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The Nestlé Controversy: 5 Scandals That Show It's Time to Boycott Nestlé
S.E. Smith— 2015-05-15 11:30 am | Last updated 2019-01-09 08:27 am
There’s a Nestlé controversy brewing up this week as the firm comes under the gun for resolutely continuing to bottle water in California despite the state’s historic drought. While Governor Jerry Brown has instituted restrictions on water use and Californians—ironically—are being forced to buy bottled water because their own wells are running dry, Nestlé is pumping a shockingly unknown amount out of California aquifers....
In California, Nestlé bottles water in desert regions of the state that are already struggling with water shortages, and it refuses to disclose how much it processes at its facilities. In Wisconsin, the firm became involved in a protracted dispute over pristine water sources, while Nestlé has also made itself extremely unpopular in Oregon. Critics also accuse Nestlé of privatizing what should be a free public resource across the United States.

Reporting on the situation in California, David Dayen at Salon notes that Nestlé gets around water usage restrictions by pumping on reservations, which are not accountable to states because of their status as sovereign lands.
Nestle  evil  water  infant  formula  child  slavery  Union  palm_oil 
6 weeks ago by Quercki
Algonquin Water Song Phonetic Lyrics — Sing The Water Song
Algonquin Water Song Phonetic Lyrics
Sing four times, each time facing one of the four directions in this order:
East, South, West, North

Nee bee wah bow

En die en

Aah key mis kquee

Nee bee wah bow

Hey ya hey ya hey ya hey

Hey ya hey ya hey ya ho
song  lyrics  video  Algonquin  Native_American  water 
7 weeks ago by Quercki
Michigan authorities drop all criminal charges relating to Flint water crisis
The office of Michigan’s attorney general dismissed every pending criminal case related to the water crisis in Flint on Thursday, effectively restarting an investigation that began three years earlier and grew to encompass charges against multiple state and local officials.

Authorities described the decision to dismiss without prejudice charges against eight people as a necessary corrective to an inquiry they said had been flawed until now. They also pledged a “vigorous pursuit of justice” and said their ongoing investigation had uncovered more information and evidence related to the crisis.

“We are now in the best possible position to find the answers the citizens of Flint deserve and hold all responsible parties accountable,” Fadwa A. Hammoud, who was named Michigan’s solicitor general this year and tapped to lead the Flint criminal cases, said in a statement issued with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy.

“Our team has already identified additional individuals of interest and new information relevant to the Flint Water Crisis,” they added. “These investigative leads will be aggressively pursued.”
2019  Flint  water  lead  criminal  investigation  restart 
june 2019 by Quercki
Michigan AG dismisses current charges, reopens criminal investigations in Flint water cases
On Thursday afternoon, Michigan’s attorney general’s office announced its Flint Water prosecution team has dismissed all of the criminal charges originally brought against former Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon and eight others by the former Office of Special Counsel appointed by former Attorney General Bill Schuette.

According to a statement released by the attorney general’s office on Thursday, the charges are being dismissed “without prejudice … in order to conduct a full and complete investigation.”

A joint statement issued by Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said the reason for the move was shoddy work by the former team of investigators, which was originally led by special prosecutor Todd Flood. Attorney General Dana Nessel gave Hammoud control of the Flint criminal team in February. Flood was either fired, or resigned due to illness, in April.
Flint  water  lead  criminal  restart 
june 2019 by Quercki
Flint Receives $77 Million to Fund New Water Projects | Colorlines
On Monday (April 15), the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality provided Flint with the money, which the city’s Department of Public Works Director Rob Bincsik said is not “new funding.” MLive reports that it is actually from “a $120 million federal and state loan granted to Flint in March 2017 by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016.”

Although it is called a loan, the $77 million carries zero interest and was 100 percent forgiven, meaning it does not have to be repaid. Flint intends to use the funding for various projects, including water meter replacements for homes, installation of water quality monitoring panels, construction of a new chemical feed building and completion of a pipeline that will connect to a secondary water source.
Flint  water  lead  2019  repair 
april 2019 by Quercki
Bay Area: Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From? | PBS Nature Presents Yosemite | KQED Science
Bay Area: Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?
By Lauren Sommer, KQED Science
FEBRUARY 28, 2014
The Bay Area water system is a byzantine patchwork of agencies — more than 50 in all — that provides water to customers. Some are the ones you see on your water bill. Others are middlemen that provide water to local agencies at the the wholesale level.

And some of that water makes a long journey. Southern California has the reputation for tapping far-flung sources for its water needs, but the Bay Area is in the same boat.

More than two-thirds of the Bay Area’s water supply comes from outside the region, which means in extreme drought years like this one, local water districts are competing with many others around the state for limited supplies.
water  district  bayarea 
january 2018 by Quercki
The Legends of Sonoma Mountain | Literary Hub
Answer Woman and Question Woman have been on Sonoma Mountain a long time—they are the daughters of Coyote, after all. They know all the stories. But this is their predicament: Answer Woman knows all the answers but she cannot think of them unless she is asked; Question Woman, on the other hand, cannot remember a single answer, not one story, and she must always ask her questions in order to hear the answer again.

Yesterday I stopped and listened to them talking. Question Woman asked Answer Woman. “What is Water Bug’s story?”

“It’s the story of how Water Bug stole Water.”

“Water is a creature, too? A spirit like the others?”

“Oh, yes,” answered Answer Woman. “Water is a most important spirit. Listen to the story.”


Water Bug Walks Away with Copeland Creek

This happened at the big village near the headwaters of Copeland Creek. Water Bug lived there with his many grandchildren, and years before his old wife had left him.
Native_American  Indigenous  bayarea  story  water 
october 2017 by Quercki
No water for poor people: the nine Americans who risked jail to seek justice | US news | The Guardian
Inequality and Opportunity in America
No water for poor people: the nine Americans who risked jail to seek justice
To live without water means no bath time for your kids, no cooking and no useable toilets. As the city of Detroit cut water to 83,000 homes since 2014, nine activists put their bodies on the line to protest
by Drew Philp in Detroit, Michigan
water  Detroit  Flint  civil_rights  poverty  justice 
july 2017 by Quercki
JCI - Increased salt consumption induces body water conservation and decreases fluid intake
RESULTS. A 6-g/d increase in salt intake increased urine osmolyte excretion, but reduced free-water clearance, indicating endogenous free water accrual by urine concentration. The resulting endogenous water surplus reduced fluid intake at the 12-g/d salt intake level. Across all 3 levels of salt intake, half-weekly and weekly rhythmical mineralocorticoid release promoted free water reabsorption via the renal concentration mechanism. Mineralocorticoid-coupled increases in free water reabsorption were counterbalanced by rhythmical glucocorticoid release, with excretion of endogenous osmolyte and water surplus by relative urine dilution. A 6-g/d increase in salt intake decreased the level of rhythmical mineralocorticoid release and elevated rhythmical glucocorticoid release. The projected effect of salt-driven hormone rhythm modulation corresponded well with the measured decrease in water intake and an increase in urine volume with surplus osmolyte excretion.

CONCLUSION. Humans regulate osmolyte and water balance by rhythmical mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid release, endogenous accrual of surplus body water, and precise surplus excretion.

FUNDING. Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology/DLR; the Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research; the NIH; the American Heart Association (AHA); the Renal Research Institute; and the TOYOBO Biotechnology Foundation. Food products were donated by APETITO, Coppenrath und Wiese, ENERVIT, HIPP, Katadyn, Kellogg, Molda, and Unilever.
salt  water  diet 
may 2017 by Quercki
If You Eat a Lot of Salt It Makes You Thirsty, Right? Wrong, Say Scientists
Zero gravity conditions were created and simulated in two separate studies, lasting 105 and 520 days respectively.

The cosmonauts, who included a German, Oliver Knickel, were given 12 grams of salt daily, reduced to nine grams and as little as six grams. Mr. Knickel, 33, who now works as an automotive engineer in Stuttgart, said that when the food got down to just six grams: "It didn't taste good."

Dr. Titze and his team measured the amount of sodium excreted in the cosmonauts' urine and blood. When the crew ate less salt, they excreted less salt. No great surprise there.

But Dr. Titze said: "Then we had a look at fluid intake, and were more than surprised."

They found that the cosmonauts were actually drinking less water despite getting more salt.

"There was only one way to explain this phenomenon. The body most likely had generated or produced water when salt intake was high."

It is not the first time cosmonauts have been involved in experiments. 

Russian Cosmonauts to Try Fermenting Milk on ISS to Prepare for Long-Haul Flights
salt  thirst  weight  water 
may 2017 by Quercki
Federal appeals court sides with Agua Caliente tribe in landmark water case
A federal appeals court sided with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians on Tuesday in a landmark water case, upholding a ruling that the tribe has federally established rights to groundwater in the Coachella Valley.

The decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is likely to set an important precedent for tribes across the country.

The three-judge panel upheld a 2015 ruling in which a judge backed the Agua Caliente tribe’s claim that it holds a federally granted “reserved right” to groundwater beneath its reservation in Palm Springs and surrounding areas.

The appeals court said in its opinion that the creation of the Agua Caliente Reservation in the 1870s "carried with it an implied right to use water from the Coachella Valley aquifer.”

The decision is a setback for the Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency, which had argued the tribe holds the same right to use groundwater under state law as all other landowners in California. The water districts could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
water  aquifer  ground  Native_American  rights 
march 2017 by Quercki
Scientists Now Know Exactly How Lead Got Into Flint's Water | Science | Smithsonian
Furthermore, officials never used common corrosion control methods that Detroit and many other cities use in their water systems. Those methods include adding phosphates to the water, which help keep lead from dissolving into the water flowing through the pipes. When the city switched water supplies, this rust began to be stripped away, strongly discoloring the water and leaching the large amounts of lead from that rust into the water.

The corrosive water pumping underneath Flint quickly ate away at the protective layer inside the city's old lead pipes, exposing bare lead to the water flowing through them. This lead was the source of the initial contamination, Edwards says. This is what happened in Walters’ house: According to the study, most of the lead appeared to come not from the lead pipe connecting her house to the main line, but from the protective rust that had built up on the house's iron piping over the decades.

Flint switched back to using water from Detroit in October 2015, and is now adding extra phosphates to that water to help reduce lead levels. But these measures amount to just a "band-aid," according to Edwards.

"Some people think, 'If I get rid of the lead pipes, there's no lead in my water,'" Edwards says. "[That's] not true." Definitively solving the lead pipe crisis will require more drastic efforts than just replacing existing pipes—it will require an expensive, time-consuming rehaul of the city’s entire plumbing system. Flint is now in the midst of an effort to replace the city's thousands of lead pipes, but it’s unclear how long it will take or how much it will end up costing.
Flint  lead  water  chemistry 
february 2017 by Quercki
BREAKING: Top U.S. Scientist Resigns & Announces GOP Water Poison Cover-Up Scandal
October 3, 2016

As of last week North Carolina’s chief epidemiologist, Megan Davies resigned after accusing GOP state lawmakers of purposely misleading the states residents when it comes to the safety of their drinking water.

The decision to leave didn’t come lightly. After calling out the biggest utility in the state and Republican Governor Pat McCrory, she gave up her job of nearly seven years and an annual salary of $188,000.

In 2014 a Duke Energy power plant had a spill that resulted in 40,000 tons of toxic coal ash and 27 million gallons of wastewater spilling over into the Dan River. The ash, a byproduct of burning coal, is harmful to human beings and the environment. It contains extremely toxic amounts of chemicals like mercury, arsenic, and silica.
Shortly after the storage facilities were discovered to be unsafe, households around the storage sites were warned by state officials not to drink the water from their wells, due to water quality concerns. Duke Energy started providing citizens affected with bottled water in April of 2015.

A year after residents were told that their well water wasn’t safe to drink, state officials from the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health and Human Services contacted those who had been impacted by the issue and told them their water was safe.

Unfortunately, testing showed that the well water near the ash dumping sites was still unsafe, and contained high levels of cancer causing toxins. The only reason the “do-not-drink” order was lifted was because Duke Energy lobbied the state to reverse it, despite the fact that nothing had changed. There were still unlined coal ash sites littering the state and they were still leaching toxins into the water and the environment.
water  environment  safety  NoDAPL  Duke_Energy  NC  Flint 
december 2016 by Quercki
Foul water? EBMUD responds to complaints, says it is safe to drink
Drinking water for 800,000 East Bay residents may taste mustier for months to come as the area’s largest supplier switches to a different water source during a treatment plant upgrade.

The water pumped from earth-lined reservoirs — instead of piped in directly from the Sierra foothills  — may not be as aesthetically appealing, but it’s safe to drink, officials from the East Municipal Utility District said Monday.

More than 100 customers from western Alameda and Contra Costa counties have called or emailed in complaints or questions about the water taste since Thursday.

“We expected an uptick in complaints about water, ” said Andrea Pook, a water district spokeswoman. “We appreciate customers’ patience as we get through this construction project that will make our Orinda Treatment plant more reliable. I want to reassure people the water is  safe to drink.”

The water district typically serves customers in Oakland, Richmond, Berkeley, San Leandro and other communities west of the Caldecott Tunnel by providing them Mokelumne River water piped directly to the Orinda Treatment plant, treated and then pumped to homes.
water  quality  EBMUD 
october 2016 by Quercki
Anti-Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Greet Heavily Armed Police with Handshakes - Native News Online
The crowd saw the police moving in from some distance. Leaders called for the children, elders, and other people in need of protection to move into the middle of the crowd, protected by younger people on the outside. When the police arrived, younger people also moved to the police side of the crowd.

The leaders called for calm and reminded the protesters to let the police liaisons talk to the police.

The group was instructed to split by the leaders, to make room for passing traffic. Protesters on horseback split the crowd onto the side of the street, traffic to pass. The police did not proceed through the now split crowd, they stopped and created an obstruction, blocking the road.

The police stopped near the protesters and the crowd approached cautiously.

After some anti-DAPL shouting, the protesters formed a receiving line, lining up in front of the police, moving down the line shaking the police officers’ hands. Protesters explained that they were there for the children of the police who live in the area, as well as their own children. Most protesters made direct eye contact and smiled at police as they moved through the line.

One protester offered the police flowers.

Most officers took part in the receiving line, shaking the protestors’ hands. Some police simply waved as to say a friendly, no thanks. A few police simply ignored the offer all together, standing with their arms down, hands crossed across their abdomen. Most looked confused, as if they were anticipating it to turn malicious.

Police later reported they were charged by horses and did not report the handshakes.

No arrests were made at the protest.
NoDAPL  Native_American  water  police 
september 2016 by Quercki
Michigan Officials Strip Flint of Right to Sue Over Water Crisis - Rewire
Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in 2011 signed a law that permitted the state to seize legal authority from municipalities like Flint, and to appoint emergency managers to serve for terms of 18 months or more. A task force in March appointed by Snyder issued a scathing report that concluded that emergency managers appointed in Flint were primarily responsible for Flint’s water crisis.

Not only did emergency managers in Flint oversee the city, seizing control from the mayor and the Flint City Council, but also pushed to change the source of the city’s water supply to save money, as the New York Times reported.

Snyder since 2011 has appointed four emergency managers to run Flint. Snyder in April 2015 declared an end to Flint’s financial emergency, and Flint was moved from being under the control of an emergency manager to home rule under the guidance of a five-member Receivership Transition Advisory Board. Snyder appoints the members of the board.

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to ensure “a smooth transition” to Flint self-government by “maintaining the measures prescribed upon the emergency manager’s exit,” and reviewing “major financial and policy decisions … to ensure that they maintain fiscal and organizational stability,” according to information available on Flint’s website.

It was this Advisory Board that, upon receiving Weaver’s notice of intent to sue, quickly moved to change the rules governing Flint so that the city cannot file a lawsuit without prior approval from the Advisory Board.

Anna Heaton, a spokesperson for Snyder, said that the purpose of the change was to better involve the mayor, the city council, and other city officials, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.
Flint  water  sue 
september 2016 by Quercki
Donald Trump interrupted by Flint pastor during speech during Hillary Clinton attack | The Independent
Donald Trump's address to a black church in Flint, Michigan, was cut short by the church's pastor when he launched into a tirade about Hillary Clinton. The incident came amid criticism from Mayor Karen Weaver that the visit is more than a "photo op" as the city continues to deal with its water contamination crisis. 

