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Final report high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Michigan

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ScienceDaily: University of Michigan researchers today released the final version of a report analyzing policy options for the state of Michigan regarding high-volume hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking.
The final report of the U-M Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan Integrated Assessment consists of six chapters totaling nearly 200 pages. The two-part integrated assessment took three years to complete and is the most comprehensive Michigan-focused resource…
Source: Waterconserve News

Source: Water Industry News

Q&A: Giulio Boccaletti on the Sustainable Development Goal for Restoring Water Ecosystems

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Giulio Boccaletti is the global managing director for water at The Nature Conservancy. He talks with Circle of Blue about the Sustainable Development subgoal to protect and restore water-related ecosystems and how it represents a shift in thinking about how to provide communities with safe water.

In a series of Q&As with water experts, Circle of Blue explores the significance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for water, how they can be achieved, and how they will be measured. We spoke with Giulio Boccaletti about the 6.6 subgoal, which aims, by 2020, to “protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.”

Giulio Boccaletti global managing director for water ecosystems conservation restoration United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Q&A Circle of Blue

Photo courtesy of The Nature Conservancy
Can you describe what is meant by a water-related ecosystem, and what it means for the SDG to focus on restoring them?
Giulio Boccaletti: One of the things that the [SDG] has done is really articulate the integration of things that typically are quite separate. In the past, you would have one group worrying about water access and drinking water, another group worrying about water infrastructure like reservoirs, and then a third group worrying about the ecological health of biologically-based systems. These seem to be pretty disparate issues. What the SDGs have done is bring all this together. It’s the recognition that making sure that wetlands are functioning, making sure rivers are healthy as ecological systems, that their function is intact, that outcome is part of the overall issue of delivering sustainable water services to humanity. That’s an important shift because it essentially recognizes what some people call natural infrastructure, that the most fundamental piece of water infrastructure we have is the stuff we inherited.

That’s one way of thinking about what that last subgoal means. The other effect is that it actually turns the camera around. This is true for all the SDGs, but particularly the water one. If you look back to the Millennium Development Goals, they were very much focused on the delivery of services to the least developed countries. It was about equity and lifting people out of poverty through a set of goals, and water was a part of that. What this set of goals is doing is sustainable development writ large. It applies to the developing world as well as the developed world. Middle income countries like Brazil are having water resources issues, but equally California, which is probably the richest place on the planet. And it’s having the same issues.

What is different about thinking about water-related ecosystems as a whole—such as forests and wetlands—instead of just a river or lake on its own?
Giulio Boccaletti: It is essentially saying that the water sector is quite a bit broader than what people typically think. If you are a forest manager, you are in fact part of the water sector. It puts an emphasis on achieving outcomes of scale across the world, and the performance is very varied. For example, the forests of the West [United States], it’s not a developing country, but you have pine forests where there are all of those fires. All of those forests, which are artificially thick because of forest management practices, need to be ecologically restored and need to be thinned. By doing that you are probably improving the amount of water delivered to places like Arizona, to New Mexico, to San Francisco.
You hear a lot about natural “tipping points”. This goal aims to not only protect ecosystems, but also to restore them. How possible is it to do that at this point, and is there a window of opportunity to do so?
Giulio Boccaletti: I think the urgency is mostly about us. That’s the source of it. The good news about freshwater ecosystems is, in some ways, it’s a positive story. The Ohio River in the U.S. was way more polluted than it is today. Before the Clean Water Act was passed, the United States had watershed outcomes that were much worse than they are today. It’s not a one directional story. We know how to do this, we know how to restore an ecosystem. While we may not recover all of what was lost, and someplace like the Mississippi River may never look like it did 200 years ago, we can still restore a lot of its functions.

Last year, when they released water down the Colorado River to restore the connection to the sea, the moment the water touched the Delta, it completely revived. In a way, that’s the most obvious demonstration of how nature is actually resilient. It’s not a question of whether you care about nature or not, which we do, but the bigger problem is our population is growing and we need a whole bunch of things that we will struggle to deliver if we don’t regain the balance between ecological needs and human needs. Having healthy ecosystems is a precondition of supplying sustainable services. I think that is the fundamental shift the SDGs are trying to frame.

