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World Water Day 2015

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March 22  |  climate change, Editorial, global warming, News, Nutrition, Opinion, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

World Water Day 2015

World Water Day logo

This year’s theme is Water and Sustainable Development

Visit http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/ for more details.

What does WATER mean to you?  Search #wateris and #WorldWaterDay

 

We spill it, drink it, bathe in it, cook with it, flush it, run it down the drain and the gutter, drench the lawn and wash the car with it.

While we waste perfectly good water and don’t give a second thought, the following statistics should be a sober wake-up call to all of us to be more respectful and conserving of this valuable resource.  Water is truly the lifeblood of our precious earth.

  • An astounding 1,400 children die every day from diseases linked to unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation.
  • Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production.
  • There are 658 million people living without access to water in Africa.
  • By 2035, the global energy demand is projected to grow by more than one-third.
  • Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, which is 2,300 people per day.
  • 750 million people lack access to clean water, which is over double the population of the United States.
  • 82% of those who lack access to improved water live in rural areas.

The water crisis is the number one global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation) and the eighth global risk based on likelihood (likelihood of occurring within ten years), according to the World Economic Forum.

The UN says the planet is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless the world dramatically improves the management of this precious resource.

This is the conclusion reached in the 2015 United Nations World Water Development Report, “Water for a Sustainable World” launched in New Delhi ahead of World Water Day on 22 March.

The theme of 2015 it’s about how water links to all areas we need to consider to create the future we want.

water in hands

Join the 2015 campaign to raise awareness of water and sanitation. You can also contribute on social media though the hashtags #WaterIs and #WorldWaterDay.

World Water Day is marked on 22 March every year. It’s a day to celebrate water. It’s a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues. It’s a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as the first World Water Day. 22 years later, World Water Day is celebrated around the world every year, shining the spotlight on a different issue.

We invite you to do your own research and see how you can make a difference.  Following is a link to  a short video by the UN to get you started …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Zwd4B_Zqw

 

 

 

 

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Bottled Water Shockers

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November 22  |  Case Studies, food safety, News, Research, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Bottled Water: 10 Shockers “They” Don’t Want You to Know

American bottled watertap water? It’s considered some of the safest in the world. Yet countless Americans shun the stuff that flows from faucets and fountains and buy bottled water instead.
What’s really in the stuff and why does it cost 3,000 times more than tap?

Here Dr. Peter Gleick, the author of “Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water,” shares 10 of the most shocking facts about bottled water.
 

1. The Most Expensive Tap Water on Earth?
Bottled water comes only from pristine streams, right? Not necessarily.

In fact, nearly half of all bottled water is reprocessed tap water, sold at prices up to 3,000 times higher than consumers pay for tap water. And even before the additional processing, the water meets federal water-quality standards.
 

2. Crickets in Water and Nobody Told You?
Like any other products, water gets recalled, but more often than not you don’t hear much about it.

There have been more than 100 recalls of contaminated bottled water, often months after the products were delivered to store shelves, says Dr. Gleick, who worries that the public rarely gets the memo.

What sorts of contaminants have been found in bottled water?

Benzene, mold, sodium hydroxide, kerosene, styrene, algae, yeast, tetrahydrofuran, sand, fecal coliform and other bacteria, elevated chlorine, glass particles, sanitizer, and crickets, says Gleick.

Yes, crickets.
 

3. What Does the Government Really Test?
Think purity standards for bottled water are more stringent than those for tap water? Not so, says Dr. Gleick. Unlike tap water, which is regulated by the EPA, bottled water is regulated by the FDA – and, in addition to allowing for less frequent quality testing, the FDA doesn’t monitor some contaminants that may be in bottled water. What’s more, the FDA doesn’t insist that bottlers provide water quality reports to consumers.

“Our standards for protecting both tap water and bottled water ought to be stricter,” says Dr. Gleick. “But tap water is better regulated.”
 

4. Drowning in Bottled Waterempty-water-bottles3
Americans buy, consume, and throw away the equivalent of nearly 100 billion 12-ounce plastic bottles of water every year, according to Dr. Gleick’s calculations. That translates into roughly 300 bottles for every man, woman, and child. Laid end to end, these bottles would circle the earth more than 600 times – or reach from the earth to the moon and back 30 times.
 

5. Bottled Water Doesn’t Always Taste Better
In blind taste tests, consumers often cannot tell the difference between bottled and tap water, or between expensive bottled water and cheaper brands.

Different waters have different tastes, depending on the natural minerals found in them. But blind taste test after blind taste test has shown that bottled water is not consistently preferred over tap water.
 

