Tag Archives: lifestyle

Climate Change, Sierra Nevadas’ Snowmelt, & the Drought

Lake Sierra Nevada Mnts.

In alpine areas such as the Sierra Nevadas, snow cover is vital to water supply. Mountainous areas like this one provide water for entire watersheds. When snow melts, there can be three different results that occur. The snow can drift off of the surface level of the soil, it can evaporate, or it can replenish groundwater. Groundwater recharge is important because it helps to get underground water levels back up to a healthy level.

Sierra nevada sign

Less snowfall in the Sierra Nevadas has created an effect on humans, wildlife, and the environment. “The lower than historically normal snowfall in recent years is one environmental factor that has contributed to the current drought in California,” says Ryan Webb, a Ph.D. student in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University.

Sierra snow depth

^The map above depicts the amount of Sierra Nevada snow depth in inches^

Webb and a group of researchers recently studied the changes in soil wetting and drying in alpine regions packed with snow. The study became published work. It specifically examined groundwater levels and their ability to recharge in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Due to changing climate conditions that have caused extensive change in groundwater levels, in these regions soils do not freeze during the winter and remain wet beneath the snowpack.

Ultimately, Webb and his group’s study will help understand how climate change impacts groundwater supplies, which is a precious resource in drought-stricken areas of the country.

Source:

Melting Snow and Groundwater Levels in Sierra Nevadas. Science Daily. August 20th, 2015.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150820190321.htm

Images:

  1. fineartamerica.com
  2. europeinavan.com
  3. sierranevadaphotos.com

Wall Street Gushes Over Gray Water

gray water

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published an article about gray water. This type of recycling takes used water from bathtubs, showers, and sinks for lawn irrigation purposes. It filters the water after use and repurposes it to help lawns, gardens, and trees grow without using more water.

Californians have started to adopt this method of saving water in their homes. Businesses who sell and install gray water systems have increased their sales by 200%.  The only downfall to these systems is that they can cost anywhere from $100 to $10,000 hard-earned dollars (or more).

But to some, the cost is worth it to save our environment. Ever since the drought started to effect the West Coast 4 years ago, Californians have been finding ways to save water and cut back on consumption. Sustainable water technology has also grown exponentially. Now there are many ways to save water in your home.

An alternative to using gray water is buying a water filter system for your entire home that reuses backwash water. If your filter recycles your water before it goes through your house, you’ll be preemptively saving water and preventing your family from using tap water (which has chemicals and contaminants).

To learn more about home water filter systems, check out this site. To learn more about gray water and how it’s starting to sweep California, visit the link below for the Wall Street Journal article.

Source & Image:

Wall Street Journal. Gray Water Brings Lush Lawns Without the Guilt. 13 August 2015. http://www.wsj.com/articles/gray-water-brings-lush-lawns-without-the-guilt-1439474433

Chlorine and Food Allergies

child drinking from faucet

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Some studies show that the long-term effects of GMOs can cause damage to humans. Also, data shows that GMOs grown with pesticides and watered with chlorinated tap water result in higher numbers of food allergies. FARE, or Food Allergy Research and Education, says that researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans suffer from some type of food allergy. Our children have it worse as this disease is exponentially growing every year. Presently, 1 in every 13 children in the US has a food allergy. The economic cost of this creates nearly $25 billion per year for America.

The most common allergies are those to dairy, peanuts, wheat, fish, shellfish, and soy. According to the CDC, these types of allergies make up 90 percent of food allergies. Symptoms vary from mild rashes to life-threatening allergic reactions. Many people carry Epi pens in case they are exposed to a food they are allergic to.