Flint's federal emergency ends, but the water crisis isn't over
During a speech at the historically-black Bethel United Methodist Church, Mr Trump began to tear into Hillary Clinton in his usual stump speech after a brief tour of the Flint water plant at the centre of the lead contamination controversy. 

"Hillary failed on the economy. Just like she's failed on foreign police," he said. "Everything she touched didn't work out. Nothing. Now Hillary Clinton—"

"Mr Trump I invited you here to thank us for what we've done in Flint, not give a political speech," Rev Faith Green-Timmons interjected.Mayor Weaver rebuked the visit earlier in the day, suggesting it was nothing more than a stunt. She said he never contacted her about the visit and the campaign never offered any help.

The trip comes amid Mr Trump’s ongoing effort to court the black vote — often criticised as a bid to appeal to moderate white conservatives — but Ms Weaver sounded a sceptical about the candidate’s intentions of visiting Flint, a predominantly low-income, black community.

“Flint is focused on fixing the problems caused by lead contamination of our drinking water, not photo ops,” she said, adding that water plant employees “cannot afford the disruption of a last-minute visit.”
Trump  Flint  water 
september 2016 by Quercki
Living in Relativity | Center for Humans & Nature
Mni is a Lakota word for Water and goes beyond any translatable word in the English language. The fragmenting of Mni into simple English nouns would provide a rough translation and lose most of the word’s true meaning and essential idea of “Water as a Being.” So I will attempt to explain Mni in a way that might make some sense in English.


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To begin, Mni does not literally mean “Water.” There are several far-reaching concepts based in the language of Lakota cosmology that one needs to know to even begin to understand the respect and honor that is given daily to the Mni. The Ni (nee) is “life” and could also mean “mother’s milk” or a “mother’s breast.” This is where the “M” of Mni becomes translatable as “you and me” but also becomes a little more understandable if we say Mni is “you and me of that which carries or causes feeling with another through itself.”  Like a mother who is the carrier of Water, Mni is an action of living. I’m sure other Lakota know deeper meanings of Mni. 

The Story of Mni

Water is a First Consciousness bestowed upon Mother Earth. First Consciousness means the awareness of the movement that sustains life in a continuum. Lakota people have Mni in their creation story as blue blood (water); thus, Water provides a shining mirror to the universe, its transparency offers a model and a path to creation. It produces synergy and becomes “Water as a Being.”
Lakota  water  spiritual  NoDAPL  Native_American 
september 2016 by Quercki
State pulls relief resources from swelling Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp | North Dakota News |
CANNON BALL – North Dakota’s homeland security director ordered the removal of state-owned trailers and water tanks from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite Monday, citing mounting reports of unlawful activity -- the latest involving lasers -- and the risk of damage.

“Based on the scenario down there, we don’t believe that equipment is secure,” Homeland Security Division Director Greg Wilz said.

As tribal members from across the nation streamed into the campsite, swelling its population to between 500 to 4,000 people depending on estimates, the loss of their main drinking water supply came as a blow and sent local officials scrambling to find an alternative water source.

“I feel like I just got shot down,” said Johnelle Leingang, executive secretary to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II and the tribe’s emergency response coordinator. “It’s very hurtful.”

A black heavy-duty pickup backed up to the water tanks and pulled them away just before noon as the beating sun drove temperatures into the 80s.

Two air-conditioned trailers and a command center vehicle – delivered with the water tanks a week ago by the North Dakota Department of Health at the tribe’s request – also were hauled away from the campsite, which overlooks the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers just south of where the oil pipeline would cross the Missouri.

“People are getting overheated now already,” Leingang said shortly before 4 p.m., as the temperature hovered around 90.
Laser incidents investigated

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Authorities had arrested 29 protesters – including the tribal chairman – in the last two weeks for alleged disorderly conduct or trespassing, but things were comparatively quiet over the weekend and no additional arrests were reported as of mid-afternoon Monday, officials said.

However, authorities announced they are investigating two incidents of laser strikes aimed at aircraft being used to observe the protest site.

A pilot reported a laser beam hitting him in the eye around 5:15 a.m. last Wednesday, causing him to be blinded temporarily, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

A second incident occurred about 12:45 a.m. Sunday. In that case, the pilot said he was able to look away in time to avoid the laser, authorities said.

Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a federal violation. Reports have been forwarded to the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Some at the protest complained last week that aircraft were being used to disrupt cell phone communications.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said the planes are being used for public safety observation and not being used to disrupt any services.
Native_American  oil  environment  water  retaliation 
august 2016 by Quercki
Eschaton: Radical
But Madison’s response was like hitting a gnat with a sledgehammer. It was so aggressive that only one other major municipality in the United States has followed its approach so far. It’s also why some people now call Madison the anti-Flint, a place where water problems linked to the toxic substance simply couldn’t happen today.

Madison residents and businesses dug out and replaced their lead pipes — 8,000 of them. All because lead in their water had been measured at 16 parts per billion — one part per billion over the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard.

That’s a microliter, one-millionth of a liter of water. The utility’s water quality manager, Joe Grande, explains the reasoning in seven words: “The safe level of lead is zero.”

