Posts Tagged 'water conservation'

One Step Closer to Water Conscious Construction

Heard of LEED certified?

It is the standard that house builders try to certify their homes through. It basically means using sustainable and energy conserving products. Really cool stuff.

Locally in Vancouver, the 2010 Olympics have required most of their buildings to be LEED certified, so it is an important standard. But what about water consumption?  Well, recently in North Carolina, the EPA have celebrated the very first water efficient home, built to use 10,000 less gallons than a normal house. Check out the article below, courtesy of our friends at Circle Of Blue.

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina — As green builders proliferate across the nation, blue buildings are claiming their fifteen minutes as well. This November U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials celebrate the very first water efficient house in the country.

Certified by EPA’s partner program WaterSense, the Briar Chapel Community home uses 10,000 gallons less water than a conventional abode. With less resource-intensive irrigation, efficient internal plumbing and low consumption appliances, builders say the structure saves water from lawn to laundry.

The accomplishment marks an important step toward increased consumer consciousness concerning resource use in the U.S. According to Water Partners International, the average American uses 100 to 176 gallons of water a day. That equals about 30 times the four to five gallons needed to survive. The average African uses 5 gallons.

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Water – Use It Wisely: Join the Cause

Water – Use It Wisely knows the importance of water conservation and they know how to get the message out. This Arizona-based organization has won many state, national and international awards for their innovative water conservation campaigns.

wuiw-logo-colorb

Started in 1999, Water – Use It Wisely was launched to promote awareness of the growing water concern in the state of Arizona. Soon after, their water conservation campaign grew to the many of Arizona’s cities.

Today, Water – Use It Wisely is one of the leading water conservation educational outreach programs in the world, with over 400 towns, cities, states, utilities and public and private organizations having adopted their program. Even more impressive, Lowe’s and Home Depot have been featuring the Water – Use It Wisely campaign within their stores for months.

Water – Use It Wisely has been recognized by prestigious awards including; the Telly Awards, Utility Communicators Awards and the Concordia Awards. They know how to get the word out and they recognize the importance for all of us to get involved.

Check out their website here and you’ll find a fantastic portal to a great deal of water-related information, ways to get involved, 100 methods of conserving water, links to other organizations and companies and many other helpful resources. What makes Water – Use It Wisely unique? They not only want to get the word out about water-related issues, but they give you proactive ways for you to make a difference.

We here at WaterDrop are excited to have formed a partnership with Water – Use It Wisely. Like us, they recognize that water affects us all and that we all can make a difference.

TWU Magazine’s Article on WaterDrop

WaterDrop has recently been featured in an article in Trinity Western University Magazine. You can check out the article here. Thanks to everyone at TWU Magazine for helping us get the word out!

Canada’s own Maude Barlow named senior UN water advisor

Maude Barlow, a world-renowned water activist and Canadian, has been named the senior water advisor for the United Nations. She will be working closely with Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, president of the 63rd session of the United Nations, to bring the water issue into a global light.

She is attempting to work with the United Nations to introduce a three-pronged plan.

Three goals: Use the incredible talent, research and resources that exist at the UN and give it direction, a vision and cohesion. Second: To shift the power balance around water from institutions like the World Bank and World Water Forum and give them transparency at the UN General Assembly. And third, he is supportive of the principle of the universal right to water. We will be unveiling a plan on Dec. 10, which is the 60th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Maude Barlow.

Check out the full article here. It’s a great article with Ms. Barlow expressing great concern on the growing global water crisis. Not only does she talk about the water of the world at large, but the impact Canada has on the world’s water supply. Why don’t we prevent a problem before it begins? Canada is not impervious to water problems, there are growing water scarcities all over the country.

You can check out a documentary on water that recently came out here. The film is called “Flow” and has  been featured in film festivals all across the world (with Sundance being one of them). Maude Barlow is featured heavily in this film. The documentary asks us a vital question: can anyone really own water?

