Water is necessary for the sustenance of human life. While the supply seems abundant, water is not a limitless resource, particularly the fresh potable water most necessary to human survival. Without conservation efforts, this vital supply of water may be exhausted. Conservation carries economic benefits as well, as energy and equipment are also conserved as a direct result of water preservation efforts. Preservation of Farming Particularly in California’s Central Valley, increased urbanization has resulted in the draining of precious aquifers and surface water supplies from rural farmland. As in other areas of the country, the Central Valley is an important provider of food crops for the state and the nation, and increased water demand in cities has reduced the supply for the very food needed to sustain these cities. The United States Geological Survey reports that the Tulare Valley, the hottest and driest part of California’s Central Valley, continues to show declines in groundwater levels and the related groundwater storage. Environmental Factors The vast majority of life on Earth is at least indirectly tied to the supply of water. Conservation protects the balance of life on Earth, which would be upset by a reduction in the water supply. Overuse of water threatens other life forms which help sustain us. For example, the United States Bureau of Reclamation reports that, during the past 100 years, some 21 species of fish have become extinct in the 17 Western states in part due to the alteration of habitat. Some of this habitat change is due to the expansion of human populations, and the same population increase has also increased the demand for water from these areas. Personal Cost Water is not processed and delivered to your doorstep for free. Every time you use water, your local utility charges you a fee. The greater the demand for water, the greater the price you will be charged. By conserving water, you will save money both in terms of the quantity used and the price per unit. Energy Consumption Over-consumption of water leads to the over-consumption of another non-renewable resource, energy. Water in your home must be heated for a number of uses, such as cleaning and bathing, and this takes energy. Additionally, your local water utility must use energy to process and deliver water to your home, so the over-consumption of water requires more energy out of the utility company as well. Infrastructure and Technology Read More
Water Conservation Tips Water is a scarce commodity, and the sooner we realize this fact the better it will be for the existence of mankind. You should not be surprised to note that of the total water available in the world, just 3% is fresh, and only about 1% of freshwater is deemed fit for human consumption. The remaining water is either frozen, or is too deep down in the earth to be available for human usage. Also, with no slowing in the growth of the world population, water is a limited resource that is quickly getting depleted. Moreover, with the increasing human usage of water, there is not much left for the upkeep of the environment, a big reason to worry about. It is therefore imperative that we use water prudently, so that the generations to come don’t have much of a problem to face, and we can save the ecosystem as well. Have you ever given second thought what you stand to lose if you keep using water excessively? The effects of wasting water Excessive usage of water can have far reaching consequences. In the next 50 years, according to a report of the World Waters Council, the human population is on course to a growth of about 40 – 50%, and this is going to put additional burden on the already depleting water resources. Yes, we are talking about potable, fresh water, which is required for the sustenance of human beings on this planet earth. Ways to conserve water If there is shortage of fresh water it can lead to widespread destruction, a scary scenario to contemplate. Here are some of the major areas where water is substantially wasted: Raising livestock and farming – Isn’t it astonishing to note that 75% of the total consumption of water goes into raising the livestock and farming? All over the world, people are consuming meat in excess, when compare to the amount of meat we as a species previously ate. Consider this, producing one kilogram of wheat takes about 15 times less water than what it takes to get one kilogram of beef. With the world population skyrocketing, the figures are mind boggling to say the least. We can lower the consumption of water being wasted on the rearing of livestock by shifting to vegetarian meals. The amount of water we would be able to save is staggering. Industrial usage – Water Read More
Why We Should Care About Saving Water Since 71% of the earth is covered in water, some people can’t help but wonder: Why should we conserve? Here are a few important facts about water on this planet from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation: Ninety-seven percent of all water on the earth is salt water, which is not suitable for drinking. Only 3% of water on Earth is fresh water, and only 0.5% is available for drinking. The other 2.5% of fresh water is locked in ice caps, glaciers, the atmosphere, soil, or under the earth’s surface, or is too polluted for consumption. With growing population rates and such a small percentage of all the water on Earth fit for consumption, it only makes sense that we must preserve and conserve this precious resource. Water conservation means using our limited water supply wisely and caring for it properly. Since each of us depends on water to sustain life, it is our responsibility to learn more about water conservation and how we can help