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…]

Protect Your Groundwater Day

Graphic: Protect Your Groundwater Day 2020

Save the date!

We all rely on groundwater in some way, and groundwater relies on us to protect it.

Protect Your Groundwater Day takes place on September 1, 2020. PYGWD is an annual observance established to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater. The event is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance.

Check out the Groundwater Foundation’s tools for engaging the next … [more…]

World population facing water stress could ‘double’ by 2050

World population facing water stress could ‘double’ by 2050 as climate warms

The number of people exposed to water stress could double by 2050 if efforts are not made to keep global warming below 2C above pre-industrial levels and future population growth is high, a study finds.

This means an additional 380 million people could face water stress by mid-century, when compared to the number in 2010.

Even if the world does meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature target of limiting warming to … [more…]

Single Systems: Great Lakes cities’ sewer designs mean waste in the waters

Single Systems: Great Lakes cities’ sewer designs mean waste in the waters (Lake Ontario)

The video shot in the summer of 2016 is grisly.

In it, Mark Mattson, co-founder of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, displays materials skimmed from the Toronto harbor, which lies along the northwestern end of Lake Ontario.

As his small boat bobs in the water, he lays them on a wooden oar: slimy condoms, tampons and wet naps.

And he points to a likely culprit: the millions of gallons of raw … [more…]

Large contribution from anthropogenic warming to an emerging North American megadrought

A trend of warming and drying

Global warming has pushed what would have been a moderate drought in southwestern North America into megadrought territory. Williams et al. used a combination of hydrological modeling and tree-ring reconstructions of summer soil moisture to show that the period from 2000 to 2018 was the driest 19-year span since the late 1500s and the second driest since 800 CE (see the Perspective by Stahle). … [more…]