zaterdag 16 december 2017

Clean Drinking Water from Sea Water !!

On 13 December the European Final of the FoodNexus Startup Challenge took place in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The finalists came from national preliminaries, from all over Europe. From the fifteen finalists, Boreal Light emerged unanimously as the winner. The German start-up converts salt water into fresh drinking water using smart technology and sun and wind. The device that the company has developed also produces gas, which can be stored in bottles.


Boreal Light about Winture on there website:

"Winture® Planet-Cube ASW/ABW is a robust outdoor water desalination system able to produce drinking water directly from high saline seawater and brackish water resources. Winture® is designed to perform under harshest conditions of remote parts of the world. It provides up to 650 liters of pure potable water per hour. The quality of produced water stands at the highest possible safety level. Winture® removes 99% total dissolved solids (TDS) from the intake contaminated resources, and delivers drinking water free from any organic and inorganic contamination, bacteria and viruses.

The concept behind the design of Winture® Planet-Cube is to have an independent off-grid system, capable of working outdoor for long time with the lowest possible maintenance services. Winture® requires no diesel generator, or grid connections to work. All components are designed to work with DC electricity input from solar panels. A relatively small solar array provides enough electricity for the system to run. The stand-alone character of Winture® makes it an ideal solution wherever access to clean water is an issue. While producing clean water, the system offers low current DC charging possibility for up to 10 devices at a time. That, for people in rural areas, means Winture® provides for them both safe drinking water and reliable electricity to keep being connected to the world!"

"Boreal Light GmbH is a Berlin based renewable energy engineering company located in Adlershof Science and Technology Park, Center for Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy.

Boreal Light GmbH deals with a wide verity of renewable energy projects around the world. Being specialized in micro solar and wind applications leads the company to move toward solution based projects for markets with less access to the grid. WINTURE® Plant-Cube is our solar water desalination system, designed for urban and rural applications."




vrijdag 24 november 2017

Drought debate in Portugal

From The Portugal News Online.

Latest news, this week.

Respected professor and researcher Filipe Duarte Santos this week forecast that, because of the advancing of the deserts in northern Africa, Portugal’s climate is becoming more and more like that of Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia.
His comments were made just days before Portugal was enshrouded by a mass of sticky warm air travelling upwards from south of the Canary Islands, pushing thermometers up by a good few degrees on Thursday and Friday.

Duarte Santos, a professor at the Lisbon University of Sciences and head of the National Environmental Council, was speaking at a round-table event in Évora on Wednesday, on adaptation to climate change. The gathering was held as part of a National Meeting of Water and Sanitation Entities (ENEG 2017), which brought together hundreds of specialists on water.

The expert stressed how the changing climate could have a bearing on the country’s water sector, stressing: “Climate change can be seen in the broadening of the tropical climate zone; the desert is being pushed north. It is essential in the water sector to take this climate change into account.”
Expanding on his comments, he added that as "Portugal is 'an aged country', it is not easy for people to accept that this country is altering and that the climate changes”.
The leading researcher, who spearheaded one of Portugal’s foremost climate change projects – the Scenarios, Impacts and Adaptation Measures (SIAM) project – further warned that the country’s irrigation systems in the medium and long-term may not be feasible.
One suggestion he put forward is to transfer cork oaks trees to the north of the country.
“Science shows that cork oak forests will not survive”, he said, explaining that it will not be diseases that kill them off, but a lack of water, which will extinguish the trees in the Alentejo.
To maintain cork production, he said, “It would be practical to help the species settle in higher altitudes and move them north”, even if to the locations that this year were affected by the fires.

The mayor and the minister are waiting.

Carlos Pinto de Sá, Mayor of Évora Council, the Alentejo’s largest city, said he would prefer to take a “global view” on the matter, stating that when faced with a “planetary and structural problem, the responses have to be planetary and structural because they are not solved at a local or national level”, though he added: "this does not mean that local authorities cannot play a role in solving problems".
Meanwhile, Portugal’s environment minister, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, said at that same meeting that the possibility of having to ration water in Portugal due to the present state of drought is no more than “a theoretical hypothesis”. He argued that it makes no sense to think about such measures at this point, because they should be "only a last resort".
The minister was responding to questions from journalists prompted by comments from his own secretary of state, Carlos Martins, in an interview with the newspaper ‘i’ published on Tuesday, in which the state secretary suggested the government could introduce water rationing at night.
In a nutshell, Minster Fernandes effectively dismissed that idea.

“Rationing measures are at the very end of the end of the line, and it makes no sense to think of them now,” he said, adding: “We’re doing all [we can] so that there are no water shortages, together with local authorities, and it is fundamental that people save water.”
The government has instead repeatedly called on people to use less water, and has said it is committed to ensuring that it will always be available. Nonetheless, on Thursday, Minister Fernandes did concede the price of water may go up due to the shortage.

Portugal has been in a state of moderate to extreme drought for weeks.

Just last week it transpired the rain that fell during the first half of November was less than a quarter of the usual average.
Between 1 and 15 November, just 24 percent of the usual measurements fell in Portugal and the Met office forecast that the state of drought would endure at least until the end of this month.
However, with rainfall, in places heavy, expected to fall throughout Portugal over the weekend and the start of the coming week, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to provide some relief from the drought-stricken country, and whether it will answer the Met Office’s prayers for a “November miracle.”

Link to the original.



maandag 18 september 2017

"The great nutrient collapse"

Helena Bottemiller Evich in Politico: "The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention."

Gert van der Hoek on Dutch Foodlog:
"Cereal and soybean containing less protein and minerals and vegetables with more sugar. You would almost think that plants grow a bit towards the junk food we like to get rid of..."

An extensive article in Politoco tells us, that the increasing level of CO2 in our atmosphere, makes plants (anywhere in the world) grow faster. Due to this rapid growth plants absorb less minerals from the soil. As a result plants contain less and less useful nutrients for (human and animal) consumption. It may be clear that this has a major impact on animal and human health, globally.

Read this eyeopening article on Politico.

Mathematician Irakli Loladze tosses sugar over vegetables outside his home in Lincoln Nebraska, to illustrate how the sugar content of the plants we eat is increasing as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels. Loladze was the first scientist to publish research connecting rising CO2 and changes in plant quality to human nutrition. | Geoff Johnson for POLITICO