keep our sources pure and safe for generations to come. In other words, water conservation is not a job that is reserved for scientists, hydrologists, foresters, wildlife managers, city planners, farmers, or mine owners. Instead, it is up to each and every one of us to conserve water. Reasons to Conserve Water Below are some of the main reasons it is important to conserve water. It minimizes the effects of drought and water shortages. Even though our need for fresh water sources is always increasing because of population and industry growth, the supply we have stays constant. Even though water eventually returns to Earth through the water cycle, it’s not always returned to the same spot, or in the same quantity and quality. By reducing the amount of water we use, we can better protect against future drought years. It guards against rising costs and political conflict. Failing to conserve water can eventually lead to a lack of an adequate water supply, which can have drastic consequences. These include rising costs, reduced food supplies, health hazards, and political conflict. It helps to preserve our environment. Reducing our water usages reduces the energy required to process and deliver it to homes, businesses, farms, and communities, which, in turn, helps to reduce pollution and conserve fuel resources. It makes water available for recreational purposes. It’s not just swimming pools, spas, and golf courses that we have to Read More
Long showers feel great, but with every minute you spend pampering yourself, your wallet, and the environmental struggle. Along with saving money on your monthly bills, water conservation is critical for your community. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s likely that at least 40 states will experience water shortages by 2024 Follow these tips for how to save water at home: 1. Be mindful of running water. Don’t keep the faucet running the entire time you’re brushing your teeth or washing your hands. You may have heard this one before, but it’s easy to lazily run the faucet instead of turning it off while scrubbing and then turning the tap back on when you’re ready to rinse. Similarly, avoid luxuriously long showers. Try to limit shower time to 10 to 15 minutes maximum to prevent wasting excess gallons of water. 2. Fix leaks as soon as possible. Look out for leaky faucets, dripping water from shower heads, rusting pipes, and signs of water damage. Locate the source of the leak, and fix it immediately to avoid wasting more water. 3. Don’t let the toilet run. If you notice that your toilet is constantly running, try replacing the flapper. Simply shut off the water to the toilet, and flush to drain the tank. Unhook the old flapper from the base of the tank and chain, and then replace it with the new one. Turn the water back on, and you’re all set. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to buy a new toilet. Look for an energy-efficient model, and follow these steps to remove the old unit and install the new one. 4. Wash full loads only. Make sure the dishwasher and washing machine are full before you run them. If you have a unit with energy-saving settings for light washes and smaller loads, take advantage of them. When it’s time to invest in a new machine, look for water-saving models with the settings that allow you to adjust to load size. 5. Use a compost bin. In-sink garbage disposal needs a lot of water to work efficiently, so opt for a compost bin instead. It’s healthier for the environment while reducing water waste and increasing the energy efficiency of your home. 6. Insulate pipes. Be sure to insulate exposed pipes around the house, especially in the attic and basement. When they’re not insulated, it takes longer for water to heat Read More
Our local leaders are facing the pressing question of how to ensure a clean, reliable water supply with strains from population growth, booming development, and global warming. Many communities are already enforcing water restrictions. There are a few simple things you can do at home to ease the burden on your local water supply and save money in the process. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load. Use a low flow shower head and faucet aerators. Fix leaks. Install a dual flush or low flow toilet or put a conversion kit on your existing toilet. Don’t overwater your lawn or water during peak periods, and install rain sensors on irrigation systems. Install a rain barrel for outdoor watering. Plant a rain garden for catching stormwater runoff from your roof, driveway, and other hard surfaces. Monitor your water usage on your water bill and ask your local government about a home water audit. Share your knowledge about saving water through conservation and efficiency with your neighbors. These water-saving measures can have a big impact on water demand in local communities. While saving money, you also have the opportunity to get involved in your local community, protect the water in your local waterways so you can continue to enjoy their recreational benefits, and get to know your home and family with a few do-it-yourself projects. Did you know? 30 to 60% of domestic drinking water is used to water yards and gardens, and often large portions are wasted by over-watering, evaporation, and misdirected sprinklers that water sidewalks and driveways. The average U.S. per capita water use is 170 gallons per day (gpd). In Australia, it is 36 GDP. Thanks to water efficiency, Australia uses far less water, but still enjoys the same high quality of life. If Metro Atlanta embraced water efficiency solutions they could save up to $700 million and between 130 and 210 million gallons a day – that’s up to one-third of their current water supply.
