the DROP 4/21/2020: Megadrought, Device collects water from fog, Rise in self-sufficiency, Turn scrap metal and seashells into energy

In News by Jeremiah CasteloUpdated: Published: Leave a Comment

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Our world has certainly taken a dramatic shift in recent months and many of us have had to adapt to a change in lifestyle.

Telecommunications has quickly become the norm for much of the workforce and vegetable farming trends are gaining traction.

While COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty in the minds of many, other uncertainties progress less prominently.

As energy crises, droughts, and fires loom alongside the torrent of mainstream media, human effort to improve our lives and mitigate these problems deserve as much, if not more, acknowledgement.

This is our current world, at but a quick glance.






Water Crisis






Smithsonian / April 17, 2020
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Credit: Pixabay
"Drought has scorched western North America for the better part of two decades, withering crops, draining rivers and fueling fires. Scientists now warn that this trend could be just the beginning of an extended megadrought that ranks among the very worst of the past 1,200 years and would be unlike anything known in recorded history."


Variations in climate are setting a trajectory toward unprecedented drought conditions which, in centuries past, have caused mass migrations of people groups. Experts suspect a similar fate may be approaching.

Read full article here.





World Economic Forum / April 15, 2020
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Credit: Pixabay
"Without water, our lifespan would be 14 days. Our entire existence is closely dependent on one single, exhaustible resource. In a moment where we all feel vulnerable, and surprisingly dependent on more external systems than we imagined, life is reminding us of what makes us human, and where we should probably focus our attention."


We have an innate understanding of the vital role water plays in our lives; we drink it, cook and clean with it, and it's used for various industrial purposes. But it's often difficult for individuals to apply consistent conservation methods when the supply might appear to be indefinite.

This article by the World Economic Forum illustrates the reality of the world's water crisis and details what lifestyle changes individuals may make in order to help.

Read full article here.





Water Tech






MIT / April 15, 2020
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Credit: MIT Technology Review
"Cody Friesen, PhD ’04, invented panels that harvest water from the air—even in arid Arizona. And that’s after he’d figured out how to make rechargeable high-energy batteries that are cheap and eco-friendly."


The Source Hydropanel, developed by Cody Friesen of ASU's School of Engineering, helped solve the water crisis in a Kenyan refuge by harvesting water from the atmosphere. This remarkable technology even allows for the collection of water very dry climates.

Read full article here.





Tech Xplore / April 17, 2020
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Credit: Tech Xplore
"The hope behind the fog harp's development was simple: in areas of the world where water is scarce but fog is present, pulling usable water from fog could become a sustainable option. "


The fog harp, a device invented by Jonathan Boreyko and Brook Kennedy of Virginia tech, gathers a considerable amount of water from fog using vertical wires.

Read full article here.






Preparedness






Survivor Blog / April 16 , 2020
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Credit: Dave herring / Unsplash
"Fire is essential for survival, and anyone who has spent any time back country camping normally has two or three ways to start a fire in their kit. I believe that everyone should practice starting a fire in a safe controlled area using a variety of techniques such as the ferro rod, flint & steel, the friction bow line, even a mirror/magnifying glass lens until you have mastered each of them and any other way possible. Under stress in a survival situation is not the time to realize it’s much harder than it looks."


This article, written on James Wesley Rawles' Survivor Blog, details the instructions and tools one would need to make water-resistant matches.

Read full article here.






Self-Sufficiency






Resilience / April 14, 2020
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Credit: Zanda Photography / Unsplash
"If you’ll pardon the pun, it’s a seed of hope that in such challenging times, so many are seeking down-to-earth, nourishing respite where they can. The move into growing your own food is a hugely positive step on a multitude of levels right now and I believe, offers the potential for a more sustainable food system and society post-pandemic."


Self-sufficiency and homesteading have gained popularity in light of coronavirus concerns as of late. This article explains why and how this trend is growing and whether it has longevity.

Read full article here.