6. Few Water Bottles Get Recycledempty-water-bottles dump
While most plastic bottles are “recyclable,” few are actually recycled. In fact, says Dr. Gleick, about seven of 10 plastic water bottles get incinerated, dumped into landfills – or left as litter.

Most plastic water bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This wonderful plastic (tasteless, clear, light, flexible, strong) could be recycled and made into new bottles, but it isn’t. Even the fraction of PET that is recycled ends up being “downcycled” into clothes, carpet, toys, and packaging materials.
 

7. Where Does it Really Come From?
Bottled water brand names can be misleading.water-bottle-stream

We get “Arctic Spring Water” from Florida, “Everest” water from Texas, “Glacier Mountain” water from Ohio and New Jersey, and “Yosemite” water from Los Angeles.

Says Dr. Gleick, more stringent rules about bottled water labels would require honest information on where the water comes from, how it has been treated or processed, and where the consumer can go to get up-to-date and independent information on water quality.
 

8. Are Bottles Replacing Fountains?
As bottled water sales have risen in the U.S., public water fountains have been disappearing.

In 2007, for example, the University of Central Florida opened its brand-new 45,000-plus seat football stadium, which had been built without a single water fountain, says Dr. Gleick. In the opening game at the stadium, 78 people had to be treated for heat-related illness.

After the debacle and a Facebook backlash, the stadium installed scores of fountains.

Modern water fountains can chill and filter water and be designed with taps to fill refillable bottles.
 

9. Bottled Water Isn’t Pushing Aside Soda
The bottled water industry says drinking bottled water is good because it’s leading us to cut back on our consumption of soft drinks. In fact, says Dr. Gleick, sales of bottled water and carbonated soft drink are both growing, at the expense of tap water.

Americans now drink more bottled water than milk.
 

10. It Takes Lots of Oil to Make Water Bottles
It takes the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil just to make the plastic bottles for our bottled water consumption in the U.S., says Dr. Gleick, who worries that our demand for bottled water puts pressure on our energy resources and contributes to our dependence on foreign oil.
 

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/bottled-water-10-shockers-they-dont-want-you-to-know/
 

Other information sources:
 

http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/qbw.asp
http://www.businessinsider.com/facts-bottled-water-industry-2011-10?op=1
http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/04/27/the-blindingly-obvious-truth-about-bottled-water/
http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/rethink-what-you-drink/
http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2011/09/29/the-dirty-truth-about-bottled-water/
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/tapped/
http://www.tappedthemovie.com/

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Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

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November 9  |  Case Studies, News, Research, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

Which is Safer?

Concerns over drugs, chemicals, and contaminants in tap water has prompted people all over the world to buy bottled water.  Recent studies have shown that 3 out of 10 households in Canada drink bottled water at home.

It’s estimated that 2.4 billion litres of bottled water were sold in Canada alone last year; about 68 litres per capita.  In fact, bottled water sales have surpassed milk and beer sales in North America, representing a $170 billion industry.

tap water bottled water

 

 

 

 

 

 

But is bottled water necessarily safer or healthier?  A recent investigation compiled by CBC News and reported by Kazi Stastna, provides a well-researched 7 point comparison of water quality, health risks, sustainability and impact on the environment.

At Puroxi, we maintain that proper treatment of an existing water source will provide safe, clean, clear, and nutritonal water, as well as many benefits, without affecting the quality and sustainability of our environment.

Please click here to view the CBC report.

 

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Providing Safe Water in a Disaster

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November 9  |  Editorial, Emergency Preparedness, News, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

by Mark Owen – founder CEO of Puralytics
 
Every year, our planet experiences an average of 500 natural disasters (Gutierrez, 2008). While some have minimal impact, others may disrupt our standard of living for days, weeks, or even months- restricting our access to food, medical care, and potable water sources. In a recent report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, more than 32.4 million people were displaced worldwide by natural disasters in 2012 (Activity Report 2012, 2013). In an assessment of all global risks, water crises was the 3rdlargest risk, and the one identified as having the largest impact and the most likely to occur (Jennifer Blanke, 2014).
 

Picture3

Figure 1: Aid workers in Tacloban City, Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan bring SolarBags for their own use.

Disaster & Water

In a disaster, electricity is lost and water infrastructure is damaged. Fresh water sources might be polluted with all of the chemical toxins in the region as well as sewage and physical debris. First responders refer to the “Rule of Threes” – 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food/shelter and people will die. In recent disasters, like the Typhoon in the Philippines, the Tsunami in Japan, Hurricane Sandy and Katrina, and the earthquakes in Haiti, for instance, by Day 3 of the crisis, water became extremely valuable – the most expensive water on the planet – flown in by helicopters by emergency medical personnel and first responders, or supplied by desalination systems on battleships in the harbor. In many of these disasters, the water need continued for 3-18 months after the initial disaster had passed, and became the greatest risk of survival.

