Category Archives: Innovative technology

Warka Water ~ capture safe drinking water from the air

It remains to be seen whether a full-size unit will draw as much water as the company esti...

Warka Water promises to harness safe drinking water from the air: 

As water shortage is a serious issue in many parts of the world, a means of efficiently harnessing safe drinking water from thin air without the need of expensive infrastructure could be a real lifesaver. Italy’s Architecture and Vision is developing an off-grid bamboo tower called Warka Water that promises just that: the firm says it could collect an annual average of up to 100 liters (26.4 US gallons) of water per day.

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The tower is rated as lasting up to 10 years and will require that locals are trained in order to maintain it successfully       

The current stage of the work-in-progress Warka Water prototype, by Italian firm Architect...
The current stage of the work-in-progress Warka Water prototype, by Italian firm Architecture and Vision

The basic concept behind Warka Water seems fairly sound, however the success of Warka Wate...

Once completed, Warka Water will rise to a height of 10 m (33 ft), weigh 60 kg (132 lb), and be secured to the ground with eight guide ropes. The tower consists of a lightweight woven bamboo structure, while an inner plastic mesh retains water droplets from passing fog, which fall into a collector and a large tank. Any rainwater and overnight dew also collects in the tank.

The video below shows a little more information on the project.

Warka Water will sport a canopy that offers shade to people drawing the collected water, and a series of rotating mirrors which Architecture and Vision says will be sufficient to keep birds away. No electricity is required for any part of the passive water-harnessing process, and the firm says the bamboo structure will take six people four days to construct. On-site assembly should take four people just three hours, without the need for cranes or any other building machinery.

If you'd like to take a punt on the Warka Water vision, as of writing the Kickstarter camp...

It’s going to be a long road until that point, though. The essential idea behind Warka Water appears sound, but its success will hinge on overcoming a long list of other concerns, including the quantity and quality of water drawn, the structure’s durability, and cost. Though rated as lasting up to 10 years, it will require locals to be trained and made responsible for maintenance, and while the estimated cost of under US$1,000 may seem relatively cheap compared to standard water supply infrastructure, it’s still a lot of dough for an impoverished area.

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It also remains to be seen if it could harness as much water as the company estimates – and on this note we’d encourage all-due skepticism. Indeed, though Architecture and Vision has produced a small working prototype, the first full-scale field test won’t take place until the necessary funds have been raised by a recently-launched Kickstarter campaign, and it won’t be suitable for all areas.

“It is first and foremost an architecture project. WW should not be considered as the solution to all water problems in developing countries but rather as a tool that can provide clean water in selected areas,” says the firm. “Particularly in mountainous regions where conventional pipelines will never reach and where water is not available from wells.”

It remains to be seen whether a full-size unit will draw as much water as the company esti...

If you’d like to try and help the team overcome these hurdles, as of writing its Kickstarter campaign still has 18 days to go. Raised funds will go toward developing a working unit, and promised rewards include Warka Water-related apparel, and a scale model. If all goes well, Architecture and Vision will eventually seek further donations for Warka Water units to be installed in select locations in Ethiopia, before potentially rolling out the system worldwide.

 

Floating gardens prevent climate change damage

The Floating Gardens of Bangladesh MAIN ICON Farming on Water to Prevent the Effects of Climate Change
By Amy Yee, Nov. 18, 2014 of the New York TimesTENDING GARDEN BEST

CHARBHANGURA, Bangladesh — Each year the brown waters of the Gumani river swell during the summer monsoon, creeping over the surrounding fields to flood Charbhangura, a village of 2,500 people in the Pabna district of northwest Bangladesh.

From July to October the waters can rise at least 10 feet. The trunks of trees more than 30 feet away from the dry season riverbed show watermarks waist high. When the fields flood, the village’s farmers have no work.

“There is water all around,” said Hafiza Khatun, 25, a mother of two whose family income used to vanish for six months of the year when her farm laborer husband had nothing to do. “There was no happiness.”

