Archive for August, 2007
There is no water, there is no oil, there is no other mineral without drilling. Even open pit mines need bore holes for exploration and subsequent geostatistical analysis. Drilling a hole certainly is no easy task. It can be tricky, it can be frustrating, but like with other similar things, it is highly rewarding when the hole is completed, and maybe the well installed, developed, and working. Maybe, one day, I’ll write about my drilling experiences in detail. For now, here are a few links related to some exciting aspects of drilling:
The International Deep Ocean Drilling Program with their immensely cool drill ship has created a Google Earth Visualization of their drill locations.
Wired has put up some general information about oil drilling, after Chevron completed a 30,000ft (~10.000m) hole in the Gulf of Mexico. Here is a sketch of the layers that are drilled through, and here is the full article.
Probably very little drilling is needed for mountain top mining. The Bush-administration has recently lifted rules in favour of mountain top mining.
Impacts on Environment
Germany just agreed on reducing emission of climate gases — in the future. At the same time, according to lighterfootsteps.com, there are five things that are worse than global warming: the end of cheap oil, the collapse of ocean ecosystems, the coming water crisis, deforestation, and nuclear weapons. Of course, this is also nothing new, the latter two items for example are the classic stomping grounds of the Green Party in Germany — or maybe even the reason why they exist.
Speaking of ocean ecosystems, the amount of garbage introduced into oceans, especially the Mediterranean, is extreme. Note: not only garbage, but also war destroys ecosystems.
Via the “goole earth blog” I found out that the Popular Science Magazine has an issue dedicated to the “future of the environment“, accompanied by a google earth layer to highlight where areas of substantial impact are.
The first attempt remained an attempt, but was the inaugural event for an organization now known as Greenpeace. Today, a Greenpeace ship made it to Amchitka.
If you’re a tree-hugger, if you’re a SUV driver, or just anybody — I think this is a good moment to sit back and think about Greenpeace for a minute. Would it be possible to found a similar organization today? How much have they reached?
Here are a few links of international organizations related to drinking water:
- The World Water Assessment Programme seeks to develop the tools and skills needed to achieve a better understanding of those basic processes, management practices and policies that will help improve the supply and quality of global freshwater resources.
- The World Water Council is a NGO established in response to increasing concern from the global community about world water issues. Its mission is to promote awareness, build political commitment and trigger action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision-making level, to facilitate the efficient management and use of water in all its dimensions and on an environmentally sustainable basis.
Those guys put the World Water Forum together, one of which is beeing currently held, in Stockholm, during the World Water Week.
- The European Water Partnership Blog, also called “Blue Gold”, has the mission to be an action-oriented forum for all stakeholders including local, national and European governmental agencies, knowledge institutes, business, non-governmental organizations, public and private financial institutions, end-users and civil society groups. It constitutes a platform for exchanging views, finding solutions for water challenges in wider Europe and stimulating cooperation and partnerships.
- The Global Water System Project wants to answer this question:
How are humans changing the global water cycle, the associated biogeochemical cycles, and the biological components of the global water system and what are the social feedbacks arising from these changes?
It seems like GWSP is related to the [Water Systems Analysis Group] at the University of New Hampshire
Saudi-Arabia is an arid country. Cows do like and need water. Hence, Saudi-Arabia and cows don’t match very well. One would think. However, money can make things go round and round. This (german) news-story from the ZDF “auslandsjournal” shows a milk farm in Saudi-Arabia. It is the biggest milk farm in the world, and it does have a cooling system for the cows, including cold-water foot-baths for them. Also the kind of cows, bread in Saudi-Arabia drink 50L more water per day than an average european cow. Were does all this water come from? Fossil ground water. For an hydrogeologist, the interview with the grand-son of the current king of Saudi-Arabia is rather hilarious!
Wow! Who would have thought that the truth about bottled water would ever become mainstream? It seems that more and more people in the US realize that it they are paying for something they can get for free while also producing huge amounts of waste and wasting huge amounts of energy.
What’s the situation in Germany? Is anyone questioning the obsession with Volvic, Evian, or Sprudel? Also, is anyone considering the life cycle impact of reusable bottles (Mehrwegflaschen)?
I think it is time for a discussion of environmentalism in Germany and the US on planetwater.org!
read more | digg story
The Independent is reporting on water shortages in lakes in northern Italy. Water levels there are almost as much down as in the record summer 2003. On the bright side, the area for beaches is increasing… however, water shortages high up in the mountains can not be a good sign.
According to the International Networks Archive at Princeton, such signs are currently taking lightly… according to them, a global crisis of substantial proportions is looming.
Which might be an indicator of human market-focussed economies… such as China… the economy is still soaring… but China’s minister of the environment is expecting the environment to demand its toll soon. Chances are the environment will get what it demands.
Globally, two of the main drilling and reservoir engineering companies Haliburton and Schlumberger recently announced substantial economic growth. “Reservoir engineering” here is to be understood in a very broad sense, and covers also water related engineering tasks.