Tag Archives: water supply

California Water Infrastructure is Unsustainable

Continuing to prop up unsustainable infrastructure with duck tape is a lost cause…..Perhaps some of the failing infrastructure should not have been built at all. “Pork barrel” water projects built without consideration for their sustainability will ultimately fail.

“The damage at Oroville is just one example of how state and federal authorities are struggling to manage the flow of water — and the challenge of aging infrastructure in a water storage system that has not been updated significantly in several decades.” click here

California Drought is Getting Worse


From: DrRoySpencer.com

“With a winter of phenomenal heavy rains and snow (over 400 inches so far at some Sierra Nevada locations), Lake Oroville 65 miles north of Sacramento is literally entering uncharted territory in its 50 year history.”

California has a Mammoth Snow Fall – 20 feet in one month

“A set of atmospheric rivers that brought heavy rains and floods to California also dumped a record amount of snow on Mammoth Mountain in January — 20½ feet, the most in the resort town’s history, local tourist officials announced.” click here

Accomplishing Water, Sanitation, and Health Globally

The importance of achieving water and sanitation globally is not disputed. The “human right” aspects must be acknowledged and addressed. However, advocating for water and sanitation as a “global human right” is insufficient and in some cases counter productive.

Giné-Garriga R, Flores-Baquero Ó, Jiménez-Fdez de Palencia A, Pérez-Foguet A.
Monitoring sanitation and hygiene in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A review through the lens of human rights. The Science of the total environment. 2016 Dec 15. pii: S0048-9697(16)32753-X. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.066.

International monitoring of drinking water and sanitation has been jointly carried out by WHO and UNICEF through their Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP). With the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era in 2015, the JMP has proposed a post-2015 framework for integrated monitoring of water and sanitation targets included in the Sustainable Development Goal no. 6. This article discusses how each element of the proposed sanitation target and corresponding indicators can be understood from a human rights perspective. Building on the MDGs, and although some of the weaknesses and gaps persist, the discussion suggests that the post-2015 proposal is a step forward towards a monitoring framework where human rights elements related to sanitation are effectively promoted. In addition, to support the interpretation and implementation of the normative content of human rights obligations related to sanitation, the study proposes a reduced set of easy-to-assess indicators to measure the normative criteria of this right, which are then grouped in a multidimensional framework to describe increasing levels of sanitation service. To do this, the study combines literature review and specific local experience from three case studies. It is shown that the proposed monitoring tools, namely the indicators and the multidimensional indicator framework, provide guidance on monitoring the human right to sanitation. In doing so, they might ultimately help sector stakeholders in the realization of this right.

Organochlorine Pesticides in Surface Water, Wuhan, China

Cui L, Wei L, Wang J. Residues of organochlorine pesticides in surface water of a megacity in central China: seasonal-spatial distribution and fate in Wuhan. Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 Oct 31.

Surface water quality closely correlating with human health suffered increasing organochlorine pesticide (OCP) pollution due to the intensive anthropogenic activities in megacities. In the present study, 112 water samples collected from 14 lakes and 11 drinking water source sites in Wuhan were detected for the residues of OCPs in November 2013 and July 2014, respectively. The ΣOCPs ranged from 5.61 to 13.62 ng L-1in summer with the maximum value in Yezhi Lake and 3.18 to 7.73 ng L-1 in winter with the highest concentration in Yandong Lake. Except dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), OCP concentrations in summer were significantly higher than those in winter mostly due to the non-point source pollution including land runoff in summer. Source apportionment of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and DDTs revealed the historical use of technical HCH and lindane and the new input of DDT, respectively. The spatial distribution of OCPs was not uniform in the surface water of Wuhan because of the significant influence of land development and fishery. The risk assessments showed the heptachlor, and heptachlor epoxide in most sampling sites exceeded the threshold set by the European Union, indicating the possible adverse effects for aquatic lives. Negligible non-carcinogenic risks for drinking and bathing as well as carcinogenic risks for bathing were found in the surface water. However, the total carcinogenic risks of all OCPs (∑Rs) caused by drinking in summer were higher than the safe level of 10-7 in all sampling sites. It was implied that the surface water in Wuhan was not safe for directly drinking without effective purification.

Cooperation Needed to Address Chronic Water Supply Interruptions

Dettori M, Piana A, Castiglia P, Loria E, Azara A. Qualitative and quantitative aspects of drinking water supply in Sardinia, Italy. A descriptive analysis of the ordinances and public notices issued during the years 2010-2015.Annali di igiene : medicina preventiva e di comunità. 2016 Jul-Aug;28(4):296-303. doi: 10.7416/ai.2016.2109.

BACKGROUND: The aim of the study is to analyze the regional district ordinances and the warnings regarding qualitative and quantitavive drinking water abnormalities discovered by the Sardinian Municipalities and the Water Managing Authority between 2010 and 2015 in order to describe and identify the causes leading to an interruption or a limitation of the drinking water supply.

METHODS: We carefully reviewed all ordinances and warnings of non-potable water and service interruption published between 2010 and 2015 by the websites of 377 Sardinian Municipalities and by the main regional newspapers, the Water Managing Authority and the Regional Health Trusts.

RESULTS: From 2010 to 2015, 738 warnings/ordinances regarding drinking water supply limitation or interruption were issued. The warnings involved more than half (n. 191, 50.7%) of the 377 Sardinian Municipalities. Considering that these Municipalities included the main Sardinian cities we estimated that 80.3% of the population was affected by the issue. During the 6 years we observed a progressive increase of Municipalities involved beginning with 25 and reaching up 110 in 2014. The initial 29 warnings rose to 256 in 2014 along with an increased number of abnormal values, parameters and standards of the drinking water. Regarding the ordinances issued by the 191 Mayors we noticed that the legal limits were exceeded in 23 cases. Among those, we underline the abnormal levels of chlorites and trihalomethanes (22% of cases), the turbidity, the abnormal concentration of total chemical substances and the abnormal level of coliforms, Escherichia coli, manganese, aluminum, nitrites and iron.

CONCLUSIONS: According to our observations, the Sardinian drinking water supply system is affected by a major inconvenience and the data suggest that qualitative abnormalities are mainly due to water purification treatments used in addition to the poor water supply network in existence. Considering these results, a cooperation between all Authorities involved would be desirable in order to analyze official data and provide a careful evaluation of population exposure and real risks related to the level of every parameter considered.

Flash Flood Impacts on Drinking Water Quality, 2012 Beijing Flood

Sun R, An D, Lu W, Shi Y, Wang L, Zhang C, Zhang P, Qi H, Wang Q. Impacts of a flash flood on drinking water quality: case study of areas most affected by the 2012 Beijing flood. Heliyon. 2016 Feb 19;2(2):e00071. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2016.e00071.

In this study, we present a method for identifying sources of water pollution and their relative contributions in pollution disasters. The method uses a combination of principal component analysis and factor analysis. We carried out a case study in three rural villages close to Beijing after torrential rain on July 21, 2012. Nine water samples were analyzed for eight parameters, namely turbidity, total hardness, total dissolved solids, sulfates, chlorides, nitrates, total bacterial count, and total coliform groups. All of the samples showed different degrees of pollution, and most were unsuitable for drinking water as concentrations of various parameters exceeded recommended thresholds. Principal component analysis and factor analysis showed that two factors, the degree of mineralization and agricultural runoff, and flood entrainment, explained 82.50% of the total variance. The case study demonstrates that this method is useful for evaluating and interpreting large, complex water-quality data sets.