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Thames Water ordered to fix leaks before pumping millions of liters from rivers | Water



The Environmental Protection Agency has told Thames Water that it needs to do more to fix the 630 million liters of water it leaks a day before it starts taking water from the River Thames or Wales to deal with the drought.

The company has published its ideas to tackle the drought caused by the climate crisis in London and the South East, which include withdrawing millions of liters per day from the Thames and replacing it with treated wastewater, and 155 million liters per day from Wales.

But in an analysis of the company’s draft water plans for 2024, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thames Water should rethink and justify its decisions.

The agency is ordering the water supplier to do more to fix the leaks. “Thames Water passes more water than any other company. The company has struggled to maintain the planned level of leakage, especially over the past year, ”the report says. “Given the magnitude of the leakage problems Thames Water is facing, we expect the company to invest in new research and development to determine how it can substantially reduce leakage by 2050, rather than 50%.”

The EPA says that the safety of the water supply to the South East and London will be at risk if the company does not fix leaks and reduce consumer demand for water. It says the cheapest options offered by Thames may not provide the long-term benefits needed.

Thames water draft water management plan until 2024 describes a series of projects aimed at finding new water resources for London and the South East in the coming years when drought becomes a regular occurrence. Consultations on the document ended this week.

The company is promoting a “water recycling” project as the cheapest and fastest solution, which involves taking 75 million liters of water per day from the River Thames in Teddington, west London, and replacing it with treated wastewater from a nearby wastewater treatment plant in Mogden.

Environmental issues include rising water temperatures and changes in the salinity of the river, which will affect fish and biodiversity. The EPA says it has reservations based on the environmental impact and long-term viability of the proposal. “Given that direct abstraction of the Teddington River is not yet feasible or environmentally acceptable, the company must ensure that alternatives are developed. Thames Water must ensure that any options chosen will be sustainable, reliable and will not have adverse environmental impacts.

He also has serious reservations about Thames Water’s other plan to deal with future droughts in the southeast by drawing 155 million liters of water a day from Wales via the River Severn. “The Environmental Protection Agency is not convinced this is a viable solution,” the report says. “We have a number of concerns about its sustainability, especially in a changing climate.” It says the Severn reached very low levels last summer and the water Thames Water needs may be needed by other providers for their own drought tolerance.

In a scathing accusation against a water company of failing to keep a £250 million desalination plant in east London running properly, the Environmental Protection Agency accuses Thames Water of mishandling the asset.

“A number of other water utilities are planning to use desalinated water for water supply in the future. Thames Water already has this capability, but the company has mismanaged the asset and this vital resource has been out of service for many years… The company must either commit to improving the asset to make it reliable for regular operation, or decide to decommission operation and select a new option,” it says.

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“The company cannot continue to mishandle this asset when it provides critical drought resilience for London.”

The agency also says Thames Water needs to do more work to assess the impact of plans to build a huge new reservoir in rural Oxfordshire, southwest of Abingdon.

It states that Thames Water is facing some of the biggest challenges any company in England faces. “It requires some difficult decisions. We acknowledge that alternative schemes will cost more, but the company needs to consider whether the short-term costs are outweighed by the better long-term benefits,” the report says.

Thames Water reported that the South East of England was one of the driest regions, with London receiving less rain than Rome, Istanbul and even Sydney.

The company said: “Our draft plan highlights the significant future shortage of water resources in our supply area and the actions we plan to take to maintain a balance between water supply and demand. It outlines how we are going to deal with leaks, account for every drop, and invest in new water infrastructure. We must make bold decisions and act now so that we have the water we need for future generations.”

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British scientists have found one of the largest black holes ever discovered



British astronomers have discovered one of the largest black holes ever discovered.

A team led by Durham University used gravitational lensing to find a supermassive black hole.

Gravitational lensing occurs when a celestial object has such a massive gravitational pull that it bends time and space around it, bending light from a more distant object and magnifying it.

They also used supercomputer simulations on the DiRAC integrated supercomputer facility, which allowed the researchers to study how light is bent by a black hole inside a galaxy hundreds of millions of light-years away.


Artist’s impression of a black hole, where the black hole’s strong gravitational field distorts the space around it. This distorts the background light images almost directly behind it into sharp, circular rings. This gravitational “lensing” effect offers an observational method to infer the presence of black holes and measure their mass based on how large the deflection of light is. The Hubble Space Telescope is targeting distant galaxies whose light travels very close to the centers of intermediate foreground galaxies, which are expected to host supermassive black holes a billion times the mass of the Sun. (ESA/Hubble, Digitized Sky Survey, Nick Reisinger (, N. Bartmann)

A university release says the group has simulated light traveling through the universe hundreds of thousands of times, with each simulation involving a black hole of a different mass that changes the light’s path to Earth.

By including a supermassive black hole in one of their simulations, they found that the path traveled by light from the galaxy to Earth matches what is seen in real images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

They discovered a supermassive black hole in the foreground galaxy, an object with a mass more than 30 billion times that of the Sun.


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An astronaut aboard the Atlantis spacecraft took this image from the Hubble Space Telescope on May 19, 2009. (NASA)

Durham University said it was the first black hole discovered using gravitational lensing. Durham University astronomer Professor Alastair Edge first noticed the giant arc of the gravitational lens while looking through images of the galaxy in 2004.

“Most of the largest black holes we know of are in an active state, when matter pulled close to the black hole heats up and releases energy in the form of light, X-rays and other radiation,” says lead author Dr. This is stated in a statement by James Nightingale.