Summer time means a lot of things. Pool parties, barbeques, hot weather, no school, vacations. Everyone’s favorite spot to get away from the heat is almost universally the beach. Sadly, it’s not always possible to make the trip for some much needed rest and relaxation. If you’re stuck at home, I want to help. This roundup contains 20 free sand and water textures so you can at least pretend you’re walking barefoot on the beach. *Some textures may require attribution, so make sure you check out the licensing for each photo carefully. Free Sand Textures 1. Sand and shells by Andre Mouraux 2. Seamless desert sand texture by hhh316 3. Course Sand Texture by versageek 4. Beach sand closeup by Asisbiz.com 5. Tiled Sand Texture by xxdigipxx 6. Sand texture by Bgfons.com (Link removed for potential malware) 7. HDR beach sand texture by Vincent 8. Sand texture by Zephroth 9. Sand texture by Marshall Clark 10. Yellow sand texture by Public-domain-image.com Free Water Textures 1. Swimming Pool Pattern #2 by Lee Coursey 2. Water 041 by chrstphre campbell 3. Water ripples texture by Juan Tello 4. Water Beauty Texture by EvilHateYouAllStock 5. Water texture by GRANNYSATTICSTOCK 6. Perfect Water by bean-stock 7. Sea texture by Dristals 8. Sea texture by Lnk.Si 9. Water surface by Rupert Ganzer 10. Water texture by Geeart.com If that doesn’t make you want to drop everything and get out of the house, then you might have a design addiction like me. This guest post was written by Nick Sailor, a freelance blogger, copywriter, and content manager. He’s also a part of the TemplateMonster team. If you’re not familiar with TemplateMonster, they’ve got a ridiculous assortment of templates and themes for WordPress, Drupal, and a whole lot more.
With water becoming a scarce natural resource across our country, water conservation has become a driving design force in the landscape industry. There are many benefits, both for us and our society, that can be seen by adopting water-wise practices in residential and commercial landscapes. Water conservation not only preserves this precious resource but also helps prevent water pollution to our local water supplies. As a landscape architect, these principles are used in my designs to be mindful of our common goal: responsible stewardship of the land. Water conservation can be defined as the practice of using and managing water and water sources efficiently to reduce unnecessary water usage and evaporation. With that in mind, there are many strategies that landscape architects and designers can adopt to further water conservation in their projects. Let’s explore a few of them: 1. Limit turf area: Since turf areas are one of the biggest culprits in the water wars, reducing those areas will improve conservation significantly. Many homeowners still demand large turf areas, so education should be the first goal in communicating with those customers. Designers should also try to incorporate turf only in areas where dogs and kids will need it. Plan to naturalize the rest of your landscape and let these less demanding landscapes dominate your design. If you must use turf, choose wisely. Fescue turf tends to use an enormous amount of water to keep it lush and green as opposed to other turfgrass varieties. If your customer cannot live without turf, then move to a turf variety that requires less water such as Bermuda or zoysia. 2. Improve soils: Amend soils generously with rich organic material when planting. Organic soil amendments can include peat moss, wood chips, grass clippings, straw or manure. There are commercial soil amendment products that encourage water retention. These amendments will allow a broader root system on the plants. Better soils allow more natural aeration, drainage and natural water holding capacity of the soil. Amendments also encourage the water’s ability to be infiltrated into the ground and prevent runoff. For the designer, adding a specification detailing your suggested soil mix to your plans would be helpful for landscapers to follow when implementing your designs. 3. Mulch all planting beds with a water-retaining mulch: Mulch forms a protective layer between the plant’s roots and the air, encouraging water retention. Most forms of mulch such as shredded Read More
INTRODUCTION Freshwater resources are becoming scarce due to population increase and associated increases in water, food, and energy demands. The state of Florida alone is projected to add 6 million people by 2030 (Rayer and Wang 2017). Moreover, extreme weather events (e.g., floods and droughts) are becoming common phenomena. Therefore, as freshwater resources become increasingly scarce and droughts become more frequent, there is a need for efficient use of water resources. There have been significant advancements in irrigation technologies (e.g., electric valves, smart controllers, soil moisture sensors, etc.) that can allow water savings (Dukes 2012). However, the effectiveness of these technologies depends on several factors such as the design of the irrigation system. Designing efficient irrigation systems and equipment will not only save money but also conserve water. FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN DESIGNING IRRIGATION SYSTEMS This document provides a basic overview of the major factors to consider when designing irrigation systems and choosing irrigation equipment. Figure 1 presents a few of the major factors that affect design of irrigation systems. WATER SOURCE Total freshwater withdrawal in Florida across all uses is 6.4 billion gallons per day. Almost two-thirds of this is from groundwater, while the rest is from surface water (Marella 2015). Almost 40 percent of freshwater withdrawal is accounted for by agricultural use, while 36 percent is for public supply. The remaining 24 percent of freshwater withdrawals goes to other uses such as power generation, recreational-landscape irrigation, commercial-industrial mining, and domestic self-supplied uses. Freshwater withdrawal in Florida follows the population