A total of 54 water and wastewater projects in 33 states will be funded
As part of USDA's Earth Day celebration, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced support for projects that will improve water and wastewater services and benefit the environment nationwide.
This Earth Day, USDA is commemorating 150 years of working with Americans to protect the land. In years to come, it will help address the changing needs of agriculture and rural America, and find strategies for managing the nation's public and working lands to promote a strong middle class today while preserving the environment for generations to come.
In many developing areas in Africa, accessing clean drinking water is a serious challenge for thousands of communities. The only sources of water available to their residents often are overrun with bacteria, waste and harmful contaminants. Many times, a family’s only way to obtain potable water is to walk long distances to the nearest well or other groundwater source. Such a task has several adverse effects, particularly on women and children, who may spend much of their time retrieving low-quality water for their families instead of attending school.
Nonprofit organizations work to provide clean water in Africa
Water brings life—but what if with each nourishing sip of water you took, you also risked your life?
That is the case for the millions of people worldwide who lack access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 783 million people relied on an unimproved drinking water source in 2010, while 2.5 billion lacked improved sanitation. This puts them at risk for any number of waterborne diseases and parasites, such as cholera, diarrhea and more.
The conference will cover several topics related to public water issues
The National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) will offer “Public Water Issues: A Conference for Communities, Contractors and Consulting Professionals,” in Garden Grove, Calif., on May 9.
This one-day conference will address, among other topics:
Homeowners with a private well as their primary drinking water source are responsible for ensuring the safety of their water. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), well owners should test their water at least once a year for bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, pH and any other suspected contaminants. Additional testing should be considered if there have been any repairs to the well, the wellhead gets flooded, there are recurring gastrointestinal problems in the household, or there are any noticeable changes in color, odor or taste.
Procedures for chlorinating a private residential well
Uncle Sam and the U.S. Army recently called for an enlistment, but not in the traditional sense. This time, they needed to design and install a complete potable water treatment system for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Ft. Stewart army base in Savannah, Ga.
Well water quality at army base creates unexpected challenges
Finding potable water can be a difficult task for rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. South African nongovernmental organization Roundabout Water Solutions (RWSSA) found an innovative method for communities to pump and store clean drinking water: playground equipment that doubles as a pumping apparatus. Raissa Rocha, editorial intern at Water Quality Products, recently checked in with Sandra Hayes, administrative and donor relations manager at RWSSA, to discuss the systems and the organization’s efforts.
Raissa Rocha: How do these systems work?
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a report in August revealing that 20% of untreated water samples from wells across the U.S. contain concentrations of trace elements exceeding human health benchmarks. Raissa Rocha, editorial intern for Water Quality Products, spoke with Joe Ayotte, USGS hydrologist and lead author of the study, about the report and the occurrence of trace elements in groundwater.
Raissa Rocha: What was the purpose of this study?
Hydrofracturing is not a new concept—in fact, it has been utilized by the gas and oil industries in the U.S. since the 1940s. Thanks to increased media attention, however, many are led to believe that this is a new technology developed specifically for the extraction of natural gas.
Evaluating gas drilling’s effects on groundwater and air quality
In recent days, groundwater has been gaining attention. Increased hydraulic fracturing operations have caused controversy over potential methane gas contamination. Reports indicate that groundwater aquifers, especially in the drought-prone southwestern U.S., are being depleted more quickly than they can be recharged. Surveys, like the one recently released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), reveal that contaminants such as arsenic are widespread in the nation’s water wells.