Tag Archives: save

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

L.A. is Now Using Shade Balls

shade balls

L.A. has come up with a new design to save water moving forward during California’s drought. The main reservoir in Los Angeles has been turned into a giant ball pit. How will this help exactly? Well, the “shade balls” that cover the reservoir are made from black polyethylene and coated with an ultraviolet light-resistant material. They are also filled with water so that they don’t get swept away by wind. The 4-inch balls are supposed to last for 25 years without degradation.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti helped to disperse some of the 96 million balls across the 175-acre reservoir as a sign that L.A. is working to save water during the drought. The reservoir, which is located in Sylmar, holds about 3.3 billion gallons, which would supply the city with drinking water for up to three weeks if need be.

mayor shade ball

“The balls cost 36 cents each, for a total of $34.5 million. The utility has been testing the concept since 2008, reporting that shade balls reduce evaporation by 85 to 90 percent. That should equate to saving nearly 300 million gallons a year, enough to provide drinking water for 8,100 people. The balls also inhibit microorganism growth, reducing the treatment the water must undergo through other means, which could save the city $250 million over time. The city says the balls will shade and cool the water, reducing evaporation from the reservoir and making it less susceptible to algae, bacterial growth, and chemical reactions that can produce harmful substances.” (National Geographic)

These shade balls will end up helping Los Angeles to cut its water use by 15 percent over a two-year period.

Source:
Why Did L.A. Drop 96 Million ‘Shade Balls’ Into Its Water?. National Geographic. August 12, 2015. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/150812-shade-balls-los-angeles-California-drought-water-environment/

Images:

1) news.discovery.com

2) mashable.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

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

MIT Finds Way to Reuse Water from Fracking

fracking oil

Fracking, or the process of extracting oil from underground reservoirs, takes a lot of time, money, and water. But humans are extremely dependent on this technique because it brings out a natural resource that fuels transportation methods that we use in our everyday lives. Cars, buses, trains, and planes are just a few of the ways we get around that use oil as fuel. So how can a process that is so important still be so inefficient? Fracking wastes millions of gallons of water per year, water that could be reused for other purposes.

So why isn’t it being reused? Because when water is pressurized down into the ground to extract oil, it becomes contaminated and deemed “brimy”. This type of water is discarded into deep injection wells and new, clean water is bought to continue the fracking process.

Oil Rig

Luckily a company that works with MIT has come up with a genius process to reuse some of these million gallons that are wasted every year. This company, called Gradient Corporation, has created a cost-effective process to treat brimy oilfield water for reuse. Depending on the location and type of fracking, carrier gas extraction (CGE) or selective chemical extraction (SCE) is used to clean the brimy water. Carrier gas extraction heats produced water into vapor and condenses it back into water without contaminants. In selective chemical extraction, chemical reactions remove specific contaminants. Both processes are effective, easy to use, and will save millions of dollars annually for fracking companies.

Reusing water is important, especially at a time when the West Coast is in a severe drought. It is important that every person does their part in helping to save water and save our environment. There are so many ways that you can save water, but one important way that also improves your health is to buy a water filtration system for your home that reuses backwash water. Think of it as your own system, like fracking, that can normally waste backwash water. Filtercon Technologies has developed a system that does just the opposite; reuses that water for other purposes while still purifying the water that goes into your home. Want to know more? Visit http://www.filtercon.com or call us at 800-550-1995.

Source:

Toward Cheaper Water Treatment. MIT News. July 15, 2015. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/cheaper-fracking-water-treatment-0716

Images:

1) wkms.org

2) huffingtonpost.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

What Is Your Filtered Water Dispenser Doing For YOU?

Many cities, including San Diego, treat their water to kill off harmful bacteria and parasites. What many people don’t know is that impurities such as copper, aluminum, pesticides, and other toxins can still remain in the water even after being treated. Along with these impurities, city water usually doesn’t taste very good. The reason is because chemicals such as chlorine used during the water treatment process attempt to remedy these problems, but give the water an unpleasant taste. For this reason, many people purchase filtered water dispensers to further purify their water. Filtering dispensers help in eliminating these impurities and can also make the water taste better.

Water Dispenser
Research shows that a filtered water dispenser will save you roughly $600 a year if you were to contin-ually buy 16-ounce water bottles. Furthermore, some people like to bottle their own filtered water. By doing so, they reduce plastic waste and save money. Talk about a win-win situation!

Water dispensers come in different shapes and sizes. Some conveniently fit right into your refrigerator door, others come with a bigger container for larger quantities of water.

After reading all of this information, you might want to rush out and buy yourself a filtering water dispenser. Before you do that, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages…

Advantages

  • No plumbing is required
  • Most are easily stored in a refrigerator and are usually portable
  • With so many different types on the market, you can choose one that suits your needs and budget
  • Cleanup is very simple. The only thing you should have to do is replace the dispenser’s filter
  • User-friendly. Most people understand how to use dispensers without a manual or guidebook

plastic water bottle pollution
Disadvantages:

  • Although perceived as safe, try to keep them away from dust. They can easily become a breeding ground for diseases
  • Cost. The water dispenser itself does not cost much, but it requires a new filter after so many uses. This extra expense adds up, especially during the summer when people are drinking more water
  • Check the quality of the plastic before you make the purchase. If it is made of harmful plastics (like BPA), you could be drinking chemicals just from the dispenser itself rather than the water. Read our article on: BPA Free Water Bottles

The best way to find drinking water from a trustworthy source is to invest in a whole house water filtration system.  These systems filter water throughout your entire home and eliminate 90% of harmful chemicals. They reach your faucets, your showers, and your hoses outside so that everywhere you go in your home, you’re getting clean, pure water. Without the added chemicals in your shower water, your skin and hair will start to feel more clean and healthy. The long term effects on your health alone are worth the investment in one of these systems.

For more information on a whole house water filtration system for your home, CLICK HERE.