Thursday November 23, 2017

New Research reveals that Water shortage may have led to demise of Maya civilisation

Within a short period of time, Mayan civilisation in Central America went from flourishing to collapsing probably due to water shortage

0
301
1892 photograph of the Castillo at Chichen Itza, by Teoberto Maler. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

London, August 24, 2016: New Research has revealed that the irrigation technology that served the Mayans well during periods of drought may have actually made their society more vulnerable to major catastrophes.

Something really drastic must have happened to the ancient Maya at the end of the Classic Period in the ninth century.

Within a short period of time, this advanced civilisation in Central America went from flourishing to collapsing- the population dwindling rapidly and monumental stone structures were no longer being constructed.

The socio-hydrological model developed by the Gunter Bloschl-led team at Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) tell us that droughts and water issues are one possible explanation for their demise and shows us just how vulnerable an engineered society can be.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

“It’s well-known that the Mayans built water reservoirs in preparation for dry spells,” said Linda Kuil, one of professor Gunter Bloschl’s PhD students of the Vienna Doctoral Programme on Water Resource Systems.

“With our model, we can now analyse the effects of the Mayans’ water engineering on their society. It is also possible to simulate scenarios with and without water reservoirs and compare the consequences of such decisions,” Kuil noted.

The water supply determines how much food is available and, in turn, affects the growth of the population.

As it turns out, water reservoirs can actually provide substantial relief during short periods of drought.

In the simulations without reservoirs, the Mayan population declines after a drought, whereas it continues to grow if reservoirs provide extra water.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

However, the reservoirs may also make the population more vulnerable during the prolonged dry spells.

Maya Civilisation. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Maya Civilisation. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The water management behaviour may remain the same, and the water demand per person does not decrease, but the population continues to grow.

“This may then prove fatal if another drought occurs resulting in a decline in population that is more dramatic than without reservoirs,” the authors noted.

“When it comes to scarce resources, the simplest solutions might turn out to be superficial and not always the best ones,” Kuil added.

The lessons learnt may also help us to draw important conclusions for our own future.

“We need to be careful with our natural resources. If technical measures simply deal with the shortage of resources on a superficial level and we do not adjust our own behaviour, society is left vulnerable,” the authors pointed out. (IANS)

ALSO READ:

Next Story

Hindu American Foundation (HAF) Releases Online Forms for Second Bullying Survey of Hindu American Youth

In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background

0
35
Hindu American Youth
Hindu American Foundation. Facebook
  • The Hindu American Foundation from the US aims to inform the society about Hinduism
  • The Foundation is responsible for various research and reports on Hindus all over the world
  • The website of the foundation has released forms for further survey of bullying of Hindu American Youth

New Delhi, August 18, 2017:  nonprofit organization for Hindu community in America, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) works for the well-being of Hindus and spread the Hindu philosophy.

Earlier this year, the Hindu American Foundation had published a report titled ‘Hindus in South Asia and Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2017’. The report was an extensive research work that enlisted the numerous incidents of Human Rights violations against Hindus in various countries.

Also Read: 2017 Hindu Human Rights Report Released by Hindu American Foundation (HAF): Here is What you Need to Know!

Now the HAF is coming out with its second survey of Hindu American youth being bullied in American schools. To reach out to the masses and get the widest survey outreach, their website has released a form. The responses from these forms will be compiled and reported. The second survey will be published next year.

The deadline for the form is until 1st December 2017. The form can be accessed here.

Last year the foundation came out with its first survey report of Hindu American youth being bullied. The survey was titled ‘Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias against Hindu Students in American Schools’ which had concluded that Hindu American students continue to be bullied and feel socially ostracized for their religious beliefs.”

In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background.

But the report’s objectives were successful. It was a recommended resource at the state as well as federal level.

Bullying is one of the biggest social evils that face our society. With this survey, HAF aims to highlight and combat bullying of the minority on the basis of their religion.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

Next Story

Researchers from Germany give new explanation to the extinction of Neanderthals

A new study by German researchers claim to have figured out why really our ancestors went extinct

0
65
Homo Sapiens
Neanderthal. Wikimedia

August 07, 2012: Early modern humans and Neanderthals shared a similar diet – consisting mainly of mammoth and plants – and also competed for food which led to their downfall, new research has claimed.

“According to our results, Neanderthals and the early modern humans were in direct competition in regard to their diet, as well — and it appears that the Neanderthals drew the short straw in this contest,” said Dorothee Drucker, biogeologist from the University of Tubingen in Germany.

Also Read: Was Human Evolution an Accidental Progression?

