Fresh water is an essential resource for life. It is no secret that the world is becoming increasingly fresh-water stressed as global demand continues to grow.
Writing for CNN, Stefanie Blendis and Monique Rivalland advise that “according to the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA), 1.2 trillion gallons of water are used every year for showering in the United States alone. And yet, rather disturbingly, across the world more than three times the population of the States lacks access to any clean water at all.”
According to the EPA, there are approximately 155,000 public water systems in the United States. Scientific American reports that, “…in just the first decade of the 21st century, we've extracted underground water sufficient to raise global sea level by more than 2 percent. We suck up 25 cubic kilometers of buried water per year.” It has also been reported that, in the US, we use 125% percent more water than in 1950.
Growing Blue provides an interactive online tool here to check out water-stressed areas around the globe.
Technology plays a critical role in helping to relieve fresh-water issues. In the post-industrial world, this might take the form of more efficient water recycling-purification systems in the home.
Orbital Systems, a Sweden-based design start-up, has developed a smart shower that points us in the right direction. Their “shower of the future” includes a recycling and purification process that makes it possible to re-use the heat of the rinsed water. Purification and heat recovery occurs in real time producing water quality ensured to be above drinking quality level.
It is the brainchild of industrial designer Mehrdad Mahdjoubi. CNN notes that Mahdjoubi’s “…concept formed part of a collaborative project with NASA's Johnson Space Center, which looks to drive design concepts that could potentially assist space expeditions.”
OrbSys suggests that this technology can save 90% water consumption due to the efficient water recycling system. The inventors also claim that the technology can reduce energy consumption up to 80%.
These are significant numbers and significant savings and worthy of consideration.
Check out a video about the makers here.
Video Source: CNN.
Image Source: Orbital Systems Diagram.
Image Source: Orbital System Diagram.
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