Water recycling: "Toilet to tap" is future of clean drinking water

As droughts threaten water supplies across the planet, some municipalities aim to utilize an untapped resource: sewage water.

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  • Water recycling, or water reclamation, involves cleaning water with filters and chemicals to make it environmentally safe.
  • In Texas, El Paso's water utility is taking this a step further by building a closed-loop system that will directly convert sewage water into drinkable water.
  • Unsurprisingly, surveys show that most people don't like the idea of drinking recycled water, but public outreach programs seem able to change minds.
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This 'brine electrolyzer' can mine oxygen, hydrogen from water on Mars

Scientists at Washington University are patenting a new electrolyzer designed for frigid Martian water.

  • Mars explorers will need more oxygen and hydrogen than they can carry to the Red Planet.
  • Martian water may be able to provide these elements, but it is extremely salty water.
  • The new method can pull oxygen and hydrogen for breathing and fuel from Martian brine.
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Stanford engineers develop new light and sound tech to finally map the ocean floor

A clever new design introduces a way to image the vast ocean floor.

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  • Neither light- nor sound-based imaging devices can penetrate the deep ocean from above.
  • Stanford scientists have invented a new system that incorporates both light and sound to overcome the challenge of mapping the ocean floor.
  • Deployed from a drone or helicopter, it may finally reveal what lies beneath our planet's seas.
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Water can become two different liquids, prove researchers

Scientists discover that under certain conditions two kinds of water exist.

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  • Water can be in two liquid states under cold temperatures, shows new research.
  • The scientists used x-ray lasers and computer simulations.
  • The discovery has applications across a variety of fields due to water's ubiquity.
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Water may naturally occur as rocky planets form, new study suggests

An ancient Martian meteorite carries with it some compelling implications.

  • The meteorite behind the new research, Black Beauty, is 4.45 billion years old. This means it is from right around the time when Mars formed.
  • It contained intact, ancient water-bearing minerals.
  • The research indicates later asteroid-impact effects that could only have occurred if water was already present.
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