• Richard

Oxford’s Water Science, Policy and Management 15th


‘Victorian cast iron water main, partially blocked by calcium carbonate deposits

Challenges of how to keep decades old water pipes functioning effectively.


Visiting the Museum to attend Oxford’s Water Science, Policy and Management 15th Anniversary (which reminded me that WEDC’s 50th is coming up fairly soon now).


Also in the Museum was a time line of natural history, including one label that caught my eye: “Dividing up the History of the Earth. The Hadean Eon extended from 4.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. The name comes from hade, the Greek word for hell. During this long period of time, asteroids, meteorites, and comets bombarded the Earth. The comets were the source of the water on our planet.”


To which this ‘water expert’ (sic) thought ‘rubbish, how do we really think that all the water in our oceans wafted in on the back of a couple of comets?’.


Upstairs for the anniversary celebrations and Claudia Sadoff, Director General of IWMI, was giving the guest lecture and, in a fascinating and excellent presentation just happened to show the USGS image of global water volume:



‘The largest sphere represents all of Earth's water. Its diameter is about 860 miles ([1,376km]the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Topeka, Kansas) and has a volume of about 332,500,000 cubic miles (mi3) (1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers (km3)). This sphere includes all of the water in the oceans, ice caps, lakes, rivers, groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant.’ Globe image: https://water.usgs.gov/edu/gallery/global-water-volume.html


So, looking at it like that I began to think that perhaps comets could have deposited that much water if the dust clouds really could coalesce into the earth ….

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