The specific chemical that causes issues for humans is dichlorophenols. It is a type of chlorine in some pesticides that kills bacteria. If consumed in large numbers, it can cause renal failure, damage organs, and in some situations even be fatal.  Recently, researchers followed 10,348 participants in a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Of them, 2,548 had dichlorophenol levels measured in urine; 2,211 were included into the study. Food allergies were found in 411 of them, while 1,016 had environmental allergies. It was concluded that the pesticide chemical could be ingested from eating different fruits and some juices. This study suggested that the use of pesticides and other chemicals are indeed associated with food allergies. Unfortunately, it also showed that the trend is increasing.

Some people think that the easiest solution to prevent food allergies is to switch to bottled water so that they aren’t being exposed to as much chlorine. However, this is not the best solution because bottled water does not include all ingredients on its labels. One alternative is to know what you are buying by reading the labels. Luckily, organic foods follow specific codes where organic pesticides must be used in order to be labeled “organic.” Laundry and cleaning products with chlorine should be avoided. It is a good idea in getting a shower filter and find out exactly what is in your tap water.  But the best solution is to invest in a whole house water filtration system that filters chlorine and chemicals out. You can save money while also saving water and your health. You and your family are worth the investment!

Call us 1-800-550-1995 at or Visit our Website for more information.

Sources:
cdc.gov, foodallergy.org

Your Ecological Footprint

footprint

Sustainability is becoming more and more popular in our culture today. The term sustainability as defined by the Bruntland Report in 1987 (the first definition) is, “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Since 1987, we have developed far from just having a definition of sustainability. We have the resources and technology to measure and predict our use of nonrenewable resources. We also have the means to understand that humans are destroying our Earth at a rate so quickly that it cannot keep up or even recover.

Each human creates an ecological footprint that determines how our waste and energy use impacts the earth. There are so many ways that humans create their footprint without even recognizing it; by eating more meat, by buying new clothes regularly, by owning a home that has running water… these are just a few ways that we impact the Earth. If you’d like to see your individual impact on the Earth by figuring out your ecological footprint, check out the Global Footprint Network’s footprint calculator at http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/.

Here are some tips to reducing your ecological footprint:

1) Eat less meat and buy more produce from local farmers

2) Use less water in your home and buy water-saving products

3) Use more public transportation and carpool often

4) Dispose of trash properly and recycle all reusable materials

5) Look into supporting your home with renewable energy like solar power

One way that you can reduce your water use is to buy a whole-house filtration system that doesn’t waste water. Filtercon Technologies has created a revolutionary system that reuses backwash to recycle water. Check it out at http://www.filtercon.com or call 800-550-1995 for more information.

Source:

http://www.footprintnetwork.org

Image:

chargerbulletin.come

The Cost of Saving Water in California

What happens when we start saving more water during this seemingly never-ending drought? Rates for water increase. In a fixed-cost industry, the price of water increases when low supply equals high demand. “If you want to buy water on the market this year, the price is 10 times higher,” says Timothy Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies.

But the districts, who are selling the water directly to these households and businesses, have no choice but to do so. The Union Tribune explains it like this, “If you sell less of something, you must cut costs, boost prices, or do both to balance the budget.” This cut hurts during a time when business and homeowners are working hard to use less H2O. Water consumers in San Diego County (and the rest of the state) have been not only meeting, but exceeding state-mandated water reductions. Some residents believe that the price increase is unfair and that officials should find a way to keep them down.

And the increase in prices won’t stop here. Next year, San Diego county officials proposed to raise prices 17%. In San Diego, the monthly price for a family of four using 50 gallons of water per person per day is $49. So this price will go up about $8 for a family in this situation, making their water bill $58 a month. To make matters worse, San Diego residents get higher bills due to the fact that California gets most of its water from pipelines and aqueducts in Northern California and the Colorado River. The longer the distance for water to travel, the more it costs due to delivery costs and vulnerability to water deliveries.

Although it’s frustrating to save water at a time like this, there’s not much we can do. To help save water, you should buy a water-saving filtration system for your home. To find out more, visit http://www.filtercon.com or call us at 800-550-1995.

