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EPA Reports to Congress on National Safe Drinking Water Needs
June 5, 2013 06:06 AM - Andrew Burger, Global Warming is Real
Some 52,000 community water systems and 21,400 not-for-profit non-community water systems across the US will require approximately $384.2 billion of infrastructure investment through 2030 in order to assure the provision of safe drinking water to 297 million Americans, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment: Fifth Report to Congress" (DWINSA).
June 3, 2013 01:38 PM - Suman Sahai, SciDevNet
It is time to stop discounting traditional expertise and make use of this vast and valuable resource, argues Indian scientist Suman Sahai. Science and technology have always been an important part of growth and development plans. But accepted 'scientific expertise' is Western, standardised and homogenous. From this viewpoint, the vast body of scientific expertise developed in diverse societies and cultures is discounted and ignored. Referred to as indigenous or traditional knowledge, this is a knowledge system distilled from generations of scientific work anchored in rural and tribal communities. It is different to the Western system of empirical, lab-based science — but is equally valid and efficacious.
Rainforests will survive extreme global warming, argues study
June 2, 2013 09:52 PM - Editor, MONGABAY.COM
Rainforests in South America have survived three previous extreme global warming events in the past, suggesting that they will survive a projected 2-6 degree rise in temperatures over the coming century, reports a study published in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science. The research, published by Carlos Jaramillo and Andrés Cárdenas of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, reviewed some 3,800 published estimates of temperature over the past 120 million years and compared them to the existence of tropical plants in the fossil record.
Apigenin-rich foods may help defeat cancer cells
May 31, 2013 12:08 PM - Allison Winter, ENN
We are constantly being told what to eat, what not to eat, what is good for our eyesight and what helps us loose weight. Well here's another suggestion: eat parsley, celery, and chamomile tea in order to help kill cancer cells. Researchers at The Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center found that the compound identified as apigenin could stop breast cancer cells from inhibiting their own death.
Asia-Pacific Analysis: Rain harvesting can avert crisis
May 30, 2013 04:17 PM - Crispin Maslog, SciDevNet
To ensure South-East Asias's growing population has enough water to drink, we need to collect more rain, says Crispin Maslog. The world's next major crisis will be a lack of water for home use, including drinking water, many scientists predict. Humans can survive around 40 days without food, but much less than that without water to drink. The scarcity of water for domestic use is becoming a critical problem, especially in rural parts of developing countries. Surface water in rivers, streams or lakes, and groundwater, are increasingly becoming contaminated with pollutants from factories, households, farms and mines. Wells dug deeper to extract groundwater are drying up.
Natural Catastrophes in 2012 Dominated by U.S. Weather Extremes
May 29, 2013 01:07 PM - Petra Low, Worldwatch Institute
In 2012, there were 905 natural catastrophes worldwide, 93 percent of which were weather-related disasters. In terms of overall and insured losses (US$170 billion and $70 billion, respectively), 2012 did not follow the records set in 2011 and could be defined as a moderate year on a global scale. But the United States was seriously affected by weather extremes, accounting for 69 percent of overall losses and 92 percent of insured losses due to natural catastrophes worldwide.
Parasite-resistant maize developed by Kenyan scientist
May 29, 2013 08:48 AM - George Achia, SciDevNet
Two new varieties of hybrid maize that are resistant to the deadly parasitic Striga weed have been developed by a Kenyan scientist. The weed affects cereal crops in many parts of Africa and is a major cause of crop failure in East Africa, where climate change has been driving its spread in recent years. Mathews Dida, a maize breeder in the school of agriculture and food security at Maseno University, developed two maize varieties that produce a natural chemical that suppresses the growth of Striga weed, also known as witch-weed.
Memorial Day 2013
May 27, 2013 07:30 AM - Editor, ENN
Today is Memorial Day in the US. It's a day of parades and ceremonies to honor those who gave their lives defending our country in war. It is an important day that has lost much of its significance and become for some just another long weekend to relax with friends, or to go to the mall to grab some bargains. Originally called Decoration Day, MemorialDay is most of all a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
Memorial Day Travel will Cost Americans over $1 Billion on Gasoline
May 24, 2013 10:48 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Memorial Day not only marks the day we pay tribute to those who have served in the United States Armed Forces, but it also marks the first unofficial weekend that kicks off the summer. With that said, tens of millions of Americans are expected to get away this weekend and according to an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Americans will spend more than $1.4 billion filling up their tanks! The new analysis utilizes newly released data from the American Automotive Association (AAA), which estimated that 89 percent of Memorial Day weekend travelers (about 31.2 million Americans) will travel by vehicle.
Jaffna aquifer depleting from overuse
May 24, 2013 08:54 AM - Dilrukshi Handunnetti, SciDevNet
The single limestone aquifer, which is the main source of freshwater in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula, is gradually depleting through overuse, researchers say. "The area suffers from severe groundwater imbalance which might reach crisis proportions in the future," Shanti de Silva, one of two scientists who carried out the research for the agricultural department of the University of Jaffna, told SciDev.Net.