But three years ago, Ms. Khatun was trained by Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, a Bangladeshi nonprofit organization, to tend an unusual source of food and income: a floating farm with a duck coop, fish enclosures and vegetable garden moored by rope to the riverbank. Five to 10 women can share the structure, splitting about 130,000 taka, or about $1,700, a year. Shidhulai supplies seeds, fish and duck feed and other materials that cost about 10,000 taka. This money goes a long way in rural Bangladesh, especially for villagers struggling to survive. Ms. Khatun, who has no education and bore the first of her two children when she was 15, previously earned nothing. DUCK COOPDucks quacked loudly as Ms. Khatun gathered eggs in the coop, ushering some of them outside to the “duck run,” a stretch of water between fish enclosures. She had never raised ducks or fish before the training, Ms. Khatun said, but “nothing has been very difficult.” The duck coop, originally built on a bamboo platform, now rests atop more-buoyant plastic oil drums — recycled and found materials are enthusiastically used alongside locally grown bamboo. Villagers can now build the entire structure for the equivalent of $260, which is covered by Shidhulai, Mr. Rezwan said.

This documentary, uploaded on Feb 26, 2008, shows an adaptation technique used to deal with flood and water-logging in the South Central part of Bangladesh. Copyright CLACC / BCAS Mohamed Ali, Abdul Shakoor Sindhu, Mariam Rashid and MD Abdul Alim

Climate change threatens to worsen the severity and duration of floods in low-lying Bangladesh.  

  IMAGE2   OPEN FURROW

Floating farms — and produce that can flourish in flood conditions — are a way to help Bangladeshis live with rising waters. “There is big demand for solutions for climate change-affected areas,” said Mohammed Rezwan, the founder and executive director of Shidhulai. With the extra income from selling eggs, fish and vegetables, Ms. Khatun started saving money in a bank for the first time, bought a bed to keep her and her family off wet ground in their dirt-floored home, and helps her husband support the family.

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TENDING GARDEN BEST

In northern Bangladesh, agricultural land is regularly flooded as rivers are engorged by the annual Himalayan snow melt and monsoon rains. In one of the world’s most densely populated countries, where 156 million people live in an area the size of Iowa, thousands are left with no way to earn a living. Many migrate to already overcrowded cities, contributing to urban blight.

Mr. Rezwan founded Shidhulai as a 22-year-old architecture graduate in 1998. That year, disastrous flooding in Bangladesh killed 700 people and left 21 million homeless. 
Initially, Mr. Rezwan focused on building schools on boats, and worked to ensure that thousands of children would not fall behind when roads were blocked by floodwaters.

To date, the nonprofit’s fleet, which now numbers 22 schools, five health clinics and 10 libraries, has provided continuity of education and other services for more than 70,000 children in villages isolated by seasonal floods. Four years ago it started to also build floating farms for villagers, and particularly the landless poor, to help them eke out a living during the months of floods.

So far there are 40 floating IMAGE4farms that are worked by about 300 women: Mr. Rezwan has ambitious plans to create 400, to serve 3,000 women and their families in the next few years. He also argues that the floating farm concept could help other riverine developing countries, as has been the case with floating schools. “They have the potential to be replicated around the world,” he said.

IMAGE7Shidhulai’s school boats have been copied in several other countries, including the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nigeria and Zambia. A floating farm measures about 56 feet long and 16 feet wide. The coop can house 100 ducks and is equipped with a small solar panel to power lights inside. It floats on empty oil drums, plastic containers and a bamboo platform.

Mr. Rezwan took his initial concept for the farms from floating gardens that had been used in southern Bangladesh for hundreds of years. 

Those gardens layered water hyacinths — a type of weed — over bamboo structures and topped the resulting artificial island with soil to grow vegetables.

The design had to be modified however, to suit local conditions. The southern model didn’t work in the north, where heavier rains waterlogged the vegetable beds and it was difficult to create drainage. Water hyacinth was also less plentiful in the north.

Related links:

Youtube video, published on Feb 6, 2013, gives background information (in English subtitles) and step by step instructions for creating these gardens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK_qTm2pUsw

Hayley Todesco, Calgary Alta, wins Stockholm Water Prize

Hayley Todesco, 18, spent two years developing filters that use sand and bacteria to de-toxify oilsands tailings. Much of her work was done in the lab of University of Calgary professor Lisa Gieg, who provided the bacteria and the tailings.

Part 2 ~ “Hayley Todesco wins Google Science Fair”. Please see last Friday’s blog for Part 1 

~ The following article was posted on worldwaterweek.org, Sept. 3, 2014

VICTORIA HANDS ‘JUNIOR WATER PRIZE’ TO CANADIAN

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the v to Hayley Todesco from Canada for inventing a method that uses sand filters to treat oil contaminated water and recover water for reuse.The award ceremony Wednesday was part of the World Water Week in Stockholm.

