Water Journal : Water Journal December 2013
WATER DECEMBER 2013 12 CrossCurrent International With millions of people in developing countries lacking access to safe drinking water, a Purdue University Professor and researchers are working to provide safe water supplies by using ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun to kill waterborne microorganisms and purify water. The prototypes currently produce water at a rate of about 10-20 millilitres per minute and the researchers are now determining how to scale up production. The Purdue Of ce of Technology Commercialization has led an international application for patent of the innovation. A study in Vietnam has revealed that massive over-pumping of groundwater sources to meet surging demand is drawing arsenic into the country's village wells. The research indicates that a clean aquifer can become contaminated when water suppliers accelerate their ows of groundwater that contains naturally high levels of arsenic. Nations around the world need to cut back on their water use if they want to save their precious woodlands and rivers, scientists at the Australia's National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) warn. The work of PhD researcher Sepideh Zolfaghar reveals that even trees in areas with abundant rainfall are at risk from over-extraction of groundwater. Texas voters have approved the creation of a water bank expected to fund nearly $30bn in water infrastructure projects in the coming decades. The passage of Proposition 6 means the state will begin putting its 2012 State Water Plan -- which calls for more than $50bn in spending on new water infrastructure by 2060 -- into action. The project list is heavy on big new pipelines and reservoirs, and also features agricultural conservation and municipal water reuse projects. A study by the UK water industry has concluded that fracking to extract shale gas is safe, the British government says. Opponents say water used in the process could be contaminated and could enter domestic supplies. UK Water Industry Research, a research body set up by water companies, is to release a report by the end of 2013. National Australia should embrace the concept of recycled drinking water, according to a new report from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). Direct potable reuse of water (DPR) should be considered as a viable water resources management strategy beside other water supply options. Its bene ts include reduced energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, lower capital and operational costs and a more robust, climate-independent water supply. These are the key ndings of a research project completed by the Academy for the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence and captured in an Academy report: Drinking Water Through Recycling: The Bene ts and Costs of Supplying Direct to the Distribution System. The Bureau of Meteorology's Australian Water Resources Assessment 2012 is now available. The Assessment highlights patterns and trends in water availability, condition, and use at local to national scales and includes extensive information on the nation's surface water resources and more limited information on its groundwater resources. It provides details on urban and rural water use and the water volumes of major surface water storages and aquifers. Australia's reserves of groundwater help earn the nation a steady $34 billion a year from mining, food production and manufacturing, according to a new study. A report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), has highlighted for the rst time the key role groundwater plays in the nation's economy. The Environment Department will slash 150 jobs before Christmas and more may go as part of the Abbott Government's plan to shed 12,000 public sector jobs. Staff were sent a notice telling them that as a result of the department's immediate budgetary pressures, it was preparing a voluntary redundancy program. The National Water Commission has issued its 2012--13 Annual Report. The report looks at the NWC's performance against outcome, deliverables and key performance indicators as outlined in the Commissions' Portfolio Budget Statement. Fewer Australian households are taking steps to save water in the garden, according to gures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Mark Lound from ABS said the recent Water Use and Conservation Survey collected information about water sources, water use and water conservation behaviours of Australian households. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has proposed a national computer database that anyone can log onto to monitor mining projects and the environmental research associated with them. It says it will make the environmental approvals processes more transparent to the public and will assist with the Federal Government's 'one-stop shop' approach. The next mining boom and the emerging 'dining boom' in agriculture will depend critically on whether Australia has enough water to support them, says Professor Craig Simmons, Director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training. Mining and farming both use huge volumes of water, and with surface supplies becoming scarce, our future economic prospects are likely to rely increasingly on our underground 'water bank'. An important goal of the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence is the development of a National Validation Framework for Water Recycling under what is now known as the NatVal Project. Phases 1 and 2 of the project are now progressing in parallel to ensure that the outcomes of the research activities can directly feed into the overall framework. The Centre and its partners are engaging with the public and private sector to build upon the large wealth of knowledge which has been developed in the industry over the years and to ensure the outcomes are relevant to the water recycling sector.
Water Journal November 2013
Water Journal February 2014