Two decades ago, my hometown waterway of Boston Harbor was known as the dirtiest harbor in America. Raw sewage and industrial pollution made fishing and swimming risky at best, and impossible at worst. But today, thanks to cleanup efforts spurred by the Clean Water Act, it’s one of the most visited places in New England, and one of the best spots for recreation.
We know clean water is a health priority, but it’s also an economic necessity. Our communities, schools, businesses, and farms can’t run without it. A cleaner Boston Harbor has meant higher property values, more shipping, and more jobs. In 2012, more than 50,000 jobs in Boston were tied to port activity — from cargo and seafood processing to cruises and harbor tours. Read more
A new Kickstarter campaign for a smart water heater that could cut energy use by 40 percent and water use by 10 percent compared to conventional water heaters has already gotten close to its $125,000 goal after only a few days on the site. The compact water heater, measuring only 12.5 inches by 6.5 inches, is called the Heatworks MODEL 1 and has Wi-Fi compatibility so that temperature, duration and power levels could all monitored and controlled remotely.
ISI Technology, the creator of the Heatworks MODEL 1, says that the water heater is 99 percent efficient. According to the Kickstarter page, it “uses state of the art electronic technology to directly energize and heat the water molecules, rather than heating the water with old-school resistance heating elements. The MODEL 1 eliminates all failure modes of conventional water heating technology and provides more features at the same or less cost.” Read more
Instead of generating electricity at sea and sending it to shore, a different kind of wave energy device is in the works in Australia, and it promises to deliver not only emissions-free electricity, but also emissions-free desalinated water.
The technology, called CETO after a Greek sea goddess, is being developed by Carnegie Wave Energy Limited, and their upcoming 2MW pilot project near the Perth Wave Energy demo site will be the first wave powered desalination plant in world. Read more
Billions of people lack access to clean drinking water and researchers are constantly searching for cost-effective ways to purify water for rural villages and developing areas. A team of researchers has come up with just such a possible solution using “super sand,” or sand coated in an oxide of graphite.
Using sand to purify water is already an old strategy, but researchers from Rice University in Texas think that by coating it with graphite, the “super sand” will purify water more quickly and effectively than ever before. The BBC reports that coarse sand doesn’t purify as well as fine sand, but fine sand purifies very slowly as water percolates through. The new process could harness the best qualities of both. Read more
She’s Alive… Beautiful… Finite… Hurting… Worth Dying for.