Monthly Archives: November 2011

Parks Chief Blocked Plan for Grand Canyon Bottle Ban

Weary of plastic litter, Grand Canyon National Park officials were in the final stages of imposing a ban on the sale of disposable water bottles in the Grand Canyon late last year when the nation’s parks chief abruptly blocked the plan after conversations with Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National Park Foundation.

Stephen P. Martin, the architect of the plan and the top parks official at the Grand Canyon, said his superiors told him two weeks before its Jan. 1 start date that Coca-Cola, which distributes water under the Dasani brand and has donated more than $13 million to the parks, had registered its concerns about the bottle ban through the foundation, and that the project was being tabled. His account was confirmed by park, foundation and company officials.

A spokesman for the National Park Service, David Barna, said it was Jon Jarvis, the top federal parks official, who made the “decision to put it on hold until we can get more information.” He added that “reducing and eliminating disposable plastic bottles is one element of our green plan. This is a process, and we are at the beginning of it.”

Mr. Martin, a 35-year veteran of the park service who had risen to the No. 2 post in 2003, was disheartened by the outcome. “That was upsetting news because of what I felt were ethical issues surrounding the idea of being influenced unduly by business,” Mr. Martin said in an interview. “It was even more of a concern because we had worked with all the people who would be truly affected in their sales and bottom line, and they accepted it.”…

click below for the full story:


Did you know that last year Coke made more money with the filtering of city water using Reverse Osmosis to make Dasani, then with pop sales!! People know that city water is not as good as it could be and the addition of a RainSoft Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System gives people that peace of mind. The filter / removal of pesticides, pharmaceuticals, fluoride and many other chemicals give water, tea, coffee, juice and boiled food, a much improved taste


Along the same lines as the recent infographic that we mentioned on green home improvement trends, eLocal recently published a new visual on water waste. Elocal created the graphic, “How Much Water is Your Home Wasting,” using feedback from its community of experts. Here’s what the professionals said:
Wasting the Best 1%:
It’s crazy but only 1% of the water on the planet is fresh and available for human consumption. It makes no sense to frivolously waste what’s already scarce — especially when new water sources may be difficult and expensive to come by.
Don’t Be Average:
The average American family uses 127,000 gallons of water per year with fixtures and appliances, but there’s no good reason to be average. Cut that number down with Energy Star or better appliances and low-flow, water-saving fixtures
How to Save Water:
Specifically, a good place to start is with water-efficient faucets, washers, showers, and toilets. These measures will save money in the form of lower water and energy bills (i.e., using less energy to heat less water).
Benefits of Water Savings:
If everyone uses less water, the savings obviously add up to some large figures — something like 5.4 million gallons of water and $11.3 million dollars per day.



Library sculpture
Sculptor Rik Sargent describes his piece, One World, One Water after it was set in place in front of the Bozeman Public Library Tuesday morning.
Giant water cycle sculpture installed at library By AMANDA RICKER, Chronicle Staff Writer The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
A 14-foot-tall, 1.5-ton sculpture illustrating how water connects all living things — from whales to buffalo, birds and people — will be on display outside the Bozeman Public Library through October.
The sculpture, “One World, One Water,” was trucked in to Bozeman from Loveland, Colo., this week and hoisted by crane onto a concrete pad near the library’s west entrance early Tuesday morning.
Created by Denver-based artist Rik Sargent, the sculpture depicts more than 20 habitats and 100 animals, plus other water users such as factories, to show how water flows from one user to another and back again, Sargent said.
The infinity sign-shaped sculpture “forms a continuous recycled drop of water,” Sargent said. “From the sea to the atmosphere.”
Inscriptions in the sculpture in Spanish, Apache Indian, Farsi and other languages talk about a world united as water users, regardless of religious or political affiliation.
“All water is sacred life,” states a message in Arabic taken from the Koran.
in English, the sculpture says, “Monkeys, bears, perhaps even an elephant or even a dolphin, no matter … We are all an equal part of the single drop of water.”
The Project Wet Foundation, a nonprofit water-education organization in Bozeman, and the sculpture’s owner, Colorado-based conservationist Valerie Gates, are sponsoring the sculpture’s six-month stay at the library.
During that time, the library will also offer programs about water, such as children’s workshops and lectures and Project WET will host an international water education conference, Sustaining the Blue Planet, in Bozeman in September.
Dennis Nelson, president and CEO of Project WET, said the sculpture is part of the nonprofit’s mission to educate children about the most precious resource on the planet – water.
“We believe conservation ethics and understanding needs to start at a young age,” Nelson said.
Amanda Ricker can be reached at

  Link to article –



Mongolian city to be cooled by giant ice cube

Giant ice cube will cool Mongolia’s capital city of Ulan Bator during the sweltering summer, as well as supply drinking water to citizens.

