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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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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).
 

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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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Climate Change | Water Shortage | Agriculture

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December 29  |  climate change, crops, Editorial, Farm, global warming, Nutrition, Opinion, Research, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

While the pundits and partisan experts continue to argue over the validity of global warming, there is little doubt that climate change is a reality.  The rapidly increasing changes in our climate are impacting our water supply.

Scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have calculated how much of this essential resource the world risks losing to the effects of climate change.  Droughts will become more widespread and wildfires are expected to get bigger, longer and smokier by 2050. The growing world population and its increase in water consumption are also straining fresh water resources.  Water sources are melting and drying out.   

37 nations already make do with the bare minimum in water resources, according to experts at the World Resources Institute (WRI), a co-author of the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.  Massive investments in efficient water management are necessary to counter the effects of water scarcity.

 Agriculture is the world’s largest consumer of water

In times of rising food prices, the agricultural sector has become more interesting for investors. Asian companies, particularly in China, as well as their European counterparts are buying up large swaths of land in Africa to grow food products. They, too, have a vested interest in good harvests and are keen on investment in any aspect of agriculture that offers a significant opportunity to reduce its demand for water. However, technical solutions to save water in agriculture will play only a small role due to the high costs.

Changes in the world’s agriculture and eating habits need to be re-examined

Hunger follows on the heels of water scarcity

Agriculture must change in order to counter dwindling water resources. Climate researchers warn of an increased risk of hunger, in particular in poorer countries, with farmers trying to adapt to cycles of recurring drought and extreme, torrential rains.  One way to counter these extremes is through organic farming, which strengthens the capacity of the soil to absorb water, to enrich it and later deliver it again to the plants.

Organic farming could also limit the spread of diseases and pests without farmers having to resort to pesticides.  Crop rotation and diversity would make it more difficult for diseases and crop destroyers to infest cultivated areas.  This was common practice for many generations before industrial farming began.

In addition, consumers will have to alter their habits in ways that include eating less meat and seeking out crops more attuned to local conditions.  In dry regions of the world, farmers could plant the cereal crop millet, which needs significantly less water than corn.

Another climate-friendly measure: growers and consumers should be located closer to one another to decrease theamount of shipments and transports.

Such changes would help feed a constantly growing global population.  Even today, the world produces enough food for 14 billion people.

We don’t need to produce more foodwhat we need is better quality and more diversity.

 

Source:  http://www.dw.de/climate-change-fuels-water-scarcity-and-hunger/a-17325128

 

 

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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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A Letter from the Editor

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October 27  |  climate change, Editorial, Emergency Preparedness, Latest News  |   Webmaster

The summer of 2013 will certainly go into the record books as one of the wettest and most costly summers in decades.  This freakish weather was at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the summer of 2012; remember the devastating droughts only a year ago?

As Mother Nature rampaged across North America with heavy rains, which combined with the snow-pack run-off, the flash floods resulted in billions of dollars of damage and thousands and thousands of people left homeless or without power.  In fact, the amount that insurers pay out in damage claims due to severe weather has DOUBLED every 5 to 10 years since 1980.

As we head into fall and winter, there is nothing more certain than the uncertainty of the weather and what may lie in store for us.  With businesses, farms, municipalities, and families increasing reliant on dependable power, even a short term outage can mean a significant loss in productivity, availability of safe, clean drinking water, and safe, effective waste-water treatment.

As survival expert, Pat Cascio, says, “In a disaster, most people die from dehydration or water-borne illnesses”.  It is becoming increasingly apparent that preparation for any weather extremes or emergency situations has to become second-nature to us.  Could you and your family survive for a week without electricity, fresh water, food, or the ability to get out of your home?

One of our products, the SolarBag, is ideal for this kind of situation and should be an important component of any emergency kit.  Other important items include flashlights, canned food, propane cooker, candles, and of course charged cell phones. 

Let’s all learn from our experiences and life’s repeated lessons.  Let’s make 2013 the year that we took emergency preparedness seriously, for us, our families, our neighbors, and our communities.

