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18 May 2020

Should the pandemic change what we ‘do’ as sustainability scientists?

The world will likely never be the same again after the covid-19 pandemic – too much has changed for us personally, socially and culturally. The pandemic is a terrible tragedy that continues to devastate lives and economies while ironically also bearing the possibility of being a much needed global sustainability reset. So as applied scientists focused on sustainability, what is our role in this reset? 

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13 November 2019

Global Groundwater Sustainability – A Call to Action… do you want to sign?

I am excited about a new initiative called “Global Groundwater Sustainability: A call to action” that was first drafted at the recent Chapman conference in Valencia, Spain.  Overall, we are a global group of scientists calling for action to ensure groundwater benefits society now and into the future, and hope that you would like to join us by signing.

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25 September 2019

Groundwater and a ‘green drought’

Here in New South Wales (NSW) in southeastern Australia, a long-running drought continues. The government’s water minister Melinda Pavey noted recently that “This drought is more severe than NSW has ever experienced” and some of the worst in living memory.

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10 September 2019

Shedding light on the invisible: addressing potential groundwater contamination by plastic microfibers

Until recently, the topic of plastic pollution was relatively unknown to the general public, although the problem was already under everyone’s very eyes. Indeed, plastic pollution has become one of the most debated issues over the last few years, in some cases even overshadowing the concerns about climate change, and with particular concern about the effects of microplastic (i.e. plastic particles smaller than 5 mm in length) in the natural environment.

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8 July 2019

Urban water underground: How green infrastructure makes it visible

When it comes to protecting the water resources that sustain society and the natural environment, it is perhaps unsurprising that groundwater is the part of water cycle that most folks tend to ignore.

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16 November 2018

the true meaning of life for a hydrogeologist….

I stumbled upon this quote from Nelson Henderson (a farmer from Manitoba) which encapsulates what I have been thinking about groundwater sustainability for a number of years…

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24 July 2017

Humanitarian groundwater projects; notes on motivations from the academic world

Globally, the need for regional hydrologic humanitarian efforts is obvious. Even today, 1,000 children die due to diarrhoeal diseases on a daily basis.

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9 July 2017

Of Karst! – short episodes about karst

Episode 2: Dissolving rock? (or, how karst evolves). This episode will now deal with the processes that create such amazing surface and subsurface landforms. The widely used term “karstification” refers to the chemical weathering of easily soluble rock composed of carbonate rock or gypsum.

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27 June 2017

How prehistoric water pit stops may have driven human evolution

Post by Matthew Robert Bennett, Bournemouth University and Mark O Cuthbert, Cardiff University Our ancient ancestors seem to have survived some pretty harsh arid spells in East Africa’s Rift Valley over five million years. Quite how they kept going has long been a mystery, given the lack of water to drink. Now, new research shows that they may have been able to survive on a small networks of springs. The …

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26 June 2017

What is the difference between ‘water withdrawal’ and ‘water consumption’, and why do we need to know?

Last week I had to teach my first class in global hydrology. When I showed the global trend on increasing demands and withdrawals I needed to explain the different terms as sometimes the term “water use” gets, well, misused.

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4 May 2017

Monitoring groundwater drought without measuring it

Seventy-five percent of EU inhabitants depend on groundwater for their water supply, which makes groundwater management extremely important. To manage groundwater effectively during drought periods like 2015, data about groundwater levels are needed in (near-) real time.

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16 March 2017

Deep challenges: China’s ‘war on water pollution’ must tackle deep groundwater pollution pathways

As part of its recent ‘war on pollution’, the Chinese Central Government released a major policy on water pollution control and clean-up, called the ‘10-point water plan’ in 2015. The plan aims to deal once and for all with China’s chronic water quality problems.

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