Category Archives: Water conservation

“The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis” by Gary Wockner

The following article, “The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis” by Gary Wockner and Youtube video, “WKA Peoples Climate March Video 8 19 14″ was posted to Ecowatch.com on Sept. 15, 2014

We’ve seen near-record wildfires, rain, drought, flooding and snowpack in the last 5 years in the watersheds along the Front Range of Colorado. In the same 12 months that record rain has occurred in one part of the Southwest U.S.’ Colorado River basin, record heat and drought has occurred in another.

Climate change is real, is happening now, and the climate crisis is a water crisis.

WATER CRISIS

On Sept. 20 as a part of the People’s Climate March in New York City, I and other colleagues from the international Waterkeeper Alliance we be holding a teach-in, The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis. We will come from all over the U.S. to tell a story about the link between climate and water, and we will offer our observations and recommendations on the next steps forward.

Here in the Southwest U.S, we must do everything we can to stop from making climate change worse. Unfortunately in Colorado and across the region, our public policies are going the wrong direction—we are drilling, fracking and mining fossil fuels faster than ever before, and we are burning them at record rates. Colorado’s frack-happy politicians and policies only seem to be rivaled by Utah’s deep dive (“carbon bomb”) into oil shale and tar sands mining. We must stop and head the other direction.

We also need to be better prepared to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We will likely see more extreme weather variability, we may see more extreme droughts in the Southwest U.S., and California’s extreme heat and drought going on right now may become a “new normal.”…

Taken from Gary’s post, “Waterkeepers March!” on Ecowatch, Sept. 21, 2014

WATERKEEPERS MARCH

“It was euphoric!

Never in my life have I been in such a mass of humanity as I was today in New York City in the largest climate march in world history. Joining me were 100 members of Waterkeeper Alliance as we marched along with more than 300,000 people through the streets of Manhattan. The march was three times bigger than anyone expected. The day was simply amazing…”

Gary Wockner, PhD, is Waterkeeper for the Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins, Colorado, and directs the Save The Colorado River Campaign. You can reach Gary at Gary@GaryWockner.com.

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Canadians flushing huge energy source down the drain

1-WASTED POTENTIAL The following article, “Wasted Potential – Canadians may be flushing a huge source of energy down the drain” by Lynn Mueller was published in the March/April issue of WaterCanada magazine. DOWN THE DRAINIt has been estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy that Americans flush 350 billion kilowatt-hours of energy into sewers each year. This wasted energy would be enough to supply 30 million homes. In fact, the typical North American pours 75 litres of hot water down the drain every day. WATER EXPENSEFor a regular household, this can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars per year since water heating is the second highest source of energy demand in a home. But unbeknownst to some, it is now possible to capture 95 per cent of this wasted heat and recycle it back into our buildings using sewage heat recovery, which means the heat energy flowing down our drains never has to leave the building. Unlike solar or wind power, this technology doesn’t require a quantum shift in the way we live or the way we think—it can simply be plugged into our existing infrastructure. municipal systemWater enters heat recovery captures the heat in water leaving the building and uses it to reheat our hot-water tanks and the building itself. This technology is not complicated. First, a filter is used to separate out solids which make up about two to three percent of sewage. Then, with the help of a heat exchanger, the heat is transferred into clean water, and this warm, clean water is sent back into the building. At the end of the cycle, the clear sewer water picks up the solids extracted at the start and flushes it back into the municipal sewer system. The following Youtube video, “SHARC Energy Systems Launch Film”, was published on Jun 9, 2014 In the summer, buildings with sewage heat recovery systems can reverse their heat pumps and use the wastewater to reduce a building’s air-conditioning costs. In this scenario, the pumps extract heat from the building and transfer it through the exchanger into the sewer water. The potential reusable heat in wastewater has largely been ignored because sewage has “dirty” and negative associations. But today’s sewage heat recovery systems are hermetically sealed, meaning there is no associated smell. They are also designed to be clog-proof with an automatic back flush to filter sewage simply and effectively. Moreover, a monitoring system will flag any potential problems long before they become an issue. Sewage heat recovery is gaining in popularity with operations underway in Norway, Japan, and China’s Beijing South Railway Station. North American cities are now waking up to the fact that there is a valuable energy resource currently flowing under the city streets. Vancouver, Seattle, and Philadelphia have all started experimenting with sewage heat recovery systems. IWS LOGOIn Vancouver, International Wastewater Systems has already installed sewage heat recovery systems, called SHARCs, into several public and private buildings, including the Gateway Theater in Richmond. The Gateway installation will be the first application in Canada that will use raw wastewater directly from the municipal sewer rather than the wastewater coming out of the building. SEWAGE HEAT DISCOVERY SYSTEMAlthough sewage heat recovery systems are applicable to any building, they work best with residential buildings of greater than 200 units or with institutional buildings like hospitals and prisons that have exceptional hot water usage. The most cost-effective time to introduce a heat recovery system into a building is while doing other energy upgrades or retrofits. SEWAGE HEAT DISCOVERYThe option of using sewage heat recovery on a district-wide scale is also being explored worldwide. District energy systems are large-scale, multi-building heating projects that can supply energy over a large area using either recovered energy from other buildings, industrial sources, waste, or by burning carbon-neutral fuels. Sewage heat recovery could easily plug in to district energy infrastructure. FUEL CELL BEST  While sewage may not be as exciting as fuel cells or tidal energy, the fact that it has a payback period of two to five years makes it perhaps the most cost-effective renewable energy system currently available. Sewage heat recovery systems also work at 500 to 600 per cent efficiency, meaning that for every dollar spent on operational costs, $5 of heat is recovered. Moreover, current systems are demonstrating consistent energy saving performance of 76 per cent.

