Social Ecology: Water

At this point that I have to stretch far beyond what I know. Water is essential to survival. Getting fresh drinking water is now a complex global issue. The goal with access to water is to figure out a way to recycle water that isn’t chemically harmful and destructive to the environment.

How compost saves water
In “Social Ecology: Food,” I explain the common use of technology like pee separating compost toilets. Turning that waste into soil or fertilizer is not only good for growing food. Gallons upon gallons of water can be saved and used for other purposes if composting toilets were the norm. Sewage systems would not be strained by millions of inhabitants in some cities.
In real society, people love the idea of never having to deal with what comes from their body – down the drain it goes – it is someone else’s problem. Well, even still a good solution is to use low flow toilets.

The Banana Filter
I found out about this from The Science Channel. According to a report covered in a Live Science article, “Compounds in banana peels contain atoms of nitrogen, sulfur and organic compounds such as carboxylic acids.” Those compounds are able to pull and attract some heavy metals – keeping them out of your water. There are manufactured filters too.

Greywater Recyling – editing

Rice filtration systems – editing

A top-down innovation, treated wastewater
During a field trip tour of a ski resort during my first semester of college, the guide told us that they use treated wastewater to spray onto the grounds of the park. This water, when tested, turned out to be on par with regular tap water. The guide wondered why they were not allowed to use that water for snow-making, because if they did, it would save a lot of money. Apparently there are health codes that disallow that. In DE, that is different, and in a slow way, some places are coming around to the idea – or at least to developing a stable way of ensuring that the water is drinkable.

Desalination: converting salt water into drinking water
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are plants in America and other parts of the world that use treatment plants to take out the saline in salt water. The webpage with this information shows that on a small scale, desalination can be done without a plant, and has been that way before modern times. However, places like Tampa, Florida use plants to provide freshwater to citizens. More on the topic here and here.

Low Flow Shower Heads
Self explanatory. If you get one that spreads out wide, you can enjoy a comfortable shower.


Posted on August 5, 2011, in Ecology, Grassroots & Open Source and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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