Beer brewers and pub owners seem to be putting more effort into being green and sustainable in recent years. Since saving water and enjoying fine beer are both favorite activities of mine, I make it a point to follow new developments in water conservation efforts by the brewing industry. It’s a special pleasure to report on projects like this one in South Africa.
Ground-breaking new water treatment unveiled in South Africa | Guardian Sustainable Business | guardian.co.uk
Thirsty? Don’t want to hit the bottle to get a drink? (And contribute to plastic pollution, the Pacific garbage patch, global climate change, etc.) Soon you will have an alternative. Remember drinking fountains? They used to be everywhere–step up, push a button, and get clear, clean water (even chilled sometimes) shot right into your mouth. They’re still around, but you’ll often find them broken, dirty and disgusting (if you can find them at all, that is).
Now, thanks to Peter Gleick and the other water wizards at the Pacific Institute, in partnership with Google, you’ll be able to use your smartphone to find the nearest fountain, check to see if it’s in working order, and even see a picture of it. Currently in beta testing, the WeTap app is crowdsourcing the locations and condition of drinking fountains in the San Francisco Bay area. To participate in the beta testing, see the linked news item, or visit the WeTap info page at http://www.pacinst.org/wetap/index.htm .
When people hear “grey water”, they usually think in terms of capturing the water from showers and sinks, or possibly the clothes washer, to reuse in the garden. But grey water (or graywater) may be available in large amounts in industrial settings as well. In this case it may be rinse water from a process, such as CIP (Clean In Place), in addition to the more traditional sanitary sources.
Careful analysis is required for grey water reuse in the industrial facility, matching the level of contamination of the water, and the difficulty and expense of the treatment needed, to the potential end-use. Check the linked article from Industrial WaterWorld for a more detailed discussion.
Here’s an interesting new tool to use when it comes to thinking about or teaching about water supply and conservation. It’s called The Pyramid of New Water Sources and comes from Jerry Yudelson , a noted green building authority and author. I just found this in a blog post from World Water Day at Jetson Green.
The Pyramid shows a progression of “new water” sources, ranging from the simple and free/cheap alternatives at the bottom to more complex and expensive at the top (with desalination and new water sources at the top). Everything below the top level is about efficiency and reuse. It’s a great reminder that when it comes to finding new supplies of water, using what we’ve already got more efficiently is almost always the most practical and cost-effective approach.