The first representatives of Homo sapiens colonized Europe around 43,000 years ago, replacing the Neanderthals there approximately 3,000 years later.

“Many studies examine the question of what led to this displacement — one hypothesis postulates that the diet of the anatomically modern humans was more diverse and flexible and often included fish,” added Herve Bocherens from the University of Tubingen.

Previous research suggested that early modern humans had a more varied diet than the Neanderthals. They fished for their food, did hunting and gathering across the plains.

However, the new study showed that our ancestors rarely ate fish but preferred a diet very similar to that of the Neanderthals.

Importantly, the proportion of plants in the diet of the anatomically modern humans was significantly higher than in Neanderthals – mammoths, on the other hand, appeared to have been one of the primary sources of meat in both species.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

The findings showed that just like the Neanderthals, early modern humans or our ancestors had mainly mammoth and plants on their plates, creating a battle for food that Neanderthals lost, the researchers said.

For the study, appearing in the journal Scientific Reports, the team researched on the dietary habits of early modern man on the basis of the oldest known fossils from the Buran Kaya caves on the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine.

They measured the percentage of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the bones of the early humans and the locally present potential prey animals such as Saiga, horse, and deer.

“The results revealed a very high proportion of the nitrogen isotope 15N in early modern humans, which originate but primarily from the consumption of mammoths,” Bocherens noted. (IANS)

Next Story

The Popular Recycled Wastewater Treatment Plants Get a Go Signal in India

From toilet to tap, the future of drinking water is here. After Singapore and Orange County USA, India to adopt recycled wastewater treatment system

0
57
Waste water treatment
Wastewater Treatment Plant. Pixabay
  • Delhi to get India’s first ever recycle wastewater treatment plant, after it became significantly popular in Singapore and Orange County
  • Sujala Dhara plant set up by Absolute Water, in collaboration with Delhi Jal Board and SANA
  • Non-potable use of the treatable water to be promoted extensively by Delhi Government

New Delhi, August 3, 2017: The capital has been suffering a water crisis for a while now, it was only a while back that a report warned the residents that 70 percent of the water in the capital was polluted and unfit to drink. After the spike in the industrial pollutants in the Yamuna river forced the Delhi Jal Board to take action by cutting 50 percent of water supply from two major water plants in Delhi.

After the reports were verified, it was evident that most of the water that the locals were consuming was diluted wastewater. There have been many short term preventive measures already been taken but in the long run, people are still unwilling to consume the recycled wastewater, even though half of the consumption currently is polluted by industrial and chemical waste.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

The founder of Third World Center for Water Management said in an interview that, in Singapore, over 50 lakh residents have accepted it as a solution. Dependent on Malaysia for up to 50 percent of its water, Singapore decided that it was better to be self-reliant. With this ‘NEWater treatment plants’, it has not only managed that but also become a hub for advanced water research. A similar effort is also being done on an extensive scale in Orange County Water District in the US.

Delhi Jal Board approves a recyclable water treatment plant for potable and non-potable use Click To Tweet

Rahul Jha of Absolute Water, the water wing of Chemical System Technologies says that “Astronauts do it abroad stations”, Absolute Water develops technology which renders wastewater into potable water. In collaboration with Delhi Jal Board and Social Awareness, Newer Alternatives (SANA) they have established a plant called Sujala Dhara, at the Keshopur Sewage Treatment Plant in July 2015. At a cost of Rs 55 lakh, this plant can produce over 4000 liters of clean water every hour. The plant will be monitored by Delhi Jal Board, while agencies like Central Pollution Control Board have already given it a go.

The wastewater purification process not only reduces the waste discharged into the river bodies but also amounts to 15 percent of raw water remaining after purification, which is rich in nutrients like potassium and nitrogen and can be used as a liquid fertilizer. Even though the people are not yet accepting of this method of purification in India, and the practice won’t be as widely popular as it is in Singapore but the recycled water can be used for domestic needs.

Recycled Wastewater
Future Drinking Water

Work is initiated to supply the plant water to Keshopur Bus Depot for washing vehicles. The water will also be provided to the residence of Delhi Jal Board officials who live close to it, and where work on the dual piping system is proposed. So, two completely separate systems will be used to supply potable and recycled water to the users.

Also Read: These 7 Ayurvedic Herbal Water have Healing Powers

While there isn’t much heat on the aggressive consumption of recycled wastewater for drinking, but the Delhi’s Master Plan 2021 is already underway to promote extensive use of treated water for non-potable purposes.

Prepared by Nivedita Motwani. Twitter @Mind_Makeup


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.

Click Here: www.newsgram.com/donate