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Archive for the 'Water War' Category

HOW TO CONSERVE WATER

Posted in Conscious Actions, Conscious Media, Eco Warriors, Ethical Living, Water War on June 14th, 2008

PAINLESSLY AND EASY TIPS TO USE LESS WATER

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Much has been written of late, both here at libsearthwatch.com and around the BLOGOSPHERE, about what is being called the coming water wars. While the tendency in most advanced countries is to view the idea of wars being fought over something so basic as drinking water as overblown and the domain of conspiracy theorists, the reality is the worlds supply of potable drinking water is no longer adequate to accommodate the needs of Planet Earth’s ever-growing population without both a serious investment in desalination and other purification technology, and realistic conservation efforts being undertaken here and abroad. Well, that’s the bad news.

The good news is that water conservation does not have to be painful. What follows are some easy to enact, relatively painless ways to reduce one’s water usage and to feel good about oneself in the process. In the interest of disclosure, the inspiration for today’s posting came from a feature in today’s Daily Green.com. In fact the list, minus the comments were pinched from that wonderful site via the Huffington Post’s, Green Page.

INSTALL A LOW-FLOW SHOWERHEAD
The experts tell us that this cuts consumption by 50 – 70%. But just think about the water that you could save if you showered with your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, fiancé or that attractive single person down the hall, downstairs, upstairs, across the street, in the next cube, etc?

Best of all, you could sell this liberating idea to your potentially skeptical shower partner as the two of you ‘doing your part for the good of Mother Earth and us all’. What man or woman could resist when the ideas is presented in this way? Talk about a win-win situation…

TURN OFF THE TAP WHILE YOU BRUSH
The EPA tells us that the average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons a minute. Doing the math, this means that by something so simple as turning off the faucet while brushing, you can save as much as 8 gallons of water per day per person.

There is not that I can add here except, perhaps, to suggest only brushing one’s teeth once a day. Whether this would be done in the morning or evening would depend on one’s social calendar, and whether swapping bodily fluids with another is being contemplated.

WATER YOUR YARD IN THE MORNING
The accepted knowledge here is that it is best to water lawns and outdoor plants in the early morning so less precious water is lost evaporation.

Sadly, during a drought, this advice is about as helpful as reorganizing the deck chairs would have been on the Titanic in that it really doesn’t do all that much to ease the water shortage problem.

A better solution would be to tear the damn lawn up all together and replace it with flora native to your particular environment. Here in Southern California that would be cactus.

Additionally, without the water hogging lawn, there is now plenty of water and space for planting an organic veggie garden. This is another win-win as it conserves water and it guarantees a supply of healthy, non- toxic, locally grown food to eat, which in this time of five dollar gasoline and listeria infected produce is a good thing to have going for you.

For those of you who live in areas with plentiful rainfall, consider also installing a water reclamation system that would capture water run off and store it for use water plants. I realize that I used several potentially scary terms in that sentence, – reclamation system, capture run off. So before you work yourself into a tizzy over having to spend thousands of dollars just to have a few tomato plants, know that a water reclamation system is as simple as a clean garbage-type can positioned underneath your house’s rain gutter. So instead of the rainwater making it’s way to the drain and the ocean or the nearby lake, you the environmentally wise person that you are, are capturing it for eventual re-use. Now, if we could only figure out a way to use this in the Jacuzzi? Talk about what a win –win that would be?

USE A PRO CAR WASH
Here to, the experts tells us that merely washing your car in your driveway uses anywhere from 80 and 140 gallons of water per wash depending, I guess, on the size of your car and how anal you are about getting it new car clean. (Note! Hummers are excluded from these estimates, but we won’t go there as I doubt that there are all that many Hummer drivers reading this blog.) Contrast this to a professional wash, which uses about 45 gallons of water per car.

My friends, I like a clean car as much as the next person, and because my hybrid is black, probably more so than most. However, it is more important to me that the inside is clean, it’s odor free (except for my essential oil air freshener), and the carpets are free of dust, coffee spills and food droppings. So why not do as I do. Once every six weeks or so, I have my car professionally washed inside and out. This I have done at one of the many car washes in my area that recycle their wash water. (Note! You can tell which vendors recycle their water pretty easily, because recycled water smells bad – much the way rainwater smells when puddles of it sit in your yard without moving for a few days.

