Water Technology

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

There are many places in the world that depend solely on their groundwater for drinking, irrigating crops, or anything else requiring water. As population increases and industries expand in these areas more groundwater is required which can lead to its unsustainable use.  When this happens wells must be dug deeper at a cost to the owner (if wells can even reach the water anymore), polluted water can fill the void left by low water levels in the aquifer, and forcontinue reading

Mazhapolima: Keeping Water in your Well Year Round

In regions receiving heavy monsoon rains followed by dry spells people are always looking for ways to take advantage of all that water.  For the people of Kerala, a state in the south-western part of India, the answer has come in the form of Mazhapolima.  Mazhapolima is a community based well recharge program started in 2008 by Mr. Kurian Baby, former District Collector and current Senior Program Officer, South Asia and Latin America team at IRC International Water and Sanitationcontinue reading

Sand Dams: An Old Technology Saving Lives in the Present

                          Millions of people live in areas where they have more water than they know what to do with during the wet season, and then struggle to find water to survive during the dry season, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  Sand dams are able to take advantage of the seasonal rains and from them provide water throughout the year. The idea of sand dams iscontinue reading

The SFPUC’s New Headquarters: The Greenest Building in the US?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to tour the new headquarters for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC); a building which they say is one of, if not the, greenest building in the nation.  We will know for sure after they go through the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification, after which they plan to receive a LEED Platinum rating, the highest rating available. First, let me say that the building is beautiful inside and out, but that’s not reallycontinue reading

Eco-Latrine of the Future: Tiger Toilets

Sanitation is a huge problem in developing nations.  While the world has made significant progress on providing clean water to those who need it leaders have fallen behind when it comes to sanitation.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation put sanitation as a high priority for their organization, and with that in mind they funded the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Sanitation Ventures project.  Because most people in developing nations don’t have infrastructure to take away the wastecontinue reading

Growing Vegetables from the Sea

Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s available freshwater every year.  With 20% of the world’s population living without access to adequate water giving 70% to agriculture is not very sustainable.  Good thing there are really smart people out there, and some of them came up with a system of using the ocean’s abundant source of water to irrigate crops, an idea that transformed into seawater greenhouses. The idea of seawater greenhouses was brought to the world in 1991 by acontinue reading

New Tech Helps Improve Sanitation in Jakarta Slums

Take a look at the picture above of a slum in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Now tell me how you would get a typical large sanitation truck through the slum in order to collect human “sludge”.  That’s a question that Mercy Corps’ Indonesian team asked themselves, and they came up with a great answer. In Indonesia 50,000 people die every year as a result of poor sanitation, most of them being in slums like the one above.  It’s understandable since none ofcontinue reading

Are Nanoparticles the Water Detox Solution We’ve Been Looking For?

Do you ever drive by a gas station that’s fenced off and there are workers digging a huge hole in the ground?  That’s because tanks that hold the gas have leaked and contaminated the ground under the station.  Around the world there are thousands of sites where toxic chemicals have been spilt accidentally or dumped in the past and left.  Up until the 1970s it was widely believed that the soil would act like a natural filter and clean thecontinue reading

Clean Energy: BioPower Systems’ bioWave

Today people are continually looking for ways to get energy through cleaner means than traditional methods such as coal or nuclear.  However, technologies that have been used for decades under the realm of clean energy, such as dams, are now being questioned because of the negative impacts they have on the environment and people around where the dam is built.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote about water turbines and their huge potential for generating electricity from the flowcontinue reading

A Different way to Treat your Wastewater

In the never ending quest to clean up wastewater there are thousands of different products that have been invented.  One of these products is called the Living Machine.  It’s less of a product though, and more of a wastewater treatment system.  The Living Machine uses the knowledge that natural wetlands are great filters for wastewater and applies that knowledge to provide an ecological, cost effective, and sustainable solution. The original concept for the Living Machine was thought up during thecontinue reading

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