In one of the grandest geo-engineering projects in the world to date, the Mongolian capital city of Ulan Bator is preparing to keep cool this summer by freezing and storing a gigantic block of ice, reports the Guardian.

The ambitious project, which is being spearheaded by Mongolian engineering firm ECOS & EMI, will use the giant ice cube to reduce energy demand from air conditioners during the hot summer months, as well as to reinforce irrigation supplies. Citizens of Ulan Bator will also be able to tap the ice for drinking water.

The plan is a practical one for Ulan Bator because of the city’s unusually bipolar climate, which can be unbearably hot and dry during a few summer months but bitterly cold in the winter. In fact, Ulan Bator is the coldest national capital in the world. As a result, ice can be farmed during colder months and made to last through the summer.

To generate the giant ice cube, engineers have looked to nature for inspiration. The idea will be to artificially create “naleds” – sheet-like slabs of layered ice, common in subarctic climates, that form from successive flows of freezing, pressurized ground water. Naled ice is far thicker than regular ice formation on lakes, since new layers continue to form as long as there is enough water pressure to penetrate the surface. In fact, naleds can be so thick that they have been used as drilling platforms, and even to build river crossings for tanks.

Officials will manipulate the naled-forming process by drilling bore holes in the ice that forms on the nearby Tuul River. As the water discharges across the surface of the ice, it will freeze in successive layers, much like stacking ice rinks on top of ice rinks.

Although it may sound like an extreme solution to global warming, Mongolian authorities say the technology could soon be utilized to combat rising temperatures in cities around the world. Giant ice cubes could even be used to create cool microclimates or ice-themed amusement parks that help sweaty citizens beat the heat in the summer.

“Everyone is panicking about melting glaciers and icecaps, but nobody has yet found a cheap, environmentally friendly alternative,” said Robin Grayson, a Mongolian-based geologist. “If you know how to manipulate them, naled ice shields can repair permafrost and build cool parks in cities.”

The process could technically be duplicated anywhere in the world that has winters with at least a couple of months of temperatures between minus 5 and minus 20 degrees C.


from Water Online Newsletter –  November 10, 2011

Thermal Conductivity Minimum: A New Water Anomaly
Journal of Physical Chemistry B

Strange, stranger, strangest! To the weird nature of one of the simplest chemical compounds — the stuff so familiar that even non-scientists know its chemical formula — add another odd twist. Scientists are reporting that good old H2O, when chilled below the freezing point, can shift into a new type of liquid. The report appears in ACS’ Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

Pradeep Kumar and H. Eugene Stanley explain that water is one weird substance, exhibiting more than 80 unusual properties, by one count, including some that scientists still struggle to understand. For example, water can exist in all three states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) at the same time. And the forces at its surface enable insects to walk on water and water to rise up from the roots into the leaves of trees and other plants. In another strange turn, scientists have proposed that water can go from being one type of liquid into another in a so-called “liquid-liquid” phase transition, but it is impossible to test this with today’s laboratory equipment because these things happen so fast. That’s why Kumar and Stanley used computer simulations to check it out.

They found that when they chilled liquid water in their simulation, its propensity to conduct heat decreases, as expected for an ordinary liquid. But, when they lowered the temperature to about 54 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, the liquid water started to conduct heat even better in the simulation. Their studies suggest that below this temperature, liquid water undergoes sharp but continuous structural changes whereas the local structure of liquid becomes extremely ordered — very much like ice. These structural changes in liquid water lead to increase of heat conduction at lower temperatures. The researchers say that this surprising result supports the idea that water has a liquid-liquid phase transition.

The authors acknowledged funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Academies Keck Futures Initiatives.

SOURCE: American Chemical Society


Water = weird, not what we would normally associate as words that fit together. But water is weird and without it we are nothing. Our modern daily lives depend on it more than we want know and yet we still waste it and treat it as something that will always be there. RainSoft filters can save water and help out just that little bit.


7 Wonders of Water Slide Show

A very short slide show that you will find very interesting – well worth watching.


