Geology for Global Development

Guest Blogs

Heather Britton: India’s Energy-Climate Dilemma

Heather Britton is one of our new writers, today reporting on a summary of this paper by Andrew J Apostoli and William A Gough, covering the difficulties of pursuing reduced greenhouse gas emissions whilst fuelling one of the largest populations on the planet – India. The actions of this country are contributing to the eventual achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13 – Affordable and Clean Energy, and Climate Action respectively.

India makes up 18% of the world’s population (1.2 billion people) with this value predicted to rise to 1.5 billion by 2030. Like many countries in the Global South, India is currently reliant upon fossil fuels to meet its energy demands, but it lacks the natural resources to provide energy for its people in this way – already 80% of its oil is imported, and this is likely to increase in the coming years. On top of this, India’s current energy production is falling short of their present requirements, with only 44% of households having access to electricity and 600,000 villages yet to be connected to the national electricity network.

You could be forgiven for thinking, therefore, that reducing carbon emissions would not be a priority, with the more pressing issue of making sure all Indians have access to energy taking precedence. This, however, is far from the reality, and although per-capita emissions are predicted to increase significantly as a result of the demands of a growing population, India’s renewable energy sector is ranked fifth in the world (Figure 1), and plans are in place to ensure that this sector’s growth does not stop here.

Figure 1: Global renewable energy investments. Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment, 2016

Although a factor in this statistic is the huge (and expanding) population of the country, it seems that India truly are passionate about pursuing a sustainable future. A survey recently revealed that many Indian citizens were happy to pay a carbon tax due to their awareness of the environment and the problems it is currently facing. To some, the environmental conscience of the country is seen as exacerbating India’s energy problem – if India can’t generate enough energy to ensure that all of its people have access to a sizeable and dependable energy source, why restrict the use of some of the most reliable methods of energy generation on the planet? – Others however have seen it as an admirable step in pursuit of sustainable development.

India has adopted ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through climate change policies and financial incentives to promote the development of new renewable energy initiatives, but it is currently unclear whether this will be enough for India to overcome its present day energy difficulties and meet the environmental promises that they have made both to their public and the global community (e.g. pledging to reduce emissions by 20-25% by 2020, although this is not legally binding).

Figure 2: Smog in New Delhi, India. Source: Prakhar Misra (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)

The landscape and climate of India are well suited to many forms of renewable energy generation, making these options financially viable. It is clear that if India is to achieve its goal of supplying affordable energy to allow economic growth in an environmentally-conscious manner, renewable energy must be heavily invested in, enabling technological developments to be made in this industry.

The Indian government has produced a number of funding initiatives to encourage such investment: for example the ‘National Action Plan on Climate Change’ (NAPCC) was formed ‘to make India a prosperous and efficient economy that is self-sustaining for both present and future generations while confronting climate change’ (Apostoli and Gough, 2016). Its aims include reducing poverty, reducing the anthropogenic effects of climate change and developing technologies at a fast pace to ensure the regulation and mitigation of greenhouse gases.

Other funding initiatives include the coal tax, which has risen form 50 rupees per tonne of coal in 2010 to 400 rupees per tonne in 2016, the money from which is used to finance the national clean environment fund. Up to 2015 this fund had developed 46 clean energy initiatives, and has allowed further projects to take off since. In addition, tax-free bonds were offered from 2015-2016 for the financing of renewable energy initiatives, valued at around $800 million.

India therefore has succeeded in creating motivation for the development of renewable energy and has a plethora of methods of renewable energy generation available – the details for some of which I have outlined below:

Hydropower: With altitudes ranging from the highs of the Himalayas to lows of the Ganges delta, India’s landscape is perfectly suited to both large and small scale hydropower plants. As of 2013 17%  of the total electricity generated in India was from hydropower stations, second only to coal, demonstrating the potential for the development of this field in the future.

Solar: Sitting between the tropic of cancer and the equator, India is ideally situated for the generation of energy through the use of solar cells. Solar energy has the potential to surpass India’s annual energy consumption and allow it to become a global leader in solar energy, although the initial costs of the solar cells required is considerable. With schemes such as the ‘National Solar Mission’, aiming to have 22 GW of solar capacity by 2022, the solar sector in India is expected to expand rapidly.

Wind: There is huge potential for the wind industry. Wind generation is not only the largest growing renewable energy sector in India, but is also experiencing a recent rise in social acceptability, leading to the prediction that in 2020 wind energy will save 48 million tonnes of CO2.

Biomass: This is an incredibly important energy source for India, as 70% of the country’s population rely on it for energy. Currently, however, biomass is being used inefficiently, exposing children and women to high levels of indoor pollution. Policies have been developed to encourage more efficient and cleaner utilisation of this abundant fuel, but there is still a long way to go in improving the use of biomass.

Figure 3: Landscape of the Indian Himalaya, well suited to many methods of renewable energy generation. Source: Yuval Sadeh (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)

The progress in the renewable energy industry sounds promising, but as ever problems are arising. Last year the Indian state Tamil Nadu generated more energy using solar cells than it required – but this energy could not be passed on to other states as the grid was not sophisticated enough to  connect this excess of renewable energy to neighbouring states. It is clear that developing methods of renewable energy generation is of great importance, but without careful planning much of the future renewable energy generated may go to waste.

In conclusion, sustainable development is of pressing concern to India, a country which houses a significant proportion of the world’s poor. There is currently heavy demand for fossil fuels, as the country undergoes unprecedented economic growth, rapid population increase and industrialisation. This places pressure not only on the national grid, but on unsustainable resources which will be exhausted under current consumption rates.

In response to these challenges India has invested heavily in the deployment of renewable energy strategies. With a combination of financial incentives, taxes and subsidies, India has caused a surge in renewable energy schemes, working to exploit the country’s landscape. Although it is still in the early stages of development, India’s dedication towards renewable energy will result in greater energy security for the world’s second largest population, providing them with the independence to facilitate economic growth whilst reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. There is certainly more work to be done, but the impetus that India has demonstrated in finding solutions to their energy crisis will hopefully result in a happy ending for this sustainable development story.

Read more: Andrew J Apostoli and William A Gough, (2016) India’s Energy-Climate Dilemma: The Pursuit for Renewable Energy Guided by Existing Climate Change Policies, Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change, 7:362.

**This article expresses the personal opinions of the author (Heather Britton). These opinions may not reflect an official policy position of Geology for Global Development. **

Introducing Our New Authors (3) – Jesse Zondervan

We’ve been introducing you to a couple of new faces on the GfGD blog, bringing fresh ideas and perspectives on topics relating to geoscience and sustainable development. We’re delighted to have their input, and look forward to their posts. Today we interview Jesse Zondervan.

I’m Jesse Zondervan, a PhD student at Plymouth freshly arrived from Imperial College in London and I hope to use the science communication experience I have to contribute to GfGDs exciting vision.

What is your academic background?

I have just started a new PhD project at Plymouth University and graduated from Imperial College in London.

I’m looking at Quaternary river system development in the High Atlas of Morocco together with my supervisors in Plymouth with support from Ibn Zohr University (Agadir, Morocco).

I got inspired to do this project through the work I did for my MSci research project. Here I worked towards understanding how rivers erode and shape the landscape, which we surprisingly can’t model very accurately yet. Since what goes on at the surface of our planet is largely dictated by forces directly or indirectly connected to rivers, it is important that we can understand fluvial processes quantitatively.

Connecting my research to development, I will mention that I recently went to Morocco to see the river systems I will be working on. I couldn’t help but notice how people interact with geological hazards in some of the poorest areas in Morocco. I am sure that I will see more as I do field work in Morocco over the next three years.

What experiences do you have of science communication and why do you think it is important?

My first contact with science communication was before I started my degree. In fact it’s the reason why I chose to do geology, so I’m aware of the impact science communication can make on young student’s career choices.

Over the years of my degree in London and Australia I maintained an interest in communicating science myself. I worked with a science marketing team and joined the editorial board of a science communication blog aggregator, ScienceSeeker. I’ve also got a video on YouTube and I’ve been working on a podcast for a while.

I believe science communication is important for two main reasons: inspire and direct people in their research careers & help academics maintain a fresh perspective on the research they do by communicating in a non-academic way (as I reflected on in my post Why communicating science is beneficial to everyone’s mental health).

How did you come across GfGD and why do you want to engage in our work?

Through my local university GfGD group I heard about Geology for Global Development. I did not get involved in their activities during my undergraduate, but as I started to think about my career after graduating, I became more interested in their work.

Over the years studying in London and Australia I accumulated quite a few friends who are involved in UN work or international development in general. Inspired by my friends, I started looking towards GfGD to guide me in making an impact while using my expertise and research work.

In 2015, the UN Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development tracks merged to form the 2030 Agenda launched in New York. I believe the UN 2030 agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals present a change in the way policy recognizes the importance of working towards a sustainable future to achieve development goals, for all countries including the first world.

The new UN agenda creates an exciting new time in which geoscientists may be encouraged to work towards international development goals and receive more publicity and funding for research that contributes to understanding the way to sustainable development.

GfGD is one of the main pioneers in research on the intersection between geoscience and international development and promoting this new theme to the geoscience community.

The shifting of policy in development together with GfGD’s vision mean GfGD is well positioned to direct future research, which is what excites me about GfGD.

What themes and topics are you interested in and may be likely to write about in the future?

Since I do research in surface processes and tectonics, I am most easily interested by Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and hydrogeology (groundwater) topics.

I would like to learn more about the institutions which are involved in geoscience for international development. I will be collecting regular round-ups of blogging and news items about geology for global development topics.

As I’ve got an interest in making videos and podcasts, I would also love to work towards producing these for GfGD. If you have experience with this and would like to get involved contact me!

Plans for the future?

I would like to see how I can direct my research towards sustainable development relevance or to contribute to future research projects. I could see myself working for a Geological Survey (e.g., BGS) or as an academic affiliate to institutes like the Sustainable Earth Institute at Plymouth or the Earth Institute in New York.

I look forward to getting more involved in GfGD. Thank you for following our blog and I hope to bring you more content soon!

Jesse Zondervan can be contacted via Twitter: @JesseZondervan or email: jesse.zondervan[at]plymouth.ac.uk

**This article expresses the personal opinions of the author. These opinions may not reflect an official policy position of Geology for Global Development. **

Wearing the Earth Down: The Environmental Cost of Fashion

Public Domain (https://pixabay.com/en/color-textile-fabric-tissue-2532495/)

Eloise Hunt is an Earth science student at Imperial College London, and coordinator of the GfGD University group there. Today we publish her first guest article for the GfGD blog, exploring the environmental cost of fashion.

When we think of pollution, we imagine raw sewage pumped into rivers, open-cast mines or oil spills. We don’t often think of our inconspicuous white shirt or new jeans.  But, the overall impact that the fashion industry has on our planet is shocking.  The production of clothing has been estimated to account for 10% of total carbon impact. The fashion industry has been argued to be “one of the greatest polluters in the world, second only to oil“, although there is a lack of data to verify this.

Following London Fashion Week 2017, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the environmental impacts of the fashion industry. Whilst geoscience may not seem to link to fashion, once you look closer at the production and environmental costs of textiles, you can see they are coupled with situations where geoscientists may be involved. Geoscience alone cannot improve the world.  But, through collaborations between geoscientists, engineers and policy makers, real changes can take place.

The lack of sustainability in fashion can be blamed on four major factors.  Firstly, there is enormous energy consumption associated with clothing.  Production is concentrated in countries such as Bangladesh and China. Factories are powered by coal before garments are shipped to the rest of the world.  It is difficult to find reliable data on how much fuel is used to transport clothes.  Yet, we do know that in the US only 2% of clothing is domestically produced and globally 90% of fabrics are transported by cargo ship  (read more).  One of these ships can produce as much atmospheric pollution as 50 million cars in just one year.

Another major factor is cheap synthetic fibres increasingly replacing natural cotton or wool. Polyester and nylon are both synthetic, non-biodegradable, energy intensive and made from petrochemicals.  Polyester is rapidly increasing in value and is now in over half of all clothing. Nylon is absorbent and breathable making it a popular choice for sportswear manufacturers.  But, nylon production forms nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Viscose is another synthetic fibre which is derived from wood pulp; the material’s popularity in fashion has caused deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia.  These countries are home to rainforests, often described as the ‘lungs of the earth’, acting as our most effective carbon sink and oxygen source.

