Water for investment

Posted on June 2nd, 2009 by Water Nymph in Uncategorized, Why Not?

wall-street-journal-2006-logo-125In The Wall Street Journal last week, Roger Bate reviewed “Planet Water” by Steve Hoffmann. It sounds fascinating in some ways and really hard in others, so we are glad that Bate went to all the trouble to read it for us, and pull out the good stuff. Like this: “Parts of St. Louis’s sewer system predate the Civil War.” This comment supports the claim that “In the U.S., old pipes are primarily to blame for domestic water loss.” So it’s not people who leave the water on while they brush their teeth. 

But we’re really interested in what the astute Hoffman has to say about water as an investment opportunity.  He says that private management (as opposed to government management) will make companies more efficient, and those are the ones for investors to pursue.  There’s a big debate going on elsewhere about private vs. public water management. We’re interested in what you think. 

And we’re interested in this statement: “Arsenic removal will be a nich growth market for treatment technologies.” Hmmm. 

Read the review here.

newwaRainwater Recovery’s fearless leader, Phil Reidy, will be presenting as part of New England Water Works Association continuing education program on Tuesday, June 2.  For those of you in the industry, it’s a neat way to get caught up with innovative programs and meet some interesting movers and shakers in the industry. The course is called “Strategies and Tools to Encourage Wise Water Use.” Here’s the course description:

This course provides information on the latest U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program technologies, and strategies for communicating the benefits of water conservation to the public. In addition, attendees will hear first-hand accounts and lessons learned from successful conservation programs. Technologies and approaches to maximizing outdoor water use efficiency will be presented, and attendees will receive a tour of a rainwater recovery irrigation system and a Greenscapes landscape.

Phil will be talking about Integrated Harvesting & Stormwater Management Systems. He has a fascinating way of showing how all the pieces are inter-related. We recommend you take advantage of this chance to learn about the latest in technologies and strategies, see Phil, and get some continuing education units. You can sign up here.

balletocbcIt is so nice to get noticed. Especially when so much of what we do is invisible. Not just that it’s underground, but, if we’re doing our job right, no one should know it’s there.

And especially nice for this project which was with such good people, doing good things, like the Old Cambridge Baptist Church. That photo is of our work in progress, with ballet dancers. Oh, you didn’t know? We always finish with a pas de deux.

Here are the particulars:

Category:  Stormwater – Innovative Use of Stormwater On Site / Stormwater Harvest and Reuse

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FLOW: For the Love of Water

Posted on April 17th, 2009 by Water Nymph in Cool Stuff

flow_01The Sundance Channel is showing FLOW: For the Love of Water.

This is how the film is described on their website:

Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century – The World Water Crisis.

Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel.

Interviews with scientists and activists intelligently reveal the rapidly building crisis, at both the global and human scale, and the film introduces many of the governmental and corporate culprits behind the water grab, while begging the question “CAN ANYONE REALLY OWN WATER?”

Beyond identifying the problem, FLOW also gives viewers a look at the people and institutions providing practical solutions to the water crisis and those developing new technologies, which are fast becoming blueprints for a successful global and economic turnaround.

The schedule is as follows: 

Tuesday April 21 at 10PM
Wednesday April 22 at 2:30AM
Sunday April 26 at 9AM

“New Era of Green Technology”

Posted on March 20th, 2009 by Water Nymph in Cool Stuff

grinfrastructureSection 438 represents an important next step toward improving the health of the nation’s waters…” So say Neil Wasterstein, Executive Director, and Christopher Kloss, a senior environmental scientist, both of the Low Impact Development Center in a bullishly positive piece in Stormwater. That’s Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which they say, “will catapult the nation into the new era of green technology and a business-based approach for stormater management.” They paint a happy picture: “Section 438 will result in more green infrastructure at federal facilities, because maintaining predevelopment hydrology will make use of technologies and practices that promote the natural flow of water. Vegetation will be used to intercept rainfall and evapotranspirate moisture back into the atmosphere, undisturbed or enhanced soils will allow natural infiltration, and water-harvesting systems will collect and reuse rainfall on site.”

Another point the writers make is one we’ve wanted to see made for a long time. “The inclusion of Section 438 in the EISA also recognizes the connection between water and energy. The transport, use, and disposal of water are energy intensive. Integrated water management that recognizes the resource value of water will lead to improved energy efficiencies and conservation.” It’s all interdependent.

fundingforwaterDavid Engle over at Water Efficiency has written an impressively complete article on the state of water funding in the US right now. With availability of money acting like a game of peek-a-boo, it’s nice to know know someone has kept track of “this drastically altered funding landscape.” In Hard Times, Money for Water,Engle starts with an overview (“Who in their right mind ever votes against water?”), he goes in depth with Pennsylvania as typical, with an enormous gap in the cost of water and the income from water and sewer billings. California, too, gets a detailed analysis, and emerges with some positive trends that are heartening.

Most helpful, though, is “the complete list of federal grand- and loan-making agencies and status, as of early 2009.” This is a must read for any water conservation professional.

hdr_gov_sealBy issuing a State of Emergency Proclamation on Friday 2/27/09,  the Governor has formally declared a state of emergency for the State of California due to the protracted drought being experienced by the state.  The proclamation includes  18 directives and 3 requests for coordination and cooperation among various stakeholders, many of which directly or indirectly promote water conservation or implementation of water conservation technologies.  Among the more interesting Directives for those who ascribe to sensible use of fresh water supplies is #8, which reads “The Department of General Services shall, in cooperation with other state agencies, immediately implement a water use reduction plan for all state agencies and facilities.  The plan shall include immediate water conservation actions and retrofit programs for state facilities.   A moratorium shall be placed on all new landscaping projects at state facilities and on state highways and roads except for those that use water efficient irrigation, drought tolerant plants or non-irrigated erosion control.” (my emphasis)

We look forward to seeing technologies new and old be implemented more broadly across California and other states to bring sensible approaches to use of fresh water supplies to the masses.

Water Footprint Network

Posted on February 19th, 2009 by Water Nymph in Cool Stuff, Uncategorized

smallwfplogoThe Wall Street Journal had a cool interactive graphic showing the “water footprint”  of certain products. Most shocking to me? It takes 35 gallons of water to make one cup of coffee, and only 8 gallons for a cup of tea. The stats come courtesy of the Water Footprint Network. They also have a water footprint calculator! Their mission is complex and large; but this step, of getting the word out there and into the WSJ, has increased awareness of the direct and indirect costs of water use exponentially.

This is particularly exciting for us at Rainwater Recovery. We have long wished for a wider wareness of water usage, and WFN is making great strides in educating people.

arnoldarboretumPhil Reidy, President and Founder of Rainwater Recovery Inc., will be presenting on “New Thinking in Stormwater Management” at a symposium on integrated approaches to stormwater management at the Landscape Institue of the Arnold Arboretum on Friday, February 13. While he loves to share his passion for rainwater harvesting and integrated stormwater management systems with like-minded professionals, neophytes and clients alike, what makes this workshop particularly special for Phil is the other presenters – all longtime friends to Rainwater: Bethany Eisenberg, Queen of stormwater engineering and LID design at Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB); Charlie Miller, the technical and visionary energy behind Roofscapes, Inc. in Philadelphia and a U.S pioneer for engineered green roof implementation; and Marcus Quigley, the creative genius from Geosyntec Consultants, where he continues to push the envelope in the application of integrated stormwater solutions and real-time control and data systems. This is a team of water experts anyone would be proud to be on. All in one place.

This workshop will explore various aspects of current and future stormwater management practices, including the trends in integrated systems incorporating rainwater/stormwater harvesting and green roofs with other storm water control techniques. Included will be an investigation of the impacts of introducing real-time controls and modeling software into the designs of these systems. The overall goal is to combine available tools and new technologies to meet stormwater flow mitigation and water conservation objectives on a site, campus, regional, citywide scale.

We hope to see you there!

The course is given through The Landscape Institute of the Arnold Arboretum/Harvard University.

Fog catchers

Posted on February 3rd, 2009 by Water Nymph in Cool Stuff

fogquestIt sounds like a fantasy, but it’s real. FogQuest is a non-profit assisting families in rural areas where the needs for clean water are extreme. They use special nets on mountains for fog and rainwater collection. 

They work in Eritrea, Chili, Ethiopia, Guatemala and other places around the globe where the people are without access to clean water in the form of rivers or lakes. 

Each large (6 m high by 10 m long) fog collector produces about 200 litres of clean water a day.

They have this really cool movie, too:

FogQuest Movie

They are an all volunteer oganization of very creative and determined individuals.


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