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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Culture and Cleanliness of Greywater

A new report on A Framework for Reducing Water Demand in Multi-Storey and Detached Dwelling in the United Arab Emirates described in this article titled "Going grey can help ease UAE's water woes" in The National welcomes yet another country to the Greywater Global Community. The article has many important facts and figures regarding water use and time periods estimated for returns on investments.

But the most interesting topic that has yet to be discussed on the use and reuse of greywater focuses on cultural issues"...
related to the perceptions of clean and dirty water".

"Being Muslim and dealing with wastewater may not be considered clean, even after it is treated. It is a challenge....
If we do want treatment, that brings some health and safety issues and social issues with regards to the culture and cleanliness".

The culture of greywater is not a new topic to the Rainbow Water Coalition as the water footprint of prayer has been previously posted here.

UAE is no newcomer to developing innovative ideas to save water. Consider this article in The National describing the ambitious and expensive efforts to increase water security through aquifer storage and recovery of desalinated water stored in depleted aquifers.
The Rainbow Water Coalition initial interaction with the water visionaries of the UAE was at the Water Security workshop hosted by my colleagues and friends Drs. Mark Zeitoun and Naho Mirumachi where one of my classmates was an engineer from UAE. On the basis of my interaction with them at the workshop, coupled with the water news from the UAE over the past year, the water world could learn much from the Gulf states.
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Water is a strategic commodity on a par with oil - 
maybe even more important 
~Mohammed Tayie, 
a hydropolitical expert from the University of Cairo

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Little More Greywater Mythbusting

Continuing the running series on busting some preconceived notions about greywater, this posting supports the notion of the previous postings focused on dispelling the myth that pirating of greywater from wastewater flows would not cause concerns about the flows within sewers based on this article by R. Penn, M. Schütze, E. Friedler in the Journal of Environmental Management titled "Modelling the effects of on-site greywater reuse and low flush toilets on municipal sewer systems"

On-site greywater reuse (GWR) and installation of water-efficient toilets (WET) reduce urban freshwater demand. Research on GWR and WET has generally overlooked the effects that GWR may have on municipal sewer systems. This paper discusses and quantifies these effects. The effects of GWR and WET, positive and negative, were studied by modelling a representative urban sewer system. GWR scenarios were modelled and analysed using the SIMBA simulation system. The results show that, as expected, the flow, velocity and proportional depth decrease as GWR increases. Nevertheless, the reduction is not evenly distributed throughout the day but mainly occurs during the morning and evening peaks. Examination of the effects of reduced toilet flush volumes revealed that in some of the GWR scenarios flows, velocities and proportional depths in the sewer were reduced, while in other GWR scenarios discharge volumes, velocities and proportional depths did not change. Further, it is indicated that as a result of GWR and installation of WET, sewer blockage rates are not expected to increase significantly. The results support the option to construct new sewer systems with smaller pipe diameters. The analysis shows that as the penetration of GWR systems increase, and with the installation of WET, concentrations of pollutants also increase. In GWR scenarios (when toilet flush volume is not reduced) the increase in pollutant concentrations is lower than the proportional reduction of sewage flow. Moreover, the results show that the spatial distribution of houses reusing GW does not significantly affect the parameters examined.
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Myth is, after all, the neverending story. 
~American science fiction author Joan D. Vinge 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rescuing Greywater Comes with a Cost

Recalling this posting where Greywater Corps came to the rescue of southern California greywater, this article titled *Simplified Greywater Permits Debut in Los Angeles* in River Notes reported by KCET provides an important update on the California greywater program:

The permit costs $104 plus surcharges to check the plans and $79 plus surcharges for inspection.

The State of Oregon charges $90, plus a $40 per year *annual compliance fee* UNLESS an annual report is submitted by January 15 of each year. While the permit fees look comparable in price, there are no inspection surcharges because there is no inspection in Oregon.

The Rainbow Water Coalition submitted their annual report to DEQ this week to continue the grand experiment of greywater reuse in the recycling capital of Greywater Nation - Cascadia.
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Peace Rules Us

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More Grey(t) Student Graywater Projects

Recalling the many postings on great greywater student projects profiled here, here, here, and here, comes this article in phillyburbs.com titled "Willingboro students show ingenuity at first science fair" describing the tense competition in Mount Laurel, Pennsylvania.

But not all of the news is good for greywater, and it is still not certain where PA stands within the Greywater Nation regarding statewide programs. Clearly, multiple working hypotheses important to all scientific work operates in the greywater arena, too.

Joyce Ijalana, Naviaye Anthony and Melodi Clark, third-graders at the J.C. Stuart School, conducted experiments to determine if recycled water, known as gray water, could be used on plants. Using a series of photos of plants watered by recycled water and tap water as evidence, they found that the potted plants grew much better with tap water.

“In science, we were working on land and recycling, and we thought we should combine what we were learning in class (with our project),” Joyce said.

The three girls were excited to win first place for their grade level.

All winners will compete in the local countywide science fair.
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Gray water can be bad for the environment
~Naviaye Anthony, third-grader at the J.C. Stuart School

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seminar: What Colour is Your Water?

What colour is your water?  
A critical review of blue, green and other ‘waters’.

The seminar “What colour is your water” is organised by ICID.UK and the UEA Water Security Research Centre.  It will critically review the colours concept applied to water resources managements; for example blue water for surface freshwater; green water for rainfed agricultural evapotranspiration; grey water, brown water and so on.

Check out the links provided below for guidance on attendance and pricing.  The final programme is subject to adjustments. The seminar is followed by a complimentary networking event.

The event will be available to watch on-line using the ICE website to registered participants; contact Tim Fuller for more information about this.

Venue: ICE, One Great George Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AA

Date and time:  Friday 22nd Feb, 1:45 pm Arrival and register (for a prompt 2:00 pm start)

2:00 pm Welcome by Bruce Lankford, ICID.UK and UEA Water Security Research Centre

  • Jennie Baron (SEI/University of York) - Coloured water: pragmatic models and complex realities of communicating water functions in landscapes.
  • Todd Jarvis (Oregon State University – by video) - Social Media and the Colours of Water: The Rainbow Water Coalition

3:00 pm Coffee, tea, biscuits

  • Bruce Lankford (UEA/ICID) - Hesitate to irrigate: vector blue water for agricultural green water
  • Francesca Greco / Marta Antonelli (KCL) - Accounting for virtual water in food products
  • Charles Batchelor (ICID member) - Does use of the blue-green-grey water concept improve or dumb-down water management?

Panel discussion to 5:15 pm.

5:15 pm to 6:30 pm: Wine and snacks networking event

All ICID Members: no charge – however registration is required. Minor charge to others, and student discounts available, too.

More information and for powerpoint presentations after the event can be found here.
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