Tag Archives: Technology

SOPHISTICATED GROUNDWATER MONITORING VIA SATELLITE

WATERCANADALOGOThe following excerpts are taken from Water Canada’s March/April 2013 article, “UNDERGROUND NETWORK – From sensors below the surface to satellites  somewhere in orbit, groundwater monitoring is becoming more  sophisticated”, by Erin Pehlivan.

HELEN APIO CHARITY.ORGHelen Apio is filled with joy as she collects clean water in her Northern Uganda village.  When she didn’t have water, she would walk to the nearest well—2.4 kilometres away—and wait in line with hundreds of other women, clutching two empty five-gallon water cans, anticipating stock.

BC GROUNDWATERCharity: water has helped women like Apio by introducing a unique water technology that detects groundwater in developing countries. Founded in 2006, charity: water’s first project was to install six wells in a Ugandan refugee camp.  They bought a GPS for $100, took it to Uganda, visited each project location and plotted six points on Google Maps, making the information and images public on their website.  Six years later, the charity has funded over 6,994 water projects in 20 countries serving over 2.5 million people with clean drinking waterCHARITY PUMP SENSORSThey have recently been allocated US$5 million for a pilot project via Google’s Global Impact Award to develop remote sensor technology specifically for groundwater.

So far, the charity has mapped each of its water projects to see how they function in real-time.  The remote sensor technology will help keep them posted on whether water is flowing at any of their projects, at any given time, anywhere in the world.

The efficient design of remote sensor technology means that individual community members don’t need to visit every project physically to ensure constant water flow.  These sensors manage time, budgets and resources with ease, allowing more time to be spent analyzing the actual water sample itself in the lab.

Below the surface: While real-time technology is growing more common throughout the water industry, groundwater applications are scarce.

RICHARDRichard Kolacz, president of Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc. (GSTS), observes smart sensor capabilities that connect to groundwater sensors in Canada, allowing people to collect information from the sensors remotely.

GSTS LOGO2One Ontario conservation authority is already using one of GSTS’s water sensor prototypes on site.  Initially, conservation authorities collected information manually.  Now they’re able to collect it remotely.  “We’ve developed an interface – a means of connecting to a groundwater sensor— to collect information in a format that the conservation authority likes,” says Kolacz.  “Rather than waiting six months or more to collect data, they could have it back instantly.”

GROUNDWATER SENSORSThe data coming from groundwater sensors to conservation authorities allows them to monitor water quality and quantity, and helps them understand the health and use of the water.

What’s so important about monitoring water data?  The data could help First Nations communities in northern Ontario, according to Kolacz.  “We would have the ability to monitor key data points on potentially clean or waste water treatment plants, and provide opportunities to monitor the health and status of those facilities remotely,” he says.

Much like charity: water, the difficulty with GSTS’s prototype comes from having to train staff to manage facilities. The data still has to be analyzed, and the quality of that analysis depends upon a certain level of knowledge.

Please note:  I found the following YouTube video, published on Mar 27, 2013, that is directly related to the above information.  Mr. Kolacz speaks about GSTS’s most recent application regarding goundwater monitoring.  His presentation dealing with this topic runs from 3:20 to 7:30 on the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tEIb4z3YFe0#at=237

CHARITY SENSORS2Meanwhile, charity: water’s goal is to develop and install 4,000 low-cost remote sensors in existing and new water projects globally, all of which will transmit real-time data to the charity, its partners, and eventually to donors via status updates.  Canada can learn from this model. According to the 2010 Review and Assessment of Canadian Groundwater Resources, Management, Current Research Mechanisms and Priorities by theCCME LOGO Canadian Council of Ministers of the  Environment, practitioners in the field need access to organized groundwater data.  With projects like the ones charity: water and GSTS are piloting, that access can skyrocket.

SATELITEGroundwater is a valuable resource, but it is poorly understood and expensive to investigate. Incentives to effectively manage the resource are low. But respondents of the aforementioned review demand significant effort from the provincial government databases to provide up-to-date groundwater information accessible online. And once we embrace the new insights of cloud-based collaboration and networked sensor arrays, science-based policy will develop and advance, leading to more responsible water resource management and investments – especially when it comes to the murky and mysterious water that flows beneath us. Erin Pehlivan is a Toronto-based writer.

Related links ~

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography-boundary/remote-sensing/geospatial/1196

for Charity:water ~ http://washfunders.org/Blog/(offset)/30

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SAVE THE RAIN APP – FIND YOUR OWN HOUSE!

SAVE THE RAIN

IMPORTANT NOTE:  IN ORDER TO USE THIS APP YOU MUST ACCESS THIS BLOG SITE BY USING GOOGLE CHROME, SAFARI, FIREFOX OR INTERNET EXPLORER 9. (I tried using my IE 8 and it does not work, so I’m using Google Chrome.)

