cities
Berlin is Threatened From Below by its Rising Water Table

While the American West stumbles forward into an already dangerous drought—and it's barely even summer—Berliners are simply not using enough water. This means that the city's water table is now on the rise, and it's beginning to threaten the city's buildings from below. Read More >>

space
Astronauts Can Power Their Bodies and Their Spacecrafts With Pee

Astronauts have been able to drink their own (treated and filtered) urine for years, but thanks to a new technique, scientists have managed to squeeze one more benefit out of an inevitable byproduct. Now, astronauts can use their urine to keep both their bodies and their spaceships running smooth. Read More >>

science
Scientists Make Bricks With Sludge Filtered From Arsenic-Laced Water

Arsenic-contaminated water is a massive problem in the developing world. But, even when you filter it out, the toxic sludge that the process produces often gets dumped right back into the water supply. It's tough to dream up a use for arsenic soup, but one research team finally has: They're making bricks out of it. Read More >>

design
Is This Weird Little Blob the Future of Bottled Water?

We get it. Our love of drinking water from disposable plastic bottles is a problem, enough of a problem that San Francisco actually wants to ban them. But then what will we drink water out of? Ooho, which is a biodegradable membrane made of brown algae, is an interesting idea. Read More >>

appliances
A Pleated Filter Eliminates the Slow Drip of Purified Water

Camelbak has made a name for itself in the realms of hydration, at least when it comes to outdoor activities. But now the company has set its sights on your kitchen—and market-leader Brita—with its new Relay pitcher that uses an exposed dual-pleated filter that lets water flow 10x faster than what we're all probably used to. Read More >>

science
Scientists Hacked a Blu-ray Player to Test for Salmonella

As much of the world migrates its movie needs from optical discs to hard drives, a team of chemists from Spain found a new use for a regular old Blu-ray player. They turned it into a cheap but functional medical device that could help out in developing countries. Read More >>

science
Watch Bacteria Instantly Turn Water Into Ice

How does it work? It's the same principle behind how snow forms in the atmosphere (and in artificial snow machines, too—we'll get to that later). An ice crystal needs to form around a nucleus, which can be a bit of dust, soot, pollen, or, as we've seen, bacteria. Pure water doesn't have to crystallise into ice until it's as cold as -48 C below zero. In the demo here, the water has been supercooled to about -29 C, but it only freezes over after the P. syringae is added. Read More >>

apps
Help Get Clean Water to Kids in Need, Just by Ignoring Your Damn Phone

There are a lot of pointless apps out there that make it hard to put our smartphones down. That's what makes Unicef's new project for World Water Month doubly brilliant—it raises funds to provide clean drinking water to those who need it most, by encouraging smartphone users to take a break from the touchscreen. Read More >>

science
Can You Actually Drink Too Much Water?

We've all heard horror stories of water intoxication, where it's claimed people drink too much water and, ultimately, die. But is it really true? Read More >>

environment
Locals Suggest £90k Anti-Flood Sausage Won't Work

This enormous thing has become known as the Chertsey Sausage, the media-friendly name for a temporary flood barrier the army and Environment Agency have stuck alongside roads in Surrey. Some like it, some try to climb it, some think it's a waste of time. Read More >>

science
All of the Water on Earth Comes From Space

If there's one thing that makes our home planet special—other than the presence of you and me—it's water. This is The Blue Marble after all. But for something that's so characteristically Earth-y, its origins are positively extra-terrestrial. Read More >>

science
The Best Science Visualisations of the Year

From microscopic coral to massive planets, the natural world is full of beauty on a scale that can only be seen with the aid of a microscope or a telescope. The winners of the 11th annual International Science and Engineering Visualisation Challenge have been announced—sponsored by the journal Science and the U.S. National Science Foundation—letting us zoom in to microscopic scales and zoom out onto planetary scales. Read More >>

science
Scientist Discovers How to Clean Up Poison Water With Whisky Leftovers

Alcohol may not solve all our problems, but it can solve at least one: A researcher in Scotland has found a way to purify arsenic tainted water with the barley husks leftover from making whiskey. Read More >>

power
Hoover Dam is a Super-Gadget That Keeps the Lights in Vegas Burning

Perhaps one of the ironies of CES, hosted here in Las Vegas, is that the largest and perhaps most spectacular gadget we could all be covering is nearly 80 years old, weighs 6.6 million tonnes, and supplies most of the electricity fuelling the devices on display at the trade show. Read More >>

space
ISS Astronauts Are Testing Water That Acts Like Fire

Here's how it works. When you compress a sample of water to 217 times its ambient atmospheric pressure and heat it to 703.4 degrees Fahrenheit, it goes supercritical and transforms into a liquid gas plasma. In this state, any organic material that comes in contact with the water rapidly oxidises—essentially, burning without the flames. Read More >>

watch this
This is What Happens When Boiling Water Meets Freezing Air

It is -41C outside. You fire-up the kettle to make a cup of warming tea when you spot your kid's not-used-since-summer water gun abandoned in the corner. There's only one thing for it isn't there? Read More >>

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