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Water Report

THE WATERFALL              

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UN Report Suggests
Big Water Issues for Many Years to Come


The UN has indicated that even if humankind immediately and dramatically begins to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there will still be significant shifts and some major transformations in climates around the globe for decades.  Changes that have been forecast include rising sea levels, more intense droughts, floods and extreme storm conditions.  In some areas plant and animal life could disappear.

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Sea levels will probably rise by 7.08 to 23.22 inches (18 to 59 cm).  There is a confidence level above 90% that there will be more frequent warm spells, heat waves and heavy rainfall.  There is a confidence level great than 66% that there will be an increase in droughts, tropical cyclones and extreme high tides.

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Australia, the driest inhabited continent on earth is experiencing its worst-ever drought.  Much of the American west has also recently endured a serious and extended drought.  The latest scientific studies anticipate that dry spells like these are apt to becomes more severe both in the US West and around the world.  Climate scientists report that patterns of rain and snow are shifting appreciably from the Himalayan Mountains to the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin. 

Glaciers in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe are melting at an ever-accelerating pace.  Hundreds of millions of people draw their water from river systems whose sources are mountain glaciers and snow packs.  The World Glacier Monitoring Service, which tracks 27 glaciers, show that they have been steadily losing mass since 1980.  One scientist has reported that warming and the pace of glacial retreat at high altitudes is unprecedented in at least 2000 years, and in some areas at least 5,200 years.  An example is the Core Kalis glacier in Peru retreated 10 times faster during the 90s than from 1963 to 1978.  These are overwhelming changes.  Glaciers could totally disappear in the near future.

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                                                          Mt. Karakoram, Pakistan 

Arid regions will dry out further, and some places that do get precipitation will have it come in the form of rain rather than snow, or it will come at the 'wrong' time.   A pattern of consistent droughts alternating with strong downpours - with less opportunity for that moisture to be absorbed or retained - has been tracked in the last five years.

Consensus is strong that these issues are more than 50% human-induced.  In Sydney, special Water Restriction patrol cars cruise the city 24/7 searching for homes or businesses that are wasting water.

One prediction is that in many places freshwater supplies will likely be inundated with salt water from sea surges. 

Estimates are that from 400 million to 3.2 billion people will face serious water shortages over the next 20 to 50 years.

Ways in which we can all contribute to the solution include buying water-efficient washing machines, replacing water-thirsty lawns and gardens with drought-tolerant xeriscaping, capturing and reusing water with rain barrels, gray water reuse, showerheads that save water, low-flow toilets, gardening with Zeba Quench which reduces the need for watering, and using irrigation systems or sprinklers that put water only where you want it.

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We can also encourage our communities to create water-saving plans, and participate in them.

Turkey, Syria and Iraq have formed a joint commission on water issues, but unfortunately it hasn't met since the start of the first Gulf War in 1992.  This illustrates how political instability can interfere was water use planning.

There are some areas that are expected to be wetter in the winter months.  It is projected that Russia, Northern China and the US Northeast will each be 20% wetter in winter by 2090 or so.

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Let's not wait until disaster strikes.  The water shortage will have far more severe implications for humankind than the gas shortage will.  Take action now.


Thanks to the Christian Science Monitor for some information used in this story.
 
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Great New Combo Air Cleaner, Humidifier & Aroma therapy dispenser

Uses Water to Clean

The Aqua Air is a wonderful new product that we're using in our home and office, and strongly recommend. We're tried many humidifiers and ionizers, and like this best. Clean the air in your home the way Mother Nature does - with water! Leaves the air ionized (which makes us feel better) and will help with your allergies. Click on Aqua Air Purifier for more information.

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South-East Australia

Water for Bees

At least one Australian is now carting water to his bees. It has been so dry in the southeast that a Dalyup beekeeper trucks water to his hives every week.

The means that the bees spend less time searching for water and more time making honey.

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            Australian Honey Bee

Leaky $2M Tank

198 leaks have been discovered in a new $2 million water tank that is part of South East Queensland's $9 billion water grid network. The network is part of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project which is responsible for pumping recycled water to Wivenhoe Dam. It has been out of action for weeks and will not be repaired until late June. 

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               Low Lake Wivenhoe

Iowa Water Quality Grants

Iowa environmental officials say seven projects are expected to be awarded about $5.4 million in grants to improve water quality in lakes and streams.

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New Science Book Identifies Deep-Water Biodiversity Hot-Spots

Deep-Water Coral Reefs
Unique Biodiversity Hot-Spots

Series: Springer Praxis Books
Subseries: Life Sciences
Hovland, Martin

Deep-water coral reefs have been found along large sections of the outer continental shelves and slopes of Europe, from North Cape to the Gulf of Cadiz. They also occur along the Atlantic seaboard of USA, the Gulf of Mexico, off Brazil, in the Mediterranean, and off New Zealand. They have become popular deep-water research targets because they offer frontier exploration.

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