In Water News Summary

Here are the Fab Five links for the week of September 16, 2011.

1. Catch rainwater with your coat, purify it, and drink it on the spot

Rainwater collection coat

Now who wouldn't want to lug rainwater in your coat?

This link comes to us from students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. For one of their class projects, Hyeona Yang and Joshua Noble created a coat called the Raincatch (click for story). It acts as a literal “raincoat” where not only does it keep the rain from soaking you, it also collects rainwater through the coat’s collar and stores it around the hips of the coat. From there, the rainwater is filtered through charcoal media and the wearer can drink the purified rainwater through some Camelbak-like tubes.

Practical? No… but I know that students in university design classes try to stretch the limitations of existing technologies and practices. This is a strange concept though. Do you want to walk around with water in your coat that weighs 8.34 lbs. per gallon? Maybe, if you are out in the wilderness trying to survive, but even then, I can think of other rainwater collection products that can help catch rainwater on the spot.

Check out a short video of the Raincatch coat:

2. Building Owners Want Water That Never Leaves

This story from the Wall Street Journal hints at the growing trend of sustainable water conservation technologies (click for story) for residential and commercial properties. Property and building owners want to explore all of the options available to them to keep all of their water onsite as much as possible. This can be through rainwater or stormwater harvesting, AC condensate / process water collection, graywater or wastewater reuse systems. The story mainly talks about the Next Generation Living Machine system designed by Worrell Water Technologies LLC. The Living Machine works as a wastewater treatment system that uses filtration and wetland plants to treat the wastewater.

3. Why Water Stewardship Goes Beyond Managing Risk

This post talks about water stewardship and how companies need to expand the definition of water stewardship (click for story). With scarcity and population growth as factors in the risk of water’s future, companies have now started to calculate their water footprint to help realize how much water their company consumes but also to mitigate risk. Well, the author here argues that water stewardship is more than just water efficiency and water risk evaluations. These companies must engage public policy issues and provide proactive stakeholder engagement in order to effectively change their water footprint paradigm.

Lake Travis during the drought in August 2011

Lake Travis during drought in August 2011

4. LCRA may reduce or cut off water to south Texas farmers

Due to the severe and ongoing drought in Texas, the Lower Colorado River Authority’s (LCRA) Board of Directors will consider asking the state to reduce or cut off water from the Highland Lakes to farmers (click for story) in south Texas in 2012. This is an unprecedented action that comes as new projections show that the combined storage of lakes Travis and Buchanan could drop to 640,000 to 680,000 acre-feet by January 1, 2012. Just to let you know how low that is… the 600,000 acre-foot level would trigger a declaration that conditions are worse than the worst drought in the Texas history, the 10-year drought of the 1940s and 50s.

5. And finally for some laughs…

Check out this Puget Sound PSA video that “discusses” picking up your dog’s “business” while walking them. Nearly all fecal coliform pollution in urban creeks come from animals. Picking up after your dog may seem trivial to people, but your dog’s “doogity” adds to this pollution when runoff carries fecal coliform to the creek during a rain events.

So remember, “I like the way you walk it, Dog Doogity, you got to bag it up.”

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