Sheep theft: Drought-affected farmer’s loss of stock, grain, tools

POLICE are calling on the public’s assistance after sheep, tools and a large amount of grain were stolen from a drought-affected farmer in Trundle.
The incident occurred at a property on Yarrabandi Road in Trundle and included the theft of 20 fat lambs.
NSW Police state rural crime co-ordinator Detective Inspector Cameron Whiteside said the theft occurred during the past few weeks.
"The lambs are tagged with ‘K Park’," he said.
Det Insp Whiteside said the theft would have been well planned and would have required a heavy vehicle.
"The theft of this grain would more than likely have required a large truck to transport from the property," he said.
"A quantity of tools were also stolen."
Det Insp has urged any members of the public with information or who may have seen any suspicious vehicles in that area during the past few weeks to contact police.
Call Tullamore Police Station on 6892 5000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Farm ponds good tool to end water scarcity

Water scarcity affects over 40 percent of the world and, with climate change, the situation could worsen.
Its per capita water availability of 600 cubic metres is below the global threshold of 1,000m³ and unpredictable due to climate change and increasing demands at household and farm levels.
Sustainable Development Goal Number Six (SDG 6) is aimed at ensuring that everybody has access to safe and affordable drinking water — an essential commodity for human survival.
Water scarcity affects over 40 percent of the world and, with climate change, the situation could worsen.
Kenya is a water-scarce country.
In 2017, the government, in partnership with development actors and the business community, launched the Kenya Chapter of Billion Dollar Alliance for Water Harvesting, designed to scale up farm pond technology to increase water harvesting in the arid and semi-arid areas.
In the urban areas, rainfall is seen as a curse due to its resultant effects of massive traffic congestion, accidents and flooding.
In these areas rainwater harvesting is a non-priority.
According to the 2009 census, only 0.8 percent of urban residents practise water harvesting, whereas in the rural areas it is seen as a big blessing.
Despite low excavation costs, other expenses for retaining the water and ensuring good quality make the farm pond unavoidable to certain community segments, hence the need for government and NGO intervention in the entire water harvesting chain.

District gets Rs 600 crore to implement water schemes

Nashik: The state government has sanctioned around Rs 600 crore to implement water supply schemes in as many as 574 villages of the district under the National Rural Drinking Water Scheme for 2018-19.
The National Rural Drinking Water Scheme was stayed by the Centre in 2015, instructing the concerned departments to implement the schemes only in villages eligible under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
As a result, the water supply schemes were implemented in a few villages of the district.
Meanwhile, state water supply and sanitation minister Babanrao Lonikar was constantly following up the issue with the Centre for lifting the stay on implementation of the water supply scheme.
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Given the open-defecation free status of the district, maximum number of villages has been included for implementing the National Rural Drinking Water Scheme.
“A total of Rs 603.47 crore has been made available to the district from the state’s water supply and sanitation department,” the official said.
Earlier, 51 water supply schemes were implemented for 102 villages of the district under the chief minister’s Rural Drinking Water Supply Scheme for Rs 44.22 crore.
“Over the past four years the effort has been to complete the incomplete schemes approved under the National Rural Drinking Water Scheme and Bharat Nirman Yojana,” the official said.
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New results-based financing tool targets clean water for schools

OXFORD, United Kingdom — The Rockefeller Foundation and UBS Optimus Foundation are backing a new financing tool to bring clean water to 1.4 million Ugandan school children, saying the model can potentially be replicated across other countries and sectors.
Official development assistance for the issue is now about $8 billion a year.
In this first pilot of the SSN model, the UBS Optimus Foundation will provide a $500,000 loan to Impact Water, a social enterprise, to expand its work installing low-cost UV-based water purification systems in schools across Uganda.
Impact Water will pay back the loan after five years and the rate of interest will go down if certain outcomes are achieved.
“The social business gets financing adequate to what they need and keeps them aligned to their social mission,” Bruysten said.
To support their initiatives, social businesses need continuous funding and I hope the Social Success Note becomes the leading instrument to fulfill this need.” The SSN is one of a string of results-based financing mechanisms that have emerged in recent years, including the development impact bond, a variation of the social impact bond pioneered in the United Kingdom in 2010.
She added that the SSN has a simpler structure than a DIB, to reduce transaction costs and time; and that complex impact metrics are avoided in favor of simple key performance indicators linked to the number of water systems installed.
However, some at the session said using installation-based key performance indicators as the outcome measure would not ensure sustainability in the long run — a problem that has dogged water projects in developing countries in the past.
In response, Bruysten said social businesses focused on the poor still face major challenges in accessing capital and paying interest and returns, meaning such subsidies are still needed.
“While the business model is really a relevant tool, we still think this subsidy … can be instrumental in making these types of social businesses sustainable in the long run,” she said.

Water boil advisory lifted for Snoqualmie Pass area

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. – Tap water is no longer unsafe to drink for those living in the Snoqualmie Pass area. A boil water advisory for the area has been lifted as of February 1 after a system leak likely caused water contamination, according to county officials. Those living in the…

New tool to help reduce water consumption

New tool to help reduce water consumption.
DNV GL and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have launched a new tool to help the textiles industry manage water consumption in a more sustainable manner.
While about 2.5% of the world’s water is freshwater, only 0.5% of that amount is made available to satisfy society’s needs.
Water is also an important resource in manufacturing processes, including in the textiles sector.
Reducing water consumption by establishing sustainable production processes can therefore be an advantage for companies, as well as the communities they operate in.
Self-assessment tool DNV GL and UNIDO have jointly developed a self-assessment tool to assist textile companies in evaluating the water footprint in manufacturing processes.
“The textiles processing industry is heavily dependent on water in virtually all steps of the production process, from desizing to bleaching and dyeing.
It has one of the most extensive water footprints of all sectors,” said Smail Alhilali, Industrial Development Officer and Manager of the Global Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) programme at UNIDO.
Combating water scarcity “DNV GL and UNIDO have a common interest in combating water scarcity and improving industry awareness of water-related risks and opportunities.
This is an area where companies have a significant potential for improvement and we are pleased to use our combined expertise to help industries assess and reduce their water footprint,” said Antonio Astone, Global Sustainability Manager at DNV GL – Business Assurance.

This Solar-Powered Tool Can Create Fresh Water Out of Thin Air

This Solar-Powered Tool Can Create Fresh Water Out of Thin Air.
In the future, every household will be able to produce nearly three liters of water daily from thin air using the solar-powered tool.
The solar-powered tool uses a special material called a metal-organic framework, which was developed in Omar Yaghi’s laboratory at the University of California Berkeley.
The researchers were able to create a solar-powered "sponge-like" device that can pull water from the air, according to a report from Science Magazine.
"This is a major breakthrough in the long-standing challenge of harvesting water from the air at low humidity," Yaghi, one of two senior authors, said.
"There is no other way to do that right now, except by using extra energy.
It was in 2014 that Yaghi crafted a metal-organic framework that binds water vapor, eventually teaming up with MIT’s Evelyn Wang and her team to develop a water-collecting system.
Wang’s team used a kilogram of the dust-sized metal-organic framework crystals in a thin sheet of porous copper metal, which was placed between a solar absorber and a condenser plate, then inside a chamber.
The vapor then condenses as liquid water.
"One vision for the future is to have water off-grid, where you have a device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household," Yaghi added.