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We Have Seen The Future Of Water, And It Is Cape Town

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Cape Town is parched. Severe drought and high water use have collided in South Africa’s second largest city, and unless the drought breaks, residents may run out of water in the next few months when there simply isn’t enough water left to supply the drinking water taps.

In response to this looming “Day Zero” ― currently projected in May ― city managers have imposed new and unprecedented restrictions, including limiting residential water use to 50 liters (around 13 gallons) per person per day. They released plans to open 200 community water points to provide emergency water in the event of a shutoff – for four million people. As the crisis worsens, water scarcity will sharpen South Africa’s economic inequalities, inflaming tensions between wealthier and disadvantaged communities.

Cape Town is not alone. Water crises are getting worse all over the world. The past few years have seen more and more extreme droughts and floods around the globe. California just endured the worst five-year drought on record, followed by the wettest year on record. São Paulo, Brazil, recently suffered a severe drought that drastically cut water supplies to its 12 million inhabitants – a drought that also ended in heavy rainfall, which caused extreme flooding. Houston was devastated in 2017 by Hurricane Harvey, the most extreme precipitation event to hit any major city in the United States.

Severe droughts and floods. Water rationing. Economic and political disruption. Urban taps running dry. Is this the future of water?

Any city, in building a water system, tries to prepare for extreme weather, including floods and droughts. It also considers estimates of future population growth, projections of water use and a host of other factors. Cape Town’s water system is a relatively sophisticated one, with six major storage reservoirs, pipelines, water treatment plants and an extensive distribution network. Its water managers, and South Africa’s overall water expertise, are among the best in the world.

The problem is that the traditional approach for building and managing water systems rests on two key assumptions. The first is that there is always more supply to be found, somewhere, to satisfy growing populations and growing water demand. The second is that the climate isn’t changing.

Neither of these assumptions is true any longer.

Many regions of the world, as in Cape Town, have reached “peak water” limits and find their traditional sources tapped out. Many rivers are dammed and diverted to the point that they no longer reach the sea. Groundwater is over pumped at rates faster than nature can replenish. And massive long-distance transfers of water from other watersheds are increasingly controversial because of high costs, environmental damages and political disagreements.

On top of this, the climate is no longer stable. It is changing because of human activities, and among the expected and observed impacts are changes to the frequency and intensity of extreme events, with impacts on both water supplies and demands.

There is evidence that the current drought in Cape Town shows the influence of climate change. Temperatures in the region have been rising in parallel with global temperatures, leading to higher evaporative losses from Cape Town’s reservoirs and soils. A new analysis of rainfall data in the Western Cape by Piotr Wolski, a researcher with the University of Cape Town’s Climate System Analysis Group concluded that the current drought is extremely severe. Historical records indicate that the region is experiencing long-term reductions in regional rainfall, suggesting climate change is already altering South Africa’s rainfall patterns. Such changes have been observed in other parts of the world as well.

The crisis in Cape Town has already taught us several crucial lessons. The first is that the impacts of water crises are not evenly distributed; they fall most heavily on poorer communities. Cape Town’s current restriction of 50 liters per person per day is the bare minimum safe requirement for drinking, cooking, washing and sanitation. Yet South Africa’s Western Cape features wealthy neighborhoods dotted with swimming pools and ornate gardens, and an agricultural sector that consumes a large fraction of the region’s water. When the taps are cut off, the disparities in water use ― and the ability of the wealthier communities to find and pay for alternative water sources, such as private wells and water deliveries ― will become glaringly apparent. Even now, richer homeowners, anticipating further restrictions, are filling poolsdrilling wells and buying and building private tanks to store large volumes of water.

Another solution being pursued by the South African government is the construction of costly desalination plants. In a region where no new traditional water supplies are available, the dream of desalinating unlimited quantities of seawater is appealing. But the inevitable higher costs for water will raise the same issues of inequity, and other countries like Australia have built desalination plants during severe droughts only to mothball them when the rains returned.

South Africa has wrestled with inequitable access to water for many years. It pioneered a policy of providing a minimum amount of water to all residents for free. But as the Cape Town crisis worsens, new fault lines will open between the water haves and have-nots. How the city handles it will be instructive for the rest of the world, as we all approach our own Day Zero.

Mubashir Khatri Success life. Making people successful in a changing world. Ranks feed

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Tech

Intel’s 8th-generation chips are almost here

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On the 5th of October, Intel will officially launch its 8th-generation processors into retail and OEM. These desktop chips offer more cores than Intel’s 7th-gen processors did, at a slightly higher power cost and with a small price increase.

Since rival chip-makerAMD brought out its own new Ryzen processors earlier this year that offered more cores at a lower cost, and superior performance over Intel’s 7th-generation processors in certain circumstances, this is a welcome move for Intel fans who’d been hoping Intel would respond in kind.

The additional cores of these new processors offer improved performance in intensive parallel workloads, as well as improved gaming performance when compared directly to the previous generation’s processors. They’re also more overclockable than Intel’s previous-gen CPUs were. Intel says they will offer “up to 40%” of a performance improvement over previous-gen chips.

According to Engadget, Intel calls its top-end 8th-gen processor, the i7-8700k, its “best gaming desktop processor ever”. It’s a six-core, 12-thread, 3.7GHz monster that Intel says boosts some games’ frame rates by “up to 25%” over the i7-7700k, and does 4K video editing “up to 32% faster”.

