fresh water


UNICEF’s Tap Project essentially means that FOR EVERY MINUTE YOU DON’T USE YOUR PHONE, A DAYS WORTH OF WATER WILL BE GIVEN TO A CHILD IN NEED. The sponsor for this event is Giorgio Armani.

All you have to do is go to ON YOUR PHONE and let the timer run and you will be helping a child in need! FRESH WATER IS VERY IMPORTANT AND YET IT IS NOT AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE. Please do this because it is quite easy to do and won’t cost you a thing!

Note: For those of you who find it hard to avoid using your phone, I suggest you run it while you sleep. :) Thank you!

This new technology converts sea water into drinking water in minutes
This could change a whole lot of lives.


Purifying dirty water is a notoriously difficult and expensive process - even in California, financial pressures affect what can be done to tackle the severe drought in the area. Those in developing nations have far less money to play around with, which is why a newly invented and ultra-cheap water cleaning process is looking so promising.

Developed by a team of researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt, the procedure uses a desalination technique called pervaporation to remove the salt from sea water and make it drinkable. Specially made synthetic membranes are used to filter out large salt particles and impurities so they can be evaporated away, and then the rest is heated up, vapourised, and condensed back into clean water.

Crucially, the membranes can be made in any lab using cheap materials that are available locally, and the vaporisation part of the process doesn’t require any electricity. This means the new method is both inexpensive and suitable for areas without a regular power supply - both factors that are very important for developing countries.

The technique not only desalinates the seawater, it’s capable of removing sewage and dirt from it too. The researchers combined expertise in oceanography, chemical engineering, agricultural engineering and biosystems engineering to come up with the solution, and their work has now been published in the journal Water Science and Technology.

“The technology implemented in the study is much better than reverse osmosis, the technology currently used in Egypt and most of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa,” Helmy El-Zanfaly, a professor of water contamination at Egypt’s National Research Centre, told “It can effectively desalinate water with high concentration of salt like that of the Red Sea, where desalination costs more and yields less.”

Unfortunately for those who are waiting for this type of technology, a lot of work is required before it can be put into action: the academics working on the project have to set up a pilot test that proves their theories correct on a large scale. There’s also the issue of how to deal with the waste produced from the process.

What’s certain is that a new procedure like this could have a huge impact on the lives of millions of people - according to, some 750 million people across the globe don’t have access to clean drinking water, a problem that’s responsible for around 840,000 deaths every year - more than the entire population of San Francisco.



Venetian Pool - Coral Gables, Florida

The world’s largest freshwater swimming pool, the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Florida is a one-of-a-kind water feature that is emptied and refilled everyday during the summer just to keep the waters clean. 

Built in 1924 out of the remains of a Florida coral rock quarry the public pool was modeled after a Venetian grotto with the intention of bring a piece of Mediterranean style to the States. A scenic bridge was built overlooking the pool along with mooring posts for gondolas which were to be able to pull right up to the pool, although this feature was later scrapped. The pool also connects to a number of natural grotto caves which swimmers can explore.

The pool is always a clean and clear shade of blue thanks to the unique natural filtering system. During its early years the was drained each day and the waters were freshly replenished from artesian springs on the site. However this process came under fire when water conservationists warned that the process was draining local aquifers. In response, the pool devised a new system which drained the pool water back into the aquifer, allowing natural filtration to clean up the waste water. During the spring and summer, this refilling system is still in place creating a crisp natural pool to swim in.

Keep reading for the odd events hosted by the Venetian Pool, on Atlas Obscura!
Hamilton man makes solo mission to bring water to Flint
Flint, Michigan continues to battle against the lead-tainted water crisis, and while Hamilton, Flint’s twin city, has offered its support, one man has taken it upon himself to help those suffering.

A Hamilton man has personally delivered more than 10,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan to help Hamilton’s twin city with its ongoing water crisis.

Craig McNeill, a Hamilton man who works for a warehousing company in Milton, arrived home early Saturday morning, from a 16-hour round trip to Flint, where he personally brought 10,200 Canadian bottled waters in the hopes of some relief for the city. This was the first of three trips he’s planned to help Flint.

McNeill, who says he’s not one to typically get involved in charitable donations like these, said he was reading stories about the struggles of Flint’s citizens, and was compelled to take action himself.

“It affected me, the whole story. The people of Flint are getting kicked around,” he said.

“I saw a story about a guy in a house, who gets rations of water and gives it to the kids, then he says there’s nothing left for me … That kind of upset me, that people in our area can’t get fresh water.”

That particular story inspired McNeill to post to Facebook, asking for donations to help him with paying for the water and the cost of the trip. Hours later, he had received $400 in pledges from Hamilton citizens and members of the public, including Anne Tennier, Geraldine McMullen and Michael DiLivio.

McNeill took a few days to plan, then on Jan. 29, drove his own car down to Sarnia, where he rented a truck and picked up skids of water bottles with the money he had raised.

Continue Reading.



Desmids (Green Algae) - Micrasterias rotata

Desmids are microscopic fresh water algae with attractive forms. The species of the genus Micrasterias are well known for their beauty, in fact Micrasterias means “little star”. They occur in many biotopes around the globe and prefer nutrient-poor habitats.

The cell wall is composed of three layers impregnated with openings or pores and pectin spicules. Many species are phototropic and are capable of moving towards light by extruding a gelatinous substance through these pores.

Micrasterias rotata is  a rather large species (length 200 – 300 μm, width 190 – 270 μm). This one in the photo is undergoing cell division.  Desmids reproduce both sexually and asexually. Asexually, they reproduce by a simple division. Sexually, they reproduce either through conjugation, a means of exchanging nuclear material between two organisms, or by fusion (when two organisms fuse to form a single new organism). Spores are rare.

[Plantae - Charophyta - Zygnemophyceae - Desmidiales- Desmidiaceae - Micrasterias - M. rotata]

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Wim Van Egmond

Vast Freshwater Reserves Found Beneath the Oceans

A new study, published December 5 in the international scientific journal Nature, reveals that an estimated half a million cubic kilometres of low-salinity water are buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves around the world.

The water, which could perhaps be used to eke out supplies to the world’s burgeoning coastal cities, has been located off Australia, China, North America and South Africa.

Vincent E.A. Post, Jacobus Groen, Henk Kooi, Mark Person, Shemin Ge, W. Mike Edmunds. Offshore fresh groundwater reserves as a global phenomenon. Nature, 2013; 504 (7478): 71 DOI: 10.1038/nature12858

New research reveals that an estimated half a million cubic kilometers of low-salinity water are buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves around the world. (Credit: © DJ / Fotolia)