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WaterWise is now offering mobile water conservation workshops! February 9, 2012

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in Landscape Water Use, Water & Business, water conservation, Water Footprint, Water/Energy Connection.
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WaterWise is now offering mobile workshops to help landscape personnel save water! A WaterWise tailgate workshop consists of an instructor driving to a landscape company’s site. Driving to the facility and teaching the workshop outdoors eliminates the need to secure a facility. Everything is done outside and the WaterWise instructor brings a pick-up truck loaded with equipment. The instructor opens his tailgate and teaches his water conservation workshop. The instructor then introduces water saving methods to field personnel. WaterWise forgoes handbooks and keeps everything as simple as possible. However, the workshops stress hands-on exercises that employees can use while out in the field. Classes can be taught in both English or Spanish.
Please click this link for an example of our workshop

Are regions actually starting to think about their long-term water supply? January 16, 2012

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in Landscape Water Use, Water & Business, water conservation, Water Footprint.
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For about 20 million people living in Southern California, water is not something that should be taken for granted. Due to many factors such as climate and geography, Southern California simply does not get enough water to sustain itself. As a result, Southern California agencies and entities must import water from other regions-most commonly Northern California. However, this has created an environmental catastrophe for many aquatic species, such as the Bay Delta Smelt. This small fish struggles to survive in an ecosystem where it used to thrive. This is because the salinity levels (amount of salt in the water) flux with increased and decreased pumping to Southern California. As Southern California’s water supply decreases, more (fresh) water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. As a result, seawater then mixes with the remaining fresh water, and makes it inhospitable for the smelt.
Water purveyors and municipalities do, undoubtedly, try to conserve water. However, these agencies and municipalities tend to push for more water conservation during dry years, and they often relax conservation efforts in years with plenty of rain. This causes a long-term problem because not enough is being done about water conservation. Efforts must be made year-round, rain or shine to make a lasting long-term impact on water conservation. As a result of the fluctuating water conservation efforts, consumers often do not realize how big of an issue water conservation really is. For example, agencies push to conserve water during dry years, and then reduce efforts during wet years. Customers then forget about water conservation during wet years. While this might work short-term, we need to conserve water ALL of the time-rain or shine, regardless of how full our reservoirs and aquifers are.

Brian O’Neill
boneill@waterwise-consulting.com
http://www.waterwise-consulting.com

Is it really possible to suck moisture out of desert air? November 10, 2011

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in Water & Business, water conservation.
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Yes, it actually is possible to pull moisture out of air—even dry desert air. This process was demonstrated by Edward Linacre from the Swinburne University of Technology. Linacre uses biomimicry to imitate the Namib beetle. This beetle lives in deserts that often receive as little as half an inch of rain per year. The beetle is able to survive in such dry climates by capturing condensed moisture on its back during the cool morning. The beetle has a hydrophilic surface on its back, which essentially catches or snags particles of water that are blowing by on the cool breeze. These molecules then gather other molecules and eventually grow into water droplets.
The device that was designed and built by Linacre uses these same principles to condense moisture from the dry air, and then release it into the ground for plants. Linacre’s device has been shown to produce as much as 11.5 milliliters per cubic meter of air circulates. This process can be slightly altered to deposit condensed water vapor into a bucket or other device to provide clean drinking water. The project was an entry into a contest for the James Dyson Award. Linacre received $14,000 from Dyson. Swinburne University of Technology also received $14,000 as an award for this device.
Brian O’Neill
boneill@waterwise-consulting.com
http://www.waterwise-consulting.com

How do riparian water rights along the Colorado River affect Mexico’s water supply? November 3, 2011

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in Landscape Water Use, Water & Business, water conservation, Water Footprint.
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Loosely defined, riparian water rights state that people who own property adjacent to a body of water may withdraw water from that water source. While this worked well in pre-industrialized nations such as England, where riparian rights were created, these rights do not work as well during the twenty-first century. The main cause of problems with riparian water rights today are that there are more people that live along riparian zones (zones bordering a body of water). This means that more people are withdrawing water now than 100 years ago. To make matters worse, people use more water now than 100 years ago. For example, people often wash their cars in the driveways. People irrigate landscape, which accounts for as much as 50% of their water usage.
What does this have to do with Mexico, you might ask? Well the Colorado River flows from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado at over 10,000 feet elevation down to the Colorado River Delta in the Gulf of California, Sonora, Mexico. This 1,450 mile journey provides near-limitless access to water. However, most of the Colorado River flows through the United States—not Mexico. By the time the Colorado River reaches its end in the Gulf of California, there is a mere trickle of water. The maximum flow rate has been measured as high as 300,000 cubic feet/second (8,500 cubic meters/second). The minimum flow rate, however, is as little as 700 cubic feet/second. That’s because all of the water has been pumped out or withdrawn for use in the United States. While this may not be a problem for us, it is a problem for Mexico. They need water, too.
Brian O’Neill
boneill@waterwise-consulting.com
http://www.waterwise-consulting.com

When was the last time you thought of a natural disaster in California? October 27, 2011

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in Water & Business.
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Natural disasters are seldom thought of in California, aside from earthquakes. Disastrous earthquakes occur relatively infrequently, in fact. For example, the last “disastrous” earthquake took place on October 17, 1989. That was 22 years ago. Other regions of the Unites States, for instance, must endure natural disasters on a seasonal basis. Some regions face droughts much more severe than those we see in California. Other regions deal with tidal surges, hurricanes, tornadoes, or snowstorms. Should California be worried about natural disasters other than earthquakes? According to the Water Education Foundation, Californians should be prepared for flooding.
The Central Valley, ranging from Redding in the north to Bakersfield in the south has experienced serious flooding in the past. Emmy award-winning producer Stephanie Locher has produced a 30-minute documentary called Overcoming the Deluge: California’s Plan for Managing Floods. This documentary focuses on the past, present, and future flood management techniques and strategies of California’s Central Valley. This short documentary will air on Wednesday, November 9th at 7:00 pm; Friday, November 11th at 4:00 pm; and Sunday, November 13th at 6:00 pm on Sacramento’s KVIE Channel 6.
This documentary includes stories from Central Valley residents who have first-hand experience of severe floods. The documentary also features interviews with water experts from the California Department of Water Resources, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Bureau of Reclamation, The Central Valley Flood management Program, and other environmental groups. The goal of this documentary is to educate interested parties about the sustainable, integrated, holistic flood management plan that is being implemented in the Central Valley.
Brian O’Neill
boneill@waterwise-consulting.com
http://www.waterwise-consulting.com