 

 

 

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BC Water Act

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October 19  |  climate change, Editorial, global warming, Latest News, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

B.C. Water Act To Regulate Groundwater, Force Nestle To Pay

The provincial government of British Columbia has just passed their new Water Act, after four years of research and consultations with industry, communities, and First Nations to replace outdated legislation from 1909.

The legislation is focused mainly on the allocation of water and large scale users, like Nestle, who have been able to use unlimited supplies of fresh groundwater, without cost, will now be charged a nominal fee.

While this is expected to regulate groundwater consumption, while adding to the provincial government’s coffers, many critics argue that the act does not go far enough.  In fact, environment minister Mary Polak, even admits that the act will not cover off every single aspect of water protection and water use.

Nestle Bottled Water

For a copy of the news articles by Canadian Press and the Globe & Mail, click here.

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Global Warming

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September 29  |  climate change, Editorial, global warming, Latest News, Opinion, Research  |   Webmaster

The Global Warming debated has heated up again, following the recent release of a report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

On one side, the climate change deniers emphasize the fact that global warming has remained relatively stable for the past 17 years.  They maintain that this supports the “Hockey Stick” conclusion that global warming has actually leveled off and therefore not expected to increase in the foreseeable future. 

On the other side, the IPCC continues to insist that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and continues despite regional differences, over a time line of 1400 years.  Furthermore, it maintains that we will see far more dangerous and potentially irreversible impacts in the decades ahead, if we do not choose to reduce global carbon emissions. There has never been a greater urgency to act than there is now.

Which side is right?  Well, maybe they both are, in their own way.  As with most heated / controversial topics,  everyone has their own strong opinion and many will strive mightily to affirm their agenda.  As their almost religious fervor develops, there will  undoubtedly be misdirection, cherry-picking, half-truths, outright falsehoods, and even personal verbal attacks.  At the heart of this controversy is the credibility of the IPCC position and agenda, as well as their format for accepted, qualified peer reviews.

Nevertheless, no one can dispute the facts that polar ice caps are melting and that the world’s oceans are getting warmer, thus setting up even more change for climate patterns around the world.

We urge you all to do your own independent research and make your own informed conclusions.  We have listed some recent links below, to get you started.

http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/press_information.shtml#.Ukh8F3_NmNg

www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf

http://scienceblogs.com/significantfigures/index.php/2013/09/27/what-does-the-2013-ipcc-summary-say-about-water/

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/28/ipcc-climate-change-deniers

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/09/27/un-climate-change-report-dismisses-slowdown-in-global-warming/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420783/computers-got-effects-greenhouse-gases-wrong.html

http://www.colby.edu/sts/controversy/pages/ipcc_controversy.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-27/global-warming-s-slower-pace-hardens-views-on-need-to-act.html

 

 

 

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TAPPED – The Truth about the Bottled Water industry

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August 19  |  Case Studies, Editorial, Latest News, Nutrition, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Tapped – The Truth about the Bottled Water Industry

 

Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce?

I am sure that you have heard or read about the ills of the bottled water industry. From the BPA in the bottles to the mass amounts of plastic waste covering our earth and entering our water ways.

It is time we get all the facts and you will be amazed at how deep this problem really is.

“Tapped” is a Documentary film about the Bottled Water Industry.

In the film “Tapped” you will be educated on bottle water and all of it’s faults. It examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.

“Tapped” is an amazing documentary that presents an overwhelming amount of evidence which will change the way anyone thinks about bottled and municipal water.

tapped-poster

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From the producers of Who Killed the Electric Car? and I.O.U.S.A., Tapped takes a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of the bottled water industry — an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water.

From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this revelatory film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public’s right to water.

“Tapped” immediately breaks down the false notions surrounding the so called “benefits” of bottled water. It points out that 40% of bottled water is merely filtered municipal water – looking at you, Dasani and Aquafina. They also point out numerous times that it’s no safer than municipal water because the bottled water industry is largely unregulated whereas municipalities are held to strict testing under the EPA. But that’s just the tip of the bottled water-berg. Nearly the first half of the film documents the plight of a Maine town in which Nestle has moved in and taken over use of the city’s groundwater. This water source is governed differently than ponds, springs, rivers, etc. Essentially, whoever has the abilities to pump the most water, gets the most water. Nestle accesses the water for free, then bottles it and sells it for a profit. This leaves townsfolk unhappy as their own municipal water supply dwindles and must be transferred to another water well, resulting in service interruption which doesn’t seem to affect Nestle’s operation in the slightest. Water companies operate like this all over the country – moving into rural areas to perform “water mining,” wherein they extract water that is free and then sell it for billions of dollars.