FIRST: Watch this ‘how to’ video for instructions on using the app

SECOND: Click on the link following for the article and under the video click on the green “Go To App”. Find out how much water you could capture in a year. Draw a box over your roof. You might be surprised!  Have some fun with this – enter the White House address or your own City Hall address and check out the results.

http://www.apps4ottawa.ca/en/apps/73

Description: On July 11, 2012, Ottawa City Council passed the new 2012 Green Building Promotion Program. Green buildings constitute high levels of environmental performance in design, construction and operation. Energy, water and resource efficiency are a key components of a Green Building. Harvesting rainwater or recycling grey water to irrigate lawns and flush toilets is a significant green building technique. The Save the Rain app facilitates the rainwater harvesting process by calculating annually how much rain can be captured from a rooftop.

Drinking Water Summary data (communal wells) – http://app06.ottawa.ca/en/city_hall/statisticsdata/opendata/info/well_water/
Ontario

Well Record data –
http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/resources/collection/data_downloads/index.htm#Well Records

The value it provides to residents: For centuries, people have collected rainwater for drinking, washing and irrigation purposes. With the advent of municipal water treatment, rainwater collection became less popular in urbanized centres, though water storage cisterns can still be found in old farmhouses across Canada. But recently, rainwater harvesting has experienced an increase in popularity in countries around the globe as a result of droughts, water shortages and the rising costs of drinking water and stormwater infrastructure. Canada, too, is experiencing an increase in rainwater harvesting for lawn and garden irrigation, and many municipalities have begun to offer rebates for rain barrels. But larger, more sophisticated systems that capture, store, treat and redirect greater quantities of rainwater for other uses are still relatively new. (src: http://www.dcnonl.com/nw/32111/—rainwater-harvesting)

The Save the Rain app facilitates the rainwater harvesting design process by calculating annually how much rain can be captured from any rooftop. The Save the Rain app also displays the Ottawa communal well locations and associated water quality reports.

Related link ~ very informative

http://www.dcnonl.com/nw/32111/—rainwater-harvesting

USER FEES THAT PLEASE – KITCHENER, ONTARIO

USER FEES_WITH TEXT BOXThe following excerpts are taken from WaterCanada’s Mar/Apr issue article, ‘USER FEES THAT PLEASE’, by Nick Gollan – A new USER FEES SIGNuser pay and credit system helps Kitchener fund its municipal stormwater program.

assn of municipalitiesThe City of Kitchener received the Peter J. Marshall Municipal Innovation Award from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Best Practices Award from Ontario Good Roads Association in 2011, for the implementation of its stormwater rate model.

GRAND RIVERStormwater flows within the Kitchener, Ontario are directed towards the Grand River, with Lake Erie acting as the ultimate receiver. Additionally, about 70 per cent of the drinking water for Kitchener residents comes from groundwater sources, with the balance from the Grand River; therefore, source water protection is critical, not only for the City, but across the watershed. In this respect, KSTORMWATER MANAGEMENTitchener is representative of many mid-sized Canadian communities. Located in southwestern Ontario, Kitchener has stormwater management (SWM) infrastructure assets valued at $300 million, covering a land mass of about 137 square kilometres. Property taxes are still the primary source of SWM program funding for Ontario municipalities. However, many municipalities recognize that some form of user pay approach needs to be developed in order to fairly and equitably distribute the increasing costs associated with this municipal service.
SHARED INITIATIVEImplementing user pay: The City of Kitchener, along with the adjacent City of Waterloo, collaboratively completed the SWM Program and Funding Review Study. AECOM was the lead consultant who undertook the feasibility study which included an extensive public consultation and review over the course of five years. CITY COUNCILBoth councils agreed to the study recommendations, and both adopted the overarching principles of a user pay approach. The implementation of a rate structure that rationally assigns costs of service to users is an innovative and important step forward and demonstrates the feasibility of an equitable and defendable stormwater rate structure… STORMWATER CREDIT PROGRAMUnder the utility structure, the impervious area is used as a surrogate to determine the amount of stormwater loading discharged to the municipal system and a credit policy provides financial incentives for property owners to implement and maintain private SWM best management practices (BMPs) to reduce stormwater loading.

KITCH COUNCILA tiered flat fee stormwater rate model has been in place since January 1, 2011. A rate tier is assessed to each land parcel based on their impervious area. The charge appears on the monthly municipal utility bill and is itemized as a SWM service. Moving to this type of funding model has allowed Kitchener to make significant improvements to the municipal stormwater infrastructure such as the Victoria Park Lake Improvements project completed in 2012. Other municipalities that fund stormwater programs in a similar fashion include the City of Waterloo, Ontario, the City of Edmonton, Alberta, and the City of Portland, Oregon, amongst hundreds of others in the United States.