Even stepping away from synthetics, cotton is hardly innocent.  It is incredibly water intensive accounting for 2.6% of global water use. It takes 2,700 litres of water to produce the average cotton t-shirt. Furthermore, 99.3% of cotton growth uses fertilisers, which can cause runoff and eutrophication of waterways.  Uzbekistan, the 6th largest producer of cotton in the world, is an important example of ‘cotton catastrophe’.  In the 1950s, two rivers were diverted from the Aral Sea as a source of irrigation for cotton production.  As the sea dried up, it also became over-salinated and laden with fertiliser and pesticides as a result of agricultural runoff. Contaminated dust from the desiccated lake-bed saturated the air, creating a public health crisis with some studies linking this to abnormally high cancer rates. Groundwater up to 150 m deep has been polluted with pesticides and regional climate has become more extreme with colder winters and hotter summers.  Currently, water levels in the Aral are less than 10% of what they were 50 years ago (Fig. 1). Whilst this is a dramatic example of cotton farming, environmental problems have  occurred in other locations.

 

A comparison of the Aral Sea in 1989 (left) and 2014 (right). Credit: NASA. Collage by Producercunningham. PUBLIC DOMAIN

The final environmental issue with fashion is responsible consumption and production (SDG 11).  Water problems in cotton producing areas cannot be fixed without consumers being held responsible for ecological impacts in the producing areas.  Globally, 44% of water used for cotton growth and processing goes towards exports.  High demand produces 150 billion items of clothing annually, which equates to 20 new items per person every year. Then, on average, each garment is worn only 7 times before being dumped in landfill.  In the UK alone, £30 billion worth of clothing is buried unused in our closets.

Figure 2- Expanding childrens trousers to minimise clothes waste (Credit: Petit Pli website http://petitpli.com)

Faced with issues of energy consumption, the rise of synthetics, water consumption and fast fashion, it’s easy to feel powerless but with increased scrutiny come sustainable solutions. The UK James Dyson Award was recently bestowed upon the student inventor of Petit Pli, innovative children’s clothing with pleats which allows it to grow with children from four months to three years old (Fig. 2).  This could help tackle clothes waste and is a small yet significant thread of hope.  On an individual level, when you need new clothes opting for Fair Trade or organic fabrics is a simple way to minimise pesticide pollution and, in the case of cotton, reduce water consumption. Or, better yet choose second hand, vintage or upcycled items to prevent processing of more virgin fibres.

Fashion is not yet sustainable. We as consumers hold enormous power to persuade brands to make products that are clean, of high-quality and worth wearing.  People need to be taking fashion more seriously, not less.

**This article expresses the personal opinions of the author. These may not reflect official policy positions of Geology for Global Development. **

Guest Blog: Geoscience’s Role In Addressing Fluorosis In Tanzania

Megan Jamer is a geoscientist from Canada, and an avid cyclist and explorer. Megan is currently travelling around East Africa on bicycle, taking in some remarkable sites and observing first hand the relationship between geoscience and sustainable development. Megan has previously written about agroforestry, landslides, and disaster risk reduction in Rwanda. Her travels have since taken her to Tanzania, and her most recent blog explores geoscience and fluorosis…

It’s hard to ignore Janet’s ‘roasted teeth’, caused by too much fluoride. She’s from Arusha in the north but has moved to central Tanzania, saving for college by managing a small guesthouse. Fluorosis develops gradually, irreversibly damaging teeth and in extreme cases, bones. It’s also a source of stigma and embarrassment, especially when moving to a part of the country where residents have healthy teeth. When Janet offers a smile, it’s restrained.

Groundwater is essential to Tanzania’s—and Sub-Saharan Africa’s—resilience to climate change and waterborne diseases, especially for residents of rural and arid areas. Many Tanzanians already use groundwater for the majority of their daily needs, but fluoride is a major problem. By 2010 estimates, up to ten million Tanzanians were drinking water with unsafe levels of fluoride. It’s a problem that also affects new groundwater drilling programs.

Jerry cans are filled from holes dug into an empty riverbed during the dry season. Compared to these surface water sources, groundwater is more reliable and less polluted by bacteria. Photo author’s own.)

A previous article here on the GfGD blog discussed fluoride in Ethiopia and how to remove it from the water through defluoridation. These technologies are essential, but Principal Hydrogeochemist Pauline Smedley at the British Geological Survey cautions that ‘defluoridation should really be considered a last resort’.

Smedley is emphasizing the preventative work that reduces fluoride’s negative effects, work that geoscientists play an important part in. Defluoridation programs can be better-directed and safer water targeted through understanding fluoride’s distribution. This blog outlines what’s been done to that effect in Tanzania, and the work remaining.

The Risk of Fluoride

In 2008 Tanzania’s national fluoride guideline was lowered from 8 mg/L (ppm) to 4 mg/L, but remains far higher than the WHO (World Health Organization) recommended 1.5 mg/L. Drinking water in excess of the WHO guideline over a long period of time puts individuals, especially children, at risk of developing dental fluorosis. The balance between fluorosis and water scarcity has compelled the Tanzanian government to set its guidelines as it has.

High-fluoride regions in Tanzania have some of the lowest levels of ‘improved’ (safe, year-round, within a kilometer) water access in the country. These regions are generally arid, and their groundwater resources aren’t leveraged as much as they could be. The aquifers are complex, and fluoride adds further risk to drilling programs. A well is abandoned if it exceeds the national guideline.

A bridge crosses an empty riverbed in central Tanzania. Photo author’s own.

The challenge and opportunity is that within areas known to have high fluoride, there can also be safe groundwater, as its concentrations can vary significantly even within small areas. If an area is excluded from groundwater development for fear of fluoride, that decision needs to be warranted. Water security is at stake.

Investigating Distribution

In 2002, Smedley and colleagues at the BGS began to investigate fluoride distribution in central Tanzania. Micas, apatite and fluorite seemed to be the primary mineral sources of fluoride in the water. Basement granite containing these minerals is a common rock type on Tanzania’s central plateau, and where fractured it is a significant groundwater target.

Several questions demanded further attention. The relationship between fluoride concentrations and faults was unclear, and faults are a common target for higher flow rates. Significantly, deeper groundwater is generally expected to have more fluoride than shallow or surface water, but within the study area most types of water sources contained high levels—earth dams, rivers, and dug wells included. This did not bode well for predicting distribution based on depth. Because of shifts in the UK’s foreign aid policies, the BGS didn’t investigate further. Instead, more recent understanding of central Tanzania’s fluoride distribution comes from JICA, the Japan International Cooperation Agency. They’ve undertaken to map fluoride as a risk-reduction measure for their continued groundwater development in several regions.

In 2013 JICA reported their key findings, including that ‘there isn’t a difference in fluoride concentration according to geology’, at least not locally. They suggest that fracturing connects the aquifers of different rock types so much so that lithology is insufficient for predictions on a local scale. Even if rock types were reliable enough, the lithology indicated on base maps may not end up being representative of what’s drilled into for a deep (80 meters or more) well.

JICA proposes that topography might play a significant role in fluoride distribution, for its influence on the time groundwater resides in the host rock. In local and regional topographic lows, groundwater may have more time to develop high fluoride concentrations from evaporation and prolonged interactions between water and rock.

Acting On Distribution Studies

Understanding these controls is important, but doesn’t give enough resolution to help choose drilling locations. To address this, an important part of JICA’s strategy is having an accurate database of fluoride measurements, with corresponding information on depth, water source type and the concentrations of other elements affecting water quality. The database is used to make groundwater-prospecting maps that show how faults and existing well performance are spatially related to fluoride concentrations, measured or expected. One of these maps is shown below, guiding drilling decisions in Singida Region, central Tanzania.

Groundwater prospecting map with fluoride risk areas for JICA’s operations in Singida Region, central Tanzania. From a 2013 JICA report (click on image to open the report).

North of the central plateau, near to Tanzania’s border with Kenya, fluorosis is also a significant problem. This region lies along an arm of the East African Rift Valley, an active continental rift. The granites common to the central plateau give way to the North’s volcanic successions, intrusions and ashes rich in fluorine-bearing minerals. Groundwater in contact with these rock types can acquire very high fluoride concentrations. Other water sources become enriched in fluoride through input from geothermal fluids, or proximity to alkaline (soda) lakes.

