The Atlantic: How a Feel-Good AI Story Went Wrong in Flint. “More than a thousand days after the water problems in Flint, Michigan, became national news, thousands of homes in the city still have lead pipes, from which the toxic metal can leach into the water supply. To remedy the problem, the lead pipes need to be replaced with safer, copper ones. That sounds straightforward, but it is a challenge to figure out which homes have lead pipes in the first place. The City’s records are incomplete and inaccurate. And digging up all the pipes would be costly and time-consuming. That’s just the kind of problem that automation is supposed to help solve.”
New York Review of Books: ‘Oceania,’ Art of the Islands. “‘Oceania’ is not the historical, ethnographic show that Western museum-goers might expect. At the entrance a shimmering wave of blue material cascades from the ceiling. Titled Kiko Moana, this flowing wave uses ancient techniques of weaving, embroidery, layering, and cutting, but it’s a contemporary work in polyethylene and cotton, created by four Maori women from the Mata Aho Collective in New Zealand who have also compiled an online archive of stories about the supernatural spirits of the waters. Old and new technologies meet.”
EurekAlert: Will there be enough water in the future?. “Water researchers at Aalto University wanted to better communicate research findings to a broader audience. The Water Scarcity Atlas, a web application created by Postdoctoral Researcher Joseph Guillaume and Assistant Professor Matti Kummu, uses interactive global maps to provide an introduction to the problems that arise with limited water – water scarcity – and ways to fight them.”
China Daily: China builds national database for water networks. “Having an ID number is not the exclusive domain of human beings — now it’s also a ‘right’ owned by the waters in China. A national database for water networks containing the physical data of over 3.33 million natural and artificial rivers, lakes, reservoirs and canals has been formally completed.”
Reuters: Google boils down water data for new U.N. environment site. “Vast quantities of raw satellite imagery and data will be distilled into an online platform showing how water ecosystems have changed, and how countries can manage them to prevent further loss, said Google and the United Nations. Focussing initially on fresh water ecosystems such as rivers and forests, Google will produce geospatial maps and data for a publicly available platform to be launched in October in partnership with the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP).”
China .org: Salt lake database created in China. “China has built a database on salt lakes and environmental sciences, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Tuesday. Creation of the database began in 2012. The CAS Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes says the database collects information on the environment, resources exploration,images and multimedia archives of salt lakes across the country.”
Times Herald-Record: State watchdog group expands online water-purity database. “A nonprofit government and environmental watchdog group has improved a searchable database for the public to learn about purity threats to local public tap-water supplies. A year ago, the New York Public Interest Research Group unveiled ‘What’s in my Water?’… which makes most water-supply records searchable by zip code. NYPIRG recently added more information about local contaminants in water supplies, made the site more user-friendly and provided resources about private well water testing.