MUELLER TO CROPLynn Mueller is president of International Wastewater Systems in Vancouver.

Award Winning Film – A Must See! Iceland’s Water “Vatn”

1-ICELAND VATN_WATER

I posted my 437th blog this past Tuesday and thought I’d have a look at our most viewed blogs and re-post some of them again for you from time to time (save you from scrolling though our lengthy archives). I’ve added a photo and a brief bio excerpt of Enrique Pacheco.

What a magnificent, stunning and profound result of E. Pacheco’s approach to viewing water conservationpersonify and give water a voice!!!

Your friends from Rainsoft Ottawa know you will certainly enjoy this unique video presentation!

Photographer and filmmaker Enrique Pacheco‘s most recent short film, “Vatn” (the Icelandic word for water), offers stunning views of Iceland’s oceans, rivers and waterfalls…

Shot and edited over a 6-month period, the film employs an interesting narrative structure that personifies water and makes it the film’s protagonist. “Human beings are the antagonists,” Pacheco said of the film, in an interview published on his Web site.

“We are changing the life cycle of water. This film is for water conservation. Instead of talking about water, I decided to personify water, give it voice, so we can hear it.”

ENRIQUE PACHECOEnrique Pacheco is a professional cinematographer from Spain. He has been working in video production for more than 10 years, but Enrique’s career changed when he moved to Iceland. There he started to specialize on time-lapse and DSLR cameras, exploring the raw landscape of Iceland and shooting some of nature’s most volatile subjects, such as active volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, and the traditional culture of Iceland. Some of his latest short films have been very successful in Vimeo. “Winter in Hell”, “Raw Lightscapes”, “Made on Earth”, “The Maghreb and “Vatn” are all long-term self-productions made with great effort and passion. – See more at: http://www.enriquepacheco.com/about-me#sthash.RqRYUffa.dpuf 

Great tips to save $$$ on water bills

SAVE ON WATER BILLS

Article from digitaltrends.com – CUT DOWN YOUR MONTHLY WATER BILL WITH THESE HANDY TIPS by Emily Schiola — February 1, 2014

SAVE EARTHWhether you are doing it to save the earth or simply to free up more BEER MONEYbeer money each month, there are numerous ways to reduce a water bill. Of course, there are methods we’ve all heard about, such as taking shorter showers, turning off the tap while brushing teeth, and if it’s yellow, let it mellow. These options aren’t as catchy as that last one, but they are easy and they will save you money. There are more methods than these age-old standbys, however. Here’s our list of methods to reduce that pesky water bill.

WATER IN FRIDGE1. Keep bottles of drinking water in the fridge so you don’t have to run the tap to get it cold. Or put it in the freezer and let it melt. Or better yet, use ice. The ice you put in your gin and tonics can also be used to cool water.

2. Likewise, heat up water for washing dishes in theBOIL WATER microwave or on the stove. This can be tricky for a couple reasons. You don’t want to heat it too much or you will burn yourself and sometimes it is hard to know how much water it will take, so it might take some patience.

LEAKY FAUCET3. Fix leaks. This might seem obvious, but sometimes it is hard to tell that a faucet is leaking, especially if it doesn’t make a sound. It is good to replace washers in faucets every few years, especially if you live in an older place.

DISHWASHER4. Use your dishwasher. It takes less water to run a full load — the key here is full — of dishes than it is to hand wash them. You’re welcome, lazy people.

INSULATE PIPES5. Insulate water pipes. Go to a hardware store and get some foam that is already cut in the shape of a pipe. Tape that to the pipes. This will help heat up your water faster, so you won’t lose as much while you’re waiting for it to heat.


