Soil-powered fuel cell promises cheap, sustainable water purification

Soil-powered fuel cell promises cheap, sustainable water purification

Soil microbial fuel cells as designed by researchers at the University of Bath. Credit: University of Bath

Engineers at the University of Bath have shown that it’s possible to capture and use energy created by the natural reactions occurring in microorganisms within soil.

A team of chemical and electrical engineers has demonstrated the potential of cheap, simple “soil microbial fuel cells” (SMFCs), buried in the earth to power an electrochemical … [more…]

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Near or far, forests — like this one at the edge of Hong Kong — affect the movement, quality and availability of water in cities. Photo by Florian Wehde/Unsplash

Water is essential to human health and well-being. In cities, leaders strive to provide secure access to clean, safe and affordable water. In rural areas, farmers hope for adequate rain and healthy rivers to produce healthy crops. The coronavirus pandemic reminds … [more…]

Increasing Water Access Begins with Improving Representation

Increasing Water Access Begins with Improving Representation

Across the United States, historically underserved communities, such as in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas or southern California, lack regular access to clean drinking water and sewage treatment. These groups, typically Hispanic labor populations or Native American tribes, face barriers to achieving the same access to water as nearby municipalities. Irrigation districts often control water in rural areas, with minimal oversight regarding expanding service areas to include low-income, unincorporated … [more…]

How California Became Ground Zero for Climate Disasters

How California Became Ground Zero for Climate Disasters

Photo: Eric Thayer for The New York Times

California is one of America’s marvels. By moving vast quantities of water and suppressing wildfires for decades, the state has transformed its arid and mountainous landscape into the richest, most populous and bounteous place in the nation.

But now, those same feats have given California a new and unwelcome category of superlatives.

This year is the state’s worst wildfire season on record. … [more…]

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR): combat poverty and hunger through land and vegetation restoration

Introduction

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is a low-cost land restoration technique used to combat poverty and hunger amongst poor subsistence farmers by increasing food and timber production and resilience to climate extremes. Started in 1983 in Niger, FMNR is a form of coppicing and pollarding, drawing on traditional practices and sensitive to local variations.

In FMNR systems, farmers protect and manage the growth of trees and shrubs that regenerate

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