Sources:

Higher Water Bills Likely. San Diego Union Tribune. 27 July 2015. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jul/27/tp-higher-water-bills-likely/

Image- waterwealthproject.com

How San Diego is Saving Water during the Drought

Last week the San Diego community received the 2014 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report handbook. In it contains information about where the city’s water is sourced from, how the water treatment process works, how the city is diversifying our water, and how the city is moving towards more sustainable practices.

By 2035, the city of San Diego plans to have 1/3 of its drinking water supplied through a program that purifies recycled water. It is planned to produce about 15 million gallons of water for the city each day. The technology used to do so requires membrane filtration, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation with ultraviolet light, and hydrogen peroxide. The city tested this method through a one-year project using 9,000 water quality tests and daily monitoring to ensure that no contaminants were present in the recycled water. The California Department of Public Health and San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the recycled water purifying process as it met all federal and state drinking water standards.

San Diego is also exploring ways to use groundwater basins to provide water storage, capture rainwater for recycling purposes, and implement an ocean desalination plant to produce desalinated water for use throughout San Diego County.

The 2014 Water Quality Report also states that the city has been mandated to reduce its water use by 16% as a whole. They are asking residents and businesses to identify where they can most save water and give tips on the best ways to do so. Some of these include: only watering your lawn two times per week, putting low-flow heads on your faucets and showerheads, and evaluating your pipes for possible water leaks. They are also urging residents to use the City’s Public Utilities Department website, wastenowater.org, for water-saving resource guides.

Are you wasting water throughout your home? Filtercon Technologies is a full-line water treatment company. They have whole-house water filters that don’t waste water, save you money, and keep you healthy! They are one of the most trusted water filtration systems in the state, and work mostly by referral. Check out their site, http://www.filtercon.com. Or call for more information at 800-550-1995.

Source:

The City of San Diego 2014 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report. City of San Diego Public Utilities Water & Wastewater. 2 July 2015.

Image:

kidscures.org

Fresno Cracking Down

Brown lawn

“How many times are you watering your lawn per day?” This is a question that residents of Fresno, California have been asking each other pretty often recently. Actually, not only are they asking this, but they’ve been reporting each other for over-watering. Although this may sound a bit harsh, the reality of the California drought is that people are going to have to start cracking down even harder than they have been. And it’s working for Fresno- their water consumption is down 33% after one month.

Yard

But this kind of change doesn’t come easily. Wells, a water conservation team in Fresno, has issued a little under half of all 838 penalty citations to residents who have been over-watering. The LA Times reports that, “things got serious for Fresno last summer after the city’s groundwater dropped four feet and its allocations of imported, stored water dipped from 50% from one reservoir and all the way to zero from the other.”

brown grass

So, beginning last August, residents were only allowed to water their lawns twice per day. Even in 106-degree weather, Fresno residents try to stay true to this regulation and report those who don’t. The city’s Public Utilities Director, Thomas Esqueda, is proud of the 515,000 residents of Fresno. He says that even most of the few thousand residents that were watering their lawns every day have cut back to only a couple of times a week.

Lawn appearance

Even with all of this exciting news about Fresno, Californian counties in general still have a long way to go. 97 California districts still have zero water regulations in place. Los Angeles and Long Beach have both only issued less than 10 citations. And some cities have issued none.

Sexy grass

The new mantra of Fresno, “Don’t frown on brown” needs to be more widely circulated throughout California. Awareness on drought issues and education on water usage need to be widespread. Where do we start? Well, some of us need to set our sprinklers to twice a week. Some of us need to take shorter showers. Others need to simply turn off the faucet when brushing their teeth. All of these things are helpful for using less water. We just need to take action and actually choose to do them.

Source:

“As Its Water Dwindled, Fresno Cracked Down Hard”. LA Times. 6/22/15. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-fresno-water-penalties-20150622-story.html#page=1

Images:

1) ibabuzz.com

2) http://www.angieslist.com

3) ecosalon.com

4) westphoria.sunset.com

5) vocativ.com