A probability map of Africa showing the likelihood of excessive fluoride in groundwater. In blue are the areas affected by the East African Rift Valley. Tanzania is outlined in purple. Source: Click on image to show the 2004 report that this is adapted from.

In spite of these varied fluoride sources, safe groundwater also exists in northern Tanzania and throughout the rift valley. Recently a team of researchers prospected for a safer aquifer, employing studies of lithology, the type of water coming from springs and groundwater, aquifer flow patterns, fault and fracture networks and the potential for an aquifer to flow, as interpreted from geophysical surveys.

This prospecting led to the drilling of a groundwater well to serve a community with poor water security. The well exceeded the WHO guideline for fluoride but was within the national guideline and compared to other sources in the area, was a safer water point.  Learning from these results is one of the goals of FLOWERED, a research consortium focused on defluoridation in the context of climate change, working in different locations throughout the East African Rift Valley.

The FLOWERED consortium recently held their first international field trip and workshop in northern Tanzania. Photo taken from their website.

FLOWERED aims to better understand fluoride’s distribution while also implementing defluoridation technologies. This type of coordination is important, because focusing solely on defluoridation limits its effectiveness.

The Limits of Defluoridation

Tanzania currently focuses on bone char defluoridation: animal bones are fired in a kiln and ground to a powder, their calcium absorbing fluoride from water. There are bone char units installed throughout the country, customized to the needs of schools, households and communities.

An effective defluoridation program plans for the population, expected water use, cost, and availability of materials. The programs require caretakers within the community and regular testing to ensure that the process is still removing enough fluoride. With the bone char method, the amount of materials required depends on fluoride concentrations, which can change over time. These are significant obstacles, and currently defluoridation efforts fall far short of what is needed for Tanzanians.

A proactive defluoridation strategy identifies where the problematic groundwater areas are, and why. This is an essential link between distribution and mitigation. ‘Understanding distribution better plays a key role in identifying priority areas for mitigation,’ says Smedley.

In some areas, safe water is simply unavailable and defluoridation is the only option. However, other areas could be prioritized for safe-water prospecting, if they are identified by distribution studies and monitoring to be at risk for extremely high fluoride concentrations, similar to the process followed by the researchers in northern Tanzania.

Any alternative water sources found reduce the burden on defluoridation programs. Even an aquifer with relatively lower fluoride concentrations is beneficial; the lesser the concentrations, the fewer materials needed to make the water safe.

Communication is Key

In Tanzania water resources are managed by a wide range of stakeholders, including community members, government officials, the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) sector, donors and NGOs. Communication among these groups is key to addressing fluoride and other water-quality issues effectively.

Existing knowledge needs to be shared among these groups. On this front there are several resources for those with computer and Internet access, including the Africa Groundwater Atlas and these water quality factsheets for Tanzania and other countries. Tanzania’s Water Point Mapping initiative has resulted in a searchable map that can be explored here, and efforts to make a National Fluoride Database are ongoing.

Rural communities have a different reality, with neither electricity nor literacy available to all residents. Here, in-person education becomes essential, as there is a lack of awareness about fluoride and fluorosis that persists today. Fluorosis isn’t life threatening, unlike diarrhoea and other water-borne illnesses, so a community with limited resources may choose to focus on more pressing water-quality issues. Nonetheless, residents need to be equipped with information to make informed decisions.

A public water point in central Tanzania. What might the community know about its quality? Photo author’s own.

Communication between different groups is also essential for gathering new data through research. Ongoing projects seem to be recognizing this need for collaboration. In addition to FLOWERED’s multi-faceted approach, JICA’s operations identify fluoride distribution is a key problem to continue studying, and recommend that defluoridation programs only be pursued where alternative safe water isn’t available.

Water sources acquire dangerously high fluoride concentrations because of a particular set of environmental conditions, but fluorosis is an interdisciplinary issue at the intersection of science, public health, culture and water planning. For geoscientists working on this issue, active collaboration with other groups is essential to addressing fluorosis while also improving groundwater access for communities.

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Geoscience students out there: What do you learn about the connection between fluoride and geoscience in university? 

In researching this topic I spoke with WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) professionals, whose work in the East African Rift Valley includes water quality issues. If there are WASH professionals reading this: What geoscience information do you need to do your job well? How might geoscientists and the WASH sector better collaborate on new research?