millennium Development Goals, we look toward the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals to redress imbalances perpetuated through unsustainable economic growth and to help achieve key universally-shared ambitions, including stable political systems, greater wealth and better health for all.


Little girls in Timor-Leste cross a rice field after heavy rains carrying water in plastic containers. Credit: UN Photo/Martine Perret

Threat of a global water crisis is often mischaracterised as a lack of water to meet humanity’s diverse needs. It is actually a crisis of not enough water where we want it, when we want it, of sufficient quality to meet needs. Read more

Drinking Water From Air Humidity

Not a plant to be seen, the desert ground is too dry. But the air contains water, and research scientists have found a way of obtaining drinking water from air humidity. The system is based completely on renewable energy and is therefore autonomous.

111Cracks permeate the dried-out desert ground, the landscape bears testimony to the lack of water. But even here, where there are no lakes, rivers or groundwater, considerable quantities of water are stored in the air. In the Negev desert in Israel, for example, annual average relative air humidity is 64 percent – in every cubic meter of air there are 11.5 milliliters of water.

Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart working in conjunction with their colleagues from the company Logos Innovationen have found a way of converting this air humidity autonomously and decentrally into drinkable water. “The process we have developed is based exclusively on renewable energy sources such as thermal solar collectors and photovoltaic cells, which makes this method completely energy-autonomous. It will therefore function in regions where there is no electrical infrastructure,” says Siegfried Egner, head of department at the IGB. The principle of the process is as follows: hygroscopic brine – saline solution which absorbs moisture – runs down a tower-shaped unit and absorbs water from the air. It is then sucked into a tank a few meters off the ground in which a vacuum prevails. Energy from solar collectors heats up the brine, which is diluted by the water it has absorbed. Read more

Volcanoes and Water

A volcano is a place on the Earth from which magma and gases associated with magma flow through the Earth’s crust onto the surface, whether on land, in shallow waters along the shoreline, or under the sea. Scientists estimate that there are tens of thousands of active and dormant volcanoes on Earth, and thousands more extinct volcanoes.

waterWater and volcanoes are closely linked. Water plays significant roles throughout the “life cycle” of magma: from its production deep within the Earth, to its fiery escape at a volcano, to its final cooling.

Water Introduction via Plate Tectonics

The making of a volcano requires magma, and the making of magma requires heat. In other words, rock that is deep within the Earth must melt before a volcano can form.

Most of the Earth’s interior, although hot, is solid. From experiments it is known that water decreases the melting point of rock. If water is introduced to regions deep within the Earth, then solid rock there may begin to melt. Read more

California drought has neighbors stealing water from each other

There is simply no commodity on the planet more precious than water. Without it, life as we know it cannot exist. The human body can go without water for only three days at the most before death occurs.

Water-Main-Cover-Drought-Dry-LandAside from the essential survival aspects, we also depend on water for many other things, such as bathing, watering our lawns and gardens, washing our clothes, and a number of other daily activities. Everyone knows this, but access to clean water is something most of us have taken for granted.

However, that is beginning to change, particularly in the Southwest region of the United States, where a drought period that has lasted for more than a decade has become a massive problem. In California, Nevada and Arizona in particular, millions of people are being affected. Experts say that the problem will only worsen over the coming years. Read more

Purely worked: Saving water during repair

Summer is the season of not only holidays, but also repair. For many people it begins in the clouds of construction dust, and a cheerful singing grinder or punch. To make a candy form their homes, it will take time, money, nerves of steel and …much water. It is necessary for the preparation of solutions, washing tools, final cleaning. And those who paints, glues and plasterers have to wash more often than usual.


The exact calculation. It is unlikely that you thought about it before, but to save water without sacrificing quality in the process of repair is quite real. Building materials, cement, glue for wallpaper – of course, all this can’t be prepared without water. However, the generous gestures and working by eye are misplaced here, otherwise you’ll have to throw away the remaining solution. The mixture should be used as soon as possible, so never prepare it in advance and make new portions of solutions as far as you need them. Read more