In the first days of such a crisis, bottled water is often flown in and distributed, both for the protection of the aid workers and emergency responders, and for those immediately displaced by the disaster. Stored or supplied bottled water runs out in a few days. Within the first week or so, it becomes impractical to supply water this way, and aid agencies switch to interim disinfection strategies like boiling water, chlorine or iodine tablets. These are able to partially disinfect the water and filters can remove some particulates, but they are not able to remove the chemical toxins that are also in the available water sources. While is it is widely recognized that water must be both disinfected and detoxified to be a safe water source, disinfection only solutions are acceptable for short periods as outbreaks are the largest short term risk.

These minimalist disinfection-only solutions were satisfactory for short term solutions with clear water sources, but as the disaster expands to weeks and months, the shortcomings of these methods become significant. Chemical toxins left in the water from the disaster, like petrochemicals, pesticides, cleaning supplies, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, etc. become a significant threat to health that could impact those affected for years to come. Unfortunately, most people who prepare for a disaster, and most government and aid organization that provide support after a disaster do not have equipment to detoxify the water from these chemical toxins. Water quality quickly becomes the biggest risk after the first days of the crisis, and may continue to be for weeks, months, or even years ahead.

The Puralytics SolarBag is unique in an emergency, because it can both disinfect and detoxify the water, providing safe water that meets US EPA and World Health Organization’s “highly protective” safe water guidelines as shown in Figure 2. Sunlight, even on a cloudy day, activates the nanotechnology coated mesh insert, activating 5 photochemical processes that purify water and reduce or destroy contaminants found in virtually all water sources.

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Figure 2: Comparing different water treatment technologies, only one is able to both disinfect and detoxify the water.

The SolarBag can treat up to 9 liters of water per day and can be reused over 500 times.
It can be stored for 7 years or more, and can be used by anyone, even children, to purify virtually any water source to make safe water. It is also very light to transport – while 1 gallon of water weighs about 8 lbs, 1 SolarBag which can make 500 gallons weighs only 4 ounces. Imagine if the aid organizations passed out SolarBags instead of bottled water or chlorine tablets in the early days of a disaster how many more people would be helped in a time of need.

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Figure 3: Planning for an emergency longer than 3 days requires being able to treat water to both disinfect and detoxify the water.

While this patented technology is relatively new and only mentioned in the most recent survival handbooks, it is widely available in stores and online sources. It has also been shipped to over 50 countries, including the recent disaster in the Philippines, being handed out through organizations like Medical Teams International, Relief International, Forward Edge International, and by the Red Cross. Recently Puralytics won the International Water Association’s Global Honour Award for long term use of the SolarBag in rural villages in Africa. For more information on the SolarBag, see the company’s website – www.puralytics.com

 

References

(2013). Activity Report 2012. Geneva: The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

Gutierrez, D. (2008). Natural Disasters Up More Than 400 Percent in Two Decades. Natural News.

Jennifer Blanke, e. a. (2014). Global Risk 2014, Ninth Edition. World Economic Forum.

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Water – “Nature’s Medicine”

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November 3  |  Editorial, Latest News, Nutrition, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other lifeforms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients.

80% of all illness in the developing world comes from waterborne diseases.

So, the most valuable medicine we could provide is a simple, clean glass of water.

Our SolarBag can help. It offers individuals and households anywhere in the world, the world’s best detoxification and disinfection solution for pennies a day.

Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but approximately one billion people still lack access to safe water and over 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.[1]

Imprtance of Water

There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and GDP per capita.[2] However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability.[3] A report, issued in November 2009, suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%.[4]   Approximately 70% of the fresh water used by humans goes to agriculture.[5]

References:
  1. “MDG Report 2008”. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  2. “Public Services”, Gapminder video
  3. Kulshreshtha, S.N (1998). “A Global Outlook for Water Resources to the Year 2025”. Water Resources Management 12 (3): 167–184. doi:10.1023/A:1007957229865.
  4. “Charting Our Water Future: Economic frameworks to inform decision-making” (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  5. Baroni, L.; Cenci, L.; Tettamanti, M.; Berati, M. (2007). “Evaluating the environmental impact of various dietary patterns combined with different food production systems”. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61 (2): 279–286. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602522. PMID 17035955.