It’s expensive, wasteful and — contrary to popular belief — not any healthier for you than tap water.
By Chris Baskind, MNN Mother Nature Network

BOTTLES, BOTTLES EVERYWHERE: Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. (Photo: quinn.anya/Flickr)
Bottled water is healthy water — or so marketers would have us believe. Just look at the labels or the bottled water ads: deep, pristine pools of spring water; majestic alpine peaks; healthy, active people gulping down icy bottled water between biking in the park and a trip to the yoga studio.
ShareIn reality, bottled water is just water. That fact isn’t stopping people from buying a lot of it. Estimates variously place worldwide bottled water sales at between $50 and $100 billion each year, with the market expanding at the startling annual rate of 7 percent.
Bottled water is big business. But in terms of sustainability, bottled water is a dry well. It’s costly, wasteful and distracts from the brass ring of public health: the construction and maintenance of safe municipal water systems.
Want some solid reasons to kick the bottled water habit? We’ve rounded up five to get you started.
1) Bottled water isn’t a good value
Take, for instance, Pepsi’s Aquafina or Coca-Cola’s Dasani bottled water. Both are sold in 20 ounce sizes and can be purchased from vending machines alongside soft drinks — and at the same price. Assuming you can find a $1 machine, that works out to 5 cents an ounce. These two brands are essentially filtered tap water, bottled close to their distribution point. Most municipal water costs less than 1 cent per gallon.
Now consider another widely sold liquid: gasoline. It has to be pumped out of the ground in the form of crude oil, shipped to a refinery (often halfway across the world), and shipped again to your local filling station.
In the U.S., the average price per gallon is hovering around $3. There are 128 ounces in a gallon, which puts the current price of gasoline at a fraction over 2 cents an ounce.
And that’s why there’s no shortage of companies that want to get into the business. In terms of price versus production cost, bottled water puts Big Oil to shame.
2) No healthier than tap water
In theory, bottled water in the United States falls under the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration. In practice, about 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight.
On the other hand, water systems in the developed world are well-regulated. In the U.S., for instance, municipal water falls under the purview of the Environmental Protection Agency, and is regularly inspected for bacteria and toxic chemicals. Want to know how your community scores? Check out the Environmental Working Group’s National Tap Water Database.
While public safety groups correctly point out that many municipal water systems are aging and there remain hundreds of chemical contaminants for which no standards have been established, there’s very little empirical evidence that suggests bottled water is any cleaner or better for you than its tap equivalent.
3) Bottled water means garbage
Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. According to Food and Water Watch, that plastic requires up to 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce. And while the plastic used to bottle beverages is of high quality and in demand by recyclers, over 80 percent of plastic bottles are simply thrown away.
That assumes empty bottles actually make it to a garbage can. Plastic waste is now at such a volume that vast eddies of current-bound plastic trash now spin endlessly in the world’s major oceans. This represents a great risk to marine life, killing birds and fish which mistake our garbage for food.
Thanks to its slow decay rate, the vast majority of all plastics ever produced still exist — somewhere.
4) Bottled water means less attention to public systems
Many people drink bottled water because they don’t like the taste of their local tap water, or because they question its safety.
This is like running around with a slow leak in your tire, topping it off every few days rather than taking it to be patched. Only the very affluent can afford to switch their water consumption to bottled sources. Once distanced from public systems, these consumers have little incentive to support bond issues and other methods of upgrading municipal water treatment.
There’s plenty of need. In California, for example, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated the requirement of $17.5 billion in improvements to the state’s drinking water infrastructure as recently as 2005. In the same year, the state lost 222 million gallons of drinkable water to leaky pipes.
5) The corporatization of water
In the documentary film Thirst, authors Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman demonstrated the rapid worldwide privatization of municipal water supplies, and the effect these purchases are having on local economies.
Water is being called the “Blue Gold” of the 21st century. Thanks to increasing urbanization and population, shifting climates and industrial pollution, fresh water is becoming humanity’s most precious resource.
Multinational corporations are stepping in to purchase groundwater and distribution rights wherever they can, and the bottled water industry is an important component in their drive to commoditized what many feel is a basic human right: the access to safe and affordable water.
What can you do?
There’s a simple alternative to bottled water: buy a stainless steel thermos, and use it. Don’t like the way your local tap water tastes? Inexpensive carbon filters will turn most tap water sparkling fresh at a fraction of bottled water’s cost.
Consider taking Food and Water Watch’s No Bottled Water Pledge. Conserve water wherever possible, and stay on top of local water issues. Want to know more? Start with the Sierra Club’s fact sheet on bottled water.


