Thursday, August 20th, 2009
Tonight, Imagine H2O will be hosting a Water Efficiency Ideation Workshop in Palo Alto, California. While this announcement might come at short notice to you, it’s worth considering participation.
When: Thursday August 20, 2009, 6:00-8:30pm
Where: Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, 3715 Hanover St., Palo Alto, CA 94304
Imagine H2O is a non-profit organization that spurs entrepreneurship and investment in the water sector by running business plan prize competitions with an incubator program for water entrepreneurs. This year’s inaugural competition is a $50k prize for water efficiency businesses, and Imagine H2O is kicking this off with tonight’s event. The workshop offers entrepreneurs, innovators, and the public a chance to hear from customers of water efficiency products and services. You’ll be identifying water customers’ needs, brainstorming ideas and building teams.
Monday, August 17th, 2009
The NATO Science for Peace Program and the Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC) recently awarded grants to researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev to continue working on a novel desalination method. In a region where potable water sources are so scarce, these methods are crucial to water independence and reducing reliance upon imported water sources (which require a lot of fossil fuels).
The team, lead by Dr. Jack Gilron (Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research) and Professor Eli Korin (Department of Chemical Engineering), has developed a desalination method by reverse osmosis that exploits “the finite kinetics of membrane fouling processes by periodically changing the conditions leading to membrane fouling before it can occur.”
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Update: This article has been modified since its initial publication. Please note that the report mentioned in this article is not a United Nations publication. More information about the authors and the report can be found here.
A major report issued by the United Nations Millennium Project has just been released. It finds that half the world appears vulnerable to social instability and violence due to increasing and potentially prolonged unemployment from the recession as well as several longer-term issues: decreasing water, food, and energy supplies per person; the cumulative effects of climate change; and increasing migrations due to political, environmental, and economic conditions. It also finds some good in the global financial crisis, which may be helping humanity to move from its often selfish, self-centered adolescence to a more globally responsible adulthood.
After 13 years of the Millennium Project’s global futures research, it is increasingly clear that the world has the resources to address its challenges. Coherence and direction has been lacking. But recent meetings of the U.S. and China, as well as of NATO and Russia, and the birth of the G-20 plus the continued work of the G-8 promise to improve global strategic collaboration. It remains to be seen if this spirit of cooperation can continue and if decisions will be made on the scale necessary to really address the global challenges discussed in this report.
Saturday, June 27th, 2009
The US Federal government released a major report this week. The report summarizes the science and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It focuses on climate change impacts in different regions of the US and on various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health. The report is the work of 12 federal agencies including the EPA, DOD, DOC, NASA, and others. It’s written in plain language, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels.
The Key Findings of the report are:
Thursday, May 28th, 2009
Bernie Focker, aka Dustin Hoffman of Meet The Fockers, once said, ”If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.”
Bernie Focker, though an imaginary character, spoke of real life issues: water conservation. Even though the water crisis has taken a backseat to other issues such as carbon emissions, the problem is real: By 2025, the world will experience major freshwater shortages. Though 97% of water comes from oceans, only about 3% of it is freshwater. From that, 2.4% is permanently frozen in glaciers and ice caps, 0.5% of Earth’s water is ground water, and the rest can be found in rivers and lakes (also known as surface water).
Since our water comes from ground and surface water, that’s a small percentage overall. And because of our ever-growing population and water needs, rising temperatures and droughts, the US government estimates that about 36 states will face water shortages by 2013.
Monday, April 27th, 2009
You know the song: “Rain, rain, go away/Come again some other day.”
Heavy rain in places with older sewer systems (Michigan and elsewhere), often results in combined sewage overflows. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And the solution doesn’t have to cost billions of dollars.
First off, combined sewage systems are problematic because they take in sanitary sewage (toilet) in the same pipes as stormwater runoff (manhole). When it rains, water that runs off of impervious surfaces like rooftops and parking lots can overwhelm combined systems.
Monday, April 20th, 2009
You’ve probably heard the reports about drugs in our water that aren’t removed by traditional wastewater treatment.
Maybe you’ve heard about the harmful byproducts spawned when chlorine is used in the water treatment process.
Here’s a new one: Super bacteria that are actually being created (and made stronger) in the wastewater treatment process. It goes back, in part, to the common use of antibiotics to treat routine illnesses. Remember the last time you were sick and went to the doctor? Did you leave with a prescription for Z-Pac?
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
Summer’s comin. Sun, sand, beach and shiga toxin.
Yep, it’s a gene that can make swimmers sick. And health departments don’t test for it in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania. They test for E. coli, an indicator bug that’s much better known, but isn’t always harmful. So the beach you visit may be “clean” for E. coli, but not shiga toxin. That can keep you up at night, literally (severe gastrointestinal illness).
A two-year study by Mercyhurst College says there’s a need for standardized tests for specific pathogens like shiga toxin to better protect the public.
Talk about a Clean Tech opportunity.
Friday, March 27th, 2009
Vincent’s post from the The European Wind Energy Conference got me thinking about U.S. offshore wind potential.
Wind on the water has been all the buzz in Michigan. The state’s portion of the Great Lakes has the potential to produce an astounding 322,000 megawatts of electricity from wind, according to a study earlier this year from the Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University.
Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Can I even say “damn?”
I’m working on a project right now and trying to get some information about the current state of CleanTech; as you might suspect finding great resources that are quotable is tough!
I’ve added a couple good links to the Links Page today, but please use the contact form to introduce us to some more.
Here are some great “fresh” resources I’ve come across today in my research: