Topic: Water-Stressed India Seeks a Tap for Every Home
The pipes are laid, the taps installed and the village tank is under construction — all promising signs that, come spring, Girja Ahriwar will get water at her doorstep and finally shed a lifelong burden.
“I go out and put the jerrycans in the queue at around 5 a.m. and wait there with the children,” Ahriwar, a mother of three who lives in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, said about her routine of fetching from the village hand pump. “Sometimes it could take five or six hours. I have to stay there
because if I leave, someone else moves ahead.”
India, one of the world’s most water-stressed countries, is halfway through an ambitious drive to provide clean tap water by 2024 to all of the roughly 192 million households across its 600,000 villages. About 18,000 government engineers are overseeing the $50 billion undertaking, which includes hundreds of thousands of contractors and laborers who are laying more than 2.5 million miles of pipe.
The project has a powerful champion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has slashed through India’s notorious red tape and pushed aside thorny political divisions to see it through. His success thus far helps explain his dominance over the country’s political landscape.
Modi has remained popular despite a weak economy and a bungled initial response to the coronavirus that left hundreds of thousands dead. He has increasingly relied on communal politics, continuing to consolidate a Hindu nationalist base he has worked for decades to rally.
But the mission to deliver water to every household combines two of Modi’s political strengths: his grasp of the day-to-day problems of hundreds of millions of India’s poor and his penchant for ambitious solutions. Modi, who grew up in a poor village, has spoken emotionally about his own mother’s hardship in fetching water.
About one-sixth of India’s households had a clean water tap when the program, called Jal Jeevan Mission, began in 2019. Now, almost half have one.
“You rarely have this drive from the government, the head of state, and it is well funded. Behind the concept, there is budget,” said Nicolas Osbert, who leads the UNICEF water and sanitation unit in India. “All social sectors were impacted by COVID. Not this one. This one was preserved.”
The country’s water problem speaks to the mismatch between its global economic ambitions and the dire conditions of much of its 1.4 billion population, two-thirds of whom still live in rural areas.
這個國家的用水問題顯示，其全球經濟野心和14億人口中許多人的悲慘情況，頗不相配。印度人口三分之二住在鄉村地區。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6034821
Topic: Typhoonless year brings water shortage in fall/winter
Most years, Taiwan is hit by typhoons during the summer and fall, but we have yet to see a typhoon this year. This unusual situation has put pressure on water supply levels in reservoirs around Taiwan.
Due to global warming, the typhoons generated in the Pacific Ocean this year have all moved northward, bypassing Taiwan. Although successive fronts and afternoon showers have brought rainfall, it was only fragmented, covering limited areas and did little to replenish reservoirs. As a result, the reservoir storage this year is lower than in previous years.
According to the Water Resource Agency, as of 2pm yesterday, the Shihmen Reservoir’s water storage was 44 percent of capacity, the Feicuei Reservoir’s was 62.3 percent and the Zengwen Reservoir’s was 31.3 percent. Two of the three major water reservoirs have less than 50 percent of their water storage capacity.
In order to prepare for demand for water next year, the government has decided to implement three measures to control water usage. Firstly, starting from last Wednesday, night water pressure in the Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli areas was to be lowered from 11pm through to 5am the following day. Secondly, the irrigation of some areas of Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli was to be suspended, and farmers affected by the measures will receive government compensation. Thirdly, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is setting up a central drought response center to better respond to the crisis and to distribute water resources according to needs. Taiwanese are advised to take water-saving measures.
為審慎因應明年用水需求，政府實施三項因應措施。第一，桃竹苗中自上週三起，每天晚上十一點至隔日清晨五點實施減壓供水；第二，桃竹苗部分地區的農田，將停止供灌，政府也會給予補償，維持農民生活；第三，經濟部將成立抗旱中央應變中心，拉高應變層級，做好調度節水，更請全民配合省水。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/10/19/2003745390
Topic: Gel-like ice is the lightest form of waterer ever discovered 迄今發現最輕盈的水形態，凝膠般的冰
The frosty cubes we pull from our freezers are just one of 17 possible types of ice, and an 18th type isn’t far from being made real.
Hexagonal ice, and the occasional cubic ice in our upper atmosphere, are the only two forms that occur naturally on Earth. Other ices might be found on exoplanets or in the atmospheres of the outer planets.
Under atmospheric pressure or higher, water molecules get squeezed and freeze into a solid denser than normal ice. But when the pressure drops below this, water molecules become a less-dense, lightweight crystal that’s more air than molecule – like an icy candy floss. So far, we only know of two kinds of low-density ice: space fullerenes and zeolitic ices. But lighter ice structures hadn’t been spotted until now.
Masakazu Matsumoto at Okayama University in Japan and his team played molecular Jenga to find this new type of ice, removing and reconfiguring existing zeolitic ice structures to make them lighter. They found more than 300 different nanoscale structures through computer simulations.
日本岡山理科大學的松本正和研究團隊，透過分子疊疊樂，發現這款新類型的冰；他們移除並重新配置既存的「沸石冰」結構，使其更加輕盈。研究團隊透過電腦模擬，找出超過300種不同的奈米尺度結構。Source article: http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=1161164&day=2017-12-18