A new software tool that can be used by incident commanders, water utility managers, and others to protect community drinking water sources from contamination during emergencies is now available in all 50 states. Preliminary versions of the tool, called ICWater, have already been used by water utilities and State HAZMAT (hazardous materials) response teams in Oregon and Washington, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Now, the tool is available for use by every state in the Nation, according to its developer, Douglas Ryan, a scientist at the USDA Forest Service's PNW Research Station. Recognizing the need for a readily available, single source of information, Ryan led an interagency effort to develop ICWater (pronounced "icy water"), a tool designed to help incident commanders protect drinking water in an emergency. He serves as the effort's overall task manager and is based at the PNW Research Station's Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Olympia, Wash.
In the United States, hundreds of thousands of bodies of surface water--like lakes, rivers, and reservoirs--help supply the American public with its drinking water. If a chemical, radioactive or biological contaminant were accidentally or intentionally introduced into a drinking water source, knowing what threat it posed to the public would be essential for incident commanders who direct first responders to mount an effective emergency response.
"Incident commanders need timely and accurate information to guide their decisions on deploying first responders to best protect the public," said Douglas Ryan, manager of the Pacific Northwest Research Station's Aquatic and Land Interactions Program. "This information often can be drawn from sources that already exist, but they are scattered and usually not quickly available to on-the-scene commanders in emergencies."
ICWater is a computer–based tool that integrates multiple information sources and data for incident commanders at the scene of a surface water contamination. With this information, it quickly produces maps, tables, and charts that tell incident commanders if drinking water intakes are in the contaminant's path, and when and in what concentration the contaminant will reach the intakes. Developing ICWater drew upon the extensive expertise of the USDA Forest Service in water research as well as data sources from several other agencies.
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy