A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Life Plus 2 Meters

The ever edgy, frequently flippant, bureaucratic bustin', and the common persons' consultant to common pool resources David Zetland started a new blogging project on what life might look like post two meters in sea level rise associated with the changing Earth.

Professor Zetland is posting two visions per week at the site.

The Rainbow Water Coalition offered the crazy notion of "expanding" the boundaries of the common pool resource of groundwater - offshore.

It is not so far fetched if one considers the "price" of a typical offshore drilling project approaching $100M versus the $300M desalination project and the associated groundwater replenishment project under consideration in Monterey, CA.

Join the fun.
* * * 
"I feel confident imposing change on myself. 
It's a lot more fun progressing than looking back. 
That's why I need to throw curve balls." 
~David Bowie

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

From Toilet to Tap a Keg

Treating sewer water to the point of using for brewing? Say Hello to the Sewer Brewer!

Yes, leave it to the brewmeisters in Belgium at the University of Ghent to develop technology that uses solar energy to convert urine into water then to beer.

The article goes on to connect Oregon, the apparent microbrew capital of the world, to the "cleaned" water movement where "Portland’s Clean Water Services wants to demonstrate how efficient their system is for turning sewage into drinkable water, collaborating with the brewers to turn the water into craft beer." Yet this article in Grist describes the regulatory hurdles where "...drinking recycled water isn’t legal in Oregon, even if it’s super-sterilized." A strange position by the state that prides itself on recycling.

Greywater growlers, greywater ganja, and now sewer brew.

* * * 
The sea is the universal sewer. 
~Jacques Yves Cousteau

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Guelph's Big Gulp

The University of Guelph received a big donation from Nestle's bottled water folks for research on aquifers that Nestle relies on in the area as outlined in previous posts, but revisited here in an article by the CBC News. Beth Parker is an engineering professor at the University of Guelph and director of the G360 Centre for Applied Groundwater Research that received $460,000 to conduct leading-edge groundwater research in Wellington County. In a radio interview, Beth Parker made it clear the monies were a *grant*, not a *contract* to do work for Nestle.

The academies are encouraged to seek partnerships with industry, but the same folks encouraging faculty to mix it up with industry want the funds to be *clean* or free from controversy.

Not everybody is happy about the grant. And the City of Guelph is a little sensitive about the situation where the Mayor of Guelph released a statement that Nestle's nearby bottled water plant will have no effect on Guelph's water supply.

* * * 
If we knew what it was we were doing, 
it would not be called research, would it? 
~Albert Einstein

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Canadian Greywater Counterrevolution

Tartan of Alberta
The Edmonton Journal reports that Resource Recovery Centre at the University of Alberta say enough is enough. They say the current large-scale centralized wastewater treatment systems are "...typically the most expensive and polluting of all options...” and "...that not all water needs to be uniformly treated because a vast majority of treated water will be used for largely non-potable purposes..."

Their new approach:

  • Separate toilet and kitchen water at the source - leaving greywater from other lines in a house, like laundry, shower and bathroom sink, for local treatment and reuse;
  • Use an anaerobic digester to create methane directly from the toilet and kitchen water that can be burnt for combined heat and electricity production within the community;
  • Transform the liquid from the residual *blackwater* into a second resource — an ammonium-phosphate compound called struvite that returns nutrients as a fertilizer for agricultural production;
  • Treat greywater at the building or community level instead of community sewage being pumped to and from large centralized treatment plants - saving construction and maintenance costs; and
  • Treated greywater is used for toilet flushing, clothes washing and garden irrigation. 

Oregon could learn much from The Canadian Way.

* * *
How to "change the world" in two words: S.T.A.R.T. N.O.W.
1. START - Serve. Thank. Ask. Receive. Trust.
2. NOW - No Opportunity Wasted 
~ Richie Norton, author of The Power of Starting Something Stupid