Saving Water = Saving Money

In an article by Canwest News Service, Canadians are slowly (yet surely) taking up the mentality to save water and energy. According to a study by Statistics Canada pointed out by the article, the percentage of Canadians who have installed low-flow toilets increased from 15 percent in 1996 to 27 percent in 2004. Low flow shower-head use increased from 44 percent to 57 percent as well.

Save a drop, save a cent

Canadians consume on average 329 litres of water per day, second to only the United States. Flushing toilets and showering accounts for slightly more than half the daily water use.

Canada also happens to have the highest per capita supply of freshwater of industrial countries, accounting for 0.5 per cent of the world’s population but seven per cent of the globe’s total renewable water flow.

More and more Canadians are also making efforts to lessen their energy consumption. For example, by turning down the thermostat while people in the household are asleep. Canada still have a long way to go before it can truly be called a water sustainable nation, but its citizens are making active steps as illustrated by the statistics.

With so much renewable water flow, Canada is (or will be) the envy of the world. With that much fresh water, we have the responsibility to use it wisely and invest for the future. Not only for our sake, but for the sake of other nations and future generations.

Canada’s Blue Gold

Canada contains 21 percent of the 0.8 percent of total freshwater in the world. In an article by the Ottawa Citizen, they dub water as the 21st century’s “Blue Gold.” Luckily for Canada, it is one of its most abundant resources. Unluckily for Canada, the statistics are deceiving.

However, with the increasing number of countries worldwide facing water shortages and droughts, the only water that really matters is renewable water resources such as rainfall and snow melt. Canada has less than 10 percent of the world’s renewable water.

Most of this freshwater comes from the Great Lakes, which is already in danger of “over-pumping.” According to the article, even though many people and media sources revile bottled water as wasteful water use (which it is), more H2O is used to create milk, soft drinks, beer and products. Many fear that water is being wasted in the industrial sector, but according to figures, most water drawn from the Great Lakes are used to run hydro electric plants or to cooling resources for industrial processes and immediately returned to the source.

Pollution and invasive creatures threaten the Great Lakes as well. Because large shipping boats dump their ballasts into the lake, they also release hundreds of volatile and invasive creatures, further polluting the water. Frankly, there are also heavy signs of simple pollution from domestic dishwashers and agricultural processes.

With all this in mind, it goes to show that water is building steam (no pun intended) as we lunge head first into this new century. Oil is on everyone’s mind these days, but humanity can survive without oil, we can’t last three days without water. Wasting water is easy, conserving water is easier. You do the math.

Read the entire article here.

California Government Takes the Reigns on Water Conservation

The fires in California continue to rage, but a larger issue looms for the most populous state in the Union: the impending water crisis. The state has been in a drought for two years now and if it continues for another year, it will be the worst drought in California history.

Fire and Water 

The state of California largely depends on water from three primary sources. First, the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the Colorado River and finally the current water-storage system. Each of these sources are facing impending crises.

Here are some facts from an LA Times article By Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dianne Feinstein.

The snowpack, which was measured at only 67% of normal in May, has become dangerously unreliable because of global warming. It is estimated that climate change will cause the state’s snowpack to drop by 25% to 40% by 2050.

The Colorado River Basin just experienced an eight-year drought, and the amount of water that California is allowed to take from the river has dropped by 18% from 2003.

Reservoirs are dangerously low statewide. Lake Oroville, California’s second-largest storage reservoir, will end this year with its lowest amount of water in more than 30 years. Shasta Reservoir, the state’s largest, is at 48% of capacity.

At the same time that our water reserves are low, the courts have ordered restrictions on how much water can be pumped out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, reducing water supplies by 20% to 30%. Just last week, a judge ordered state and federal regulators to come up with a plan to provide more water for salmon in the delta. This interim plan likely will require more reductions in pumping this winter.

The California population is expected to grow to 50 million within the next decade. The California government is attempting to enact legislation to store water in wet years for use in the dry years. However, Governor Schwarzenegger has admitted “clearly, the state is in crisis. Yet, to this point, we’ve been unable to forge a common path forward.” He knows the issue is one that must be acted upon swiftly. It all starts with a choice and we have the power to make an immediate impact, regardless of location, age, race, sex and occupation.


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