This radical plan cost about $20 million. Why you could build 1/3 of a very non-radical high school football stadium for that!
Flint  lead  water  Madison  solution 
may 2016 by Quercki
Two People Connected To Flint Water Investigation Found Dead | Your News Wire
A woman at the center of a bellwether Flint water crisis lawsuit was one of two women who were shot to death inside a townhouse earlier this week.

Sasha Avonna Bell was one of the first of a growing number of people to file a lawsuit in connection to the Flint water crisis after she claimed that her child had been lead poisoned.

Bell was found dead April 19 in the 2600 block of Ridgecrest Drive at the Ridgecrest Village Townhouses. Sacorya Renee Reed was also found shot to death in the home.
Flint  water  death  three  whistleblower  shooting 
april 2016 by Quercki
Nestlé water source draws U.S. review - LA Times
The Forest Service has allowed Nestlé and previous pipeline operators to continue transporting water about four miles, from a series of bore holes and tunnels to a storage tank near California 18, without more stringent review required after the original permit was issued in 1976, the suit alleged. Nestlé acquired the permit in 2002, and the Forest Service allowed the company to continue using the water source while the permit was under local review.

That review now will be subjected to the more modern and strict standards of the National Environmental Policy Act.
water  Nestle 
april 2016 by Quercki
RHR: How To Test Your Home for Mold, with Mike Schrantz
Chris Kresser: Yeah! The window was leaking into the wall. Water was getting into the drywall, and as Mike would tell you, drywall is a perfect medium for mold growth. So then we had to put that area under containment, and the guys took off a piece of that wall under the window, and sure enough, they found mold there. But they saw that the mold was continuing beyond the little piece of the wall that they had taken off. This is where the remediation company plays the game that they call “follow the mold.”

Mike Schrantz: Yeah.

Chris Kresser: They basically have to keep removing the wall until the mold stops, and even then, it’s typically recommended to go a little bit further so they’re sure that they got the end of it. They continued removing wall, and it was actually going up the wall, and they ended up removing the entire wall on the west side of the house, above the window, and saw that there was mold above the window, so then that was a question mark because obviously windows don’t leak up. Gravity takes care of that. So the explanation of the window being leaky wasn’t sufficient to describe why there was mold above the window.

The remediation guy that I was working with—and maybe that’s a future podcast—we were there during a rain, and he said, “Let’s go take a look at the gutters.” So it’s pouring rain. Some of you who live in the Bay Area know how hard it can rain here. We were standing out in this pouring rain on ladders, climbing up and looking in the gutter, and when we look in the gutter, we see that it is completely full, almost to the point of overflowing, with standing water.
house  water  mold  leak 
february 2016 by Quercki
The Water Next Time: Professor Who Helped Expose Crisis in Flint Says Public Science Is Broken - The Chronicle of Higher Education
 In 2003 the Virginia Tech civil-engineering professor said that there was lead in the Washington, D.C., water supply, and that the city had been poisoning its residents. He was right.
Last fall he said there was lead in the water in Flint, Mich., despite the reassurances of state and local authorities that the water was safe. He was right about that, too.

Working with residents of Flint, Mr. Edwards led a study that revealed that the elevated lead levels in people’s homes were not isolated incidents but a result of a systemic problem that had been ignored by state scientists.
science  politics  ethics  water  lead  trust  truth 
february 2016 by Quercki
Oakland’s Web of Waters Shapes New Economy, Civic Energy | Circle of Blue WaterNews
A Public Fund For Clean Water
Half the money for the Safe Parks and Clean Water bond proposal would open the Lake Merritt channel, redesign streets around the lake to limit vehicle traffic, and revive the park. The other half would be invested in restoring creeks, preserving natural areas, improving shoreline parks, and other water-related projects.

The bond proposal was a political smash, passing with an 80 percent super majority. The program’s priorities were decided with the help of citizen oversight groups, who have also been ardently involved in planning and executing dozens of projects undertaken with public funds over the last decade.

The city designed the bond to serve as seed money to leverage federal and state dollars for projects. In many cases a dollar spent from the bond attracts three more from other funders.

In the city’s Dimond Park, for instance, the city is undertaking a $US 4 million project to demolish 228 meters (750 feet) of concrete pipe and broken concrete culvert that has contained Sausal Creek for more than half a century. Just $US 1 million of the cost is from the clean water bond. The project also involves grading the banks and planting native trees and bushes.

An inkling of what the struggling channel will look like is just upstream, where Estes’ program 12 years ago turned an equal length of concrete-jailed Sausal Creek into a bubbling brook accompanying a forested trail up into the Oakland hills.
water  Lake_Merritt  Sausal_Creek  environment 
october 2015 by Quercki
An Ancient Native American Drought Solution For A Parched California | Valley Public Radio
Dirk Charley is with US Forest Service and is also Native American. He is blessing a meadow with burning sage and an abalone shell.
In the Sierra Nevada, above Fresno, North Fork Mono Indians are working to thin the forest. The group's goal is twofold. Save water and prevent large-scale forest fires. North Fork Mono Indians have been using this approach for centuries, but now California's severe drought means these ancient techniques are being looked at as a possible long-term solution. From Valley Public Radio, Ezra David Romero reports.
drought  water  Native_American  California 
june 2015 by Quercki
California Is Drilling for Water That Fell to Earth 20,000 Years Ago | Mother Jones
As California farms and cities drill deeper for groundwater in an era of drought and climate change, they no longer are tapping reserves that percolated into the soil over recent centuries. They are pumping water that fell to Earth during a much wetter climatic regime—the ice age.

