Category Archives: Water Supply

Assessment of the Municipal Water Cycle in China

Tao Wang, Shuming Liu, Xuepeng Qian, Toshiyuki Shimizu, Sébastien M.R. Dente, Seiji Hashimoto, Jun Nakajima. Assessment of the municipal water cycle in China. Science of The Total Environment Volumes 607–608, 31 December 2017, Pages 761-770.

Water produced from municipal utilities accounts for nearly 10% of the sum water demand in China. The municipal water cycle that integrates processes of urban water supply, water use, sewage treatment, and water reclamation has been assessed for 655 cities across nine drainage areas in mainland China in 2012. These cities in total extracted 55 km3 raw water for municipal use from surface waterbodies and ground aquifers, approximate to the countrywide freshwater extraction of Russia or Italy. After purification and transmission, 45 km3 water was distributed to industrial, service, and domestic users. 36 km3 of post-use sewage was collected and environmentally safely treated; merely 3.2 km3 of the treated water was reclaimed. Driven by increasing urbanization, the municipal water demand in cities of China may grow 70% by 2030. The Hai River and the Huai River basins, which harbor 137 cities and occupy a majority of the densely populated North China Plain, are most exposed to physical water scarcity. The municipal water abstraction in these cities can remain constant by promoting demand-side and process conservation in the next two decades. Interbasin transfer and unconventional sources will provide municipal water double than the cities’ need. Whereas the urban water security can be technically enhanced, the challenges are to better improve water use efficiency and mitigate economic and environmental costs of the municipal system.

Oroville Dam Spillway Repaired? or Not?

“The California Department of Water Resources acknowledged this week that many cracks have appeared in the new concrete of the Oroville Dam spillway, which cost over $500 million to repair.” click here

Fecal Contamination Pollutes Drinking Water Sources, Kenya

Okullo JO, Moturi WN, Ogendi GM. Open Defaecation and Its Effects on the Bacteriological Quality of Drinking Water Sources in Isiolo County, Kenya. Environ Health Insights. 2017 Oct 9;11:1178630217735539. doi: 10.1177/1178630217735539.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals for sanitation call for universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and an end to open defaecation by 2030. In Isiolo County, a semi-arid region lying in the northern part of Kenya, poor sanitation and water shortage remain a major problem facing the rural communities.

OBJECTIVE: The overall aim of the study was to assess the relationship between sanitation practices and the bacteriological quality of drinking water sources. The study also assessed the risk factors contributing to open defaecation in the rural environments of the study area.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 150 households was conducted to assess the faecal disposal practices in open defaecation free (ODF) and open defaecation not free (ODNF) areas. Sanitary surveys and bacteriological analyses were conducted for selected community water sources to identify faecal pollution sources, contamination pathways, and contributory factors. Analysis of data was performed using SPSS (descriptive and inferential statistics at α = .05 level of significance).

RESULTS: Open defaecation habit was reported in 51% of the study households in ODNF villages and in 17% households in ODF villages. Higher mean colony counts were recorded for water samples from ODNF areas 2.0, 7.8, 5.3, and 7.0 (×103) colony-forming units (CFUs)/100 mL compared with those of ODF 1.8, 6.4, 3.5, and 6.1 (×103) areas for Escherichia coli, faecal streptococci, Salmonella typhi, and total coliform, respectively. Correlation tests revealed a significant relationship between sanitary surveys and contamination of water sources (P = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: The water sources exhibited high levels of contamination with microbial pathogens attributed to poor sanitation. Practising safe faecal disposal in particular is recommended as this will considerably reverse the situation and thus lead to improved human health.

Cryptosporidium Infection in Cattle, China

Gong C, Cao XF, Deng L, Li W, Huang XM, Lan JC, Xiao QC, Zhong ZJ, Feng F, Zhang Y, Wang WB, Guo P, Wu KJ, Peng GN. Epidemiology of Cryptosporidium infection in cattle in China: a review. Parasite. 2017;24:1. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2017001.

The present review discusses the findings of cryptosporidiosis research conducted in cattle in China and highlights the currently available information on Cryptosporidium epidemiology, genetic diversity, and distribution in China, which is critical to understanding the economic and public health importance of cryptosporidiosis transmission in cattle. To date, 10 Cryptosporidium species have been detected in cattle in China, with an overall infection rate of 11.9%. The highest rate of infection (19.5%) was observed in preweaned calves, followed by that in juveniles (10.69%), postweaned juveniles (9.0%), and adult cattle (4.94%). The dominant species were C. parvum in preweaned calves and C. andersoni in postweaned, juvenile, and adult cattle. Zoonotic Cryptosporidium species (C. parvum and C. hominis) were found in cattle, indicating the possibility of transmission between humans and cattle. Different cattle breeds had significant differences in the prevalence rate and species of Cryptosporidium. This review demonstrates an age-associated, breed-associated, and geographic-related occurrence of Cryptosporidium and provides references for further understanding of the epidemiological characteristics, and for preventing and controlling the disease.


A Model for Developing Water and Sanitation Capacity

Water Safety Plans as a Tool for Arctic Communities

Lane K, Stoddart AK, Gagnon GA. Water safety plans as a tool for drinking water regulatory frameworks in Arctic communities. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2017 Jul 14. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9618-9.

Arctic communities often face drinking water supply challenges that are unique to their location. Consequently, conventional drinking water regulatory strategies often do not meet the needs of these communities. A literature review of Arctic jurisdictions was conducted to evaluate the current water management approaches and how these techniques could be applied to the territory of Nunavut in Canada. The countries included are all members of the Arctic Council and other Canadian jurisdictions considered important to the understanding of water management for Northern Canadian communities. The communities in Nunavut face many challenges in delivering safe water to customers due to remoteness, small community size and therefore staffing constraints, lack of guidelines and monitoring procedures specific to Nunavut, and water treatment and distribution systems that are vastly different than those used in southern communities. Water safety plans were explored as an alternative to water quality regulations as recent case studies have demonstrated the utility of this risk management tool, especially in the context of small communities. Iceland and Alberta both currently have regulated water safety plans (WSPs) and were examined to understand shortcomings and benefits if WSPs were to be applied as a possible strategy in Nunavut. Finally, this study discusses specific considerations that are necessary should a WSP approach be applied in Nunavut.

Rainwater Harvesting in a Subarctic Community

Mercer N, Hanrahan M. Straight from the heavens into your bucket”: domestic rainwater harvesting as a measure to improve water security in a subarctic indigenous communityInternational journal of circumpolar health. 2017;76(1):1312223. doi: 10.1080/22423982.2017.1312223

BACKGROUND: Black Tickle-Domino is an extremely water-insecure remote Inuit community in the Canadian subarctic that lacks piped-water. Drinking water consumption in the community is less than a third of the Canadian national average. Water insecurity in the community contributes to adverse health, economic, and social effects and requires urgent action.

OBJECTIVES: To test the ability of domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH) for the first time in the subarctic with the goal of improving water access and use in the community.

DESIGN: This project utilised quantitative weekly reporting of water collection and use, as well as focus group discussions. DRWH units were installed at seven water-insecure households chosen by the local government. Results were measured over a 6-week period in 2016.

RESULTS: Participants harvested 19.07 gallons of rainwater per week. General purpose water consumption increased by 17% and water retrieval efforts declined by 40.92%. Households saved $12.70 CDN per week. Participants reported perceived improvements to psychological health. Because no potable water was collected, drinking water consumption did not increase. The study identified additional water-insecurity impacts.

CONCLUSION: DRWH cannot supply drinking water without proper treatment and filtration; however, it can be a partial remedy to water insecurity in the subarctic. DRWH is appropriately scaled, inexpensive, and participants identified several significant benefits.