Archive for the ‘Water’ Category

World Water Day 2012 (WWD2012)

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of water and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

Theme of this year’s campaign is “The World Is Thirsty Because We Are Hungry” and raise awareness about water consumption for food production.

“The world is thirsty because of our needs for food. Today, there are over 7 billion people to feed on the planet and this number is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. To be able to feed everybody, we first need to secure water, in sufficient quantity and adequate quality. We will also need to produce more food using less water, reduce food wastage and losses, and move towards more sustainable diets”

 

All information about WWD2012 could be find on the official web site http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/. Greener supports WWD2012 and next days will be dedicated to water.

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The black water …

Few days ago, I saw an article on the news about leackage of waste water from the landfill “Drisla” into river Markova Reka. The head of public enterprise “Drisla”, had a statement in which among other things, he said, “It looks frightful in principle, I think, when you see a black water, but it is black because passes through the waste. It certainly contains dangerous substances, definitely, as each sewer pipe contains, to say, certain concentrations are higher.” The full statement and article about can be found at the following link.

Because I don’t want to remain indifferent to what happens to the environment I would like to point out what is actually found in that landfill leachate and why it not only looks frightful, but it is really frightful for the environment and human health.

The major potential environmental impacts related to landfill leachate are pollution of groundwater and surface waters. In a landfill that receives a mixture of municipal, commercial, and mixed industrial waste, but excludes significant amounts of concentrated specific chemical waste, landfill leachate may be characterized as a water-based solution of four groups of contaminants:

  • Dissolved organic matter – alcohols, acids, aldehydes, short chain sugars etc..
  • Inorganic macrocomponents – calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, iron, manganese, aluminium, chloride, sulfate and hydrogen carbonate.
  • Heavy metals: cadmium, chromium, mercury, copper, lead, nickel and zinc.
  • Xenobiotic organic compounds (XOCs) such as halogenated organics (PCBs, dioxins) originating from household or industrial chemicals. These compounds include among others a variety of aromatic hydrocarbons, phenols, chlorinated aliphatics, pesticides, and plastizers.

Other compounds may be found in leachate from landfills: for example, borate, sulfide, arsenate, selenate, barium, lithium and cobalt.

The tables below show the possible health effects of some chemicals that can be found in household waste and which are dumped into the landfill and if not properly controlled could leak out as leachate.

Table 1: Health effects caused by acute exposure

Chemical

Source

Health effects from acute exposure

Toluene/xylene

Glues and paints

Euphoria, excitement, tremor, CNS depression, convulsions, coma

Phenols and cresols

Paint

Burning pain in mouth and throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, pallor, sweating, shock, coma,

Benzene

Solvent, starting material in chemical manufacture

Single exposure unlikely to cause problem

Nickel

Manufacture of batteries, colouring ceramics and glass

Skin – irritation and dermatitis

Ingestion – stomatitis, gingivitis and possible diarrhoea

Cadmium compounds

Paint and batteries

Inhalation- delayed features 12-36 hrs, hypersalivation, metallic taste, cough, dysponea, chest pain.  Pneumonitis and pulmonary oedema develop within 1-4 days

Ingestion – small amounts ingested GI irritation, nausea and diarrhoea within 15-30 mins. Larger amounts affect calcium and zinc metabolism, cause facial and pulmonary oedema.

Skin – irritation

Lead

Lead paint (apply to older landfill sites), pottery, cosmetics and some ethnic remedies

Severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea with black stools, vomiting, hypotension, cramps, headache, confusion, drowsiness, coma and seizures secondary to cerebral oedema.

Mercury

Lamps, thermometers

Bloody diarrhoea, intestinal mucosal necrosis, dehydration, circulatory collapse, proteinuria and renal failure

 

Table 2: Health effects from chronic exposure to chemicals

Chemical Health effects from chronic exposure
Toluene/xylene Ventricular arrhythmias, hepatic and renal necrosis
Phenols and cresols Renal failure
Benzene Haematological abnormalities
Nickel  
Cadmium compounds Fumes – anaemia, kidney damage, possible prostate and lung cancer.
Lead Anorexia, abdominal pain and constipation. Toxic megacolon, headaches, fatigue, depression, dropped wrist, proximal renal tubular dysfunction, chronic nephropathy and hypertension.
Mercury CNS – irritability, tremour, memory loss, seizures, coma

Respiratory – necrotising bronchitis, pulmonary oedema, ARDS, pulmonary haemorrhage.

