Category Archives: INNOVATIONS

New and exciting concepts and products.

Coolest Water Fountain


This spacey looking device is a real working public rain water filtering system called SKYWATER, developed in South Korea. Rain is collected from the ring and sent to holding tanks underground. When the flexible house is manipulated, water is sent back up thru the filtration system and out comes fresh drinking water. I have no idea why it looks the way it does but aesthetics aside, this is about the coolest water fountain I’ve ever seen.

Designer: Ji-youn Kim

Yanko Design


























The Hydroleaf

A Solar-Powered Rainwater Purification System and Drinking Fountain

By Katherine Gloede on January 12, 2011

Mostafa Bonakdar
, a design student from Tehran, recently launched a design for a solar powered rainwater catchment system. The Hydroleaf is a unique device that collects rainwater, then uses solar energy to power a water purification system which supplies a fountain on the same device.

The public hydration station features a photovoltaic solar canopy at the top of the structure that uses solar energy to power a water purification system. Rainwater is collected at the top of the structure and funneled through the purification system. A drinking fountain on the bottom of the Hydroleaf supplies the public with the purified water. The container is able to store up to approximately 60 liters of filtered water. The solar panels also offer a small shelter, perfect for covering a park bench or acting a bus stop.

The Hydroleaf has come with some critique including possible impracticality of the device due its high energy use. The ability for the structure to withstand harsh winter weather or high wind has also been called into question. The design has also merited much praise as it is a self-contained system that utilizes clean energy for water purification. Should the design prove efficient and practical, the Hydroleaf might someday provide safe drinking water to the masses, greatly reducing dependence on plastic water bottles and giving more people access to clean drinking water. We hope to see these in cities everywhere in the future.

IARA Water Purifier System With Rolling System

Future Technology Design News


January 11, 2011 Filed Under: Home Appliance

Purifying water for daily need can be done with several way and device. Here is innovative water purifier entitled IARA System Collect by Brazil based industrial designer Baita Design Studio. This innovative water purifier IARA System collect is very eco friendly and user friendly to collect rain water and purify it, then the purified water will be transported in far-off location which need the pure water. This amazing water purifier IARA System features 5 bottles for dirty water, the empty bottle at the center for purified water and also equipped with the condensation processes and evaporation for purifying the unhygienic water. IARA water purifier and collector also has rolling system with ergonomic handle for carrying hygienic water from one location to another in easier way.

EPA Issues Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy

By Patrick Crow, Washington Correspondent

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its long-awaited Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy.

EPA said U.S. communities face challenges in making upgrades and repairs to their aging sewer systems and treatment facilities. It said that making the infrastructure last longer while increasing its cost-effectiveness is essential to protecting human health and the environment — and maintaining safe drinking water.

The federal policy emphasizes the need to continue promoting sustainable water infrastructure. It also focuses on working with states and water systems to use planning processes that result in projects that are cost effective, resource efficient, and consistent with community sustainability goals. It encourages utility management practices to build and maintain the technical, financial, and managerial capacities needed to ensure long-term sustainability.

EPA drafted the policy with input from its federal, state, and local partners. It will provide technical assistance and target funding sources to support the sustainability of water infrastructure.

Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe said, “Through cost-effective, resource-efficient techniques — like green water infrastructure alternatives — this policy aims to make our communities more environmentally and economically sustainable. These smart investments in our water infrastructure, along with increased awareness of the importance of these investments, can keep our water cleaner and save Americans money.”

Separately, EPA issued its 5-year strategic plan (for fiscal years 2011 to 2015) with five goals for advancing its environmental and human-health mission. They are: acting on climate change and improving air quality; protecting waters; cleaning communities and advancing sustainable development; ensuring the safety of chemicals and preventing pollution; and enforcing environmental laws.

Incineration Rule

EPA has proposed standards under Section 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) that would affect the options that local governments have for the management of sewage sludge.

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) said nearly a fifth of all the sewage sludge produced annually in the U.S. is burned in incinerators. It said EPA’s proposed new source performance standards could effectively eliminate the construction of new incinerators, and the tougher standards for existing ones could force many communities to abandon incineration as early as 2016.

The association said EPA now regulates the incinerators under regulations in Section 405 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). NACWA has urged that incinerators be regulated under Section 112 of the CAA but it said EPA, in response to a series of court rulings, developed the proposed standards under Section 129.

EPA has estimated the new standards will require most existing incinerators to install additional pollution control devices at a total capital cost of more than $200 million and annual operating costs of $100 million. The agency said some of those costs would be avoided since many public wastewater utilities would abandon incineration and send their sludge to a landfill instead. NACWA said EPA’s analysis understated the costs and environmental impacts of placing sludge in landfills.

