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

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