Waterprijs

The winning entry is a new application of an old water treatment technology that dates back to 1804.  Sand filters have traditionally been used to treat drinking water, however Hayley Todesco   used slow sand filters on contaminated water in oil sands tailing ponds instead… “This year’s winning project addresses a neglected but pressing environmental issue. The entry displays genuine outside the box thinking. Hundreds of hours of self-driven effort achieved a project that excelled in all judging criteria,” the Jury said in its citation. 

“I am shocked but so grateful. I got the idea of using sand filters from a pen pal in Namibia two years ago, and started testing them on wastewater in a tank at home. Now I have just started studying to become a microbiologist and I hope to spend a great deal of time in the lab to continue developing the method”, Hayley Todesco said.

About Stockholm Junior Water Prize

The competition is open to young people between the age of 15 and 20 who have conducted water-related projects at local, regional, national or global levels on topics of environmental, scientific, social and/or technological importance. The aim of the competition is to increase awareness, interest and knowledge of water and the environment. As of this year the board of SIWI has decided to increase the prize sum to the winners and also to institute a new prize. The international winner will from now on receive a USD 15,000 award and a prize sculpture, the winner’s school receives USD 5,000 (new category)…

Hayley Todesco wins Canadian Google Science Fair

Part 1 of  2,  Calgary’s Hayley Todesco wins Canadian Google Science Fair prize

The following excerpt is from, “Filters made from sand and bacteria clean toxic oilsands tailings 14 times faster” posted to CBC News, July 11, 2014, by Emily Chung.

Hayley Todesco, 18, spent two years developing filters that use sand and bacteria to de-toxify oilsands tailings. Much of her work was done in the lab of University of Calgary professor Lisa Gieg, who provided the bacteria and the tailings.

A young woman from Calgary has invented a faster way to clean up toxic waste generated by oilsands extraction, using filters made from sand and bacteria. The new technology has made Hayley Todesco, 18, the Google Science Fair’s regional winner for Canada, Google announced in a news release this week…Todesco says that based on her research, her technique could break down toxic compounds found in oilsands tailings 14 times more quickly than letting them sit, stored in tailings ponds as they mainly are now.

“The significance of these results is the discovery of a sustainable way to decrease the detoxification of tailings ponds from centuries to decades,” she wrote in a summary posted on the Google Science Fair website.

Watch Hayley Todesco’s video about her project Tailings ponds occupied about 176 square kilometres in 2010 or roughly the area of B.C.’s Saltspring Island, according to the environmental think-tank the Pembina Institute. That area is expected to grow to 250 square kilometres by 2020…

Todesco said that having been born and raised in Alberta, she was very aware of this pollution problem. She was trying to think of a science fair project that would help solve it, when she thought back to a demonstration in her Grade 5 class. The class had been raising money to send filters to Africa for drinking water, and a guest speaker helped the students make some from pop bottles and sand. “We put muddy water in the top and it came out totally clean,” Todesco said. When she remembered that, she added, “That’s kind of when I had my eureka moment.”

li-syncrude-620-cp301940A tailings pond reflects the Syncrude oilsands mine facility near Fort McMurray. Such ponds of toxic waste are expected to cover 250 square kilometres by 2020. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Todesco was also interested in biology and bioreactors that use bacteria to break down waste, so she decided to make a bioreactor that incorporated sand, similar to devices invented to clean European sewage in the 19th century. Todesco wanted it to break down naphthenic acid, a major toxic component of oilsands tailings…Lisa Gieg, an assistant professor in biological sciences at the university, agreed to let Todesco work in her lab with the bacteria and tailings they had already collected. Because it was a biology lab, they didn’t have much in the way of supplies for building filters, but they did offer her some tubing…Todesco then began work designing the filters, using aquarium sand, empty IV bags, and other materials she picked up at hardware and dollar stores. Initially, to speed things up, she hooked her system up to a fountain pump from Home Depot, which promptly caused it to overflow…“A few months of work was basically ruined when I turned it on,” she said. “Building and engineering was definitely the hardest part.”

It took her seven months and about 120 tries with different designs to get a working system, which relied on gravity to pull oilsands tailings through sand topped with a film of bacteria in IV bags. In all, it took two years to complete the project, including the experiment and the analysis – she checked naphthenic acid levels in about 100 samples using the lab’s gas chromatograph. Each sample was prepared for analysis in an hour-long procedure that included several minutes of vigorous shaking…In addition to going into the lab for three or four hours after school, she spent her March Breaks there and also missed lots of her Grade 12 classes at Queen Elizabeth Junior Senior High School, which her teachers later allowed her to make up. So it was with much anticipation that she stayed up late to see if her efforts and labour would get recognized by the Google Science Fair regional judges. The regional winners were quietly disclosed online at 1 a.m. ET on June 26.

