Is Weed the New Almond?

by Anna North

Broccolibeef, and perhaps most notably almonds have all come under fire in the past year for sucking up too much of California’s scarce water. Now you can add another crop to the tally of alleged water-guzzlers: marijuana.

A raid last week in California’s Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity Counties targeted marijuana growers not for growing the drug per se but for their illegal water use, reports Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones. Mr. Harkinson also writes that marijuana uses about six gallons of water per day per plant, while the notoriously water-intensive cotton uses just ten gallons per plant for the whole season.

Some have put marijuana’s water consumption lower or higher than the six-gallon figure. According to an analysis by Swami Chaitanya, a member of the Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council, which advocates for sustainable cannabis farming, an eighth of an ounce of marijuana takes 1.875 gallons of water to produce. That’s much less than it takes to produce a pound of beef (1500 gallons, according to Mr. Chaitanya), a bit less than it takes to grow a head of broccoli (5 gallons), and a bit more than it takes to grow a single almond (1 gallon). (more…)

 

Gazette’s Great Water Pictures Series

Annie Edson Taylor and Her Famous Barrel

 

Annie Edson Taylor (October 24, 1838 – April 29, 1921) was an American adventurer who, on her 63rd birthday, October 24, 1901, became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Annie Edson Taylor’s trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel brought her some attention for a short time but never the fortune she hoped for. Here’s an account of the event from history.com.

On October 24 in 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel. (more…)

 

 Gold Standard Fluoride Review Contradicts New Zealand Advice

new review just released by the Cochrane Collaboration, internationally acknowledged as the gold standard in evidenced based reviews of health science, confirms doubts over the benefits of fluoridating water supplies in modern developed countries like New Zealand.

The Cochrane Review finds the science does not support claims that water fluoridation is of any benefit to adults, nor that it reduces social inequalities, nor that it provides additional benefits over and above topically applied fluoride (such as in toothpaste), nor that tooth decay increases in communities when fluoridation is stopped.

These are all arguments used by our health department in promoting the procedure. (more…)

 

The Pure Water Occasional for June 15, 2015

In this almost summer Occasional, you’ll hear a lot about drought and flooding from Texas to California, plus lead contamination in Ireland, the decline of the Joshua tree, and water recycling in Singapore.  Then there are artificial sweeteners, artificial turf, and artificial diabetes. Failure of an inflatable dam, nuclear waste near Lake Huron, Nestle’s “zero water” plants, the “Waters of the U.S. Rule,” and changes in historic water rights in California.  A lot about food and water, new irrigation strategies,  the thirstiest crops, why flooding rice fields isn’t so bad, and the tons of animal manure that threaten water supplies. Perchlorate in Haliburton’s home town, cysts in drinking water, World Oceans Day, a revisitation of the eternal question of how much water we should drink, and, as always, there is much, much more.

The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.

To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website,  please go here.  (Recommended! When you read online you get the added advantage of the Gazette’s sidebar feed of the very latest world water news.)

You’ll sing better.

 

Rivers, lakes loaded with artificial sweeteners

It may be lurking in your diet soda, your chewing gum and even in your favorite yogurt. Now scientists have found artificial sweeteners are also coming out of your faucet. Sweeteners are used in thousands of food and beverages sold around the world, according to The Sugar Association. And on World Oceans Day, marked every June 8, scientists are asking us to consider where sweeteners end up after they’re ingested. According to recent research, scientists have found artificial sweeteners in bodies of water around the world, including Canada. (more…)

 

 

One California drought winner? The local car wash.

by Lauren Sommer

Editor’s Note.  How Drought Affects Businesses.  The California drought has had a devastating effect on some businesses.  Pool, contractors,  for example.  Although in the long term, a backyard pool probably usually uses less water than a conventional lawn, in the short term it’s hard to justify filling a large pool that could be better used for drinking and general household purposes. (See “A California drought loser: Pool Contractors.” )  One business that’s done well, however, is the local car wash.–Hardly Waite.

 

 

It’s gotten a lot tougher for Californians to ignore the state’s drought. Mandatory water restrictions have kicked in, aiming to cut use by an average of 25 percent statewide. To meet those cuts, water utilities are imposing new rules about what Californians can and can’t do with water. Some industries are enjoying a boost in business as a result.

“I’m sure in summer we’ll see an influx in business, which is great,” says Jeff Wheeler of AJ Auto Detailing in San Jose, where his crew was pressure-washing a row of cars.

