The Geografi Australia project began during Suharto's New Order regime and the Keating era. Working on this project was both challenging and inspirational. The story of the beginnings of the project is called A Day of departures. It is published as part of Seen and unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific, … Continue reading The story behind ‘Geografi Australia’
In 1995 my old company Asian Field Study Centres Pty Ltd, tendered for a contract with the Australia Indonesia Institute to produce a resource about Australia. Effectively a Geography text, it was to have historical references as well, and was to be written in Bahasa Indonesia. The book was attuned to the curriculum for the … Continue reading Geografi Australia
I've recently finished a story, Peter's Reverie. This is a tale I began to write in a state of optimism, though this was quickly dispelled by events, by a rise of new fundamentalisms in the world. Now we have also seen the rise of the Erdogan regime in Turkey. So my optimism for interfaith … Continue reading Peter’s Reverie
Timor L'Este reveals tectonic forces operating between Australia and Asia Beyond borders, is now well advanced in the editorial phase. I've started work on the eBook and as soon as my final text is set I will begin recording stories for the audiobook. Links to draft audio versions of some stories can be found below. … Continue reading More about my book ‘Beyond Borders’
I’ve never reblogged someone’s work before but Associate Professor Susan Petterson raises an important consideration here. We need sound analytical thinking as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, she brings her academic skills into focus here with two important posts that explore what we currently know about fecal transmission via our sewage management system.
Here in Singapore where I am living we drink recycled water.
Water demand in Singapore is currently about 430 million gallons a day (mgd) that is enough to fill 782 Olympic-sized swimming pools, with homes consuming 45% and the non-domestic sector taking up the rest. By 2060, Singapore’s total water demand could almost double, with the non-domestic sector accounting for about 70%. By then, NEWater and desalination will meet up to 85% of Singapore’s future water demand. Singapore Water Story
I don’t think much about the water I drink. It comes both the Kallang and Singapore Rivers flow into the artificial water storage area know as Marina Bay. Water from here along with new supplies from Malaysia is what we drink.
Here in Singapore the drinking water quality seems fine although I long for the days when I lived in Lithgow and the water we used was drawn from a dam on the edge of the Blue Mountains national park. Over the years I’ve become fairly astute about when and when I can drink water in the environment. It helps to have a background in fluvial morphology and geomorphology. When I was working in Ainaro, Timor L’Este in 2017 I had no hesitation in drinking tap water. I knew where the dam was and could follow the pies that served the homestay where I was living. Similarly, I’ve drunk water from various springs in Indonesia though I would never drink tap water there.
Last year an Indonesian friend visited me here in Singapore. He was thirsty and asked for a drink of water. I’ll never forget the shocked expression on his face when I simply filled his glass from the tap in my kitchen.
I place a lot of trust in the quality of the water available here.
There are plans to integrate the system even further. Singapore’s Water Agency explains:
Our holistic approach to water management can be distilled into three key strategies:
- Collect every drop of water
- Reuse water endlessly
- Desalinate seawater
An important question is, can we continue to do this. Stuart Khan presents an important review of what we know of COVID-19 and the options for safe town water.
Susan Petterson’s Blog “OPINION: Faecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2, a snapshot of current data and implications for the water industry” follows
There has been quite some talk about SARS-CoV-2 shedding in faeces and what that might mean for the water industry. As I see it, there are two aspects to this conversation: the first is a concern that sewage may contain infectious SARS-CoV-2 viruses; and the second relates to the more theoretical potential of using SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentration in sewage as a public health surveillance tool.
1. Is sewage contaminated with infectious SARS-CoV-2 viruses?
While COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, the possibility of faecal-oral transmission was raised quite early (Yeo et al. 2020). From the information we have to date, it appears as though many people infected will excrete SARS-CoV-2 RNA in their faeces. A snapshot of reported presence in stool samples includes:
- Six studies reported from China: 9 out of 17 patients were positive (Pan et al. 2020) ; 39 out of 73 patients positive (Xiao et al. 2020)…
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Many have been trying to make sense of the #COVID19 pandemic & its implications. Since I'm not an epidemiologist I can only quote experts. I've put this provisional summary of research findings together in the hope of dispelling conspiracy theories & inspiring others to contribute. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by … Continue reading Coronavirus disease 2019 #COVID-19
Well I've finally assembled all of the stories for my next book of short stories into one document for editing. The selection is divided into Stories Lived that retain elements of memoir and Stories Learned which, although based on real events, are fictional. In Aqua is entirely fictional and based on events beyond the tangible … Continue reading Beyond Borders
Parks, gardens and footpaths in Singapore are usually kept clean, sure there are a few careless people that litter, but the city has a global reputation for being clean and tidy. This also applies to dog owners, so it was with some surprise that I encountered this strange lump on the footpath at Fort Canning. … Continue reading A strange encounter
Being forced to remain at home for long periods through this pandemic is an existential challenge for some, for me it's ushered in a new dawn for my creative writing. There is no longer the excuse or distraction of browsing through Chinatown or Little India. People in my age group have been advised to … Continue reading #COVID19 and writing about Jakarta Dois
Singapore's Sentosa Island, without foreign tourists, was an excellent place to visit and still conform with the social distancing requirements during the COVID19 pandemic. I offer this work as a glimpse of beauty in the hope that viewers might find the images and the music relaxing