No matter your political or ecological stance, we can all agree that conserving water is an important action in emergency preparation. Water is the root problem to two major nationwide issues. First of all, billions of dollars are lost each year to wasted water in homes, businesses, and facility plants. Yet, while we waste all of this water, drought is a serious present issue for the West Coast. Desalination, the process of turning salt water into fresh water, is simply too expensive for a long-term solution. Leaks are not only costly but also raise the risk of pollutants entering the water supply. And cutting water back in cities and personal usage is simply not impactful enough, as 70% of all water used in the U.S. is for agricultural purposes. Water technology is one of the most pressing environmental issues today; and in result, is an indirect, but important, economical issue as well. Several important inventions are underway to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness in water conservation.
- Seawater Desalination: In Singapore, water conservationists opened a desalination plant testing a method called biomimicry, which mimics “the biological processes by which mangrove plants and euryhaline fish (fish that can live in fresh briny or salt water) extract seawater using minimal energy.” Basically, this is a much cheaper and efficient means for turning ocean water into fresh water, a process that was needed months ago in California.
- Intelligent Irrigation: Technology is not always a physical product, but is a change of thinking and innovative processes. Precision irrigation systems use high-tech analysis of the land, weather, soil, and the watering system to deploy the exact amount of water needed; however, only agriculturists finding value in conserving water will most likely deploy these systems.
- Smart Monitoring: Though many smart monitoring systems are becoming more popular to implement into homes, such as The Ark Labs (http://thearklabs.com/) technology, the problem also should be fixed at the beginning of the process: where does water produced from treatment plants and pumping stations go? By coupling smart monitoring with the treatment plants, millions of dollars can be saved from leaks yearly.
Article and picture reference: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/new-water-technologies-save-planet