Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

fresh water shortage on a thin surface...

 

surface in peril

 

Nestlé’s chair has claimed that the issue of water scarcity is “much more urgent” than climate change.

But his comments come as his company is slammed for drawing water from drought-ridden areas in California to sell under its Arrowhead and Pure Life bottled water brands.  

Peter Brabeck-Letmanthe, the chairman and former chief executive of Nestlé, told the Financial Times that the world is “running out of water” and that it needs to become a bigger priority to world leaders.

“Today, you cannot have a political discussion anywhere without talking about climate change,” he said. “Nobody talks about the water situation in this sense. And this water problem is much more urgent.”

Climate change is still an important issue, he argued, but even without it “we are running out of water and I think this has to become the first priority,” he said.

Mr Brabeck-Lemanthe’s comments may appear confusing to his company’s critics, as Nestlé, one of the world’s largest food companies, faces harsh criticism for its water bottling activities in California as the area suffers one of its toughest droughts on record.

Nestlé’s 383,000 square-foot water bottling plant is located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ reservation in California.

The state declared a drought state of emergency in January this year, in preparation for coming water shortages – especially during the summer months, but Nestlé is reportedly not required to comply with the emergency measures as its plant sits on a Native American reservation.

But local residents are concerned about the amount of water Nestlé is drawing from the area to bottle and export for profit, and how ethical this action is during a drought.

“Why is it possible to take water from a drought area, bottle it and sell it? Linda Ivey, a Palm Desert real estate appraiser, asked The Desert Sun. “It’s hard to know how much water is being taken – we’ve got to protect what little water supply we have.”

The Desert Sun reported that up until 2009 Nestlé’s Water business, Nestlé Waters, submitted annual reports to a group of local water districts showing how much ground water was being extracted from a spring in Millard Canyon, which is where the plant’s wells have been located for more than a decade.

There have been no reports since then, making it difficult to record how much water is being extracted from the area, but reports estimate it could be 244 million gallons a year. The Desert Sun has repeatedly asked for a tour of Nestlé Waters' plant over the past year, which has not been granted.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nestl-calls-worlds-water-scarcity-more-urgent-than-climate-change--as-it-sells-bottled-water-from-droughtridden-california-9608067.html

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Meanwhile:

 

The world’s oceans are getting hotter, higher, more acidic, and more polluted. On one hand it’s happening slowly. On the other hand it’s fast. Incredibly fast. The oceans have warmed more than half a degree in fifty years. Corals don’t like hot water. They expel their symbiotic algae resulting in bleaching, and coral death. The oceans are 30% more acidic compared with pre-industrial times. Animals with shells will struggle and disappear with the changed water chemistry. And so will the fish that feed upon them.

Fish are fleeing the heat. They are moving polewards. This is leading to loss of diversity in tropical waters, and increased competition in polar waters. The warmer water reduces productivity and rates of growth. This is happening as we expect to take more from the sea for a human population not expected to peak until mid-century.

In this address given at the University of Sydney in 2013, Callum Roberts describes the pressures on the world’s oceans and their ominous future. He says the world’s oceans have changed more in the past thirty years than during the whole of human history.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/the-coming-crisis-for-the--oceans/4735314


The surface of the earth is fragile... It has been submitted to various changes over aeons due to various "natural" influences, but human activity is presently the major source of change... Whether it's for better or worse is an easy call to make, though a difficult one to act upon. 

The movie 2012 (2009) — reminded me of a few things that I have already mentioned on this site: the reversal of polarity in the magnetosphere and the shift of continental plates... According to the scientific records, we are due for a magnetic switch between the north and south pole between now and 1000 years... And we don't really know what this brings along with it... Meanwhile we know that the surface of the earth is not static and continents move... 

On the thin surface, the interaction between the water and atmosphere is crucial in maintaining an environment that carries on sustaining life as it has been doing for about 4 billion years despite a few near wipe outs...

Presently human activity is changing the oceans and the atmosphere. Denying this is criminal. The problem is "not if" but "when" a human induced wipe-out would be coming and how severe...

We cannot rest on our chest-beating glory of having become the most evolved species on this planet... We are slowly but surely (fast in geological terms) condemning much of life on earth to extinction...

 

superbugs in water...

Superbugs resistant to some of the most powerful antibiotics in the medical arsenal have been found for the first time in a British river – with scientists pinpointing a local sewage-treatment plant as the most likely source.

Scientists discovered the drug-resistant bacteria in sediment samples taken downstream of the sewerage plant on the River Sowe near Coventry. The microbes contained mutated genes that confer resistance to the latest generation of antibiotics.

The researchers believe the discovery shows how antibiotic resistance has become widespread in the environment, with sewage-treatment plants now acting as giant “mixing vessels” where antibiotic resistance can spread between different microbes.


http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/exclusive-sewagetreatment-plants-described-as-giant-mixing-vessels-after-scientists-discover-drugresistant-bacteria-in-british-river-9615850.html

swimming in it...

As Delhi swelters in temperatures of more than 40C, residents are going to extreme lengths to keep cool - but getting access to the public swimming pool takes dedication, perseverance and an 04:00 wake up call.

It's hot in Delhi. So hot, my bathroom is a permanent sauna. So hot, that a giant scented candle I left on the terrace has dissolved into goo. So hot that water, even from the cold tap, comes out steaming.

Sadly, there are few public places you can go for relief from the searing heat, so when a friend suggested we join the government-run sports complex, featuring an Olympic-sized swimming pool, I jumped at the chance.

A three-month membership costs less than a meal at one of Delhi's swanky restaurants but getting that membership is an Olympic feat in itself. To succeed, you must have the stamina to beat hundreds of rivals on the one day each month that membership is thrown open to the public.

So on the last Monday of June, my husband and I left home just before 05:00 under a crescent moon. We drove through Delhi's normally loud, teeming streets but when we approached the high, locked gates of the sports complex, we found hundreds of people had already beaten us to it.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28373344