In the United States we are blessed to have fresh water that meets many of our needs. If we want to continue to enjoy all the benefits of that water, we have no choice but to take steps to protect and properly treat it. Otherwise we can keep our heads in the sand and wait for someone else to fix the problem. But hey, there's water on the moon, right? I'll start packing.
Certainly, increasing rates is appropriate in communities where they have been set too low, but clean, clear water is so essential to public health and well being that it warrants public funding. Proposals to accomplish that, such as the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act, deserve close scrutiny and support.
Once people have access to a well and a toilet their lives improve drastically, especially so for women. In Malawi women and girls are typically responsible for bringing water to the household, a task that can sometimes take an hour per trip, for as many as 10 trips each day. Many women make these trips in the dark and are subject to sexual harassment and rape. They typically spend so much time finding water that many women are unable to spend much time with their families and as they grow older, many girls no longer have time to go to school.
There may always be water flowing in California, but "normal" is definitely in flux and we can’t control the weather. Before we construct massive new water delivery systems that encourage waste and consume large amounts of energy, perhaps we should consider adjusting our expectations about what can realistically be grown, when and where.
Although we face an uncertain future where water is concerned, with creative thinking and flexibility we will meet our needs, even in the face of shifting precipitation patterns and increasing populations.
Opening fire hydrants for fun is troublesome: it’s illegal, it’s wasteful and it’s very dangerous. In New York City hydrants can be opened legally if equipped with a City-approved spray cap that greatly reduces the flow. Caps can be obtained free of charge at a local firehouse. It seems like a reasonable compromise between the hot and the bothered.
A new DOE rule that multinozzle showerheads have a combined flow rate of 2.5 gpm is a problem for luxury bath installers.
At the Hydrofutures: Water Science, Technology and Communities conference in Seattle in July, the most important takeaway in water, energy and agriculture is that there is cooperation but not a lot of collaboration.
Researchers in California looked at sticking a big straw in the Columbia River and sucking it all the way to California.
"Where the hell is that Roadmap Report?" is the question people keep asking Sandia Lab’s Mike Hightower. The DOE has returned the report an astounding 22 times.
The NYC Water System archive, which has just been restored, has photos, drawings and documents that captured the process of designing and building the extensive system.
Recently, I met a group of 20 or so curious people for a tour of the Yonker’s Wastewater Treatment Plant to find out where things go once you flush the toilet.
When I played on the beach as a little kid I loved to build little dams in the stream flowing out of the storm drain outfall. Of course, I was playing in filth.
It’s World Water Week and this year’s theme is "Responding to Global Changes-Water in an Urbanising World." Here are a few examples of our nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure issues.
Why did New York Gov. Cuomo avoid natural gas fracking in a major speech with a comment period nearly closed? Because the topic is too hot to touch and the nation is watching New York's moves.
World Water Day 2012 is Thursday, March 22. Find out what’s going on and what you can do to celebrate our most precious resource.