GI – metallic taste, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomatatis, blue-line along gum margin

Renal – proteuria, haematuria and acute renal failure

Eyes – grey or brown lens discolouration, band shaped corneal opacities

Haematological – thrombocytopenia, anaemia secondary to GI bleed.

 

Please note that the information presented in this post are not directly related to the composition of the leachate from the landfill Drisla, but gives general information about the most common pollution from landfills. It aim is to draw attention for taking measures to protect the environment, in order to protect our health. At the same time once again I’m emphasizing the need of proper and responsible waste management.

It remains to believe that the collector which will purify leachate from Drisla will be ready in two months and to hope that will never see this picture of black water again.

 

* Tables are taken from the following link.

We continue to care about water … about us …

Although today officially close the event ” Water week – blogging for water”, one of the events connected with World Water Day 2011, our water-related activities continue.

Unfortunately, even world public is more focused to the protection and conserving of clean water, that doesn’t reduce the number of those who pollute or irrationally use her. We are witnesses of the environmental catastrophes caused by people. Those destroy nature and natural resources. This directly affects humanity, but also the flora and fauna. Register of beautiful samples that are placed on the protection list and species disappearing forever from the Earth’s surface become wider every day. Figures that show how many people die daily due to lack of clean drinking water are frightening.

In the past week we tried to contribute a bit in raising awareness about the importance of water. We write that water is not only part of our everyday living and something everywhere around us, but it is actually most of us. We emphasize that caring for her, actually is care for ourselves.

We invite you to continue along with the activities of protection and saving water. We have a responsibility to future generations to prevent further dying of people for water, to stop disappearing of wonderful species of animals and plants from the image of the Earth. Let’s change our thinking and habits and make a contribution for better tomorrow…

Water in Macedonia ….

Waters are approximately 2% of the territory of Macedonia, or 280.00 sq km.

There are about 35 rivers and 53 natural and artificial lakes. In relations to quantities of water resources, Macedonia belongs to areas that have sufficient water resources. However, their distribution is quite unequal. Rivers belong to 6 river basins: River Vardar – 20.535km2, River Crn Drim 3.350km2, River Strumica 1.535km2, Dojran Lake 120km2, River Lebnicka 129km2 and River Binacka Morava 44km2.

The  flow of water from one river basin into another is quite important for the environment. Such flows exist from the basin of River Radika into the basin of River Vardar (through the Mavrovo hydro-electric plant) and from the basin of the River Bregalnica into the basin of River Strumica (from water accumulation Mantovo). Other flows are planned for the future such as: from the basin of River Vardar into the River Treska, from the basin of River Pcinja into Ovco Pole etc.).

Basin – implies part of the territory where the water from the atmospheric rainfalls, from the underwater springs and sources flow together into the sea. In Macedonia such basins are: the Aegian, the Black Sea and the Adriatic. Only an insignificant part of the territory of the neighbouring countries (10%) belong to these basins. The Aegian basin comprises 87% of the waters of the Republic of Macedonia.

The total water resources of the Republic of Macedonia are estimated at 6,37 billion m3 in a normal year and 4,80 billion m3 in a dry year, out of which 80% are carried in the Vardar basin.

The annual resources potential per capita is of about 3.000 m3, which is on the low side but more than the potential of e.g. Germany and a number of other European countries (European average approx. 1.900 m3/capita).

The groundwater does not have an impact on the balance of available water, but it is important because of its quality. One part of this water enriches the underground reservoirs – aquifers, mainly located in the main valleys of the country. There are no sufficient data about the available underground water by its quality and quantity.

Despite being a landlocked country, Macedonia has three large tectonic lakes (Ohrid, Prespa, and Dojran), three artificial lakes and roughly 50 ponds. The largest of the tectonic lakes is Lake Ohrid located in the Drin catchment area, with a surface area of 357 square kilometres. This lake is more than 2 million years old and is home to many unique species. All of the lakes are shared with the neighboring countries. There are nine spa resorts in Macedonia: Banište, Banja Bansko, Istibanja, Katlanovo, Kežovica, Kosovrasti, Banja Kočani, Kumanovski Banji and Negorci.

As far as water consumption, Macedonia is in third place in Europe. Before us, the countries that consume water on the most irrational way are Cyprus and Bulgaria, followed by Italy, Spain and Malta with the worst index of consumption of water. Each year European consumes 5,300 cubic meters of water, enough to fill two Olympic pools. For comparison, Skopje spends two to three times more water than other world capitals. Skopje is a champion in the loss of water by 57 percent. In Vienna, the loss is 12 percent, London 19 Paris 20 Rome 25, Stockholm 21, Belgrade 20, Zagreb 23, Ljubljana 31, Podgorica 20, Sofia 27, Athens 23, 10 and Zurich stock 4 percent. It is estimated that 28 percent of water losses in Skopje due to technical or physical losses, and the other 29 percent are commercial losses.

Saving water at home …

Water is essential to life on earth. We need water to grow food, keep clean, provide power, control fire, and last but not least, we need it to stay alive! Saving water is good for the earth, your family, and your community.

There are many simple things you can do to save water.

1.      When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.

2.      Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush and save 25 gallons a month.There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing. To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.

3.      Take shorter showers. One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. Another way is to replace you showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

4.      Verify that your home is leak-free, because many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.

5.      Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year which will add to the cost of water and sewer utilities, or strain your septic system.

6.      When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing. Fill one sink or basin with soapy water than quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.

7.      Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with a full load. Use a lower setting than you think you’ll need in the washing machine—your clothes will get just as clean with less water. On the dishwasher, choose the short cycle.

8.      Don’t use running water to defrost meat; defrost in the refrigerator.

9.      Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.

10.   Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.

Do you know more useful tips for saving water? Please share with us.

Water for cities …

The objective of World Water Day 2011 is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems.

This year theme, Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge, aims to spotlight and encourage governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to actively engage in addressing the defy of urban water management.

How much water is consumed to produce …

The world becomes a global consumer society, which unfortunately are less take care of nature and natural resources. Mankind applies without respect for nature, destroying the future of future generations. In the last 100 years water consumption has increased eight times. World statistics show frightening numbers.

Water is essential in the processes of production. Do you know how much water is consumed annually to produce certain products?

  1. For the production of one piece of A4-paper 10 litres of water is used.
  2. Production processes of alcoholic drinks and beverages use a lot of water. For production of glass of beer is used 75 litres of water, for glass of wine is used about 120 litres and for cup of coffee 140 litres. If you choose to drink orange juice than you should know that for growing a single orange is used about 50 litres of water and for production of 1 litre juice is used 1200 litres of water.
  3. During production of a loaf of bread is used 150 gallons water.
  4. During the growing of a 1 kg of potatoes is used 500 litres water and for production of 1 kg rice is used 1900 litres of water.
  5. If you want to eat chicken you should know that during the growing of a chicken is used 1500 litres water, production of 1 kg chicken meat needs 3500 litres water and for production of an egg is used 500 litres water.
  6. A dairy cow must drink 15 litres water to produce one gallon (3.78 litres) of milk. If you eat beef than be aware that 10000 litres of water are used for it production and if you choose hamburger amount of used water is 2400 litres.
  7. It takes around 6800 litres of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of regular ol’ blue jeans. Not as bad as jeans, it still takes a whopping 1500 gallons of water to grow the cotton required for an ordinary cotton shirt. Production of a pair of jeans uses 8000 liters water and production of one t-shirt uses 2700 liters.
  8. Аbout 95 litres of water is used to manufacture a plastic bottle and about 40 litres for aluminum can.
  9. To produce one ton of steel 237000 litres of water are used.
  10. It takes an estimated 148000 litres of water to make a car. It’s unclear if that includes the more 7600 litres used to make its tires.
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