Such water is not just old. It's prehistoric. It is older than the earliest pyramids on the Nile, older than the world's oldest tree, the bristlecone pine. It was swirling down rivers and streams 15,000 to 20,000 years ago when humans were crossing the Bering Strait from Asia.

"What I see going on is a future disaster," says Vance Kennedy, a retired research hydrologist. "We are mining water that cannot be readily replaced."
Tapping such water is more than a scientific curiosity. It is one more sign that some parts of California are living beyond nature's means, with implications that could ripple into the next century and beyond as climate change turns the region warmer and robs moisture from the sky.

"What I see going on is a future disaster. You are removing water that's been there a long, long time. And it will probably take a long time to replace it. We are mining water that cannot be readily replaced," said Vance Kennedy, a 91-year-old retired research hydrologist in the Central Valley.

Despite such concern, the antiquity of the state's groundwater isn't a well-known phenomenon. It has been discovered in recent years by scientists working on water quality studies and revealed quietly in technical reports.
water  California  drought  groundwater 
april 2015 by Quercki
Settlement reached to prevent sewage spills, overflows into San Francisco Bay - San Jose Mercury News
ALAMEDA -- Six East Bay cities and the East Bay Municipal Utility District have reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that calls for upgrading aging sewer pipes to help prevent sewage overflows and spills reaching San Francisco Bay.

The $1.5 billion effort will take place over the next 21 years and will include the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, Emeryville and Piedmont, as well as the Stege Sanitary District, which serves Kensington, El Cerrito and parts of Richmond.

The agreement resolves a lawsuit that the EPA, the state Water Resources Control Board and others filed in 2009 and comes as a consent decree lodged Monday in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

The goal is to fix a network of 1,500 miles of aging sewer pipes that can overwhelm treatment plants during heavy rainfall, causing raw or partially treated sewage to overflow into the bay.

Many of the pipes are made of clay and more than 50 years old. In addition, they are cracked from tree roots and earthquakes and can easily clog because of grease and other obstructions.

Over the past 10 years, about 2.4 billion gallons of partially treated sewage has entered the bay, said Jared Blumenfeld, an EPA regional administrator.
Oakland  bayarea  sewer  environment  water  jobs 
august 2014 by Quercki
Oakland, EBMUD, other East Bay agencies reach clean water pact | Bay Area | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner
The city of Oakland, the East Bay Municipal Utility District and six other East Bay cities have reached an agreement with federal environmental regulators to prevent sewage overflows and spills into the San Francisco Bay, officials said today.
The clean water agreement, which calls for updating aging sewer infrastructure, is in the form of a 22-year-long federal consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lodged today in U.S. District Court.
Oakland  water  EBMUD  sewer  environment  jobs 
august 2014 by Quercki
ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES: Needed: A Different Concept of Infrastructure. A Re-Post And More
Needed: A Different Concept of Infrastructure. A Re-Post And More

But a good one, I think.  It uses an expanded concept of the term "infrastructure."  That concept would include the access to potable water.  Given what has been happening in Detroit recently, water is now available for some who have not paid their water bills (golf courses and sports arenas) but not available for others who are late on their water bills (poorer people):
water  Detroit  poor 
august 2014 by Quercki
Waterlogged? | BMJ "Health Marketing" (eight glasses of water a day)
Water, water everywhere. Should doctors be telling people to drink more water as a public health issue? Hydration for Health, an initiative to promote drinking more water, held its annual scientific meeting in Evian, France, last week. The initiative has shown its fervour for water with recent adverts in the medical press, including the BMJ. The website states that its mission is “to establish healthy hydration as an integral part of public health nutritional guidelines and routine patient counselling so people can make informed choices.” It believes that “Healthcare professionals should be encouraged to talk with patients about the calorific content of SSBs [sugar sweetened beverages] when discussing lifestyle modification to manage overweight and/or obesity . . . Consumption of water in preference to other beverages should be highlighted as a simple step towards healthier hydration.” And healthier hydration is? “recommending 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily is the simplest and healthiest hydration advice you can give.”

Hydration for Health has a vested interest: it is sponsored and was created by French food giant Danone. This company produces Volvic, Evian, and Badoit bottled waters. The initiative’s website is bold and strident. Under a section entitled “We don’t drink enough water,” it states, “many people, including children, are not drinking enough . . . Children can be at greater risk than adults of feeling the effects of not drinking enough because of their smaller size . . . Elderly people often have a decreased sensation of thirst, which can lead to a higher risk of dehydration [and] evidence is increasing that even mild dehydration plays a role in the development of various diseases.”1
Drinking eight glasses of water a day is recommended by all kinds of organisations, including the NHS, which says on the NHS Choices website: “Try to drink about six to eight glasses of water (or other fluids) a day to prevent dehydration.”2 This is not only nonsense, but is thoroughly debunked nonsense. In 2002, Heinz Valtin published a critique of the evidence in the American Journal of Physiology. He concluded that “Not only is there no scientific evidence that we need to drink that much, but the recommendation could be harmful, both in precipitating potentially dangerous hyponatremia and exposure to pollutants and also in making many people feel guilty for not drinking enough.”3 In 2008, an editorial in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reached much the same conclusion, stating that “There is no clear evidence of benefit from drinking increased amounts of water.
water  science  research 
may 2014 by Quercki
“Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.” Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8 × 8”? | Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