Massive galaxy cluster RX J2129 is captured in this observation by the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.  Due to gravitational lensing, this observation contains three different images of the same supernova galaxy, which you can see here in more detail.  Gravitational lensing occurs when a massive celestial body causes enough space-time curvature to bend the path of light passing by or through it, almost like an enormous lens.  Gravitational lensing can cause background objects to appear strangely distorted, as seen in the concentric arcs of light in the upper right corner of this image.

Massive galaxy cluster RX J2129 is captured in this observation by the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. Due to gravitational lensing, this observation contains three different images of the same supernova galaxy, which you can see here in more detail. Gravitational lensing occurs when a massive celestial body causes enough space-time curvature to bend the path of light passing by or through it, almost like an enormous lens. Gravitational lensing can cause background objects to appear strangely distorted, as seen in the concentric arcs of light in the upper right corner of this image. (ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, P Kelly)

“However, gravitational lensing makes it possible to study inactive black holes, which is currently not possible in distant galaxies. This approach could allow us to detect many more black holes outside of our local universe and show how these exotic objects have evolved in cosmic time.” — said the professor of the physics department.


The results were published in a study also involving the Max Planck Institute in Germany, in a journal. Royal Astronomical Society Monthly Notices.

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US can meet climate targets by 2030, but much remains to be done



CLIMATE WIRE | A couple of new laws, combined with new climate regulations, give the United States a shot at meeting its 2030 emissions targets under the Paris Climate Agreement. But before 2030, a lot could go wrong.

These are the conclusions Thursday report The Rhodium Group, which is exploring America’s path to achieving its goal under the Paris Agreement.

The report says the United States is in a significantly better position to pursue its climate ambitions following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year and a bipartisan infrastructure deal in 2021. .

To achieve the goal, new pollution standards must be adopted, most of which have not been finalized by the Biden administration. Resolving transmission fights and bottlenecks can derail clean energy projects. Supply chain restrictions could drive up the price of renewables, electric vehicles and technology needed for green factories, slowing down their rollout. And the victory of a candidate in the 2024 presidential race who does not consider climate a priority could lead to the fact that the implementation of new climate incentives in the country will stall.

“It’s not as easy as passing a bill by Congress at the moment,” said Ben King, an analyst at Rhodium who helped write the report. “This is work that is being done through the federal government, with a lot of rulemaking across multiple agencies. This is work that is being done in a wide variety of states that are pursuing aggressive climate protection policies.”

The long to-do list is responsible for the wide range of rhodium emissions.

In a climate-best-case scenario, U.S. emissions will be 51% lower than 2005 levels by the end of the decade. This would satisfy the 50-52% reduction in emissions stipulated by the Paris Agreement. However, achieving this goal will require the effective implementation of new laws, a set of rules designed to limit pollution from cars, power plants and factories, and reduce clean energy costs.

However, emissions cuts could fall as little as 32 percent if implementation of the legislation fails and new pollution rules are crushed in court or left on agency drawing boards. In this case, low fossil fuel prices will also increase energy consumption and emissions.

A number of federal regulations will be particularly important in determining whether the United States is meeting its climate goals, King said. New EPA regulations on everything from mercury and greenhouse gas emissions from power plants to vehicle emission standards and methane limits for the oil and gas industry could cut greenhouse gas levels by 6 percent, rhodium has found.

The Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure agreement provide economic incentives to green the economy, but there are no requirements under these laws that companies must comply with. That’s why the new federal pollution standards are so important, King said.

“Ambitious federal action in these areas is a prerequisite for achieving the Paris climate goal,” he said. “A lot of things can go wrong that could keep us at the bottom of that range. But a lot can go wrong.”

Reprinted from News from Europe and Europe with permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2023. E&E News provides important news for energy and environmental professionals.

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A Mississippi tornado scoured the ground so hard it left a scar visible from space



These days we are used to seeing very high resolution satellite imagery showing the horrific effects of extreme weather. Below I give a particularly impressive example: the before and after images of the devastation caused by the tornado are one of at least 20 during an outbreak in the south that devastated Rolling Fork, Mississippi on March 24, 2023.

But what struck me even more was the wider perspective in the image above, released by NASA. Instead of a relatively close view of homes and businesses torn to shreds, the Landsat 9 image shows a scar carved into the landscape by one of the March 24 tornadoes. The tornado trail seen in the image is just over eight miles long.

Here’s an even wider view showing the entire 29-mile tornado track:

A wider view of the area around Winona, Mississippi taken on March 24, 2023 by Landsat 9. Almost the entirety of the 29-mile tornado scar is visible as a brownish scar embedded in the landscape. (The box in the upper right corner shows part of the scene visible in the image at the top of the article. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

It first landed in a wooded area near Black Hawk, Mississippi, in the lower left corner of the image. With winds reaching 155 miles per hour, it broke and uprooted trees, overturned vehicles and destroyed homes and other structures. Three people tragically died.

Before and after satellite imagery shows the extent of damage done to homes and businesses by tornadoes that swept through Rolling Fork, Mississippi on March 24, 2023. To: December 27, 2022. After: March 26, 2023. (Source: Maxar Technologies) via twitter)

An even stronger tornado touched down about 70 miles to the southwest. During its almost 60-mile journey lasting over an hour, this twister winds reached at least 170 mph.

The tornado that swept through Rolling Fork left much of the tiny town in ruins, as tragically shown in high-resolution before and after satellite images.

At least 21 in Mississippi and one in Alabama lost their lives as powerful thunderstorms caused a tornado outbreak across a wide swath of the Deep South. In Sharkey County alone in western Mississippi, 13 people out of a total population of 3,700 died during the hurricanes.

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