Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

What is at the bottom of Lake Geneva?

Every year, some 50 tonnes of plastic ends up in Lake Geneva, claims a study commissioned by the Association for the Safeguarding of Lake Geneva (Association pour la suvegarde du Léman, ASL). The samples taken from various depths have shown that a significant portion of that waste is collected in the sediment at the bottom of the lake.

More than half of the plastic waste found in the lake was derived from motorized traffic and the wear of tyres. That fine dust is washed into the lake by groundwater and small streams. The second largest source is packaging thrown away by careless people. The annual quantity is estimated at 10 tonnes.

The study commissioned by ASL has also found plastic waste from building sites, clothing, cosmetics and paint. The French-Swiss association created to protect Lake Geneva has stressed that fish and birds could perish if they swallow the plastic particles.

Lake Geneva is the second largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, with 60% of the lake in Switzerland and 40% in France Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: SWI

One-sixth of all marine life could perish by the end of the century due to climate change

Warming may reduce marine life by 17 percent. The world’s oceans could lose one-sixth of their fish and other marine life by the end of the century if climate change continues at the present rate – claim marine biologists.

Polluted waters may burst out in poisonous flames

An unexpected problem associated with the pollution of lakes came into focus last January, when a highly polluted lake in India caught fire because of the massive quantities of waste in it – and according to locals, it was not first time, either.

Chinese artist exhibits provocative piece consisting of bottled groundwater

The severe pollution of waters is an increasingly alarming problem, with many places around the world having no access to clean drinking water, which may have tragic consequences. In 2018, the Chinese artist Brother Nut put on a special exhibition to bring attention to the damage caused by water pollution.

More and more dead zones in the world’s oceans

There are areas in the oceans that have no oxygen and are completely unsuitable for the formation and the sustaining of any kind of life – they are the so-called dead zones. A new study has shown that their number is much greater than previously thought.

The flooding Danube builds trash island

The flooding Danube has built a conspicuous island of waste in Romania, near the county town of Galati. The video produced by the local radio station shows clearly that much of the deposit consists not of natural materials but human waste, particularly plastic.

If there is no blue, there is no green, either – that’s why we must protect the oceans

What effect does the astonishingly high rate of pollution of the ocean have on the chemical balance of Earth? What happens if the chemical composition of the oceans and seas changes as a result of global warming? What can we do to stop poisoning the circulatory system of our planet?

Plastic waste in the sea traps birds

At least 8 million tonnes of plastic is released into our planet’s natural waters each year, and the plastic accumulating in the seas and oceans represent a terrible danger to birdlife – warns a May announcement from the UN Environment Programme.

Two tonnes less waste in the Aegean Sea

Greek and Dutch divers have removed two tonnes of discarded fishing nets from the bottom of the sea in northern Greece, where they were endangering wildlife including rare, endangered species of Mediterranean sea-horses.

The world’s largest rivers contaminated with antibiotics

From the Thames to the Tigris, hundreds of rivers have dangerously high levels of antibiotics, says a new international study that is the most comprehensive to date. This is particularly dangerous because the process favours the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Microplastic waste transport pathogens between continents?

Researchers at the University of Stirling in Scotland published a very surprising discovery in early 2019. Their study shows that in addition to polluting ecosystems, the microplastics in the oceans carry an additional risk: pathogens such as the bacterium responsible for cholera can stick to them.