Just a month ago, the San Jose City Council passed drought rules that most car washing businesses could only dream of: if you live in San Jose, you’re no longer allowed to wash your car at home with potable water. Commercial car washes are okay, because most recycle water. (more…)

Common Protozoa that Infect Drinking Water and How to Get Rid of Them

by Gazette Technical Wizard Pure Water Annie

The the most common protozoa that affect drinking water quality in the United States are Cryptospridium and Giardia.  Both are intestinal parasites of warm-blooded animals.  There are several species of each, and some can infect humans.  Infection can come from recreational waters, drinking water, or food.

According to one authority, “Infection requires ingestion of about one to 10 organisms. Some infections are asymptomatic, so some people are not aware they are infected. Symptoms can include diarrhea and sometimes nausea, vomiting and fever. The infections are usually self-limiting, lasting several days for healthy people, but they can be chronic or fatal for less healthy or immunocompromised people.” (more…)

Rivers, lakes loaded with artificial sweeteners

It may be lurking in your diet soda, your chewing gum and even in your favourite yogurt. Now scientists have found artificial sweeteners are also coming out of your faucet. Sweeteners are used in thousands of food and beverages sold around the world, according to The Sugar Association. And on World Oceans Day, marked every June 8, scientists are asking us to consider where sweeteners end up after they’re ingested. According to recent research, scientists have found artificial sweeteners in bodies of water around the world, including Canada.

Sugar substitutes — such as Splenda and Sweet’N Low — are designed to be eaten, but not absorbed by the body. Because our bodies cannot break them down, sweeteners go straight through humans.

That’s how consumers get the sweet taste without the weight gain often associated with sugar-laden foods. (more…)

B. Sharper, the Pure Water Gazette’s numerical wizard, puts out some facts about our oceans on World Oceans Day.

June 2015 date on which World Oceans Day was celebrated — 8.

Percentage of the Earth’s surface that is covered in water — 70+.

Percentage of this water that is in our oceans — 97%.

Pounds of plastics that we dump into our oceans each year — 19,000,000,000.  (Nineteen billion.)

Number of feet that sea levels are expected to rise during this century –3.3.

Degrees Fahrenheit that sea surface temperatures rose over the past century — 0.18.

Percentage of the oceans’ fish stocks that are now considered to be overfished — 60%.

Jobs that were lost when one species of cod was overfished in 1992– 40,000.

At current rate of overfishing, according to some scientists, the date at which it is expected that we will simply run out of fish — 2055.

Percentage of marine predators that have already been removed from their habitats — 90%.

Percentage of Caribbean coral reefs that were damaged due to “coral bleaching” — 50%.

Percentage of the marine life that lives in coral reefs. — 25%.

Percentage of our carbon dioxide emissions that end up in the ocean — 30%.

Percentage of the oceans that have actually been explored by humans –less than 10%.

 

Source of Numerical Facts.

How Much Water Should Humans Drink?

 Gazette’s Introductory Note:  Although asking how much water we should drink is in a way like asking how much air we should breath, since our intake of both of life’s essentials is mainly self-regulating,  almost everyone who writes about health and nutrition has at some time chimed in on the topic of how much water a person should drink.  Although we know of no one who believes in drinking zero water, quantity advice ranges from not much to gallons per day. The Gazette has consistently stuck with the radical “drink water when you’re thirsty” theory. Below is a view on the subject from a technical journal focused on water treatment.  It is excerpted from a piece by Dr. Joseph Cotruvo.

The statement, “Water is life,” is not an exaggeration. All living plants and animals require regular and sufficient water consumption for survival, as well as for growth and development. Serious and even fatal outcomes can occur under extreme conditions of either seriously inadequate or very excessive water intake, and there might be some health benefits associated with consumption beyond the averages. Water is also a common element in Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious writings.

Daily water consumption occurs from several sources: Tap water, beverages and foods made with tap water, bottled water, bottled beverages and metabolic water that is produced from ingested food and its conversion to energy. The first four are obvious. The fifth, metabolic water, is created by living organisms through metabolism by digesting and oxidizing energy-containing substances in their food. Metabolism produces about 110 grams of water per 100 grams of fat, 41.3 grams of water per 100 grams of protein and 55 grams of water per 100 grams of starch. So, it adds a few hundred milliliters to our daily water intake. (more…)

 

Water Required to Produce These Three Hamburger Patties: 1350 Gallons.

Our Water-Guzzling Food Factory

by Nicholas Kristof

LET’S start with a quiz.

Which consumes the most water?

A) a 10-minute shower.

B) a handful of 10 almonds.

C) a quarterpound hamburger patty.

D) a washing machine load.

The answer? By far, it’s the hamburger patty. The shower might use 25 gallons. The almonds take up almost a gallon each, or close to 10 gallons for the handful. The washing machine uses about 35 gallons per load. And that beef patty, around 450 gallons. (more…)