Earth’s groundwater mostly unrenewable in human time


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❝An international team of hydrologists has found that much of the Earth’s groundwater isn’t renewable within a human lifetime after mapping out the important resource…❞

❝“The goal of this study was to calculate, for one of the first times, how much groundwater we have on this planet,” said Scott Jasechko, an assistant professor in the U of C’s department of geography who co-authored the study. “This is water that is held within pore spaces in rock and soils underneath our feet.

❝“Of all of the fresh and unfrozen water on this planet, about 99 per cent is groundwater.”…❞

❝Although the volume is immense, Jasechko said only a small, finite fraction of the resource is being replenished.

The study showed that six per cent of water in the uppermost portion of the Earth’s landmass is renewable within a human lifetime or 50 years.❞

❝The research comes as the global demand for water grows, particularly with climate change.

❝Jasechko said it provides important information for water managers and policy developers, as well as scientists, to manage groundwater resources in a more sustainable way…❞

❝Groundwater is an important resource, with about two billion people worldwide relying on it for drinking water. About 40 per cent of irrigation used for food production uses groundwater, said Jasechko.

❝It also supplies water and nutrients sustaining aquatic ecosystems in lakes and rivers.❞

Important point to make. As technology empowers water decisions ranging from re-ruse, recycling, desalination – there shouldn’t be any reason to short the husbanding of available groundwater. The expense of doing so – even as the economics of scale add to the ease of alternative means of providing water – still makes sensible use reasonable.

Pic of the day


Click to enlargeMario Anzuoni/Reuters

❝Two big-name musical acts urged audience members at this year’s Latin Grammys to vote against “racist” politicians, in an apparent shot across the bow at Donald Trump and other presidential candidates who have made disparaging remarks about Hispanic immigrants.

❝The band Los Tigres del Norte finished a performance during the awards show, which aired Thursday night, by displaying a banner with the words, “Latinos unidos, no voten por los racistas,” which translates to “Latinos united, don’t vote for racists.”❞

This rings true and loud in the community we call home – which is over 50% Hispanic. A significant portion are owner-builders because we come from the building trades. We all know the cultural barriers faced by the Hispanic community. I have friends who will never forget high school days when they were suspended for speaking Spanish in school.

Life in a banana republic-state

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“When an Albuquerque couple caught a man burglarizing their garage, they asked him to stop.

“When that didn’t work, they pulled out a rifle and a handgun, and held him at gunpoint until police officers arrived…”

“Upon arrival, I observed an older male … pointing some type of rifle at a male suspect on his knees,” an officer wrote in a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

“Lujan, while being handcuffed, told police that he had recently been released from the county jail. Jail and court records show he got out Wednesday after posting bail in a July drug case.”

“Homeowner George Kennedy, 70, told officers that he was in his garage when he noticed a man loading items into a sport utility vehicle nearby. Kennedy saw that some of the items the man was loading – including a generator and a cooler – were his…

“He went over to the man, later identified as Lujan, and asked him to stop, but Lujan continued loading the items, according to the complaint. Kennedy went inside and got his wife, Rebecca Kennedy, 66, and they armed themselves.

“They held Lujan until officers arrived…”

“When police searched Lujan, they found keys belonging to Rebecca Kennedy in his pocket. Police also discovered that the SUV Lujan was loading the stolen items into was stolen…”

“Lujan was arrested, charged with residential burglary and booked back into jail.”

BUT – this is New Mexico. Even a former governor admitted life here is more like living in the 3rd World than a modern nation. We have a judicial system that is a perfect example of that. There are no standards. Care and concern for ordinary citizens does not exist.

Lujan was taken back to jail. Remember he just violated his bail from a drug case. No worry. Going before a judge on the burglary charges, he was released on his own recognizance. No need for bail, then, you see.

Back on the streets.

Tracing the activity of a cancer-fighting component in tomatoes

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❝Years of research in University of Illinois scientist John Erdman’s laboratory have demonstrated that lycopene, the bioactive red pigment found in tomatoes, reduces growth of prostate tumors in a variety of animal models. Until now, though, he did not have a way to trace lycopene’s metabolism in the human body.

❝”Our team has learned to grow tomato plants in suspension culture that produce lycopene molecules with a heavier molecular weight. With this tool, we can trace lycopene’s absorption, biodistribution, and metabolism in the body of healthy adults. In the future, we will be able to conduct such studies in men who have prostate cancer and gain important information about this plant component’s anti-cancer activity,” said John W. Erdman Jr., a U of I emeritus professor of nutrition…❞

❝In this first study, the team followed lycopene activity in the blood of eight persons by feeding them lycopene labeled with the non-radioactive carbon-13. The researchers then drew blood hourly for 10 hours after dosing and followed with additional blood draws 1, 3, and 28 days later…❞

❝”The results provide novel information about absorption efficiency and how quickly lycopene is lost from the body. We determined its half-life in the body and now understand that the structural changes occur after the lycopene is absorbed,” Erdman explained.

❝”Most tomato lycopene that we eat exists as the all-trans isomer, a rigid and straight form, but in the bodies of regular tomato consumers, most lycopene exists as cis isomers, which tend to be bent and flexible. Because cis-lycopene is the form most often found in the body, some investigators think it may be the form responsible for disease risk reduction,” Nancy Engelmann Moran explained.

❝”We wanted to understand why there is more cis-lycopene in the body, and by mathematically modeling our patients’ blood carbon-13 lycopene concentration data, we found that it is likely due to a conversion of all-trans to cis lycopene, which occurs soon after we absorb lycopene from our food,” she added…❞

❝The plant biofactories that produce the heavier, traceable lycopene are now being used to produce heavier versions of other bioactive food components…Right now, though, the Illinois-Ohio State team is excited about the new information the lycopene study has yielded. “In the future, these new techniques could help us to better understand how lycopene reduces prostate cancer risk and severity. We will be able to develop evidence-based dietary recommendations for prostate cancer prevention,” Erdman said.❞

Once again, I offer special thanks to the Italian half of my family for continuing the Mediterranean diet they grew up with – after they came to these shores. Passing it along to my mother, to my generation, born here.