Then on alternate weekends when my 10 yr old nephew comes to visit, I toss him a few bucks to vacuum the inside and wipe down the dash and console with a damp cloth. This way I’m conserving water, have a relatively clean, odor free car, and am employing the youth of America as they learn the value of working for a dollar in today’s economy. Score this a win-win!

FIX THAT LEAK
The experts tell us that ignoring a dripping faucet, leaky pipe joint or dripping sprinkler head can waste a minimum of 3 gallons of water per day per leak. By itself, this is not a lot of water, but these things do add up. As one not that technically astute, particularly about things that get you dirty or could potentially injure your hands – and plumbing is definitely one of those – I have heard that it is amazing what a two-dollar pack of washers can do to remedy most leaky situations.

However, I can speak from experience, that ceasing to park cars, trucks, motorcycles and other weighty objects on the lawn will go a long way toward stopping leaky sprinkler heads. Plus the oil, which all of these vehicles have a habit of leaking will kill what remains of your lawn, which is bad, unless of course that is part of your plan. Then it is merely another win-win.

To summarize, while each of these changes, my snarky comments notwithstanding, are valid ways to reduce one’s water consumption, nothing will really get any better for the long term as long as environmentalists continue to dance around the real cause of today’s water shortages; the water being wasted daily on the tens of billions of sheep and cattle currently grazing on the world’s great plains as they wait their turn to become steaks and hamburgers.

Drastically reducing our consumption of red meat would not only be healthy, but would go a long way to insure that the nations of the world will not one day be battling over the world’s remaining drinking water.

- Denis

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AP STUDY FINDS A VAST ARRAY OF LEGAL DRUGS IN THE DRINKING WATER SUPPLY

Posted in Health Watch, News Brief, Toxin Alert!, Water War on March 10th, 2008

DRUGS FOUND INCLUDE ANTIBIOTICS, ANTI-CONVULSANTS, MOOD STABILIZERS, SEX HORMONES AND A NUMBER OF OVER THE COUNTER REMEDYS

200px-stilles_mineralwasser1.jpgThe Associated Press has discovered that a vast array of drugs – including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas affecting as many as 41 million Americans – from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Ky.

The presence of so many prescription drugs – and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen – in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.

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NY TIMES: THE FUTURE IS DRYING UP

Posted in Global Warming, Water War on October 24th, 2007

EVEN THE MOST OPTIMISTIC CLIMATE MODELS FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THIS CENTURY SUGGEST THAT 30 TO 70 PERCENT OF THE SNOWPACK WILL DISAPPEAR

watershortage.jpgScientists sometimes refer to the effect a hotter world will have on this country’s fresh water as the other water problem, because global warming more commonly evokes the specter of rising oceans submerging our great coastal cities. By comparison, the steady decrease in mountain snowpack — the loss of the deep accumulation of high-altitude winter snow that melts each spring to provide the American West with most of its water — seems to be a more modest worry.

But not all researchers agree with this ranking of dangers. Last May, for instance, Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, one of the United States government’s pre-eminent research facilities, remarked that diminished supplies of fresh water might prove a far more serious problem than slowly rising seas. When I met with Chu last summer in Berkeley, the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, which provides most of the water for Northern California, was at its lowest level in 20 years. Chu noted that even the most optimistic climate models for the second half of this century suggest that 30 to 70 percent of the snowpack will disappear. “There’s a two-thirds chance there will be a disaster,” Chu said, “and that’s in the best scenario.”

In the Southwest this past summer, the outlook was equally sobering. A catastrophic reduction in the flow of the Colorado River — which mostly consists of snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains — has always served as a kind of thought experiment for water engineers, a risk situation from the outer edge of their practical imaginations. Some 30 million people depend on that water. A greatly reduced river would wreak chaos in seven states: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.

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