What challenges and opportunities are presented when the environment is considered as a major water stakeholder, as it has been in places like Australia and California?
Giulio Boccaletti: The challenge is that it introduces some degree of complexity. You might end up having a very simplistic view that nature is simply competitive to human uses. But in someplace like the Murray Darling, it is a very particular kind of ecosystem. Nature is used to periods of floods followed by periods of drought. I think there is a lot of opportunity to be very precise about what are the actual needs of nature.

In setting up an institution, if you use Australia as an example, it manages it because of a market system that allows you to be quite precise. We don’t have that level of precision in most of the world, whereas they have an engineered system. We have the opportunity though to get really consistent and precise—what is it really that nature needs? The ecosystem services that nature provides, whether protection from floods, or nitrogen fixation in the environment, typically those processes, as natural infrastructure, fit the low-end of the water cost scale.

What areas are doing well in their efforts to protect water ecosystems, and where does there need to be improvement?
Giulio Boccaletti: It’s very spotty, and the answer is very contextual. Things that worked 100 years ago don’t necessarily work 100 years later, and, frankly, climate change throws a wrench in the plan. What might have been a perfectly viable setup in the environment isn’t when the statistic of rainfall is changing. That complicates it. There are some countries that have done better than others in part because it was easier or because they wanted to do that.

This is one of the defining challenges for much of the developing world—will they be able to meet the recipes that are implied by the SDGs? If they did, what they would do is leapfrog from the path that much of the developed countries followed.

The post Q&A: Giulio Boccaletti on the Sustainable Development Goal for Restoring Water Ecosystems appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

Source: Water News

Source: Water Industry News

Fall Multnomah Falls Waterfall Oregon

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While the Multnomah Falls, Oregon, are a popular tourist spot in summer, I had it all for myself on this misty fall morning, it was a incredible spot to photograph, relax and to enjoy.

The Multnomah Falls waterfall is a very special place, while it can be crowded in summer with tourists it may show you a totally different side of it in late fall and winter. The a hrefphotoswaterfall-pictures.htmwaterfalla…

Source: Natural Resources Library

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Water Talk: Expert Q&As on the UN Sustainable Development Goals for Water

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For the first time, international leaders meeting in New York City this weekend will consider a dedicated goal for water.

Manila Philippines slum squatter village poverty WASH water sanitation hygiene Sustainable Development Goals United Nations J. Carl Ganter Circle of Blue

Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue
Children in Manila bathe on the street with a bucket. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – which will be adopted in New York this weekend– set an ambitious priority of providing clean water and sanitation for all by 2030. They also include goals to improve water efficiency, safeguard water ecosystems, and reduce water pollution.Click image to enlarge.

By Codi Kozacek
Circle of Blue

Draft Sustainable Development Goal for Water
6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
6.2: By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
6.3: By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and increasing recycling and safe reuse by x% globally.
6.4: By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity, and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.
6.5: By 2030 implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate.
6.6: By 2020 protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

On Friday, September 25, representatives from around the world gather in New York City to adopt a new global agenda for sustainable development. The proposed Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious targets to eradicate poverty and hunger, safeguard natural resources, combat climate change, and achieve human equality by 2030. The goals replace the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which sought to provide essential services to the world’s poorest communities.

For the first time, the international targets include a dedicated goal for water that encompasses access to drinking water and sanitation as well as improvements in water management and environmental protections. The goal is a victory for water advocacy groups that have long warned that failing to address water directly would undermine global economies, security, and efforts to improve the global standard of living. It is also a significant step toward elevating access to water, uncertain water supply, and increasing water consumption to top international priorities as global leaders prepare to negotiate a world agreement to reduce climate-related risks in Paris in December.

In a series of Q&As with water experts, Circle of Blue explores the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals for water, how they can be achieved, and how they will be measured.

Q&A: Bill Christiansen on the Sustainable Development Goal for Water Efficiency

Q&A: Mark Giordano on the Sustainable Development Goal for Integrated Water Resources Management

The post Water Talk: Expert Q&As on the UN Sustainable Development Goals for Water appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

Source: Water News

Source: Water Industry News

NSF ANSI 61 Gaskets for Drinking Water Systems

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NSF/ANSI Standard 61 establishes health-related requirements for rubber seals and gaskets used in potable water systems. Learn how NSF/ANSI 61 can affect your project’s costs, how there’s a difference between NSF/ANSI 61 complaint and NSF/ANSI 61 approved materials, and how water jet cutting and infrared splicing create high-quality custom rubber gaskets. Learn more at bit.ly/nsf-ansi-61-gaskets

Source: Water Industry News