BAG MONEYRewarding property owners for BMPs:  A key issue that arose during public debates related to the provision of credits for the adoption of BMPs by private property owners. The public wanted to be acknowledged and compensated for implementing BMPs such as vegetated swales, infiltration trenches, pervious pavement, extended detention stormwater basins, constructed wetlands, and other low impact development (LID) techniques. The objective of the city’s stormwater credit policy is to encourage the implementation of measures on private property in order to reduce total runoff volume and pollutant loading discharged to the city’s stormwater management system. Property owners qualify for stormwater rate credits when they demonstrate that their existing or proposed stormwater facilities or applied best management practices are functioning as approved. This policy enables the city to reward private property owners who are good stewards, in the  implementation of SWM best management practices while supporting the municipality’s SWM and sub-watershed policies…   

NICK GOLLANNick Gollan is manager of the stormwater utility at the City of Kitchener.

 

Topic related links –

http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/creditprogram.asp

http://tpo-training.com/asset-management/kitcheners-stormwater-utility/

BUDDY’S RESCUE ~ HEARTWARMING!!!

BUDDY DOG RESCUE

The puppy insert photos in the above collage are not of Buddy.  I searched Google for ones that I thought he might have looked like when he was a pup.

Buddy- Abandoned dog rescued from field in Bakersfield, published on YouTube on Jan 12, 2013

BUDDY WHITE DOG BEST

I’m really happy to be able to share the following with you :

~ to date, $680.00 has be contributed for Buddy’s care

~ Great news!  Buddy is in a foster home today.

FOLLOW BUDDY‘S STORY http://www.Vet24Seven.com OR ON FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/BuddysFriends?fref=ts

I hope you enjoyed this and will share with friends.

DAVID GALLO ~ UNDERWATER ASTONISHMENTS!!!

YOU WILL BE ABSOLUTELY AMAZED AT THE UNIQUE CAPABILITIES OF THESE UNDERWATER CREATURES!!!

http://www.ted.com David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square‘s worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean. Uploaded by on Jan 14, 2008

I think the “jaw-dropping” moment they refer to happens 4 mins and 24 secs. into the video – don’t miss it!!

The wonderful octopus the ‘Wonderpus’ in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, was uploaded by on 1 Mar 2011. Filmed in HD by The Digital Centre manager, Christian Loader. Music by Oka.   Eco Divers North Sulawesi, http://www.eco-divers.comWonderpus octopus – Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

This video, “octopus Camouflage” was uploaded to YouTube by on 2 Feb 2008

Deep sea creature‘s ability to camouflage for many reasons is absolutely fascinating!

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com, at
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10

When I hear David Gallo mention that 97% of the ocean’s world  has yet to be discovered, I can’t wait to see what weird and wonderful mysteries of ‘the ocean deep’ will be studied and shared with us next!  

HOVER CAR ~ CHINA ~ NO WAY! ~ YES, WAY! ~ AWESOME!

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE ULTIMATE in the ‘MOST AMAZING THING YOU’VE EVER SEEN’ CATEGORY!!!

Volkswagen gathers ideas from the people of China to help innovate future cars. We took one girl’s idea for a hover car and made it into reality ~ uploaded May 7, 2012 by

Click link below and choose the FIRST OPTION on this web site for a short video with background info of the life of a young Chinese girl, Wang Jia, living in Chengdu, China and her dream come true.
http://www.zaoche.cn

THIS IS ONE VIDEO,Volkswagen’s The People’s Car Project: Hover Car, Part 2″  YOU WILL DEFINITELY WANT TO SEE “FULL SCREEN”

Volkswagen takes ideas from the people of China to innovate future cars. We secretly took one girl’s idea for a hover car and made it into reality. Watch how Volkswagen – with the help of her friends and family – reveals the surprise to Wang Jia in the following YouTube video ~ “Volkswagen’s The People’s Car Project: Hover Car, Part 2”

I don’t know how any of our viewers feel about this car, but I KNOW that I DEFINITELY WANT ONE!!! 

Ottawa had better have the prerequisite underground minerals to enable me to ‘fly’ around this wonderful city of ours ~ no more traffic gridlocks ~ YAHOO!!!

Let us know what you think.

EARTH DAY 2012 – THANK YOU NASA!

EARTH DAY 2012 – NASA:

‘Exploring the Whole Earth

 NASA’s ‘View of Earth’  is a spectacular slideshow presented by NASA in honour of this year’s Earth Day (link below).

There is also a link on NASA’ site for the 10 most popular earth images taken from ‘Home Through the Astronauts’ Eyes’ and here they are!!!  (You can vote for your favorite on NASA’ Twitter poll.)

Apollo 17 View Of Earth

Mouth Of The Betsiboka River, Madacascar

Mobile Bay, Alabama

 

The Greater Himalayas

The Sinai Peninsula And The Dead Rift

The Great Lakes

Cleveland  Volcano, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

City Lights along France Italy Border

Europe and Africa at night

Hurricane Dean in the Caribbean

Slideshow

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/earthday/

 Top 10 images – You can vote for your favorite on NASA’s Twitter poll.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/astronauts_eyes/astronaut_earth_top10.html

 – 10 most downloaded Earth videos from NASA

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=83461