Consequently, the time has come for technological advancements dealing with water sustainability to move out of the R&D labs and into real world application. Already, there are several interesting ideas making their way either through resident or public use. They include:
DIY Fog Catchers
|Fog Catcher extracts moisture from the air.|
Recently, Los Angeles dumped over 96 million small, plastic shade balls into its reservoirs as part of a $35 million water improvement plan. At $.36 a piece, the balls are a cost-effective way of preventing two natural events from sunlight that have a surprisingly costly effect on the city's water. One is evaporation; the other, unhealthy chemical reactions when ultraviolet light hits the added chlorine used to keep the drinking source clean. In addition, the balls prevent algae bacterial buildup. City officials estimate the shade balls will save over 300 million gallons of water every year.
Urban Runoff Capture
But the more important innovation coming out of LA could be LADWP's recent announcement of a city-wide plan to capture rainfall from running off into the ocean, sanitizing it, and redistributing it into the city's drinking supply. Surprisingly, Los Angeles and most other cities still rely heavily on snow pack that melts during the Spring. While the process is a natural system in how the local Sierra Mountains fertilize lush surrounding valleys, it takes a long time and travels long distances before replenishing LA's drinking supply. What's worse, this past year recorded the lowest snowfall for the Sierras yet: just five percent of its normal levels. Clearly the city cannot rely on them anymore for the millions of residents that surge in population each year.
|Permeable pavement reduces runoff and filters water back into the aquifer.|
Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.