MELLOW YELLOW AND BRICK IN TANK6. MacGuyver your toilet to use less water. There are a few ways to do this. You can install a low pressure toilet, similar to those popular in Europe. You can also fill two water bottles with an inch or two of sand or gravel and put them in the tank of the toilet. This will raise the water in the tank and trick it into using less per flush. See, we still are smarter than the machines.


SINK DISPOSER7. Use your disposal sparingly. Yes it is handy not to walk two feet to the trash when rinsing dishes, but disposals use water, so only use it as needed.


COLD WATER WASH8. Wash clothes in cold water. It will get your clothes just as clean as hot water, it will preserve colors better, and it will save water and energy. There are no downsides to this tip. In fact, there are no downsides to conserving water, so just do it.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/reduce-water-bill/

Here are a couple of Youtube videos that apply to saving money on your water bills –   

SUCCESS IN BATTLE WITH NESTLE OVER WATER RIGHTS!

PARLIAMENT

NESTLE RED X“Battle with Nestle over water affects Pontiac” – Published in The LowDown Online, by William Amos and Carissa Wong November 27, 2013

WATER CHART

Everyone needs water. Life exists because of it. In Canada, we expect water to be everywhere, accessible and clean. But the reality is that less than one per cent of the world’s freshwater is readily accessible for direct human use.

ONTARO MAPWe also expect our governments to protect this resource and put a community’s need for drinking water ahead of a corporation’s desire to bottle and sell water for profit. But sometimes, governmental priorities get confused, as they did recently in Ontario.

Every day, Ontario permits Nestle Canada Inc. to take 1.13 million litres of water, which it then bottles and sells, from an aquifer in Wellington County near Guelph. GUELPH AQUIFERLast year, the Ontario government — through the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) — renewed the permit on the condition that Nestle would take less water from the aquifer during serious droughts. But Nestle appealed these mandatory restrictions to the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, which has jurisdiction to determine disputes over groundwater permits. Then the MOE tried to cut a settlement deal with Nestle.

ENVIRO LAW CLINICThe deal would have allowed Nestle to avoid the mandatory drought restrictions. But in February, pro bono lawyers at Ecojustice challenged the deal on behalf of Wellington Water Watchers and Council of Canadians.

We filed a legal submission with the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, arguing that the proposed settlement was bad for the province and deserved closer scrutiny. Last month, the Tribunal agreed with our clients. It concluded that the proposed settlement deal was not in the public interest and was inconsistent with the Ontario Water Resources Act. The Tribunal ordered a full hearing so that the appropriateness of the drought-based restrictions could be thoroughly examined.  But recently, as a result of the Tribunal’s decision to order a hearing, Nestle withdrew its appeal of the mandatory drought restrictions. The deal is dead.

GUELPH GROUNDWATERSo Nestle must comply with the original permit conditions, reducing the amount of groundwater it takes from Wellington County during drought. Because these non-profit community groups took action, Nestle must leave more water for other users (in dry times) and the government must ensure they live up to that promise.       

Federal, provincial and municipal governments are each responsible, to the extent of their jurisdictions, for managing groundwater resources. But that’s not always what happens. Sometimes well-organized, dedicated members of the public must use the legal system to hold government accountable.

GUELPH WATERSHEDOur watersheds are vulnerable when governments roll out the red carpet for private companies who bristle at mandatory restrictions on their water takings.

In this case, the MOE had it right in the first place — drought-based restrictions should be applied to all future water takings for bottle water enterprises. All Ontarians, not just those who drink water from a well, need to be protected against those who would cut deals that limit the government’s ability to safeguard our shared water supplies. The same approach should apply in Quebec.

PONTIACThe example from Wellington County resonates throughout Canada. It hits home to those of us living in the Pontiac who depend on well-water for our basic needs. When making decisions about the water that sustains our communities, the government’s job is to put the greater public interest first.

Ed. note: William Amos is a Chelsea resident and is the Director of the Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Ottawa. Carissa Wong is an articling student at Ecojustice.

NESTLE ROAD SIGNThe following are my thoughts and not part of this article:
I would think that the province of B.C. should be taking a very close look at this  outcome for many like Sheila Muxlow, pictured outside Nestle’s bottling plant near Hope, B.C. on Aug. 12, 2013, who have concerns about Nestle withdrawing millions of litres of water without payment.  According to the provincial Ministry of Environment, “B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada that doesn’t regulate groundwater use.”

http://www.lowdownonline.com/battle-with-nestle-over-water-affects-pontiac/

Interesting related link ~

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blog_categories/bottled-water/blogs/

CUT WATER BILLS BY $1OOO+ ~ INCREDIBLE INNOVATION!!!