Reverse Osmosis is the best true way to know for sure the drinking water is pure and safe. Run it through a RainSoft water softener and then a RainSoft reverse osmosis. 
Bottoms up


WATER SCARCITY – TIME TO ACT11, published April 2011, Public Service Europe
In 60 per cent of European cities, water is being used at a faster rate that it can be replenished – claims Philip Monaghan
Water is kind of important. It makes up between half and three quarters of the human body weight, needs to be topped up on a regular basis and we cannot go without it for more than about week.
As well as drinking it, we also use water for cooking and sanitation – not to mention industrial processes. Yet, despite water being essential to our survival – more often than not in the West, we treat it with disdain. A fact reflected in its low price compared to petrol or electricity – things we may be addicted to but can live without. And how the developed world fritters it away! You may leave the kitchen tap running into an unplugged sink at home but you would not pour petrol from the station pump down the drain, right?
What makes matters worse in terms of our taking water for granted, is that despite 70 per cent of the earth’s surface being covered by water, only 2.5 per cent of the total volume is freshwater and fit for human consumption, coupled with the fact that in 60 per cent of European cities with more than 100,000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished. By 2025, 1.8m people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity and two thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.
No need to reach for Valium just yet though, because this is all about change – maybe. It would appear that the United Nations leadership is mulling over whether to name 2012 as the year of water given the importance of sustainable water management in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This should be welcomed, of course. But local governance needs to be a key area of any water campaign here.
This goes beyond calls for a new shadow price for water or for the world’s largest industrial users, to develop water-security strategies. It requires new forms of water stewardship between citizens, municipal authorities and the private sector. Perhaps, a chance to do things differently then, by looking at the learning from water co-operatives in Bolivia and Finland?
In rural Finland, there are more than a thousand water cooperatives serving farm businesses and villages. According to the UN, while licensed by the government and allotted a limit to the amount of water they can extract, the cooperatives have complete control over price. This means they can offer favourable rates to their members, because their decision is not influenced by fluctuations of the market. The Finnish water cooperatives also have the network benefits of partnering with other regional associations. If, for instance, the water quality in one area is not sufficient due to extenuating natural circumstances – the cooperative may buy from a neighbouring cooperative-owned network. Therefore, ensuring continued low prices and supply dependency.
Taking this learning a step further should involve residents recognising and accepting that they have rights and responsibilities, when it comes to water. This, after all is, is a fair way to realise genuine change. Each of us would have a right to access quality water to sustain life, but we also have a responsibility to not abuse it – say, by watering our gardens during times of drought. This is something, which needs to be backed up by serious sanctions for those who cheat. Ever heard of a neighbour or local golf club being taken to court by the authorities for flagrantly disobeying a hose pipe ban? No, neither have I.
Real behaviour change will require new controls like water efficient planning rules for buildings and incentives including tax breaks for green roofs or water butts. For some laggards, it may also require a push rather than a nudge in the right direction. Clearly, this raises big dilemmas over our costly and ageing national water infrastructure. Especially, in an age of austerity. Take the UK’s forthcoming new water strategy, for example. Given parts of Britain suffer from worse water scarcity than areas of the Sudan and Syria according to Waterwise, it is a tremendous window of opportunity for Cameron’s administration to show the world how to do things better. The Prime Minister could also back up commitments to both devolve power and to be the “greenest government ever” by setting out a bold vision for water resiliency.
Philip Monaghan is a strategist and change manager in the fields of economic development and environmental sustainability. He is author of the forthcoming book Local Resilience


We as Canadians waste a lot of water!!! Car washes, pools, lawn watering all things we do and take for granted put a huge strain on municipalities. They try to add as much chlorine as needed to kill e-coli and colliform and away it goes..By saving a bit of water each day can really add up….


Lisha, a Labrador, is world famous for her mothering skills even though she’s never birthed any pups of her own.

The dog, who lives at Oudtshoorn’s Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa, has played surrogate mom to more than 30 animals, including cheetah and tiger cubs, potbelly pigs, a porcupine, a pygmy hippo, a weasel and a barn owl.

Rob Hall, director of the wildlife refuge, says that Lisha domesticates the wild animals and serves as a bridge between them and humans. “They adjust more easily to her, and when they see that she trusts us, they are more at ease around us,” he said.

Hall and his wife, Nadine, said they noticed early on that regardless of the whether Lisha encountered a kitten or a baby hippo, she treated them all the same — like a child that needed a mother. “She would just walk up and lick the creature she was caring for. Although in the case of the porcupine that was more amusing,” Rob Hall told The Daily Mail.

Click link below to view fabulours photos


America‘s Spectacular Wild Rivers

These Scenic Waterways Thrive Under Federal Protection
in the United States
More than four decades after it became law, a little-known federal act safeguards hundreds of primordial waterways.

Photographs by Michael Melford

Photo link –