August, Circle of Blue, Using the Global Terrorism Database, a team of researchers from Florida International University discovered that water-related terrorism has risen by 263 percent from 1970 to 2016. The researchers identified 675 water-related incidents in 71 countries, and found that water infrastructure was the most common target of water-related terrorism. New Security Beat
July, Canadian Broadcasting Company.
My question is: I hear a sunscreen is killing the coral in the oceans and I’m wondering what it’s doing to our lakes? Does anyone know?
And for answer we go to Dr. Linda Campbell of St. Mary’s University, and because Dr. Campbell is deaf, the voice you’re hearing is that of SMU staff interpreter Ashley Campbell.
My name is Dr. Linda Campbell and I’m here in lovely Halifax Nova Scotia and I’m a professor here at St. Mary’s University and an environmental scientist.
I’m here to answer the question from our listener “does sunscreen cause damage to freshwater lakes similar to the damage done in coral reefs?”
So the short answer yes, but it does look different. The impacts unfortunately of many types of UV filters found in common sunscreen brands really are known to kill the organisms that form coral reefs. And as you know, Hawaii just recently actually banned many types of sunscreen.
Now freshwater lakes are not immune to the impacts from these UV filters similar to coral reefs. And there are two kinds that we are worried about: One is the carbon based UV filters and the other is nano-particulate UV filters, and that’s using zinc and titanium. Both of these types of filters negatively impact algae and fish in lakes.
The damage isn’t as obvious and as visible as the bleaching to coral reefs, but they’re still there and the damages for example include DNA damage, bio-accumulation of harmful chemicals, and lower quality and quantity of food sources at the base of the food web.
It’s easy to find sunscreen brands that contain less harmful components for the ecosystem and they don’t have those nano particulates, or have less harmful UV filters within them.
You can do some research online and look for coral reef friendly sunscreen and then you can find those brands online quite easily and it’s less harmful to the ecosystem.
Dr Linda Campbell is an environmental scientist at St Mary’s University in Halifax.
West Hawaii Today; Max Dible, 25 June 2018: Every day cesspools throughout Hawaii send an excess of harmful nutrients pouring into nearshore ocean water and threatening to infiltrate the freshwater drinking supply. Hawaii island is home to tens of thousands of them representing nearly half of the known cesspools used throughout the state. With the deadline of 2050 to shut down every one of them, the State Department of Health has scheduled informational community meetings in both Kailua Kona and Hilo…
…When cesspool seepage intermingles with ground water, it can find its way into aquifer drawn on by the county. This is generally less of a concern at the deep well sites, which can range between 1,000 and 2,000 feet in depth and supply Hawaii island with most of its drinking water…
For the rest of the article see…
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This is the link to the registration…
June 2018, By Heather Clancy for Green Biz.
It’s impossible and fiscally irresponsible to have discussions about future investments in grid infrastructure without considering their implications for regional resilience: the capability to withstand catastrophic weather or natural disasters without prolonged electricity outages.
That adage applies equally to both remote islands heavily reliant on offshore sources of fuel, such as Hawaii or Puerto Rico, and towns and cities on the mainland vulnerable to sea level rises or destructive winds, particularly coastal communities.
“Our existing system is highly vulnerable,” acknowledged Hawaii Public Utility Commissioner Jay Griffin during a VERGE Hawaii session last week about the benefits of “electrifying everything,” including transportation services and the heating and cooling loads of buildings.
The notion that solar plus storage technology plus intelligent local distribution services could short-circuit lengthy blackouts is appealing to many across the Hawaiian island archipelago, currently grappling with the system strain caused by unprecedented floods on Kauai and volcanic activity on the Big Island.
“The ability to fuel ourselves with electricity produced here — not just to have electricity but to fuel our transportation — that seems to me a much more resilient than the one we have today,” Griffin said. Currently, renewable energy accounts for about one-quarter of Hawaii’s electricity generation. The island imports millions of gallons of oil annually, to fuel its power plants, despite its mandate to transition to 100 percent renewables by 2045.
The good news is that the trend toward commercial investments in distributed generating resources — including wind, solar, biomass and energy storage systems — aligns closely with that goal. The trick is to ensure that all the stakeholders across a region — including local utilities, government agencies, businesses and private citizens — are considered in the strategic plan, according to many experts speaking last week at VERGE Hawaii.
Today, many relevant conversations about resilience happen in a vacuum, they noted. That is, they are confined to a single government agency or business. “We are planning specifically,” said Kyle Datta, general partner of investment firm Ulupono Initiative.
Here’s why sharing information matters
Cross-agency and cross-sector conversations are important for identifying scenarios that might affect response times or the locations chosen for investments in microgrids and generating resources.
