Irish Water tapping into US and Australian expertise for Gweedore sewerage system

first_imgIrish Water is tapping into a combination of US and Australian technologies to develop the new sewerage system in Gweedore.Engineers with international suppliers are working with the Irish Water team in Donegal as they develop an innovative system for managing wastewater in the West Donegal network.The delivery partners from America and Australia were in Donegal this week as part of an intensive three-day series of engagements. Irish Water is progressing a Demonstration Project serving over 40 properties as the first phase of the Gweedore Sewerage scheme. The project team is currently constructing the main pressure sewer network associated with the Demonstration Project.The pump and pod which will be installed in homes as part of the Demonstration Project.Representatives were on hand to explain to the people who are being connected to the Demonstration Project, the business community and elected representatives in Gweedore, how the system will be installed, how it works and to answer any queries that arose.The new sewerage scheme when completed will improve the water quality in Gweedore Bay and local rivers and streams; provide better treatment of wastewater to protect the environment and ensure Gweedore is in compliance with Irish and European regulations.Following completion of these works, installation of the pods and associated works will take place at individual properties. The collected wastewater will be treated at the existing Údaras na Gaeltachta wastewater treatment plant. Irish Water’s Mark O’Callaghan explained how the system will work: “Wastewater from the house or business will flow by gravity into the pump pod. When the amount of wastewater reaches a certain level, the wastewater will be liquidised and then pumped through a small pipe away to the main network and on to the wastewater treatment plant. The innovative control system will manage the network to ensure that both the individual pods and the overall system functions properly.”Irish Water tapping into US and Australian expertise for Gweedore sewerage system was last modified: October 26th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mars Life: Hope Against Hope

first_imgGood news: the Viking landers (1976) may have been unable to detect life on Mars if it were present.  Bad news: the dust devils on Mars probably would kill anything alive on the surface.  These contrasting stories recently tugged in opposite directions on hopes to find life on the red planet.  A report on PNAS1 questioned the ability of the Viking experiments to detect organic molecules on Mars.  The team, including Martian-meteorite promoter David McKay (08/06/2006), found organics in Antarctica and the Atacama and Libyan deserts that would have been below the detection limit of the Viking instruments.    Mars, however, is continually swept by the mini-tornados known as dust devils.  The Science News2 Oct. 28 cover shows a picture of a terrestrial “satanic wind” lofting dust high into the air.  On Mars, Sid Perkins writes, the thinner atmosphere allows these vortices to rise much higher and gain enough energy to strip molecules of their electrons.  The reactions blanket the surface with highly-oxidizing compounds, like hydrogen peroxide, that would sterilize microorganisms on the surface, let alone bleach their hair.  Hopes for Martian life are thus reduced significantly:Highly reactive peroxide would scour organic chemicals from Martian soil, says [Gregory T.] Delory [UC Berkeley].  That process would make the surface of the Red Planet hostile to life.  Furthermore, because the planet lacks an ozone layer, large quantities of ultraviolet radiation reach Mars’ surface.  Deep in the soil, where neither ultraviolet radiation nor peroxide infiltrates, however, life might survive.The 10-man research team that published these results in Astrobiology last June3 believes the peroxide molecules could survive up to four years in the soil.  Martian dust devils, which are ubiquitous on the red planet, also generate high amounts of static electricity that could pose risks to future human explorers.  See also the 08/02/2006 entry on this topic.1Navarro-Gonzalez et al, “The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization-gas chromatography-MS and their implications for the Viking results,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0604210103, published online before print October 23, 2006.2Sid Perkins, “Satanic winds: Looking at dust devils on Earth and Mars,” Science News, Week of Oct. 28, 2006; Vol. 170, No. 18, p. 282.3Atreya et al, “Oxidant Enhancement in Martian Dust Devils and Storms: Implications for Life and Habitability,” Astrobiology, Jun 2006, Vol. 6, No. 3: 439-450.Delory left intact a tiny bit of hope by saying, “The jury’s still out as to whether there is life on Mars.”  The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Bill Gates: Who says Africa will always be poor?