 

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Ontario Flooding

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May 5  |  Editorial, Latest News, Opinion, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Parts of the Assiniboine River, seen here in 2011, are experiencing higher-than-normal levels.

While the debate continues about global warming, many parts of central and northern Ontario are experiencing some of the worst flooding since 1985.  Regardless of the root cause, the sudden increase of summer-like temperatures across the province has brought a rush of snow melt, sparking flood alerts from Bracebridge and Muskoka to Sudbury, Timins and the James Bay area.  Evacuation orders and a state of emergency have been declared in many communities, especially First Nations Communities.  Similar situations also exist in parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Failing water treatment plants, water run-off, sewer back-ups, and well water contamination have contributed to a drinking water crisis.  In emergency situations like this, people need access to safe, clean drinking water for their family, pets, and animals.

Our SolarBag is the ideal solution for this situations like this and we hope that people, agencies, and government take advantage of this eco-friendly, chemical-free, and easy to use product. Our thoughts, best wishes & prayers are with all of those affected.

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How Safe Is Your Water?

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August 30  |  Case Studies, Editorial, Latest News, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

The ongoing urban sprawl reaching further into former rural areas is a growing concern for water safety and security.  Run-off from farms, industry, tainted wells – and even cemeteries! – can result in unsafe levels of all kinds of contaminants, toxins, and carcinogens.

The most recent news item is about Simcoe, Ontario, who is facing an iminent crisis.  Link to the story is below, as well as for other news reports with similar concerns.  We have also included links to news about what steps some municipalities and regions are taking to ensure their water security and an ongoing supply of safe drinking water.

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2012/08/28/simcoes-drinking-water-at-risk-due-to-nitrate-levels

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Fracking+poses+risk+water+systems+research+suggests/7049011/story.html

http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/x186673917/Bishop-s-Landing-residents-want-Stoughton-to-pick-up-tab-for-water

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/2012/07/2012-0823-perchloroethylene-in-water-color-blind

http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=49776

http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/news/article/1485511–district-steps-toward-program-for-source-water-protection

 

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Contaminated Water

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March 26  |  Immune System, Latest News, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Washington, Mar 24 (ANI)

Recent widespread news coverage indicated the success of a United Nations’ goal of significantly improving access to safe drinking water around the world.

But while major progress has been made, a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that far greater challenges persist than headline statistics suggested.

Earlier this month (March 6), UNICEF and the World Health Organization issued a report stating that the world had met the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, well in advance of a deadline.

That goal aimed to boost access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells, between 1990 and 2015.

However, the new UNC study estimates that 1.8 billion people – 28 percent of the world’s population – used unsafe water in 2010.

That figure is 1 billion more than the official report’s estimate that 783 million people (11 percent of the globe) use water from what are classified as unimproved sources by WHO and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Program.

The new study’s lead author, Jamie Bartram, Ph.D., professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, said the WHO/UNICEF report highlighted the progress that could be achieved through concerted international action, but left outstanding the needs of millions of people who only have access to dangerous contaminated drinking water.

“If you look at the water people use and ask ‘Is this contaminated?’ instead of ‘Is this water from a protected source?’, the world would still be well short of meeting the Millennium Development Goal target,” said Bartram, also director of the Water Institute at UNC.

“In many parts of the world, water from ‘improved sources’ – like protected village wells and springs – is likely to be microbiologically or chemically contaminated, either at the source or by the time people drink it,” he said.

“In developing countries, whether you live in small village or a big city, safe water can be hard to come by: pipes and taps break, clean springs and wells become contaminated or people have to carry or store water in potentially unsanitary ways.”

Bartram and colleagues analyzed water quality and sanitary risk information from an earlier study of five countries, and extrapolated the data to estimate global figures.

Their study suggested that of the 5.8 billion people using piped or “other improved” water sources in 2010, 1 billion probably received faecally contaminated water.

Adding that tally to the nearly 800 million people who collect water from unimproved sources would mean 1.8 billion people are drinking unsafe water.

Furthermore, Bartram and colleagues estimated that another 1.2 billion people got water from sources that lack basic sanitary protection against contamination.

“All told, we estimate 3 billion people don’t have access to safe water, if you use a more stringent definition that includes both actual water quality and sanitary risks,” Bartram said.

He highlighted that the recent WHO/UNICEF announcement confirmed how much had been achieved since the Millennium Development Goals were adopted in 2000, and that this progress should lead to a progressive shift towards ensuring that every home, workplace and school has reliable water supplies that are – and remain – safe.

However, he said the magnitude of the UNC study’s estimates and the health and development implications suggest that greater attention needs to be paid to better understanding and managing drinking water safety.

The study has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (ANI)

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