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We’re all about saving water by using less, but you might also think about saving more. HarvestH2o.com is dedicated to the advancement of sustainable water management practices – including “rainwater harvesting.” Depending on where you live, it might be hard to harvest enough rainwater to truly live “off the grid,” but chances are you can at least save a little on your utility bills.
Water – which covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface – is our planet’s most precious resource. As a result of misusing and polluting our oceans, rivers, lakes and streams, more than a billion people lack access to clean water and the situation is bound to get worse. Unless.
Friday’s Focus: How Would You Like Your Water? Mostly pictures. A few well-chosen words. And the following links to people who’re committed to changing the way we use and abuse h2O.
Greenpeace ‘Water Patrol’ spotlights toxics pollution in Marilao River, originally uploaded by Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
originally uploaded by Diario El TIEMPO
On October 11, Cirque du Soleil founder, Guy Laliberte, returned from a trip to space during which he presided over an earthbound, 14-city media event designed to draw attention to the issue of water conservation. The spectacle featured U2’s Bono, actress Salma Hayek, and former Vice President Al Gore. For details, visit news.yahoo.com.
Researchers in England are designing robots with the ability to detect chemical hazards in water. Equipped with artificial intelligence software, the 20 inch-long robo-fish will travel in schools and communicate with each other via GPS. Sound fishy? Visit fordac.blogspot.com for details.
“No matter where we live, the Great Lakes affect us all. And as species of fish disappear and rates of birth defects and cancer rise, it seems on thing is clear: the Great Lakes are changing and something’s not quite right with the water.”
CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE OR VISIT WATERLIFE.NFB.CA TO SEE A BEAUTIFUL AND MOVING WEBSITE PRESENTATION about the Great Lakes.
How do you design a home that can survive rising sea levels? You build it on a buoyant foundation (e.g., the basement doubles as a life raft). Architects from Dura Vermeer in the Netherlands believe the concept can work for entire blocks of cities. For more information, visit floatinghouses.
SOME FACTS ABOUT BOTTLED WATER:
90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself.
Well over 20 billion single-serving plastic bottles go to the dump per year in America from bottled water (not including soda).
Bottling and shipping water are the least energy efficient methods ever used to supply water.
Although it can be easy and convenient to pick up bottled beverage products, the end cost to the environment is staggering.
Studio Gorm’s Flow and the Kitchen of terrestrial Mechanics is a living kitchen where nature and technology are integrated in a symbiotic relationship. The water from the dish rack drips on the herbs and edible plants, which are grown in the planter boxes places below the rack. The counter top features a built in waste bowl, which can be utilized to dump the scraps while preparing the food. Once the bowl is full, it needs only to be tipped to transfer the waste into the worm bin composter, which lies beneath the counter top. As the waste is lowered into the composter, the worms convert it into nutrient rich fertilizer, which can be put back into the plants.
Flow is a 2008 documentary film directed by Irena Salina. It examines the global water crisis and presents a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply.
originally uploaded by Lara604
New Belgium Brewing Company, an environmentally responsible purveyor of adult beverages, has introduced a new, low-calorie brew called, Skinny Dip. The company (which also produces an amber ale called, Fat Tire) is also “diving head first into water advocacy” because (1) water makes up over 90% of their beer (no fresh water, no great beers) and the west is in middle of a severe water shortage. Skinny dip here for more information.
Namaste: Peligro Films
A decade of drought and rising temperatures have led to unprecedented bushfires, deaths, and property destruction in Australia. But the situation has led to transformational changes in Australian water policy–changes. Among other things, they have:
* Restructured their water rights
* Cut industrial water use by over 30%
* Imposed strict water rationing backed by real penalties
* Invested in infrastructure improvements and expansion, such as desalination
efficient irrigation systems, leak detection and elimination practices
As a result, water use in Sydney today is at the same level as it was in 1974, despite 1.2 million additional residents. And their use is far, far below water use in California. While a few of the measures used are extreme (they were in an extreme situation), many of these techniques are no-brainers and are long overdue for states like California.
Who owns the rainwater that falls on your property? If you live in the American West, the answer is unclear. In many areas, state and local interests have been appropriating water for over 150 years (in Utah, collecting rainwater from the roof is still illegal unless the roof owner also owns water rights on the ground). But now, many states, driven by population growth, drought, or declining groundwater in their aquifers, are actively encouraging people to collect. Two new Colorado laws allow perhaps a quarter-million residents with private wells to begin rainwater harvesting and in Santa Fe, New Mexico, capturing rainwater is mandatory for new dwellings. More information here.
“Water security links together food, energy, climate, economic growth and human security challenges, which the world economy will face over the next two decade. The world is now on the verge of water bankruptcy in many places with no way of paying the debt back.”
For more information about the global water crisis, visit circleofblue.org.
As people across the nation have become more in tune with impending environmental concerns, more are doing their part to lessen their impact. Many have decided to contribute by collecting rain water for everyday watering of plants and gardens around their homes with rain barrels. A rain barrel is a large container placed under a home’s gutter downspout to catch water that would otherwise run into a city’s drainage system or nearby streams. One 55-gallon barrel can fill completely in 10 minutes during a hard rain. One inch of rain on one square foot of rooftop will create 0.60 gallons of water. More information here.