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MH370 wreckage to be found in Australia’s search zone

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www.thestar.com

Canberra:  Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday said that the wreckage from missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 will be found in Australia’s search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

Photo Credit- www.fameimages.com
Photo Credit- www.fameimages.com

Bishop said this week’s news of debris washing up on Reunion Island off the east coast of Africa pointed to the wreckage being somewhere within the 120,000 square kilometer search area off the west coast of Australia, Xinhua reported.

“We at least seem to have some evidence that flight MH370 will be found, particularly in the search area that (Australia) has been focusing on,” she said.

Bishop said Australia has an important role in finding the jet, not only to provide closure to the families of those missing, but also to reinstate faith in civil aviation to those who travel frequently.

“We believe it is important for international civil aviation, generally, for us to determine what happened to this flight, as well as provide the opportunity for families of those on-board to have some closure,” she said.

MH370 went missing on March 8 last year with 239 people on-board, most of them Chinese nationals.

Bishop said Australia had pledged another $40 million US to the search, but calculating who was contributing what to the hunt was not the pertinent issue.

“This is one of the great aviation mysteries of our time, and for the purpose of safety, security, faith, and trust in the civil aviation system, we must do what we can to find MH370,” she told.

(IANS)

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Perth Relies on Recycled Water to Cope up with Climate Change in Australia

Perth is a city of two million people, and Clare Lugar from Western Australia's Water Corporation said it has had to get used to climatic changes

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drought, climate change .australia, recycled water
More than 95 percent of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, is officially in drought. Wikimedia Commons

As drought-hit towns across New South Wales and Queensland edge closer to completely running out of water, federal and state governments in Australia are trying to come up with ways to guarantee supplies into the future. But on the other side of the continent, the city of Perth is leagues ahead in its water efficiency following a long-term decline in rainfall. Part of its survival plan relies on recycled water from toilets, a move that many consumers elsewhere still consider to be unpalatable.

Since 2017, residents in the Western Australian city of Perth have been drinking water recycled from sewage. It is filtered using a process called reverse osmosis, which is similar to forcing water through a giant sponge. It is then disinfected with ultra-violet light at a treatment plant, pumped into natural aquifers, and extracted.

Perth is a city of two million people, and Clare Lugar from Western Australia’s Water Corporation said it has had to get used to climatic changes. “We know from the mid-70s onwards Perth’s rainfall has been declining by about 20 percent, and that has had a huge impact on our water sources that are dependent on the climate.”

australia, drought, climate change
FILE – The drought-affected Darling River sits well below its banks at Pooncarie, a town in outback western New South Wales, Australia, April 25, 2019. VOA

Lugar said convincing residents of the benefits of drinking recycled sewage did take time. “So, it is only a small percentage of the water that comes into the plant is actually from our toilets. But getting over that perception, that kind of image you might be drinking the water that you flushing down the toilet – that was probably one of our big challenges initially,” said Lugar.

Two desalination plants supply about half of Perth’s water. Aquifers are also crucial, but recycling produces only two percent of the total. But that figure is soon expected to rise. Ian Wright, an expert in environmental science at Western Sydney University, believes other parts of Australia should embrace recycling.

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“In Sydney that is probably 150 liters per day per person of waste water that is completely wasted, and, yes, we have the availability of desalination on the coast, but Canberra does not have desalination and then the poor drought-stricken towns like Tamworth and Dubbo, and Broken Hill, they could really, really use that now,” he said.

Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent. Water is precious, and, in many places, scarce. More than 95 percent of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, is officially in drought, and the next three months are forecast to be drier than average. (VOA)