NACWA said, “Rather than encouraging upgrades to newer, cleaner incinerators paired with energy recovery that can offset a significant amount of the energy needs for treating wastewater, the proposed standards will result in many of the nation’s wastewater utilities abandoning their significant capital investments and simply sending an energy-rich secondary material for disposal in a landfill.

“During a period of time where municipalities are facing enormous economic challenges and an ever-expanding regulatory landscape, it is critical for EPA to ensure its policies are environmentally and economically sound, and ensure those policies allow municipalities to manage their resources wisely and engage in practices that can maximize their resources and limit their carbon footprint.”

Climate Change Study

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) will lead a two-year study on how municipalities can forecast water demand within the context of anticipated climate change.

The project, funded by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant, will provide recommendations on how to improve current water demand forecasting and identify areas of essential future research.

The study will include an assessment of current computer models, workshops to identify knowledge gaps, development of research priorities, and recommendations for reducing risk through improved demand forecasting. Researchers will conduct model simulations at two drinking water utilities.

AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance said, “This project is historic in its focus. Most studies on climate change and drinking water have focused on the supply side, looking at water resources. The examination of water demand adds an important new perspective.”

AWWA Director of Federal Relations Alan Roberson will serve as principal investigator for the project. Other members of the team will include faculty from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the University of Colorado at Boulder, along with staff from the environmental facilitator, Kearns & West.

In other Washington news:

  • EPA has notified the Office of Management and Budget that it plans to regulate the chemical perchlorate under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA will have up to two years to propose a rule after the decision to regulate is published.
  • A National Center for Atmospheric Research study has warned that global warming may cause the U.S. and other heavily populated countries to face the threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decades.
  • The National League of Cities said the economic recession is continuing to hurt municipalities. It said cities have reported their revenues will decline 3.2% and spending 2.3% next year. NLC said those cutbacks are the largest in the history of its annual surveys.
  • The American Farm Bureau Federation is opposing a Senate bill, the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act. It warned, “The bill makes sweeping changes to the CWA and sets adverse water policy precedents that would impact watersheds throughout the nation.”

Let It Rain

Green infrastructure strategies for cheap, effective, and beautiful rainwater management

January 2011

By Katharine Logan

Perhaps my most vivid memory of architecture school comes from a studio in which we built a model of a neighborhood design,and then poured water all over it. The trick was to use enough little pieces of sponge in the model, representing rainwater retention strategies at a variety of scales, so that no water spilled onto the floor. Across North America, regions and municipalities are now trying this trick for real. Why? Because the centuries-old approach of piping water off the land as fast as possible and dumping it into waterways is failing fast.

Each year in Philadelphia, a city with some of the oldest combined storm and sewer infrastructure in North America, billions of gallons of sewage over-flow from 164 outfalls into the city’s creeks, streams, and rivers during major rainstorms. In Milwaukee, a hospital study shows the number of children with serious diarrhea rising whenever the city’s sewers overflow. Run-off pollution from suburban and agricultural sources threatens New York City’s drinking water supply. And it’s estimated that every twenty-four months, rainwater run-off from the streets of Seattle flushes into Puget Sound a volume of oil equivalent to the Exxon Valdez spill.

Nor is the impact on water quality the full extent of the problem—the effecton water quantity is just as devastating. Conventional engineering practice treats rainwater as a problem to be carried off the land as quickly as possible. Under such circumstances, in a matter of hours pipes dump as much as a hundred times more water per minute into a stream than the stream, whose banks have stabilized over millennia, can accept. This wreaks havoc on fish habitat. In Vancouver, British Columbia, there were once over fifty salmon- and trout-bearing streams—by 2009, there were two.

Patrick Lucey is an aquatic ecologist and urban geographer, and one of the designers of the rainwater management system at South East False Creek, a LEED Platinum-certified neighborhood that served as Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Village: “In shifting to sustainability by design,” Lucey says, ”we’re really talking about shifting from a 2,000-year-old engineering convention to a fundamentally new approach to municipal infrastructure.” This approach is a form of biomimicry, a system based on nature’s implicit design principles, which he sums up in three steps: capture, store, beneficial use.

Starting at the rooftops, green roofs at South East False Creek retain and use a varying amount of rainwater, depending on the season. Water that isn’t captured on the roofs is caught in basement cisterns. Until it’s used for landscape irrigation or toilet flushing, water from the cisterns circulates continuously through neighborhood water features. Not only does moving water delight human beings, the movement aerates it and exposes it to sunlight, which keeps it at a level of quality good enough to swim in.

