ISS026-E-5109

Toxic brine from desalination plants

A new study has highlighted the problem of brine discharged from desalination plants.

More than half the brine comes from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar, with Saudi Arabia alone accounting for 22%. 3 countries - the Maldives, Malta and the Bahamas - meet all their water needs with desalination.

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We only have 12 years to save the earth!

Flash, I love you! But we only have 12 years to save the Earth!

In the film of Flash Gordon, NASA scientists claim the unexpected eclipse and strange hot hail are nothing to worry about.

Not so in our current reality. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has warned that we only have 12 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, after which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

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Summertime and the livin' isn’t easy

The UK Climate Projections 2018 study says that summer temperatures could be 5.4C hotter by 2070.

The chances of having a summer as warm as this year’s summer (2018) is currently 15-20%. That’s going to rise to 50%. In other words, as likely as not.

The warmer summers will also be much drier, with average summer rainfall dropping by 47%.

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Are water firms ready for extreme weather events?

Ofwat, the UK water regulator, is set to take a hard line with water companies this winter if bad weather strikes again.

A spokesperson for the regulator says it expects all companies to “show they have learned lessons and are prepared for whatever the weather brings”.

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Mind the gap

Ari Mahairas is the special agent in charge of the Special Operations and the Cyber Division at the F.B.I.’s New York field office. Peter J. Beshar is the general counsel of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, and has testified frequently before the US Congress on cybersecurity.

The two have written an article in the New York Times pointing to the vulnerability of water companies to attack by cybercriminals.

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Need a dam? Try crowdfunding

Water companies face many challenges. Increasing and urbanising population, more extreme weather events, ageing network infrastructure, an ageing workforce, and customers becoming more demanding. The problem is they don’t have more money to address these challenges.

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Trunk mains

We often talk about ageing infrastructure as one of the challenges facing the water industry.

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Feeling the heat

Temperature records have been broken around the world this year. The UK is enjoying a heatwave. At least most of us are. But the water companies are feeling the heat.

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Can water companies handle big data?

In short, the answer is no. But not for the reason you might think.

More monitoring devices, especially on the network, are yielding ever increasing volumes of potentially valuable data.

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Let’s tow an iceberg

The situation in Cape Town was an obvious trigger for the revival of the ‘tow an iceberg’ answer. There’s a long history of iceberg lunacy.

In 1825 it was suggested that they could be towed into the southern ocean to equalise the temperature of the earth.

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