For example, in Honolulu, there are about 20 water pumps used to manage the freshwater supply, but there currently is backup power in place for only seven. If some portion of the grid can’t be restored promptly, there could be a full-blown health crisis, Datta noted. Similarly, many electric utilities don’t spend enough time understanding the impact on telecommunications, he said. “What is the value of having an extra day of recovery?”
for the rest of this excellent report click here…
April 2018: University of Hawaii.
Groundwater that seeps into the coastal zone beneath the ocean’s surface–termed submarine groundwater discharge (SGD)–is an important source of fresh water and nutrients to nearshore coral reefs throughout the globe. Although submarine groundwater is natural, it can act as a conduit for highly polluted water to shorelines. A recently published study, led by researchers at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), sheds light on the ways SGD affects coral reef growth.
“SGD is common on nearshore coral reefs, especially in Hawai’i, so we set out to test how SGD affects coral reef growth in Maunalua Bay, O’ahu.” said Megan Donahue, associate researcher at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) in SOEST and senior author of the study.
Two processes contribute to the overall growth of coral reefs: coral growth and bioerosion, the natural breakdown of coral reefs by reef organisms. To determine how SGD affects these processes, the research team outplanted small pieces of lobe coral on the reef flat in areas with a range of SGD and measured the changes in size over a six-month period. They also put out blocks of dead coral skeleton across the same SGD gradients for one year to measure bioerosion rates. The blocks were scanned before and after the deployment with a micro-CT scanner, similar to a hospital CT scanner, to determine the amount of coral skeleton removed by bioeroding organisms in three dimensions.
In areas with high levels of SGD, it was a double whammy for coral reefs. Corals that were right next to SGD seeps performed poorly, likely due to the stress of too much fresh water.
See the rest of this report here
April 2018: LAHAINA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) –
Maui County could is gearing up for a legal battle over wastewater.
County officials say they will appeal its Lahaina wastewater case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
That’s after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Friday rejected the County’s petition to reconsider it’s February ruling that said the county violated the Clean Water Act.
Since the early 80s, Maui injected untreated sewage into wells that leaked into the ocean, causing environmental damage.
See the rest of the story here
March 2018: University of Hawaii, Tsu Chuan Lee, Clark Liu.
Summary: The reduction of the biodiversity of a mesotrophic lake can be used in water quality management as a warning sign of an imminent algal bloom.
Algal bloom in a freshwater lake is a rapid increase of aquatic plants, which disrupts the ecological balance and its potential for beneficial uses. This problem has been managed by relating the trophic levels of a lake with nutrient loading. This traditional management approach is less than satisfactory as it neglects considering the intricate relationship between nutrient loading and the algal community. As a result, it often fails to detect an imminent algal bloom and fails to formulate and implement timely remedial measures. The advancement of modern molecular biosciences has provided an opportunity to improve this traditional approach. In this study, field and laboratory experiments on lake bioproductivity and biodiversity were conducted in Lake Wilson on central Oahu, Hawaii. Bioproductivity or algal productivity was evaluated in terms of the rate of chlorophyll growth in the lake water, and the biodiversity or genetic biodiversity was evaluated by using the method of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of the algae species and the Shannon index. Research results indicated that eukaryote communities in Lake Wilson were more diverse under the mesotrophic state of algal productivity than those under the oligotrophic and eutrophic states. Therefore, the reduction of the biodiversity of a mesotrophic lake can be used in water quality management as a warning sign of an imminent algal bloom
Feb 2018: Earthjustice.
Water in Hawaiʻi is a public trust resource, protected under the state Constitution and Water Code. Plantations diverted many Hawaiian streams to water sugar cane and pineapple fields, drying out and destroying the native life and Hawaiian communities connected with those streams. Now that plantations are in decline, the water can be restored to the native streams.
A continued series of cases, brought by Earthjustice on behalf of our clients, has reaffirmed the legal principle of water as a public trust and methodically succeeded in restoring flows to traditional uses.
Read about the cases here…
December: (Kobayashi Comment: This new State of Hawaii website is an excellent example of the fusion of GIS mapping capabilities with water data. I strongly support such efforts and commend the DOH and Clean Water Branch for taking this first step)
HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Water Branch has developed a newly upgraded website that gives the public access to up-to-date information — integrated with aerial photos from Google maps — to check on the status of the water quality of beaches that may have a surge in bacteria levels or are being impacted by sewage spills. This website is part of a revised statewide beach monitoring and notification system.
The new features and functions of the website, developed in part from a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), were based on feedback from those within the health department as well as external stakeholders. The website is part of an integrated notification system that includes warning signs posted at selected beaches throughout the state.
This is the link to the new website…