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The ‘Waterfall House’ Takes Showering Outdoors

In Sweden, a clause in planning laws allows residents to build a 270 square foot building on any existing residential property — a law that’s seen some inventive new small house designs, like this concept that moves the shower outdoors.

waterfall-houseThe small structures are known as Attefall houses, after the politician who introduced the planning regulation. Although the law limits the floor plan of the house to 270 square feet — a bit smaller than a regulation basketball key — it also allows the eaves to extend out by five feet. Read more

One Water – for Sustainable Development

One-Water“Water is a precondition for human existence”, says UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson. Water is health, water is energy, water is food, water is climate, and water is equality. This year, we celebrate the 25th Jubilee of Stockholm Water Prize. Read more

6 Ways to Save the Salton Sea and Colorado Delta

With scientific modeling foreshadowing megadroughts in the Southwest and Great Plains, it is imperative policymakers implement freshwater projects along the lower Colorado River, in particular, the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile freshwater agricultural sump in southeastern California, and in the Colorado River Delta where the waterway ends its journey in the Baja California desert.

colorado-delta-marshFollowing the elimination of 95 percent of California’s wetlands in the last century, the Salton Sea provides habitat for several endangered species and is a vital stopover for migrating birds along the Pacific Coast. Over 400 bird species–the largest documented number in North America–nest there. Read more

Blue Spots On Mars Look Like Liquid Water – But Aren’t

In fact, the blue regions in the image – which was taken by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter – are dark sediments that look like liquid water because of the way the image was processed, according to the agency’s website.

MARS-BLUEWater is known to exist on Mars, but the Red Planet is so cold that, with the possible exception of some transient melting, it’s all frozen solid. Read more

This Bottle Turns Air Into Water As You Ride Your Bike

Someday soon, cyclists might never again have to worry about running out of water on a hot and humid day.

A gadget created by Kristof Retezár, an industrial design student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, collects and condenses moisture from the air while a bicycle is in motion. It then fills up a water bottle attached to the bike frame.

n-FONTUS-BIKE1Named after the Roman god of wells and springs, “Fontus” uses the principle of thermoelectric cooling, in which an electricity-powered heat pump transfers heat from one side of a container to another.

Fontus is still in the prototype stage. The design was recently a finalist for the 2014 James Dyson Award, an international design competition. Read more