SuntoWater

The world is getting thirstier. For many people around the globe, access to clean drinking water is still a challenge. Higher average temperatures, increased pollution, rising utility costs and population growth make clean water inaccessible to many. Fortunately, organizations are working hard to change that with innovative solutions. In response, a small, passionate group got together to make water from air. Texas-based SunToWater utilizes solar power to generate power and diminish water scarcity. SunToWater is launching a revolutionary machine referred to as the Atmospheric Water Generator. Through a one-of-a-kind patented design, the device is capable of pulling water from the air and storing it for consumption. How does it work? The process starts with an exterior unit that is about the size of an air conditioner. The first step is absorption: small, energy efficient fans pull humid air into the unit. The air passes over a salt-based element that absorbs water molecules like a sponge. By using salt, the machine is able to absorb only H2O from the air, leaving aside contaminates. The air is then circulated through a patented desiccant technology. During the second phase, the extraction, water is baked from the desiccant with the use of warm air and then condensed into pure water. The last step, remineralization, adds minerals back into the water. Water can then be piped directly into a home, garden, or external water tanks. The quality of the water produced—even when created from smog-polluted air—meets World Health Organization’s standards for drinking water. Desert climates are not an obstacle since the system uses salt instead of Freon to capture and condense humidity into water. Also, if the unit is in a desert climate, the fans work faster to move more air over the salty material. Is it worth the...

Surviving the Drought Feb25

Surviving the Drought

Rain and snow in California have been so scarce over the last three years that about 95 percent of the state is in drought. Along environmental challenges, the ongoing drought has led to a stressed water system which menaces everything from local economies to agriculture and day-to-day living. And although there’s been a slight improvement with the heavy rains in Northern California this month, the state’s water supplies have dipped to alarming levels. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which is the major source of water and a significant source of electric power generation in California, is approximately 20 percent of the normal average for this date, according to official statements. California’s major river systems, including the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, have significantly reduced surface water flows; and groundwater levels throughout the state have dropped significantly. Governor Jerry Brown Jr. urged all Californians last month to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent. “We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,” said Governor Brown. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.” Cloverdale and Healdsburg in Sonoma County, Willits in Mendocino County, the small Lompico Water District in the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as several other rural communities in the area may face severe water shortages in the next 60 to 100 days due to excessive drought conditions, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). President Obama has recently travelled to drought-stricken California to offer support and pledged to provide approximately $183 million in drought relief funds; the money will go toward things such as livestock disaster assistance for producers, conservation and helping rural communities with vulnerable water systems. “California’s message to the President today is loud and clear: we need to work together and take immediate action to respond to this drought”, said Ann Notthoff, director of California advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Californians overwhelming agree that investing in irrigation technologies, water conservation and recycling and local water resiliency are among the strategies that will reduce the effects of this drought and will also make California more drought resilient in the future.” “A federal climate resilience fund will help us meet those goals.  State and local funding and planning will also be critical. We look forward to the President and Governor Brown working together to ensure we’re helping Californians get through the drought today while becoming better prepared for a drier future to come,” Notthoff added. While state and local officials continue to work on long-term solutions to water challenges around the country, it’s imperative that we all take an active stand on the matter. By promoting responsible water consumption among community residents, property managers can significantly contribute to stretching the nation’s water supplies. Water-saving efforts have done wonders for Southern Nevada for example, where practically all water used indoors, from home dishwashers to the toilets and bathtubs used by the 40 million tourists who reportedly visit Las Vegas each year, is treated and returned to Lake Mead, The New York Times reports. Since 2002 when the drought response plan was first developed, Southern Nevada has reduced its water demand from about 314 gallons per person per day to about 219 GPCD (gallons per capita per day) in 2012. There are tons of easy ways to conserve water both indoors and outdoors. The Save Our Water program, a partnership between the California Department of Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies, brings forth an array of tools and resources to help consumers reduce their water use, regardless of whether California is in a drought. Start with taking care of the outdoors. Outdoor landscaping, which plays a big role in enhancing a property’s curb...