Tomorrow marks the end of American Water Works Association “Drinking Water Week 2013”. If you haven’t already done so, visit their website for information on drinking water week. The site contains some good information on water quality and drinking water as well as downloadable educational materials, contests and more.
A recent article in WaterWorld describes how nitrates found in groundwater may take decades to get filtered out. USGS researchers discovered that groundwater nitrate levels were above expected levels, despite the reduction of nitrogen-based fertilizer in the areas tested.
“In this study, USGS scientists closely examined surface and ground waters at seven study sites from across the nation to determine the portion of stream nitrate derived from groundwater… The slow release of groundwater nitrate to streams may also affect the water quality of large rivers. For example, increases in nitrate concentrations during low and moderate flows in large rivers in the Mississippi River Basin have been observed to be greater than or comparable to increases in nitrate concentrations during high flows.”
Nitrate is a naturally occurring form of nitrogen found in soil. It is also often found in fertilizer, since most crop plants require high levels of nitrates to produce high yields. Issues can arise when water runoff carries excess nitrates from agricultural and urban sources Continue reading
The World Health Organization has released its report on the progress on drinking water and sanitation. The report, updated every two years, outlines progress towards achieving Goal number 7 outlined in the United Nations Development Program.
In 2000, the United Nations created the Millennium Development Program, a set of eight goals designed to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. Goal number 7, in particular, pertains to ensuring environmental sustainability.
“The report brings welcome news: measured by the proxy-indicator consistently used by the JMP since 2000, the MDG drinking-water target was met in 2010, five years ahead of schedule. However, the job is far from done. An estimated 780 million still lacked safe drinking water in 2010, and the world is unlikely to meet the MDG sanitation target.”
For more information on the report, click here.