Despite the seemingly ubiquitous admonition to “drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day” (with an accompanying reminder that beverages containing caffeine and alcohol do not count), rigorous proof for this counsel appears to be lacking. This review sought to find the origin of this advice (called “8 × 8” for short) and to examine the scientific evidence, if any, that might support it. The search included not only electronic modes but also a cursory examination of the older literature that is not covered in electronic databases and, most importantly and fruitfully, extensive consultation with several nutritionists who specialize in the field of thirst and drinking fluids. No scientific studies were found in support of 8 × 8. Rather, surveys of food and fluid intake on thousands of adults of both genders, analyses of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals, strongly suggest that such large amounts are not needed because the surveyed persons were presumably healthy and certainly not overtly ill. This conclusion is supported by published studies showing that caffeinated drinks (and, to a lesser extent, mild alcoholic beverages like beer in moderation) may indeed be counted toward the daily total, as well as by the large body of published experiments that attest to the precision and effectiveness of the osmoregulatory system for maintaining water balance. It is to be emphasized that the conclusion is limited to healthy adults in atemperate climate leading a largely sedentaryexistence, precisely the population and conditions that the “at least” in 8 × 8 refers to. Equally to be emphasized, lest the message of this review be misconstrued, is the fact (based on published evidence) that large intakes of fluid, equal to and greater than 8 × 8, are advisable for the treatment or prevention of some diseases and certainly are called for under special circumstances, such as vigorous work and exercise, especially in hot climates. Since it is difficult or impossible to prove a negative—in this instance, the absence of scientific literature supporting the 8 × 8 recommendation—the author invites communications from readers who are aware of pertinent publications.
water  health  research  science 
may 2014 by Quercki
An introduction to infrastructure fiction — Improving Reality 2013 | Infrastructure Futures | Futurismic
The Someone Else’s Problem Field around infrastructure is, ironically enough, a measure of its ubiquity and success. You don’t think about it because you don’t need to; it just works, and when it doesn’t, there’s a phone number you can not bother calling, because they’ll only put you on hold anyway, and by the time you get through it’ll probably have fixed itself, so why bother? You pay for these things to work, and – most of the time – they do. You pay for them to be Someone Else’s Problem.

Being reminded of infrastructure is rarely pleasant. It’s no fun to turn your tap and have nothing come out. It’s a different sort of not-fun when you discover that a wind-farm, town bypass or high-speed train line is scheduled to materialise near your house, or when protestors camp out on your driveway to fight a fracking company. Infrastructure is meant to make life easier, not harder. The better it gets at the former, the more painful are the moments when it does the latter.
infrastructure  creativity  Civil  engineering  water  waste  transportation 
november 2013 by Quercki
Water Usage & Privatization | Food Empowerment Project

[1] UN Water Statistics ªª (12/04/10ºº)

[2] “Coping with water scarcity.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2007.
ªª (12/04/10ºº)

[3] “Water Fact Sheet.” Pacific Institute. ªª (12/04/10ºº)

[4] Interlandi, Jeneen. “The New Oil: Should private companies control our most precious natural resource?” Newsweek. October 08, 2010. ªª (12/04/10ºº)

[5] Gleick, P. H., Singh, A., and Shi, H. “Threats to the World’s Freshwater Resources.” Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security. 2001.ªª (12/04/10ºº)

[6] “Vital Water Graphics.” United Nations Environment Programme. 2008. Retrieved 3/7/2013 from

[7] Shiva, Vandana. Water Wars: Privatization, pollution, and profit. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2002.

[8] “Aquastat fact sheet.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2008.ªª (4/12/13ºº)

[9] “Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2000.” US Geological Survey.ªª (12/04/10ºº)
water  Nestle  reference  environment 
august 2013 by Quercki
Pakistan's New Big Threat Isn't Terrorism—It's Water | Mother Jones
In a report released last week by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Pakistan was pinpointed as "one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, not far from being classified, 'water-scarce.'" As water demand exceeds supply in the South Asian country, more and more water is being withdrawn from the nation's reservoirs, leaving them in a critically precarious position. According to the ADB, Pakistan's storage capacity, the amount of water it has on reserve in case of an emergency, is limited to a 30-day supply—far below the recommended 1,000 days for countries with similar climates. Without meaningful action, a water crisis could push the country into further chaos.
water  war  Pakistan  terrorism  climatechange 
july 2013 by Quercki
Are you drinking too much water?
Myth 1. Thirst is a sign you’re already dehydrated.

It is often stated that by the time people are thirsty, they are too late. But according to Valtin, thirst begins when the concentration of blood (an accurate indicator of our state of hydration) has risen by less than two percent, whereas most experts would define dehydration as beginning when that concentration has risen by at least five percent. In other words: Thirst is a good sign to start drinking water. No need to guzzle before you feel the need.

Myth 2. Dark urine means you’re dehydrated.

Lately I’ve seen a “pee guide” going around the social media outlets. Seems most people are aiming for clear pee. But at normal urinary volume and color (meaning, there IS color), the concentration of the blood is within the normal range and nowhere near the values that are seen in meaningful dehydration. As Valtin explains, “the warning that dark urine reflects dehydration is alarmist and false in most instances.”
Listen to your body. This is my “go to” advice for most health practices because our body is packed full of useful signals to help us keep it happy… with one little snag: The problem with over-hydration is that a symptom of drinking too much is dry mouth and excessive thirst. So there may be a period of “challenging your body’s signals” while it gets back to a more balanced state.

