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

Water Pricing To Spur Conservation Ruled Unconstitutional

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Orange County appeals court ruled Monday that San Juan Capistrano’s tiered water rates are unconstitutional, potentially dealing a blow to agencies statewide that have used the pricing structure to encourage water conservation.

The 3-0 ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal upholds a Superior Court judge’s decision that found that charging bigger water users incrementally higher rates violates a voter-approved law that prohibits government agencies from charging more than the cost of a service. Read more

Four Water Resolutions for a Sustainable Planet

Most of us have been taught since childhood to be careful in our use of water. We’ve been encouraged to take shorter showers, not let the water faucet run while brushing our teeth or shaving, or to install water-efficient plumbing fixtures such as low-flow toilets in our homes to conserve water.

Salmon-River

The Salmon River in Idaho, one of the very few well-protected rivers in the lower 48 states.

Each of these water-saving measures is important, and practicing them should be part of everyone’s water conservation ethic. Each of these actions will reduce the volume of water that must be withdrawn from natural habitats such as rivers, lakes, and aquifers, leaving more water to support fish and other aquatic life. Water conservation can help cities avoid water shortages, or enable a city’s population to expand without having to further deplete freshwater sources. By using less water we are also using less energy, because it takes a lot of electricity to pump water from a water source, purify it for our use, distribute it to our homes and businesses, and clean it again after we’ve used it. Read more

Artificial Glaciers Water Crops in Indian Highlands

yazghil-glacier-thumbA remote Indian village is responding to global warming-induced water shortages by creating large masses of ice, or “artificial glaciers,” to get through the dry spring months.

Located on the western edge of the Tibetan plateau, the village of Skara in the Ladakh region of India is not a common tourist destination.

“It’s beautiful, but really remote and difficult to get to,” said Amy Higgins, a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies who worked on the artificial glacier project.

“A lot of people, when I met them in Delhi and I said I was going to Ladakh, they looked at me like I was going to the moon,” said Higgins, who is also a National Geographic grantee. Read more

Water, Power Agencies Ask State Board to Defer Flows Review

Citing potentially severe impacts on water supply and power operations, a group of public water and power agencies is asking the State Water Resources Control Board to delay any revision of Delta flow objectives until key analyses can be completed as part of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan.

bay-deltaIn a letter submitted to the State Board, the water and power organizations said flow criteria developed by Board staff in a narrow process in 2010 would have devastating effects on beneficial uses of water if formally adopted by the State Board. Storage levels in key reservoirs would be greatly reduced by the end of summer in many years, hydropower generation would be reduced by an average of 30%, and temperature objectives designed to help winter- and fall-run salmon would not be met in most years, according to the letter. Water supplies for a variety of uses would also be severely reduced. Read more