density and the intensity of irrigated croplands. Freshwater withdrawal is the highest in Palm Beach county (more than 1 billion gallons per day). Knowing the quality and available quantity of the irrigation water source is critical. Water sources could be from reclaimed water, surface water, or groundwater. Depending on the water source used, the amount of water available and the equipment needed to deliver the water will differ. Water allocations for irrigation could be subject to local ordinance, depending on several factors. FIELD CHARACTERISTICS Field characteristics (i.e., field size, land slope, soil type) could affect the choice of the irrigation system, necessary irrigation equipment (e.g., pump), and plant types. FIELD SIZE Field size (acreage) affects the maximum number of plants that can be planted and, as a result, total irrigation requirement. The maximum area that can be irrigated at any given time should be determined based on the availability Read More
Water is a renewable resource that is provided naturally through the earth’s water cycle, in the form of precipitation. While water is provided by nature, many of us rely on a complex network of pipes, pumps, equipment, and people provided by our community’s municipal water systems to safely deliver clean water to our taps, and remove used water from our homes and businesses. There are 6 key stages in our municipal water systems: Source water – the lakes, rivers and underground aquifers that are the source of our water supply, fed by rain and melting snow. Water treatment – the processes to filter and purify water so that it is safe for human use. Water distribution systems – the pipes and pumps that deliver clean water to our taps. In BC there are more than 32,000 km of underground water pipes – that is enough pipe to circle 80% of the way around the earth! Wastewater collection systems – the pipes and pumps that take away used water from our toilets, drains, bathtubs, and laundry. These are also called sewers. In BC, there are over 26,000 km of municipal sewer pipes underground – that is enough pipe to circle two-thirds of the way around the earth! Wastewater treatment – the processes to remove contaminants from our used water so that it can be safely returned to the environment. This is also called sewage treatment. Stormwater systems – the pipes, ditches and natural systems that channel our rain water and snow melt away from our homes and businesses and back to the natural environment. In BC there are over 20,000 km of stormwater pipes underground – that is enough pipe to circle half way around the earth! WATER SYSTEMS Where does our water come from? In British Columbia, 91% of residents get their water from municipal water systems, 8% get their water from private wells, and 1% get their water delivered by tanker trucks into holding tanks. 86% of the water that feeds into municipal water systems comes from rivers and lakes – these are called surface water sources. 14% of the water that feeds into municipal water systems comes from underground aquifers – these are called ground water sources. How does water get from the source to our taps? In municipal water systems, water is withdrawn from the water source and treated before it is pumped to our homes and businesses. The quality of the source water determines the type of Read More
Providing sufficient water of appropriate quality and quantity has been one of the most important issues in human history. Most ancient civilizations were initiated near water sources. As populations grew, the challenge to meet user demands also increased. People began to transport water from other locations to their communities. For example, the Romans constructed aqueducts to deliver water from distant sources to their communities. Today, a water supply system consists of infrastructure that collects, treats, stores, and distributes water between water sources and consumers. Limited new natural water sources, especially in the southwest region of the USA, and rapidly increasing population has led to the need for innovative methods to manage a water supply system. For example, reclaimed water has become an essential water resource for potable and nonpotable uses. Structural system additions including new conveyance systems and treatment and recharge facilities and operation decisions, such as allocating flow and implementing conservation practices, are made with the present and future demands in minds. As additional components and linkages between sources and users are developed, the complexity of the water supply system and the difficulty in understanding how the system will react to changes grows. Many efforts on the development of a water supply system have been made through for sustainable water supply. However, the complexity of system limited the site specific application at the first era. As water demands pressures raise increasingly on the existing water supply system, many studies attempted to develop a general water supply system to assist decision makers to design more reliable systems for a long range operation period. These attempts also include the optimization of total system construction and operation cost. Under given situations such as pipeline maintenance, non-revenue water, advanced metering infrastructure, the ultimate goal of this paper is to ensure water distribution system challenges are overcome and supply water sources to users reliably in a more sustainable and timely manner as a long-term plan. Water Distribution Systems The purpose of distribution system is to deliver water to consumer with appropriate quality, quantity and pressure. Distribution system is used to describe collectively the facilities used to supply water from its source to the point of usage. Requirements of Good Distribution System Water quality should not get deteriorated in the distribution pipes. It should be capable of supplying water at all the intended places with sufficient pressure head. It should be capable of supplying the Read More