It’s not unusual for us to mention the issue of saving water on this blog. But a recent report made us really sit up and think.
We know that many people in the world don’t have access to clean water – currently about 1 in 7; we also realise that water is a limited resource like many other of our resources. When it’s gone it’s gone.
Much of our water resource is either salt water or water so deep under ground it isn’t accessible. On top of that climate change is affecting the weather and the amount of rainfall or more devastatingly, drought which is a big factor in our water supplies.
A recent article in the Guardian highlighted points of concern in places around the world:
- Sao Paulo in Brazil where earlier this year water rationing was being put in place in this 20 million people populated city. Access to water was likely to be limited to two days per week for residents in the city.
- Following four years of drought in California by the beginning of the year, this year is showing as the driest the state has ever been since records began. Consumption of course, remains on the up.
- In the Middle East it has been said that water is now more precious than oil. As you might expect it is one of the worst hit areas for water resources; Iran is badly affected by heavy consumption including use for agriculture; The United Arab Emirate is investing in desalination plants and waste water treatment plants to address their shortages.
- Meanwhile non-regulated ground water pumping in areas like Northern India from Bangladesh to Pakistan, where three quarters of the farming industry rely on water pumped from the ground for their crops, the shortages are noticeable.
The more you look into the problems of the limitations of this resource and our need for good supplies to grow our food and to survive as well as live the life style we have become accustomed to in the west, the more need for something drastic to happen. Preferably before this becomes the next big global crisis.
In America – a small step
NASA – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – in the US has been working with the founder of Orbital Systems. Their mission has been to look at water recycling projects for domestic use. And to keep improving them.
What they have developed is the Shower of the Future. We all know that showering saves water compared to bathing but it can still use a considerable amount of the wet stuff. The Shower of the Future however uses just 5 litres per shower. We know it sounds unbelievable but it achieves this by recycling the water and purifying it to drinking water quality. All the time you are showering the 5 litres of water goes round in a loop being constantly cleaned and reused until you finish your shower when it flushes away.
The Shower of the Future can save 90% of water and 80% on energy use.
Mahdjoubi the founder of shower has already installed this system in a communal bath house in Malmo Sweden and wants to supply the systems to areas of the world where there is a particular shortage of water.
The great thing is this shower looks like an ordinary one and operates in the same way apart from its behind the scenes water cleansing. You can bet we’ll see more like these in the next few years.