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Tag: environment

Risk of water shortages for England warns Environment Agency

Risk of water shortages for England warns Environment Agency

Science
England is facing water supply shortages by 2050 unless rapid action is taken to curb water use and wastage, the Environment Agency has warned. Its new report says enough water to meet the needs of 20 million people is lost through leakage every day.Population growth and the impact of climate change are expected to add to supply pressures. The agency wants people to have a personal water target and has urged them to use water more wisely at home.The study, the first major report on water resources in England, says that population growth and climate change are the biggest pressures on a system that is already struggling. In 2016, some 9,500 billion litres of freshwater were taken from rivers, lakes, reservoirs and underground sour...
Environment prize goes to Flint water activist

Environment prize goes to Flint water activist

Science
The founder of a citizens' movement that helped expose the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is one of the recipients of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.Nearly 100,000 residents of Flint were left without safe tap water after lead began leaching into the supply.Mother of four LeeAnne Walters led a citizens' movement that tested the tap water to expose the health threat.Tests showed lead levels in her water were seven times the acceptable limit.In 2014, the water in Ms Walters' home turned brownish and she noticed rashes on her three-year-old twins. Her daughters' hair then fell out in clumps.Walters spent months reading technical documents about the Flint water system. She then teamed up with environmental engineer Dr Marc Edwards, from Virginia Tech, who helped her conduct exte...
Changing environment influenced human evolution

Changing environment influenced human evolution

Science
Humans may have developed advanced social behaviours and trade 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.This is according to a series of papers published today in Science. The results come from an archaeological site in Kenya's rift valley. "Over one million years of time" is represented at the site, according to Rick Potts from the Smithsonian Institution, who was involved in the studies. There are also signs of developments in toolmaking technologies.Environmental change may have been a key influence in this evolution of early Homo sapiens in the region of the Olorgesailie dig site.The world turned upside downEarly humans were in the area for about 700,000 years, making large hand axes from nearby stone, explained Dr Potts."[Technologically], things changed very slowly, if at all, o...
Q&A: How is the growth of bitcoin affecting the environment?

Q&A: How is the growth of bitcoin affecting the environment?

Technology
The growth of bitcoin is fueling speculation and debate about the environmental impact of the collective energy needed to power the virtual currency in the era of climate change. Some questions and answers about the issue: ——— WHAT IS BITCOIN? Bitcoin is the most popular virtual currency in the world, and it has grown in value this year. It was created in 2009 as a new way of paying for things that would not be subject to central banks that are capable of devaluing currency. The sustainability concerns about bitcoin, voiced by economists and environmentalists, stem from the process of "mining" that is central to its existence. The "miners" use computers to make complex calculations that verify transactions in bitcoins. This uses a tremendous amount of energy via computers and server farms
Brexit: Environment watchdog planned says Gove

Brexit: Environment watchdog planned says Gove

Science
A new environment watchdog to protect UK wildlife, land, water and air once Britain leaves the European Union is being planned by the government.Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the body would hold the powerful to account and deliver a green Brexit.The plans come amid concerns that environmental regulations enshrined in EU law could be lost after Brexit.Mr Gove told the Andrew Marr Show standards would not be sacrificed as part of a potential US free trade deal.Wildlife prioritisedMr Gove wants the watchdog to be independent of government - able to speak its mind freely, he said, with clear legal authority.Writing in The Telegraph, he said the watchdog would have "real bite" but did not outline exact planned powers.He said it was important that environmental enforcement and policym...