Once it reaches the ground, water at South East False Creek is kept in the open. Streams that were once piped and buried have been brought back into the daylight. Site water makes its way across a variety of permeable and textured surfaces either to a bioswale on the eastern edge of the project or to Hinge Park wetland on the site’s western edge, and from there to False Creek.

Key to the success of South East False Creek’s rainwater system is the difference between total impermeable area and effective impermeable area. The green infrastructure at South East False Creek makes a high-density urban development behave in the watershed like a site with an impermeable area closer to zero. Along False Creek’s rehabilitated shoreline, herring have spawned for the first time in decades. “That’s amazing,” says Lucey, “herring are very sensitive. That must mean you guys got it right.”

A little further south, but still in rain country, Portland, Oregon’s pioneering work in rainwater management has produced some of the most inspiring examples of street edge rain gardens anywhere, winning awards two years in a row from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The SW 12th Avenue Green Street Project, built in 2005, converts an underutilized stretch of ground between the sidewalk and the street into a series of four planters that capture, slow, and clean street runoff, and allow it to infiltrate into the earth. The planters effectively disconnect SW 12th from the conventional storm system, and handle the street’s 180,000 gallons of rainwater on site. More than that, planted with trees and well-composed plants, and with tumbled concrete pavers defining their place in the street, they’re beautiful.

Similarly, the NE Siskiyou Green Street Project, built in 2003, consists of two curb extensions, familiar as a traffic calming and pedestrian safety strategy, but with curb cuts to allow rain to flow into well-designed plantings behind them. Cheap and simple, the rain gardens manage NE Siskiyou’s day-to-day rainwater on site, and are projected to manage 85 percent of a 25-year storm.

As well as the technical success and aesthetic appeal of sustainable rainwater infrastructure, its cost-effectiveness warms its welcome with municipalities struggling to maintain outdated and overburdened pipe infrastructure. In Philadelphia, upgrading the existing combined storm and sewer system would cost over $10 billion. “There is no way in the world that we could ever pay for something like that,” Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter told an audience at the recent “Charting New Waters” conference in Washington, D.C. Instead, Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters program proposes to spend $1.6 billion to achieve a safe and sustainable rainwater management system using green infrastructure.

Philadelphia has set a goal of transforming at least a third of existing impervious cover in its combined sewer system drainage area over the next two decades into “greened acres” that will filter or store the first inch of each rainfall. That first inch, it turns out, is enormously significant. Except in Florida, most rainstorms in North America deliver less than an inch of rain per day. So if a site can infiltrate an inch a day, it will treat 80 to 90 percent of its rain on site.

An early adopter of green rainwater strategies, Philadelphia has already completed projects to reduce the imperviousness of its public domain, including the creation of raised bed vegetable gardens and rain gardens in school parking lots, tree trenches in road meridians, bioswales in parking lots, and sidewalk infiltration planters modeled after the Portland examples. Neighborhood basketball players particularly appreciate Philadelphia’s pervious asphalt basketball courts, which are dry enough to play on much sooner after rainfall than regular courts.

Not only is Philadelphia implementing the first inch strategy in the public realm, it is requiring it for any private development that disturbs more than 15,000 square feet of earth. As a result, rainwater management is integrated early in the zoning and building permit process.

The city provides information and support to homeowners wanting to collect roof runoff in rain barrels, disconnect downspouts to direct runoff to pervious areas, or use site slopes to create rain gardens. To encourage retrofitting commercial and residential property for on-site rainwater management, Philadelphia is phasing in an initiative, which separates stormwater billing from the water bill, and ties it to the impervious cover of the site.

The public response to Philadelphia’s green infrastructure agenda has been overwhelmingly positive (92 percent), according to the city’s water department. In response to its Green Streets Survey, the department heard the public say, “I love the idea! It would make us healthier and happier all around,” and “we are proud to be a model neighborhood.”

Katharine Logan is an architecturally trained and LEED-accredited writer based in British Columbia

This article appeared in the January 2011 print issue of GreenSource Magazine.

Mission Plastiki—Catching Wind, Storing Rain:

David de Rothschild’s Quest for Pacific Plastic

Click on the link above to read the whole interview from circle of Blue Waternews

You mentioned the Plastiki as its own ecosystem in the middle of the ocean. Fresh water is a tiny percentage on this plant, tell me what you have learned about using fresh water in a closed ecosystem in similarities between living on Plastiki and living on Earth.