Other improvements include faster video streaming and recording, tweaks to multitasking, smoother streaming of cutting-edge 4K/10-bit/HDR Ultra HD video, a Turbo Boost speed of 4.7GHz and the ability to push that even further without requiring liquid cooling.

Of course, Intel’s complete line-up includes Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 chips that occupy a wide range of price points, TDPs, and Smart Cache levels. Here’s a quick look at them from Intel’s official product brief:

Something to keep in mind is that these new processors will not run on Intel’s 200-series chipset – upgrading will require the acquisition of a new motherboard featuring the Intel’s new 300-series chipset. So while these processors feature the same pin configuration as their 7th-gen counterparts and thus feature same physical socket, they are incompatible with those older boards. Intel has no plans to issue a firmware patch to change this at a later date, either.

What’s more, the new chipset isn’t dramatically different, either, only sporting things like “improved power delivery for 6-core chips and better support for DDR4-2666 memory”, according to Engadget.

As with every new generation of PC tech, if you upgraded recently, these new products won’t hold much appeal. If, however, you or your business are running older hardware, like 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-gen processors, these new shiny chips should offer a stunning leap forward in performance and value.

Just don’t forget to grab new motherboards with them, and some DDR4 RAM if you’ve not upgraded beyond 4th-gen.

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Business

Intel’s 8th-gen Core processors won’t be revolutionary

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It’s clearer than ever that the days of tick-tock Intel chip upgrades (new process one generation, new architecture the next) are long gone. Intel has revealed that its 8th-generation Core processors, due in the second half of 2017 will once again be built on a 14-nanometer process — yes, for the fourth time in a row. The company is shy on what these new chips will entail, but it’s claiming that it’ll manage another 15 percent performance improvement (in SysMark tests, anyway) like it did with the 7th-generation Core designs you see now.

AnandTech notes that the upcoming refresh might focus more on the low-voltage U- and Y-series chips you see in very thin and light laptops, just as you saw with the initial 7th-gen processors late last year. That has yet to be confirmed, however.

One thing’s for sure: when Intel’s long-delayed 10nm processors finally do arrive, you won’t see a wholesale switch to the new technology. Intel says that future process uses will be “fluid” depending on the segment they’re targeting, and that data centers will get first crack at these upgrades. Don’t be surprised if the Xeon line gets first dibs on 10nm, then, or if only some mainstream chips make the leap at first.

The decision might be necessary given the challenges of shrinking large CPUs down to a 10nm process, but it’s likely to leave Intel feeling nervous. After all, mobile giants like Qualcomm are releasing 10nm processors this year. While mobile tablets probably won’t outperform most laptops any time soon, this could narrow the gap enough that you might be tempted to skip buying a conventional Intel-based PC in the right circumstances.

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Business

How To Make A Successful Application For Your Loan Against Property?

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Loan against property

Loan against property is one of the popular ways to meet your financial requirements without selling your piece of land or jewelry when in dire needs. Under LAP (Loan Against Property) you offer your property in the form of a house or plot as a collateral that makes it a secured loan.

Today, there are leading private finance companies and banks who offer LAP at attractive interest rates, low processing fee, and flexible repayment options. For instance, there is HDFC housing finance, India bulls, L & T finance, etc. who are pioneering in the sector. But before you send an application to get a loan there are few things you need to know. So, let’s understand these things and make your LAP application a successful one:

Property Value & Age

The maximum loan amount you get qualified for depends on the property value and its age that you would be offering as a collateral. For instance, if your property is in metropolitan and has been recently developed you’ll get more money compared to suburban areas and one in old building construction. The market value of the property plays a major role in deciding your loan eligibility.

Credit Score

Whether you want a secured or unsecured loan, your credit score will always be reviewed well to adjudge a loan amount. If your score is above average you’re chances of getting Loan against property (LAP) is higher as well as you can negotiate the interest rates. While a bad score can affect your loan amount as well as hamper interest rates. To minimize the risks you can clear all your existing debts, build a good score and approach the bank or finance company for the loan. You can improve your credit profile by getting a co-applicant as well provided their score is better than yours. It may increase the odds of your loan approval.

Loan Repayment Capacity

Naturally, when the lenders are giving you a loan they would like to know your repaying capacity. Your number of dependents and prior financial commitments also come into the picture. They need to assure that you can comfortably pay the loan EMIs and on time.

They will check if you run a business or earn a fixed monthly salary. If its business how old and established the business is? How long have you been working? When was the last time you changed jobs? They will mull over questions to find if you’re able to repay the loan without problems. So, if you start a new business or joint a job recently, your credit profile looks risky for them.

Ownership of the Property

Having the full ownership of the property improves your chances of loan approvals easily and without hitches. Partial ownership has a chance of raising dispute between the applicants. They might not come to a consensus on a particular point and it may create a doubt in the minds of lenders.

Loan Tenure

If you have applied for Loan against property, your tenure would be an important thing to consider. Because longer the tenure higher would be the interest rate you are going to pay. Shorter the tenure more will be your monthly installment to clear off the debts. So, lender will consider your repaying capacity else you may have to shell out more from your pockets.

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