Screenshot of the Erdas Imagine interface: on the left is a false color image showing water bodies (blue/dark) and healthy vegetation as red. On the right is a processed image for daily ET, where pixels with higher ET having a lighter color, for example the water bodies and the irrigated fields.

A view from Space: using satellites to manage water

by Mcebisi Mkhwanazi For decades, satellite imagery has been used for environmental monitoring, with water management being one of the areas of application. For example, many are familiar with the Landsat images showing Lake Chad in Africa shrinking over the years. Now satellites are used for more than just providing visual images. This paper discusses…

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Micro-grids: a simple solution to power cuts

by Vivek Bhandari Power cuts are rare occurrences in some parts of the world and they are a daily occurrence in others. Throughout the world, people would like to avoid these power cuts and have reliable, secure and clean electricity. Micro-grids¹ are emerging as a simple and flexible technology that will help to improve power…

Leaves come in many shapes and sizes, but all follow a similar set of rules. Credit: wikicommons

Seeing a forest for its leaves

by Laura Williams. Walk through a forest and what do you see? Through leaf litter and mud, greens and grays, and noisy birds, a forest might seem a confusing, if beautiful, mess. Forests are complex systems, made up of hundreds and thousands of bits – of trees, leaves, birds, insects and more of different shapes…

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Why desalination might change the way we think about water

by Ronan Killian McGovern. Seawater desalination – the filtering of water from the sea – is one of the world’s rapidly growing supplies of freshwater, with world production growing at over 10% per annum in the last decade, as shown in the figure inset. Historically, desalination developed as a means of providing freshwater in arid…