first_imgBill Gates in Acrra, Ghana, in 2013. “A growing number of countries in Africa are building community health systems, which are extremely cost-effective,” he writes. (Image: Gates Foundation)• Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation(206) [email protected]: If you are a member of the news media, please use the phone number or email address above to leave a detailed message. Include your name, press affiliation, phone number, questions, and deadline.“Poor countries are doomed to stay poor.” That’s a myth Bill Gates passionately debunks. The founder of Microsoft, one of the richest men in the world and, today, co-founder – with his wife Melinda – of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has released a letter that explains why pessimism about the future of poor countries holds back their development.In previous years the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation annual letter discussed the foundation’s work. In the 2014 edition of the letter, the Gateses chose instead to focus on three major global myths, erroneous ideas held by many in the world that hold back the upliftment of poor people everywhere.The letter is in three parts, challenging three persistent myths about global poverty: that poor countries are doomed to stay poor, that foreign aid is a big waste, and that saving lives leads to overpopulation. Read the annual letter on the Gates Foundation website.We bring you the full text of the first part of the letter, which specifically discusses Africa.Myth: Poor countries are doomed to stay poorBy Bill GatesI’ve heard this myth stated about lots of places, but most often about Africa. A quick web search will turn up dozens of headlines and book titles such as “How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor”.Thankfully these books are not bestsellers, because the basic premise is false. The fact is, incomes and other measures of human welfare are rising almost everywhere, including in Africa.So why is this myth so deeply ingrained?I’ll get to Africa in a moment, but first let’s look at the broader trend around the world, going back a half-century. Fifty years ago, the world was divided in three: the United States and our Western allies; the Soviet Union and its allies; and everyone else. I was born in 1955 and grew up learning that the so-called First World was well off or “developed.” Most everyone in the First World went to school, and we lived long lives. We weren’t sure what life was like behind the Iron Curtain, but it sounded like a scary place. Then there was the so-called Third World – basically everyone else. As far as we knew, it was filled with people who were poor, didn’t go to school much, and died young. Worse, they were trapped in poverty, with no hope of moving up.The statistics bear out these impressions. In 1960, almost all of the global economy was in the West. Per capita income in the United States was about $15 000 a year.1 (That’s income per person, so $60 000 a year for a family of four.) Across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, incomes per person were far lower. Brazil: $1,982. China: $928. Botswana: $383. And so on.Watch the video:Years later, I would see this disparity myself when I travelled. Melinda and I visited Mexico City in 1987 and were surprised by the poverty we witnessed. There was no running water in most homes, so we saw people trekking long distances by bike or on foot to fill up water jugs. It reminded us of scenes we had seen in rural Africa. The guy who ran Microsoft’s Mexico City office would send his kids back to the United States for checkups to make sure the smog wasn’t making them sick.Today, the city is mind-blowingly different. Its air is as clean as Los Angeles’ (which isn’t great, but certainly an improvement from 1987). There are high-rise buildings, new roads, and modern bridges. There are still slums and pockets of poverty, but by and large when I visit there now I think, “Wow, most people who live here are middle-class. What a miracle.”The global picture of poverty has been completely redrawn in my lifetime. Per-person incomes in Turkey and Chile are where the United States level was in 1960. Malaysia is nearly there, as is Gabon. And that no-man’s-land between rich and poor countries has been filled in by China, India, Brazil, and others. Since 1960, China’s real income per person has gone up eightfold. India’s has quadrupled, Brazil’s has almost quintupled, and the small country of Botswana, with shrewd management of its mineral resources, has seen a thirty-fold increase. There is a class of nations in the middle that barely existed 50 years ago, and it includes more than half of the world’s population.Here’s another way to see the transition – by counting people instead of countries: So the easiest way to respond to the myth that poor countries are doomed to stay poor is to point to one fact: They haven’t stayed poor. Many – though by no means all – of the countries we used to call poor now have thriving economies. And the percentage of very poor people has dropped by more than half since 1990.That still leaves more than one billion people in extreme poverty, so it’s not time to celebrate. But it is fair to say that the world has changed so much that the terms “developing countries” and “developed countries” have outlived their usefulness.Any category that lumps China and the Democratic Republic of Congo together confuses more than it clarifies. Some so-called developing countries have come so far that it’s fair to say they have developed. A handful of failed states are hardly developing at all. Most countries are somewhere in the middle. That’s why it’s more instructive to think about countries as low-, middle-, or high-income. (Some experts even divide middle-income into two sub-categories: lower-middle and upper-middle.)‘Life in Africa never gets better’With that in mind, I’ll turn back to the more specific and pernicious version of this myth: “Sure, the Asian tigers are doing fine, but life in Africa never gets better, and it never will.”First, don’t let anyone tell you that Africa is worse off today than it was 50 years ago. Income per person has in fact risen in sub-Saharan Africa over that time, and quite a bit in a few countries. After plummeting during the debt crisis of the 1980s, it has climbed by two thirds since 1998, to nearly $2 200 from just over $1 300. Today, more and more countries are turning toward strong sustained development, and more will follow. Seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies of the past half-decade are in Africa.Africa has also made big strides in health and education. Since 1960, the life span for women in sub-Saharan Africa has gone up from 41 to 57 years, despite the HIV epidemic. Without HIV it would be 61 years. The percentage of children in school has gone from the low 40s to over 75% since 1970. Fewer people are hungry, and more people have good nutrition. If getting enough to eat, going to school, and living longer are measures of a good life, then life is definitely getting better there. These improvements are not the end of the story; they’re the foundation for more progress.Of course, these regional averages obscure big differences among countries. In Ethiopia, income is only $800 a year per person. In Botswana it’s nearly $12 000. You see this huge variation within countries too: Life in a major urban area like Nairobi looks nothing like life in a rural Kenyan village. You should look sceptically at anyone who treats an entire continent as an undifferentiated mass of poverty and disease.The bottom line: Poor countries are not doomed to stay poor. Some of the so-called developing nations have already developed. Many more are on their way. The nations that are still finding their way are not trying to do something unprecedented. They have good examples to learn from.I am optimistic enough about this that I am willing to make a prediction. By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. (I mean by our current definition of poor.)2 Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer. Countries will learn from their most productive neighbours and benefit from innovations like new vaccines, better seeds, and the digital revolution. Their labour forces, buoyed by expanded education, will attract new investments.A few countries will be held back by war, politics (North Korea, barring a big change there), or geography (landlocked nations in central Africa). And inequality will still be a problem: There will be poor people in every region.But most of them will live in countries that are self-sufficient. Every nation in South America, Asia, and Central America (with the possible exception of Haiti), and most in coastal Africa, will have joined the ranks of today’s middle-income nations. More than 70% of countries will have a higher per-person income than China does today. Nearly 90% will have a higher income than India does today.It will be a remarkable achievement. When I was born, most countries in the world were poor. In the next two decades, desperately poor countries will become the exception rather than the rule. Billions of people will have been lifted out of extreme poverty. The idea that this will happen within my lifetime is simply amazing to me.Some people will say that helping almost every country develop to middle-income status will not solve all the world’s problems and will even exacerbate some. It is true that we’ll need to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy to keep all this growth from making the climate and environment worse. We will also need to solve the problems that come with affluence, like higher rates of diabetes. However, as more people are educated, they will contribute to solving these problems. Bringing the development agenda near to completion will do more to improve human lives than anything else we do. [1] Calculating GDP is an inexact science with a lot of room for error and disagreement. For the sake of consistency, throughout this letter I’ll use GDP per capita figures from the Penn World Table, adjusted for inflation to 2005 dollars. And for the sake of simplicity, I’ll call it “income per person.” [RETURN][2] Specifically, I mean that by 2035, almost no country will be as poor as any of the 35 countries that the World Bank classifies as low-income today, even after adjusting for inflation. [RETURN]last_img read more

Don’t be afraid of the snake. — GeoSnake (GC4YDPC) — Geocache of the Week

first_img[vsw id=”JMYJn9hanHc” source=”youtube” width=”853″ height=”480″ autoplay=”no”]Geocache Name:GeoSnake (GC4YDPC)Difficulty/Terrain Rating:2.5/2Why this is the Geocache of the Week:This week we’re continuing our theme of games in geocaches with this amazing creation that resides in Hong Kong. While last week required you to play a game before you left home, this multi-cache integrates the game right into the middle of the find. In order to get the coordinates for the final stage, geocachers have to play a few rounds of the classic Snake game. The time, effort and technical ability that went into creating this geocache is a perfect example of what geocaches can be when a geocache maker puts their mind to it.# of Finds:11 (hidden in February 2014)# of Favorite Points:9What the geocache owner, CX15, has to say:“My favourite part of Geocaching is to read the logs of people finding my contraptions…I have been trying to push the limits of cache making right from the start. I guess I was inspired by some really cool caches in Hong Kong and wanted to see how far I can go with some ideas (and believe me, I have so many more ideas – the only limit is time…)”What geocachers are saying:“Wish I could unload all my favorite points on a brilliant cache like this! This is truly a world-class grade cache! Thanks for making this one-of-a-kind cache! You really are the maker master. Therefore decided to find this cache on the Maker Madness event day in order to pay my respect to owner!”– samshlau“Yay!!! This cache is def going to my fav list!!! Such an interesting journey leading to the final cache. Much impressed by the craftsmenship n system integration ability. The theme was carried out thru-out the whole hunt. We spent much time with the game but it’s all worth it for the final gz.” – monki322“We screamed loud as we reached final GZ. It’s terrible but terrific!! Such an amazing cache with careful planning and meticulous preparation! Million thanks to cache owner for giving me such pleasure!…It’s definitely my favourite cache so far!!!” – chungtaoRead More LogsPhotos:Get ready to play GeoSnake! Photo courtesy of geocacher CX15GeoSnake in its beta testing phase. Photo courtesy of geocacher CX15Think you can beat it? Only one way to find out… Photo by geocacher samshlauSee More Photos What game would you like to see integrated into a geocache? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint Relatedlast_img read more

JANAAC Extends Period for Free Pre-Assessment

first_img Mrs. Shirley said certification by JANAAC will improve testing and quality of products being produced for the local and international markets, in keeping with the standards outlined in the National Quality Policy 2017, which is now a White Paper. “We had this pre-assessment offer up to the end of last year. We did not have a lot of takers, but we are encouraging (inspection bodies) to apply. There is no cost associated and no professional fees. There will also be a 50 per cent discount on inspection fees if you are an inspection body. You will never get this again,” she said. Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), Sharonmae Shirley, is encouraging local inspection bodies for goods and services to take advantage of the extended period for free pre-assessment being offered by the organisation. Story Highlights Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), Sharonmae Shirley, is encouraging local inspection bodies for goods and services to take advantage of the extended period for free pre-assessment being offered by the organisation.She said that entities now have up to the end of April to benefit from the offer.“We had this pre-assessment offer up to the end of last year. We did not have a lot of takers, but we are encouraging (inspection bodies) to apply. There is no cost associated and no professional fees. There will also be a 50 per cent discount on inspection fees if you are an inspection body. You will never get this again,” she said.Mrs. Shirley was addressing a workshop on the National Quality Policy 2017 held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Tuesday (March 6).Mrs. Shirley said certification by JANAAC will improve testing and quality of products being produced for the local and international markets, in keeping with the standards outlined in the National Quality Policy 2017, which is now a White Paper.“The benefits of seeking accreditation far outweigh the cost of accreditation… . I am encouraging the inspection bodies right across the length and breadth of Jamaica to apply, and I remind you that an inspection body can just be an individual that performs inspection services,” she noted.An agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, JANAAC is the only internationally recognised accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean.It provides accreditation services to Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) consisting of laboratories and inspection and certification entities.To date, JANAAC has provided 28 accreditation licences to Jamaican entities, with the last licence handed over on January 31 to the Veterinary Services Diagnostic Laboratory (VSDL) to carry out tests on fish for the export market.The National Quality Policy 2017 articulates the Government’s position on the standard of goods and services produced and consumed in Jamaica.It supports the achievement of the country’s development goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030, by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to ensure compliance with global market requirements.last_img read more