ORBSHOWER

The following excerpt is from CNN.com’s ‘Futuristic water-recycling shower cuts bills by over $1,000′, by Stefanie Blendis and Monique Rivalland. Youtube video, “Futuristic water recycling shower cuts bills by over $1,000″, published on Nov 12, 2013

ASTRONAUTIn space, astronauts go for years without a fresh supply of water. Floating in a capsule in outer space they wash and drink from the same continuously recycled source. So why, asked Swedish industrial designer Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, do we not do the same on Earth?
This was the concept behind the OrbSys Shower – a high-tech purification system that recycles water while you wash. In the eyes of Mahdjoubi, we should start doing it now, before it becomes a necessity. 

CLOSED LOOP

So how does it work? Similar to space showers, it works on a “closed loop system:” hot water falls from the tap to the drain and is instantly purified to drinking water standard and then pumped back out of the shower head. As the process is quick, the water remains hot and only needs to be reheated very slightly.

As a result, it saves more than 90% in water usage and 80% in energy every time you shower, while also producing water that is cleaner than your average tap.
“With my shower, which is constantly recycling water, you’d only use about five liters of water for a 10 minute shower … In a regular shower you would use 150 liters of water – 30 times as much… According to research carried out by his company, Orbital Systems, these savings translate to at least €1000 ($1351) off your energy bills each year.
Mahdjoubi proposed the OrbSys shower while studying Industrial Design at the University of Lund in Sweden. His concept formed part of a collaborative project with NASA’s NASA LOGOJohnson Space Center, which looks to drive design concepts that could potentially assist space expeditions…
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1.2 trillion gallons of water are used every year for showering in the United States alone. And yet, rather disturbingly, across the world more than three times the population of the States lacks access to any clean water at all.
NO COMPROMISEThe concept of a water-saving shower is by no means a new one, but when CNN’s Blueprint team caught up with Mahdjoubi at his offices in Malmo, southern Sweden, he explained that because it doesn’t compromise on comfort, it’s different to the rest. It has a higher than average water pressure and a very stable flow because, unlike conventional showers, it works independently from other appliances …
At the bathing house, CNN introduced Mahdjoubi to Danish industrial designer Nille Juul- Sørensen, who recently designed Malmo’s Triangeln train station. Juul- Sørensen was keen to talk about the wider potential of Mahdjoubi’s design: “My interest is not in the objects but in the system. There will be so many applications for this.”
If deployed on a bigger scale, the purification technology developed for OrbSys could be used in taps and drinking fountains in the world’s developing countries, where water-related illness is rife. “Everybody should save as many resources as possible,” says Mahdjoubi, “but obviously these showers would be even more beneficial for people living in areas with water shortages.
“I want to get it to as many people as possible. That’s the next step. It’s not just about saving water. The motivation is to be smart about how we use our planet’s resources.”
http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/11/tech/innovation/futuristic-water-recycling-shower-orbsys/index.html

P.E.I.’S NEW WATER AUDIT PROGRAM

PEI WATER AUDIT

Switching to low-flow shower heads can cut water-use by half and save thousands of dollars from a hotel’s water bill. It’s just one of the suggestions the City of Charlottetown floated to hotels in a recent water audit. Laura Chapin explains in this CBC audio, ‘Conservation, policies and PEI’s water-use laws’, May 16, 2013 ~
http://www.cbc.ca/islandmorning/episodes/2013/05/16/conservation-policies-and-peis-water-use-laws/

The following article, Be My Guest ‘Hotels participate in a new water audit program in Prince Edward Island.’ by Clark Kingsbury appears in the May/June issue of WaterCanada magazine.

Charlottetown’s Water and Sewer Utility Department has launched an innovative project aiming to improve water efficiency in the city’s hotels. The Hotel Audit project offers to identify easy, cost-effective way for hotels to reduce water waste by both guests and staff. The project will be executed in partnership with Holland College’s Energy Systems Engineering Technology program. Three hotels are currently involved.

“This pilot supports the tourism industry while also reducing the amount of water used in our city during the busy summer months,” says Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. “Involving Holland College in the process allows us access to the expertise of its energy systems engineering technology program managers and provides students with an excellent educational opportunity.” The project requires students to perform the audits with water and sewer utility staff members.

Despite public concern about the amount of water consumed by cruise ships docking in Charlottetown’s harbour, the city’s hotels actually consume more water than the Harbour Authority uses in an entire year.

“It seems lately that the focus has moved from conservation to trying to assign blame to a particular industry for high water usage, but the reality is that it’s not one industry or sector that is to blame,” says the water and sewer utility’s chair, Edward Rice. “Conserving water and finding ways to keep water use down during the summer months is the collective responsibility of all businesses, sectors, and industries, as well as governments and residents.”

The audit includes testing of all water use in the participating facilities, and provides recommendations with payback periods based on anticipated savings on water and energy bills.