I am from Maine and know this to be true. Nestle purchased Poland Spring Water. Poland Spring water was once actually drawn from a spring in Poland Maine, not any more. Many rural towns in Maine are being affected by the “water mining” referred to in the film.

If you have not seen “Tapped” it is time that you do.

Watch “Tapped” now!

http://vimeo.com/user7206487/tappedthemovie

 If this does not make you re-think your use of bottled water, nothing will!

Remember, before bottled water we found ways to get our thirst quenched. Watch an old Western movie or war movie and see your hero’s get a refreshing drink of water from a Canteen.

If your tap water gives you concerns, get yourself some type of water filtration system. Then find a re-useable water container that works best for you.

Just say “NO” to bottled water.

Hydrate responsibly!

GGATVnewlogo2Until next time…

follow me @thegogreenguy  @and be sure to like our facebook page

 

references for this post:

http://cinekatz.com/tapped-healthy-beverage-or-environmental-scourge/

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/tapped/

http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/tap.html

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Antibiotic Farm Use

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June 30  |  antibiotics, Case Studies, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Immune System, Livestock, News, Nutrition, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

The use and/or overuse of antibiotics on farms continues to generate controversy.  While opposite sides continue to argue their respective positions, we feel that it’s important to maintain a level-headed position and research and examine all of the facts. 

Without a doubt, antibiotics have improved the quality of life for all of us, including our livestock and food sources.   Can you imagine a world without anitbiotics?  Scary indeed!

We strongly agree with the agricultural community that a responsible antibiotic regimen is essential to maintaining a safe, healthy and efficient operation.  However, it’s also common knowledge that antibiotic use has surged during the past decade, which has many experts worried that we are creating a dangerous level of resistance to bacteria and viruses.

The prestigious journal Nature this week called for reining in the use of antibiotics in agriculture, adding to the growing chorus of scientists and public health advocates seeking reforms.  The editorial noted that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock raising is a global issue, in part because pathogens do not respect international borders — “As long as any one country pumps its pigs and poultry full of drugs, everyone is at risk.”

Following are links to the report and comments.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/06/journal-nature-farmers-should-rein-in-antibiotic-use-worldwide/

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7404/full/486440a.html

While the debate rages on, and various special interest groups lobby all levels of government, please don’t blame the farmers! They are all working hard to ensure that we all have safe, healthy food to feed our families, and also incurring a lot of extra expense in doing so. 

We would like to remind you that one of the many benefits of using our Oxy Blast products is the reduced dependency on antibiotics.  Why?  Because they help antibiotics work more effectively and efficiently!  This has proven to be an economical option for many of our clients.

We invite you to watch our short movie presentation at www.oxyblast.org/movie, introducing our products and services.

 

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Scrapie Disease

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April 30  |  Editorial, Farm, food safety, Latest News, Livestock, Reports, Tests  |   Webmaster

It seems to be a week of news, on both sides of the border, for transmissable livestock diseases.

Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats.  It is among a number of diseases classified as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) and very similar to BSE (mad  cow disease) found in cattle.

A fatal disease that affects sheep and goats has been confirmed at a quarantined sheep farm in eastern Ontario.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says scrapie (SKRAY’-pee) was confirmed in a sheep that recently died on the farm.

The agency says there is no human health risk associated with scrapie.

However, the CFIA aims to eradicate it from Canada as the disease has serious impacts on sheep.

It said in a weekend release that the farm was placed under quarantine because a sheep that originated from there had previously tested positive for scrapie.

Ontario Provincial Police are investigating the removal earlier this month of 31 sheep from the same farm in violation of the quarantine order.

See: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/

 

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