“I like freaked out and woke my sister up and it was great,” Todesco said. “This is really the height of my recognition for all the work that I’ve done.”

The global finalists will be announced Aug. 6, and will have a chance to compete for prizes including a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Virgin Galactic spaceport and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Hayley TodescoHayley Todesco
Hayley Todesco, 18, has just finished Grade 12 at Queen Elizabeth Junior/Senior High School in Calgary. (Courtesy of Google)

WATER DROPLET1_FOR BLOG ICONPlease see our followup blog next Friday ~ “Hayley Todesco, Calgary Alta, wins Stockholm Water Prize”

Water Balloon Fight on a Whole New Level!!!

1-WATER BALLOONS

I Want This Guy On My Side For My Next Water Balloon Side. I’d Definitely Win The Fight.
Every once in a great while an invention comes around that changes the way we live and engulfs our life. Things like the automobile, the television, the internet, the smart phone. They are things we can simply no longer live without. That’s basically the case with this new invention that will change the course of history forever. I remember a day when I would wait patiently by the hose to fill up a bucket of water balloons. This usually took me around 15 minutes for a small bucket. As soon as I would demolish my friends, I would be back at the hose for another 15 minutes completely vulnerable to the attacks that were heading my way. This is simply inefficient warfare and we have been fighting our front yard battles this way for far too long. Well the future is here my friends and your enemies won’t stand a chance.

A father of 8 created this product after a few summers of filling up thousands and thousands of water balloons. He started a Kickstarter campaign that has far exceeded the goal of $10,000! Right now the pledges have accumulated to over $658,000!…

Take a look at how simple it is to fill a huge bucket with water balloons in just a few minutes in the following Youtube video, “Win the water balloon arms race!” ~ published on Jul 24, 2014

Fill and tie hundreds of water balloons in minutes with our attachment that comes ready-to-go, no preparation necessary!

 Water balloons how it works ~
Water balloons 1
You simply attach the end of the Bunch O Balloons to your hose. Turn it on and give the hose a little shake. The balloons are pre-tied and simply fall off the hose and are ready for battle.
Water balloons 2
With this new product you can fill over 100 balloons in under a minute. Your enemies won’t have a chance.
Water balloons 3
This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen and on top of tons of fun the balloons are biodegradable.
Water balloons 4
I can only imagine how many more water balloon fights we will be having.. I mean how many more water balloon fights the kids will be having. This makes it easy and fun. 
Here are some step by step instructions. Why wasn’t this invented years ago?

While enemy combatants are slowly building their stockpile one weapon at a time, you can quickly gain superiority in your next water balloon war with this dad’s genius invention.It’s called ‘Bunch O Balloons’ and with it, you can fill 100 water bombs in less than a minute! 

Your enemies will have no chance and there will be a water bath of destruction when you unleash your fury and hundreds of water balloons. Prepare for neighborhood domination with this awesome product.

Great weekend (for water sports) coming up in our area – choose your weapons folks and have a great weekend!

Wibit ~ What? ~ WOW! ~ Awesome water sport!

From time to time I will be repeating one of our more popular blogs and this one, which I published in April 2012, falls into that category. I decided to share it again as our wonderful summer weather is probably calling you to the water somewhere – enjoy!

 

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE WHO DELIGHTS IN WATER RECREATION!

 

What is Wibit?

Wibit is the brainchild or two entrepreneurs that wanted to bring fun and excitement to pools and resorts around the world. Wibit’s interlocking and standalone modules make creating and expanding your Sports Park easy. Whether you need to accommodate 10 or 100 people at a time, there’s a Wibit Sports Park that’s perfect for you.

These cool inflatable water parks produced by the German company Wibit are the real water playgrounds that take only three hours to install. Their key feature is the modular design – the costumer is able to create his own combination of modules for maximum entertainment.

The German watersports company Wibit Sports GmbH has been producing inflatable water sports products for commercial grade for over 15 years.They are distributed in over 50 countries worldwide. From Commercial Pools, Resorts, Camps or Open Water Locations. Wibit believes people everywhere should experience the excitement of play on the water.

Founded in 1997 by two friends Robert Cirjak and Romann Rademacher. The team is constantly working on new water sport creations. Inspired by a passion for sports, Wibit promotes motor skill development and social interaction through its AquaGames.

 Video link:

http://www.wibitsports.com

 

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.