I like Matt Stone’s advice for this one:

If you have very clear urine and some health problems like anxiety, chronic fatigue, migraines, yada yada, you should work hard to get some color back into your urine – in effect increasing the glucose and electrolyte concentration of your cells.  I’m not talking about dehydration,  just ideal hydration.
water  health 
december 2012 by Quercki
AAAS - Winners Named in Science Journalism Awards -ALL
Spot News/Feature Reporting (20 minutes or less)
Sheraz Sadiq
KQED QUEST (San Francisco)
“Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct: Big Fixes for Big Quakes”
9 November 2011

Sheraz Sadiq
Much of the Hetch Hetchy water delivery system for the San Francisco Bay Area was built in the 1920s and 1930s with riveted steel pipes that don’t perform well during earthquakes. At a cost of $4.6 billion, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been installing new pipes and employing state-of-the-art engineering elements. In a solid mix of historical footage and on-the-scene reporting, with an appreciation for the challenges involved, KQED’s Sheraz Sadiq explained the engineering steps being undertaken to protect the Bay Area’s water supply. Guy Gugliotta, a freelance science writer who helped judge the contest, called the KQED broadcast “a comprehensive look at the vulnerability of the water supply in the San Francisco Bay Area — something that should concern every resident.” He praised the “fascinating use of historical footage, outstanding engineering footage, and graphics” to tell the tale. “My editors and I knew from the outset that this would be a difficult story to tell,” Sadiq said. “It would need to cover the controversial history of Hetch Hetchy, explain how the current water system works and the complex, innovative work underway to keep the water flowing in the event of a major earthquake in the Bay Area.”
science  water  genetics  microbes  bacteria  SF 
november 2012 by Quercki
The truth about sports drinks | BMJ
What the research found
As part of the BMJ’s analysis of the evidence underpinning sports performance products, it asked manufacturers to supply details of the studies. Only one manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline provided a comprehensive bibliography of the trials used to underpin its product claims for Lucozade—a carbohydrate containing sports drink.45  Other manufacturers of leading sports drinks did not and in the absence of systematic reviews we surmise that the methodological issues raised apply to all other sports drinks.

Carl Heneghan, Rafael Perera, David Nunan, Kamal Mahtani, and Peter Gill set out to appraise the evidence and found a series of problems with the studies (see online for full article).9

Small sample sizes limit the applicability of results—Only one of the 106 studies —in 257 marathon runners—exceeded the acceptable target for a small study of 100 participants per group. The next largest had 52 participants and the median sample size was nine. Thus the results cannot be generalised beyond people with the study group characteristics
Poor quality surrogate outcomes undermine the validity—Many studies used time to exhaustion or other outcomes that are not directly relevant to performance in real life events
Poorly designed research offers little to instil confidence in product claims—Most studies (76%) were low in quality because of a lack of allocation concealment and blinding, and often the findings contrasted with each other. The studies often had substantial problems because of use of different protocols, temperatures, work intensities, and outcomes
Data dredging leads to spurious statistical results—Studies often failed to define outcome measures before the study, leaving open the possibility of numerous analyses and increasing the risk of finding a positive result by chance.
Biological outcomes do not necessarily correlate with improved performance—Reductions in use of muscle glycogen, for example, did not correlate with improved athletic performance. Physiological outcomes such as maximal oxygen consumption have also been shown to be poor predictors of performance, even among elite athletes
Inappropriate use of relative measures inflates the outcome and can easily mislead—One study inflated the relative effect of carbohydrate drinks from 3% to 33% by excluding from the analysis the 75 minutes of exercise both groups undertook before an exhaustion test
Studies that lack blinding are likely to be false—Studies that used plain water as the control found positive effects whereas those that used taste matched placebos didn’t
Manipulation of nutrition in the run-in phase significantly affects subsequent outcomes—Many studies seemingly starve participants the night before and on the morning of the research study
Changes in environmental factors lead to wide variation in outcomes—Although dilute carbohydrate drinks may have some benefit in heat, studies found no effect in cold environments. No plausible reason given for benefits
There was no substantial evidence to suggest that liquid is any better than solid carbohydrate intake and there were no studies in children. Given the high sugar content and the propensity to dental erosions children should be discouraged from using sports drinks. Through our analysis of the current sports performance research, we have come to one conclusion: people should develop their own strategies for carbohydrate intake largely by trial and error.
fitness  sports  thirst  water  Gatorade  dehydration  research 
july 2012 by Quercki
Water's Way | The Creative Intelligence Blog.
Water’s Way
May the blessing of the soft rains
be on you. May they seep
into your spirit so its gentlest flowers may spring, shedding
sweetness on the air.
May the blessing of the great rains
be on you. May they beat
upon your spirit washing it fair and clear, leaving
many a pool where the blue
of heaven can shine, and sometime
too a star.
And may that twilight
when it comes to pass find you
gently flowering,
water  blessing  Irish 
may 2011 by Quercki
Ohio earthworks: Not a fort but a 2,000-year-old water project | Blog | Futurismic
Things aren’t always what they seem. More than 200 years ago, General (and future U.S. President) William Henry Harrison decided that a structure at the confluence of the Ohio and Miami Rivers was a fort. Now University of Cincinnati archaeologists and anthropologists say it’s really an irrigation system built by the Shawnee to deal with long-term drought.

Two points stand out: one is that the engineering expertise required to conceive of such a massive irrigation system must have been far greater than what history has traditionally assigned to Native American groups from that time in history, and the second is that the cultural priority of engaging in such a massive undertaking as building these earthworks by hand was done by this culture not because of military motivations but for a more civil cause.

The builders were probably women, too.
women  engineering  water  nativeamerican 
september 2008 by Quercki

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