Resilience / April 10, 2020
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Credit: Pixabay
"We have a high-efficiency washer with which we do on average two and a half loads per week, amounting to about seven gallons per day. And no matter how much I talk about it, the children seem to think 'please wash your hands' means 'please recreate Lake Superior on the bathroom floor.'"


Kara Stiff details how she and her family manage to successfully conserve water on her homestead. Follow her tips on how you can do the same.

Read full article here.






Sustainability






Arizona State University / April 9, 2020
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Credit: Bryan Goff / Unsplash
"The heat engines used to convert fuels to electricity in a power plant, or for power in your car have an efficiency of 30% to 35% percent. With hydrogen peroxide in a fuel cell, the conversion of chemical to useful energy could be as high as 80% to 90%, with the added benefit of not having to carry hydrogen gas"


Nanotechnology might allow for the purification of water with less chemicals and electricity, overcoming the problem of energy-efficiency in water treatment. If proven successful, nanotechnology may not only solve water treatment hurdles, but may prove a viable source of renewable energy.

Read full article here.





GreenBiz / April 16, 2020
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Credit: Natureserve / Greenbiz
"The initiative builds on Microsoft’s 2.5-year-old AI for Earth program, which has supported grants for more than 500 environmental data projects in 81 countries. Google and Amazon have invested in cloud resources and artificial intelligence platforms working toward similar missions, but not on the grand scale that Microsoft seeks to achieve."


Microsoft's plan to create computing platform of the earth's geodata will be publicly available to scientists as tool for research. This cloud-based program will have trillions of data points which will allow for hypothetical scenarios and predictions of potential calamities.

Read full article here.





Digital Trends / April 15, 2020
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Credit: PxHere
"Robots that could recharge by chowing down (in varying degrees) scrap metal as they move about. While that carries the faint whiff of robot cannibalism, it could, as strange as it might sound, result in robots that function more like biological beings."


In the constant search for sustainable energy, researchers at University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering have created prototype robots which consume metal and convert it to energy, providing a potential alternative to lithium batteries.

Read full article here.





Phys.org / April 16, 2020
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Credit: PxHere
"A team from Purdue University used chitosan—an abundant natural biopolymer from marine crustacean shells—to create triboelectric nanogenerators. TENGs help conserve mechanical energy and turn it into power."


An innovation using material derived from the shells of crabs and other sea creatures may soon provide a new option for powering medical sensors, phone screens and other devices.

Read full article here.






Climate and Environment






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Credit: Union of Concerned Scientists
"Record-breaking flooding across the Midwest and Northern Great Plains last year caused an estimated $10.8 billion in damage to homes, businesses, crops, and infrastructure. This year’s forecast indicates that 23 of our 50 states could experience flooding. It warns: 'This spring season, 128 million people face an elevated flooding risk in their communities, with 28 million at risk for moderate or greater flooding, and 1.2 million at risk for major flooding.'"


With COVID-19 causing difficulty in mobilization for government relief agencies, potential flooding in the southern and midwestern states may raise more concern than otherwise expected. This article published by the Union of Concern Scientists details how and where these two issues converge.

Read full article here.





NBC / April 6, 2020
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Credit: Yaroslav Yemelianenko / Reuters
"Radiation levels in the Chernobyl exclusion zone spiked 17 times over the normal background reading Sunday, the head of Ukraine's ecological watchdog said Sunday, as forest fires blazed about 12 miles into the Chernobyl disaster area."


Fires in close proximity to the Chernobyl fallout region are raising levels of radiation as they approach. Experts are concerned that the fires may uplift radiation particles in the soil and cause them to travel further distances.

Read full article here.




I'm Jeremiah Castelo, the owner of World Water Reserve. I'm a writer and researcher with a particular interest in sustainability and rural living, water scarcity, and innovative water purification methods. I utilize my multimedia and communication experience in the NGO and humanitarian fields to bring light to important topics. My passion is to educate others on the reality of the global water crisis and on ways to sustain themselves and their families in the midst of it.

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