Water footprint of food production

Water is a necessary resource for food production, but given increasing stress on water resources around the world, the concept of water footprint for food production becomes a relevant idea for thinking about economically and ecologically sustainable agriculture.   Specifically, through innovations in irrigation and development of food crops with less need for water during … More Water footprint of food production

What is the value of an electric car to the environment at present: zero emissions or reduction in use of fossil energy?

Electric cars are often portrayed in the media as clean, zero emissions vehicles that tap on the latest innovations in renewable energy technologies. However, are they truly zero emissions vehicles and what is their most important contributions to environmental protection?   With an electric motor that runs on energy derived from the power grid, electric … More What is the value of an electric car to the environment at present: zero emissions or reduction in use of fossil energy?

Determining the effect of tropical cyclone on sediment transport by river

Article in Nature, Vol. 539, 10 November 2016, pp. 276, “Fluvial sediment supply to a mega-delta reduced by shifting tropical cyclone activity”   Summary of article: Effect of tropical cyclone on sediment transport along the Mekong river was estimated using a combination of hydrological models and sediment flow data. The authors may not be solving … More Determining the effect of tropical cyclone on sediment transport by river

Factors determining grasslands organismal diversity

Article in Nature, Vol. 537, Issue 7618, pp. 93, “Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity” Summary of article: Number of below ground nutrients was found to positively correlate with above ground plant diversity in field experiments. In general, a paper with a confusing title, but the essence of the experiments presented speak of … More Factors determining grasslands organismal diversity

Health concerns of using grey water to flush toilets

Water conservation is the main theme of discussion amongst future city planners and public utilities experts, and grey water is increasingly being put forward as a possible source of water for flushing toilets, as cities bid to reduce their overall water consumption. But, what is grey water and is it safe as a water source … More Health concerns of using grey water to flush toilets

Should groundwater be used for drinking purposes?

Groundwater is a source of freshwater collected under the water table of a site. Refreshed and recharged by rainwater that percolates through the soil, it usually carries a rich mineral content and contains various elements ranging from heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, iron, nickel, copper, manganese etc. as well as decayed organic materials and … More Should groundwater be used for drinking purposes?

What is a lead service line in water distribution, and what is its effect on health?

Lead service line constitutes part of the drinking water distribution network in some parts of the world, and its use comes from the antiquated concept of providing disinfection to the drinking water distributed in a typical city’s vast distribution network. Specifically, water that leaves the drinking water treatment plant would need to pass through a … More What is a lead service line in water distribution, and what is its effect on health?

Folly of using rainwater for industrial cleaning applications such as washing train cars

Water is a precious resource and with attendant water scarcity as predicted by many climate change simulation models, there is strong impetus in many countries for increasing the source of fresh water as well as improving water conservation efforts.   One popular conservation efforts is in the reuse of low contaminant water for washing applications. … More Folly of using rainwater for industrial cleaning applications such as washing train cars