Counting the Drops: Leak detection and auditing methods for water supply systems

Read the full story in Water Efficiency.

Leaks are never good, whether it’s a leaky boat or a leaky pipe system. Even advanced water utility systems can experience water loses ranging from 10 to 40%, with these losses being proportional to the population of the urban area serviced by the water distribution system. Large cities like New York, Beijing, and London are vulnerable to staggering amounts of water losses in absolute terms. It represents both a significant loss of resources and loss of revenues with matching increases in operational costs to a city and its water utility.

Scientists’ Group Launches Website to Help Federal Whistleblowers

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Fearing an assault on science from the Trump administration, the Union of Concerned Scientists is creating a way for federal scientists to report abuses.

Chicago goes ‘back to basics’ to boost dismal recycling rate

Read the full story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago is launching a “back-to-basics” campaign to boost a recycling rate that has dropped to just 4.5 percent on the Southeast Side and 9 percent citywide since the rules were changed to “Go Bagless.”

Average number of televisions in U.S. homes declining

Read the full story from the Energy Information Administration.

Results from the U.S Energy Information Administration’s most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) show that an average of 2.3 televisions were used in American homes in 2015, down from an average of 2.6 televisions per household in 2009. The number of homes with three or more televisions declined from the previous survey conducted in 2009, and a larger share of households reported not using a television at all. Televisions and peripheral equipment such as cable boxes, digital video recorders (DVRs), and video game consoles account for about 6% of all electricity consumption in U.S. homes.

After Flint, Feds and Some States Speed Up Time for Notifying Public About Lead-Contaminated Water

Read the full story in Governing.

The nation’s public water utilities will have to tell their customers within 24 hours — rather than 60 days — if dangerous levels are detected in homes they service under a law Congress recently passed in response to the Flint water crisis.

Clean Water Rule on Trump’s Next Chopping Block

Read the full story in Governing.

President Donald Trump will order his administration to rescind and rewrite an Obama-era environmental rule that critics say gave the U.S. government too much power to regulate waterways nationwide, according to a senior White House official.

Trump is set to sign a directive on Tuesday compelling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to review and reconsider the 2015 “Waters of the U.S.” rule, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the document before its release. The Trump administration also will ask a federal court to halt consideration of a lawsuit from dozens of states and an assortment of businesses and agricultural groups challenging the rule while the measure is being reviewed.

Sustainable ceramics without a kiln

Read the full story at

The manufacture of cement, bricks, bathroom tiles and porcelain crockery normally requires a great deal of heat: a kiln is used to fire the ceramic materials at temperatures well in excess of 1,000°C. Now, material scientists from ETH Zurich have developed what seems at first glance to be an astonishingly simple method of manufacture that works at room temperature. The scientists used a calcium carbonate nanopowder as the starting material and instead of firing it, they added a small amount of water and then compacted it.

Full research article: Bouville F, Studart AR: Geologically-inspired strong bulk ceramics made with water at room temperature. Nature Communications, 28 February 2017, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14655