Water Stewardship in the news

Processing human urine to recycle nutrients into fertilizer

Fertilizer is made of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus that require energy to produce. Human urine is full of those same nutrients, but we literally flush them down the toilet. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), University of Michigan environmental engineer Nancy Love and a team that includes the non-profit, Rich Earth Institute, are fine-tuning new methods to process human urine into fertilizer. The team wants to create a more sustainable fertilizer while at the same time eliminating a waste that contributes to water pollution. https://bit.ly/2S6LOF5




Next generation ‘may never see the glory of coral reefs’

by Jonathan Watts

The warning follows a landmark UN climate report that upgraded risk assessments for corals following faster-than-expected global bleaching. Scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that if warming reached 2C, currently very likely in the next 50 years, there would be a more than 99% chance that tropical corals would be eradicated. https://bit.ly/2Qz3gS8



Your water footprint is just as important as your carbon footprint

By Ruth Mathews & Kanika Thakar

The average American water footprint is 7,800 liters per day. Compare that with Germans who have a water footprint of 3,900 liters or the Chinese with 2,900 liters. Before you buy your next new outfit, pre-order an upcoming mobile phone, or buy more food than you can eat, consider how your water footprint will grow with these purchases. So what can you do? Buy from brands who take caring for water seriously. Look at what companies are doing to use water sustainably across their value chain by studying sustainability reports, reading water-disclosure statements, and learning about their water stewardship programs. It’s up to all of us to do our homework and find out who these companies are and what they are doing to reverse these troubling trends. And, if it’s not enough, we must demand more. https://bit.ly/2KhSDkt



Purple bacteria ‘batteries’ turn sewage into clean energy

The first reported use of photosynthetic microbes in a battery-like ‘bioelectrochemical system’ shows that purple bacteria could turn wastewater treatment plants into zero-carbon fuel generators. Organic compounds in household sewage and industrial wastewater are a rich potential source of energy, bioplastics and even proteins for animal feed – but with no efficient extraction method, treatment plants discard them as contaminants. Now researchers have found an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution. Published in Frontiers in Energy Research, their study is the first to show that purple phototrophic bacteria – which can store energy from light – when supplied with an electric current can recover near to 100% of carbon from any type of organic waste, while generating hydrogen gas for electricity production. https://bit.ly/2FrRJmk



POD Cast: The Blue Economy: How Impact Investing Can Help It Grow

Dale Gavin from the Meloy Fund and Aimee Gonzales from Partnerships and Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSA) discuss creative solutions for balancing the need for sustainable fishing with protecting the livelihoods that depend on it. The world’s oceans provide food security to 3 billion people who rely on fish as their primary source of protein. However, their livelihoods are under threat as 90% of the global fisheries are being fished at above their maximum sustainable levels. Asia will face the maximum adverse impact of that overfishing, as it accounts for 84% of all people employed in the fisheries and agriculture sector worldwide. Globally, the push for the so-called “blue economy” or sustainable use of oceans aims to protect economic activity worth $3 billion-$5 billion annually that coasts and oceans support https://whr.tn/2qNsbpR