The Stream, December 3: Annual Antarctica Ice Loss Equals Half Everest’s Weight
The Global Rundown
Antarctica’s glaciers are melting more quickly all the time – mountains of ice are literally being lost to the ocean. Johannesburg, South Africa, and Ketchikan, Alaska are both accepting the heavy price tags of water quality. Managing water quantity is going to cost Thailand a lot, as well. A Boston-based company, on the other hand, is making serious money on water quality, and a Norwegian company has developed a pipe-inspecting robot. Finally, the numbers show that conservation may be getting old for Californians.
“This is going to impact sea level.” – Isabella Velicogna, Associate Professor of Earth System Science at UC-Irvine, on the accelerating melt rate of Antarctic glaciers. (Bloomberg)
By The Numbers
$US 3.97 billion Amount Thailand’s newly installed military government plans to spend on urgent water projects in the next year. The prime minister said on Tuesday that the projects are part of a new water management plan for the country. Reuters
$US 900 million Amount of money required to clean up acid mine drainage in and around Johannesburg, South Africa. The South African Department for Water and Sanitation stated that it has secured funds for the effort, though it did not specify the type or amount of funding. Bloomberg
$US 11 million Investments recently secured by Desalitech, a Boston-based company specializing in reverse osmosis water treatment. The firm provides advanced RO technology which reduces not only water waste, but also energy consumption. WaterWorld
$US 2.25 million What a compliance order on drinking water will cost the City of Ketchikan, Alaska over the next few years. The State Department of Environmental Conservation is requiring Ketchikan to deal with ongoing drinking water quality issues like coliform bacteria and chlorination byproducts. The city is a willing partner, and participated in drafting the agreement. Alaska Public Media
Science, Studies, And Reports
Mount Everest weighs 161 gigatons – and so does the water lost from the Antarctic ice sheet every two years if averaged over the past 21, according to an analysis by NASA and UC-Irvine. Melting has accelerated dramatically, and most of the water was lost in the past decade. Bloomberg
Breivoll Inspection Technologies, a Norwegian company with only five employees, has developed a robot to inspect the condition of water distribution grids. Created in conjunction with Norwegian municipalities and both Norwegian and international research centers, the robot uses sonar to collect data on the thickness and corrosion level of water pipes. Phys.org
On The Radar
Californians seem to be suffering from what some are calling a bout of “conservation fatigue”. While water consumption rates this August were down 11.6 percent from the last, and September 2014 saw a 10.6 percent reduction as opposed to September 2013, the October water savings came out at only 6.7 percent. SFGate
is both a scientist and a journalist, she holds an MS in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University, and she brings proficiency in ESRI’s ArcGIS mapping software.
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