Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Aug 19, 2022

Current Affair 1:
MBBR system is the best sewage treatment plant technology: UNEP study


In December last year, the Indian government announced its plans to treat over 95 per cent of Delhi’s wastewater by the end of 2022 - over four times the national average.

To support this initiative, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the first-ever study of its kind to examine how Delhi, India’s largest city, recycles its wastewater and how it can be done more efficiently.

It assessed the various technologies sewage treatment plants use for nutrient recovery and recycling for safe and sustainable re-use of wastewater in Delhi. These include activated sludge process (ASP), extended aeration (EA), moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR), sequential batch reactor (SBR), or fluidized aerobic bed reactor (FAB) processes.

What study found:

The UNEP study found that the MBBR system is the most suited to the situation in Delhi and should, where possible, be employed in new treatment plants.


MBBR is a modern system invented in Norway that uses a combination of biological rather than only chemical or mechanical processes to treat the water and remove pollutants.

Unlike most traditional water wastage treatment systems, MBBR is a highly effective biological water treatment process which is based on a combination of biofilm media and conventional activated sludge processes. This way, water can be treated in both anaerobic and aerobic environments.

MBBR is currently the best water treatment solution for high-strength water systems.  This is mainly because of the biological nitrogen removal (BNR), which uses MBBR systems thus improving waste matter quality and increasing treatment capacity with no extra footprint growth.

The MBBR technology also has enhanced processing stability not to mention high suspended biomass operation. This will help ensure perfection and accuracy of the wastewater treatment process by using the MBBR technology.

Effect of pollution on Delhi:

Some forms of pollution cause an increase in minerals and nutrients in the water, a process known as eutrophication, which leads to increased plant life, including algae, but a decrease in the diversity of fish and bird life.

Raw sewage and food waste are also rich in nutrients, notably reactive nitrogen compounds such as nitrates and ammonium compounds, which are converted into nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Lake Najafgarh in Delhi is one example of a polluted waterway. Since 2011, the lake area has increased by eight per cent due to pollution. It feeds into the Yamuna River, which flows through the city and is one of the main tributaries of the Ganges River.



Current Affair 2:
Protecting Peatlands


While peatlands cover only three per cent of the global land surface, they store nearly 550 billion tonnes of carbon – as much carbon as is contained in all terrestrial biomass and twice as much as in all the world’s forests. By conserving and restoring peatlands globally, we can reduce emissions and revive an essential natural carbon sink.

But the world's peatlands are under increased threat from drainage for agriculture, forestry, resource extraction and infrastructure development.

Urgent action must be taken to keep the carbon locked in peatlands where it is – wet, and in the ground. Drained peatlands must also be rewet to halt the ongoing, significant emissions.

About the Global Peatlands Initiative:

The Global Peatlands Initiative is an effort by leading experts and institutions formed by 13 founding members at the UNFCCC COP in Marrakech, Morocco in 2016 to save peatlands as the world’s largest terrestrial organic carbon stock and to prevent it being emitted into the atmosphere.



Peat is partially decayed plant material that accumulates under water-logged conditions over long time periods. Natural areas covered by peat are called peatlands.

Peat is found around the world – in permafrost regions towards the poles and at high altitudes, in coastal areas, beneath tropical rainforest and in boreal forests.

Peatlands store large amounts of carbon. Although they cover less than three per cent of global land surface, estimates suggest that peatlands contain twice as much as in the world’s forests.

Some more images:

One more thing, if see definition of wetlands under Wetlands Conservation Management Rules 2017: It includes peatlands.

Current Affair 3:
Artemis Program of NASA



The Artemis Program will be completed in different stages that aim to ensure a safe human landing on the Moon:

Artemis I

Artemis I will be the first integrated flight test of an uncrewed Orion spacecraft atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. This stage of the mission will test Orion’s ability to operate beyond low Earth orbit; it will also test deep space navigation and communication systems. SLS will send Orion to a stable orbit beyond the Moon. From that orbit, Orion will return to Earth and demonstrate its ability to reenter and land.

Artemis II

This mission is crewed and tests Orion’s life support systems with four astronauts aboard. Artemis II will demonstrate critical functions including mission planning, system performance, crew interfaces, and navigation and guidance beyond low Earth orbit. After launching, SLS will orbit the Earth twice, firing its engines to build up the speed to push it to the Moon. Artemis II will be a lunar flyby and not yet a touchdown on the lunar surface. The entire mission will last approximately 21 days.

Artemis III

Artemis III is the second crewed mission of the program, and the first to land astronauts on the Moon. The crew will visit the Moon’s south pole to search for water, study its surface, test technologies, and learn to work on a world outside Earth.



Current Affair 4:
Hunger stones are a common hydrological marker

Source Link


Europe is suffering from the worst drought in half a millennium according to the European Commission. Rivers have dried up so much that ‘hunger stones’ have been revealed and have gone viral on social media.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that hunger stones have been revealed. They had appeared four years ago in 2018 as well, when river levels had similarly dropped.

What are hunger stones?

Hunger stones are a type of hydrological landmark relatively common across Central Europe, though you could also think about them as famine memorials.

When water levels would go down severely during a drought, they would expose more and more rocks. When the water level drops below a certain level, crop harvests could collapse, causing widespread hunger. Across the centuries, people carved into these rocks as a warning for future generations — a sort of “if you can read this, you’re screwed”.

Several rocks were carved like this from the 15th century onwards in central Europe, especially on the Elbe River, but also on the Danube, Rhine, and Weser. Most of these rocks (if not all) have become visible in the ongoing drought.

Also see,



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