News-in-Transition

4 February 2017

 - Life on Earth depends on the existence of water, but despite it covering some 70 percent of the planet's surface, scientists have never really been sure where it all comes from.

While the popular view has been that icy asteroids or comets could have brought water to Earth billions of years ago in an epic collision that filled the planet's oceans, a new study shows Earth's inner regions had the necessary ingredients to make water all along, hidden deep underground.

According to new computer simulations, chemical reactions taking place in Earth's upper mantle – which lies directly under the planet's crust – could produce water from scratch under the right (read: extreme) conditions.

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23 November 2016

slovenia water - Last Friday, Slovenia amended its constitution to protect its abundant clean water supplies from corporate greed.

In 2013, Nestle’s then-CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe drew the ire of many when he declared that water is not a human right, but a market commodity. Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has been a leader among corporations involved in the privatization of water, often outbidding communities for the right to manage their own water supplies. Though Brabeck-Letmathe’s sentiments are shared by several Western governments, the country of Slovenia has stood up to corporate greed and has enshrined access to clean drinking water as a human right guaranteed by the nation’s constitution.

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17 November 2016

 - A new solar-powered technology known as The Pipe, which was recently unveiled in Santa Monica, California, can produce a huge amount of drinking water from the sea.

Santa Monica is an 8.3 square mile city situated at a gateway to the Pacific Ocean, bordering the west side of Los Angeles County.

The most remarkable thing about The Pipe is that clean and renewable energy powers it. The technology uses solar energy to turn the salty sea water into drinkable fresh water. The architects behind the technology, Land Art Generator Initiative(LAGI), revealed the machine can generate up to 10,000 MWh of clean power each year. This clean power is enough to turn around 4.5 billion liters (1.5 billion gallons) of salt water into drinkable water for the population.

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12 October 2016

 - This low-cost, low-tech water condenser could help create water self-sufficiency in communities around the world that lack regular access to clean, drinkable water.

Whereas many individuals in developed nations often worry over catching their favorite television show, a constant stress for approximately 2.3 million people on the planet has to do with obtaining clean, drinking water. Fortunately, a solution to the latter conundrum has been presented, and it’s one that might ease generations of worry in locations where purified water is hard to come by.

The Water Seer collection device relies on simple condensation to collect drinkable water from the atmosphere and can provide up to 11 gallons of clean aqua without one external power source each day. Best of all, it can potentially run forever and does not create greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.

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3 August 2016

 - The future of water security in Lima, Peru isn't happening in the city. It's happening 75 miles away and 12,000 feet up, in once-forgotten stone channels that pre-date the Incans.

The channels through the Humantanga district snake across steep slopes, collecting rainfall and water from highland streams during the rainy season, letting it seep into the mountain where it percolates naturally over months rather than running off through streams.

"When you see it, it's amazing and beautiful," says Leah Bremer, a researcher with The Natural Capital Project who spent years working with The Nature Conservancy and local organizations on a fund to improve water quantity and quality in the area. "Some are stone. Some are concrete. It's a combination of the natural and the more modern."

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13 October 2015

 - Their permit to extract water expired 27 YEARS AGO, but the corporation just kept on going. Finally, activists hope justice will be served.

Campaign group The Story Of Stuff Project have just announced they will be pursuing legal action against Nestlé for illegally extracting groundwater in California for its Arrowhead brand, which has been a key contributor to the State’s drought crisis.

Thanks to generous donations from a huge number of furious citizens, The Story Of Stuff Project was able to raise enough money to film a mini-documentary called ‘This land is our land’. It tells the story of Nestlé’s removal of millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest- and it details evidence of criminal activity by one of the world’s most unethical corporations.

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1 October 2015

Emoto - Human beings are essentially made up of water, and in his pioneering research, Dr. Masaru Emoto’s studies suggest that water also exhibits signs of consciousness and intelligence. 

The science of how intention affects molecules of water is unknown, and the results of Dr. Emoto’s work leave the door open for some big questions about life and about how life itself began on planet earth. Of what is the universe made? And why is water such a unique element in our world, with such unusual properties?

In 2000, a comet carrying enough water to fill a small lake broke apart near the sun potentially validating the theory that comets could have brought the Earth’s supply of water to the planet during its formational stages. It was also recently reported, “…that “a significant fraction” of the water on Earth was inherited from interstellar space, and was there before the Sun was formed some 4.6 billion years ago.” Therefore, the water on this planet was here, or en route, before the planet itself.

