The international conference Small Water 2011 is “a forum that will encourage reflection and the study of sanitation in general and, in particular, sanitation and waste water treatment in small disperse communities and rural areas”. The conference also aims to “make public the degree of compliance with the Water Framework Directive and the seventh Millennium Development Goal through the analysis of both the successes achieved and the setbacks suffered”. Most studies are European; 3 presentations include work done in Asia i.e. India and South Korea. The conference website makes available the congress presentations and some communications in English at: http://www.smallwat.org/.
Leopoldina, German National Academy of Science, has published a critical report on the use of bioenergy, titled “Bioenergy – Chances and Limits” .This comprehensive report is based on findings from a working committee, set up since 2010, of more than 20 expert scientists, which analyze the effective utilization of bioenergy in terms of ecological and climate issues . Although focused on Germany, it also includes global perspectives and European (EU 2020) target for renewable energy.
A gist of the report [Source : German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2012):Bioenergy – Chances and Limits. Halle (Saale).]
“in quantitative terms, bioenergy plays a minor role in the transition to renewable, sustainable energy sources in Germany at the present time and probably in the future. Bioenergy requires more surface area, is associated with higher greenhouse gas emissions and is more harmful to the environment than other renewable sources such as photovoltaic, solar thermal energy and wind energy. In addition, energy crops potentially compete with food crops. The report recommends finding strategies for saving energy and increasing energy efficiency. “
Read the full report for detailed analysis of bioenergy usage to replace fossil fuels or meeting the 10 % target set by EU 2020, as well as feasibility usage of bioenergy in green house gas (GHG) emission. Also included in the report are suggested replacements for bioenergy such as solar power, photovoltaic , wind power and other alternatives which significantly impact GHG emissions and environmental friendly.
The report is also available in a concise format (in German & English).
Electronic copies of the 3 volumes of the 4th edition of the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR4) is now available for download at the UNSECO web page at http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/wwdr/wwdr4-2012/. Publication information about the report describes the WWDR4 as a milestone in the World Water Development Report (WWDR) series. “While providing a comprehensive assessment of the world’s water resources it also introduces a strong thematic element. Building on the WWDR3 in the recognition of the externalities, the WWDR4 elaborates on the interactions between water and the drivers of change. The WWDR4 describes the major changes, uncertainties, and risks taking place in the world and their links to water resources. It gives account of the status and the trends related to water supplies, uses, management, institutions and financing; highlights regional hotspots, and addresses issues such as gender equality, water-related disasters, health and the role of ecosystems.”
|The “Parasitometer” can detect contaminants in treated water in just one hour. A scientist* from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has invented an innovative device that can identify and detect contaminants in treated water, such as water-borne bacteria, in just one hour, down from the current two days. The breakthrough laser technology, used in the device, has been published in the world-famous scientific magazine Nature Communications, a publication known for highlighting global innovations and important groundbreaking research. [From NTU news hub]|
*Prof Liu Ai Qun is from NTU’s School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering