Label: Water

March 27, 2013

An advertising billboard that produces water? Strange as it sounds, that is exactly what is happening in a dry, desert area just outside Lima, Peru.  The Spanish words on this billboard read: "A billboard that produces drinkable water from air. It’s imagination in action."

A new engineering college opened there just last year, and they were trying to figure out a way to attract students. When they started thinking about how to grab the attention of future engineers, they decided to put "imagination into action" and show that it is possible to solve people’s everyday problems through engineering and technology.

Here’s how it works. This is a very dry, desert area where some people do not have access to clean drinking water, though they are surrounded by salty seawater. The inside of the billboard has machines that extract water from the humidity in the air, store it in tanks, and filter out the salt to make it drinkable. The water then flows down a pipe to a faucet that anyone can use. The blue words on the pole that say "Agua. Aquí" means "Water. Here!" with an arrow pointing down at the faucet. So far, this single billboard is producing about 25 gallons (96 liters) of drinkable water every day. 

This is just one project, but it shows what we can do by applying our human imagination to figuring out how to use the resources around us to meet everyone’s needs.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Oceans, Conservation, Water   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 20, 2012

It’s Thursday, so it is SeeMore Explorers day! Last week, we used an observation log to try to figure out what kind of animal we were seeing. But some weeks, I just want to go somewhere and enjoy many things I can see. I may not know exactly what they all are, but I can enjoy the experience of being out in nature.

That’s what I did last weekend when I visited the Innisfree Garden, in Dutchess County, outside New York City. Innisfree Garden was created in the hollow surrounding Tyrrel Lake - a large, deep natural lake. The garden keepers pump water from the lake through a huge system of underground pipes, so that there is water everywhere you look in the garden. There are fountains, pools, streams, waterfalls, and sculptures that spout water (you can walk under them on a hot day!).

I walked all the way around Tyrrel Lake, and here’s what I saw:

 

 

A lovely lake full of lily pads, puffy cumulus clouds dotting the blue sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A turtle sunning on a log.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pink lily flower, one of the last of the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A green frog just before he leaped with a squeak to try to catch a dragonfly (he missed).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A water sculpture shooting streams of droplets into the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rotting log, covered with moss, full of life inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A blue heron gingerly wading through the lily pads on delicate, long legs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mossy path leading to more beautiful sights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My lovely wife Liz, smiling at me.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: SeeMore Explorers, Animals, Seymour Photographs, nature, Water, Plants   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 1, 2011

Water is essential to life on earth. We need water to grow food, keep clean, provide power, control fire, and last but not least, we need it to stay alive!

Kids often ask me: If water is constantly being cleaned and recycled through the earth’s water cycle, why do we need to conserve it?

 

So let’s start with understanding how this thing called THE WATER CYCLE works.

1.    Evaporation. The sun heats water in rivers, lakes, and the ocean and turns it into vapor (fog, mist, or steam), and the vapor rises into the air.

2.    Condensation. When the vapor cools down, it turns into tiny drops of water that cling to each other and form clouds.

3.    Precipitation. The water falls from the clouds in the form of rain, snow, sleet or even hail.

4.    Runoff. Some of the precipitation is collected in Earth’s rivers, lakes, streams, and reservoirs. In our country, we clean this water in treatment plants and use it to meet our basic needs.

However, there is not unlimited water for humans to use. While it’s true that our planet Earth looks like a big blue ball because 75% of it is covered by water, a lot of that water is not usable in that form, either because it is salt water (in the oceans) or because it is frozen (in glaciers and the polar icecaps).  For this reason, water is a limited resource that we must conserve and protect.

There are other benefits to saving water. You save energy by using less hot water (reducing your family’s carbon footprint), and when you’re using less energy, you’re also saving money. A win all around!

What can you and your family do to conserve water? Here’s how you can change your daily habits and make a big difference:

·      When it’s time to brush your teeth, fill a glass of water, turn off the faucet, and brush for two minutes. Then, use some of the water in the glass to rinse your mouth, and the rest to rinse off your toothbrush. Voilà! Teeth brushed with just one glass of water.

·      If you use a dishwasher, follow these tips:

a.    Use the RINSE cycle when there are just a few dishes in the dishwasher (some machines call it "Rinse and Hold"). This will soften or remove most of the food waste on the dishes, so that they can sit for a few days until the dishwasher is full. Then, run the full clean cycle.

 

b.    If you like to rinse your dishes off in the sink before you put them in the dishwasher, don’t keep the water running while you do it. Instead, put the stopper in the drain, run a couple of inches of water, and use your sponge or dishcloth to wipe the dishes before they go in the dishwasher.

·      Apply the same idea to doing laundry. Don’t run the washing machine until you have a full load of wash.

Remember, 1 in every 3 people in the world does not have access to clean, safe water to meet their daily needs.  That is only going to get worse as our population grows.

Water is an essential resource to sustain life. As governments and community organizations make it a priority to deliver adequate supplies of quality water to people, we all can help by learning how to conserve and protect this precious resource in our daily lives.

 

Water Cycle Diagram courtesy JEA.com  

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Conservation, Water   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 28, 2011

       

 

Here’s a question that I am often asked: If water is constantly being cleaned and recycled through the earth’s water cycle, why do we need to conserve it?

The answer is simple: We use up our planet’s fresh water faster than it can be replenished by nature.

And here’s the critical fact about water: About 75 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, but only 1 percent of this is available for people to use. The rest is salt water or is frozen in polar ice caps and glaciers. 

NOW, do you see why it is important to conserve water?

Water is an essential resource for life and good health. According to WHO (the World Health Organization), 1 in every 3 people in the world does not have access to clean, safe water that meets their daily needs.

I decided to write about this today because I was inspired by this magical and beautiful film, made by an artist in Brazil. 

We all need to be part of the effort to conserve water, use it sparingly and only as we need it. We must protect this precious resource, without which life is not possible.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Video, Conservation, Water   •  Permalink (link to this article)