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19 April 2015

 - Californians facing the prospect of endless drought, mandated cuts in water use and the browning of their summer lawns are mounting a revolt against the bottled water industry, following revelations that Nestlé and other big companies are taking advantage of poor government oversight to deplete mountain streams and watersheds at vast profit.

An online petition urging an immediate end to Nestle’s water bottling operations in the state has gathered more than 150,000 signatures, in the wake of an investigation by the San Bernardino Desert Sun that showed the company is taking water from some of California’s driest areas on permits that expired as long as 27 years ago.

Last month a protest at a Nestlé Waters North America bottling plant in Sacramento, the state capital, forced a one-day closure as protesters brandishing symbolic plastic torches and pitchforks blocked the entrances. The revelations have agencies from the California State Water Resources Control Board to the US Forest Service scrambling to justify a regulatory framework that is poorly policed and imposes almost no requirements on the big water companies to declare how much water they are taking.

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10 April 2015

 - I am writing by candle light. The aching in my hand and the irregular handwriting reminds me that it’s been a long time since I wrote on paper and not a keyboard. The power cut has already lasted more than eight hours and I fear that the combination of events and outcome of what we are going through might be a foreshadowing of what’s soon to come around the world.

It started with an irony, that may well be the perfect metaphor: the largest city in a country that holds 20 percent of Earth’s fresh water supply ends up without any. A combination of climate change, years of deforestation, privatization and a badly managed and corrupt political system have come together in a perfect storm to throw my city into one of its darkest crises ever. We now face a reality of four days without water and two with. We might as well call it what it is: a total collapse.

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4 March 2015

 - Imagine this scenario: The following is a Public Service Announcement by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water, July 4, 2015: Because of low water levels in state reservoirs, the Division of Water proclaims a statewide water-rationing program. Starting next month, on August 1st, 2015, water service will turn off at 1:00 P.M. on a daily basis for an indeterminate period of time.  Service will return the following morning.

Now, imagine a city the size of the State of New York with its 20 million people subjected to the same water-rationing plan. As it happens, São Paulo, capital city of Brazil, home to 20 million, is such a city. The water is turned off every day at 1:00 P.M., as reported by Donna Bowater.1

Brazil contains an estimated 12% of the world’s fresh water, but São Paulo is running dry.

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22 November 2014

- Quick question: What in the hell is going on in California?

First, the state experiences an historic drought, which some have charged is actually being engineered.

Then, new legislation was passed just a few months ago which aims to control and regulate the use of groundwater on a never-before-seen level on one’s privately-owned land. These laws will even create agencies that basically serve as “water police.” Private wells will have to be registered and metered, and landowners who fail to comply will have their wells forcibly shut down by the government.

It’s to the point that $500-a-day fines are being handed out for not obeying water restrictions, people are turning into snitches and “droughtshaming” each other on social media, and if it continues, the cost of produce could soar nationwide (considering much of the country’s fruits and veggies are grown there).

Now, it has come to light that three billion gallons of fracking wastewater has “accidentally” been pumped into clean aquifers there.

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21 November 2014

 - Maybe you have heard people call Earth “the water planet.”  The nickname is well-deserved. The majority of Earth’s surface is covered by either liquid or frozen water.  The atmosphere is awash with water as well. One satellite-based data set estimates that about 60 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by clouds (composed of water and ice droplets) at any given time.

Earth is home to yet another type of water—groundwater—which includes all the fresh water stored underground in soil and porous rock aquifers. Though groundwater is often forgotten because it’s not visible, more than two billion people rely on it as their primary water source. 

With drought afflicting several parts of the world, and with the contamination of groundwater by fracking and the aggressive use of groundwater in many agricultural regions, this precious water resource is under serious strain.

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27 September 2014

Photo credit: University of Michigan - A new study in the journal Science suggests that much of the water on Earth and throughout our solar system likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. If so, it means that water may be more widespread in planetary systems than previously thought.

The researchers’ work addresses a debate about just how far back in galactic history our planet and our solar system’s water formed. Were the molecules in comet ices and terrestrial oceans born with the system itself—in the planet-forming disk of dust and gas that circled the young sun 4.6 billion years ago? Or did the water originate even earlier, in the cold, ancient molecular cloud that spawned the sun and that planet-forming disk?

The new research suggests that between 30 and 50 percent came from a molecular cloud. That would make it roughly a million years older than the solar system.

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