David de Rothschild: Water has been one of the most topical points of conversation on the boat from the very moment we began this project. One of the things we obviously wanted to do was work within our limit—mainly our energy limit. When we first started looking at different systems one of the first systems that was proposed to us was a very smart system that was based on the Namibian desert beetle. The system looks at evaporation and the differential in temperature to create condensation that then can be collected. We went through a number of trials and we discussed this with a number of experts. Michael Pawlyn, who is the concept architect and is a big advocate of this, is doing a big project on this called the Sahara Forest project, which is looking at this Namibian desert beetle for influence for the irrigation systems that they’re setting up. We went through to a number of different call-outs to various smart brain trusts on these issues, and to be honest with you, we came up with a blank in finding a very compact and suitable way of generating freshwater without huge amount of energy. If you start getting into things like reverse osmosis you really are talking about vast amounts of energy that are required, at least today.

David de Rothschild

One of the things we went for was just good, old-fashioned rainwater collection. We designed the cabin to be a one great water catcher, so the cabin roof is hooked up with four outlets. Every time there’s a downpour we fill up our tanks. And it becomes a real moment of the day. You will see every crew member take their clothes off and run outside and have a freshwater shower and make the most of those precious drops. Sometimes the school lasts a minute, and you can’t wash the soap off. And sometimes we’re getting showers lasting almost day to a day-and-a-half of solid rain that fills our tanks up—it is quite an extraordinary story on the first leg. We realized our limitation with the water. We had to make a few decisions; one of them was the garden. Halfway across from Christmas Island we had to decide whether the water was going to be for us, or the water was going to be for the garden. Obviously we chose us, which meant the garden suffered. This is one of our big challenges, and the big challenges that we see all over the world. We see communities that have no access to water and it’s very hard for them to make the choices between do I feed myself and or hydrate myself, knowing that without water I will be gone in 15 days. You cannot survive without freshwater. It was quite an extraordinary story, but oddly enough on the first leg it only rained one day and along with the rain I should make clear that we also had big bladder bags where we stored our water and had an allowance each day of three liters a day per person. It really became a mind strain because we really did start to go through our water and you know the wind wasn’t in our favor and the first leg was dragging on longer than what we anticipated and when we arrived at Christmas Island we were literally at the bottom of our supplies. I think that had a big psychological effect on me and made me very aware about how incredibly lucky we are in the developed world or in any part of the world where we can just turn a tap on and not even contemplate the journey that water has taken and the process its taken to flow out of our taps so easily. The water issue on board has always been one we contended with whether it was carrying enough water, or whether during re-supplies. It’s really become a big topic of conversation and really does highlight how precious a resource it is. Without water we are really in dire straits.

National Geographic Society and Water

By 2050, a third of the people on Earth may lack a clean, secure source of water. Join National Geographic in exploring the local stories and global trends that define the world’s water crisis. Learn about freshwater resources and how they are used to feed, power, and sustain all life. See how the forces of technology, climate, human nature, and policy create challenges and drive solutions for a sustainable planet.

Water Efficiency and the EERE

The US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Department have a great web site for water efficiency, but I never see any references to it in the EERE email blast.

Email  Will Lintner and let him know you want them to start.
Federal Energy Management Program

Check it out. It is great

Water Efficiency

Water is one of our most precious natural resources, and although the United States has an abundant supply, it is not evenly distributed throughout the country. Recent droughts illustrate that many areas are severely undersupplied. Federal facilities have a tremendous opportunity to lead by example within their communities to showcase innovative and cost-effective water efficiency strategies.

Water efficiency is no longer an option. Federal laws and regulations require agencies to implement water efficiency efforts. FEMP considers water efficiency to be an integral part of every comprehensive energy/resource management program. This is because water requires significant energy input for treatment, pumping, heating, and process uses.

Federal agencies have been making tremendous strides in their water efficiency efforts during the past few years. With new Federal directives, Federal agencies must continue to conserve water. FEMP’s mission is to assist agencies in water efficiency and meeting Federal mandates. In this section, energy managers can learn more about water efficiency through:

Basics: Introduction of Federal water efficiency, including myths and misconceptions surrounding water efficiency and conservation efforts.

Federal Requirements: Overview of Federal water efficiency requirements as well as and guidance surrounding Federal water management.

Best Management Practices: Series of 14 Best Management Practices for Federal water efficiency developed by FEMP and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Case Studies: Sample Federal water programs aligned with the 14 Best Management Practices for Federal water efficiency.

Working Group: Information, objectives, and resources surrounding the Federal Water Working Group.

Resources: Federal, state, and local resources for water efficiency and management, including guidebooks, associations, and related links.

Contacts: FEMP and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory contacts for Federal water efficiency and management.

Additional information is available in a Water Efficiency Program Prioritization presentation (PDF 203 KB).

Technical Guidance: Stormwater Treatment Credit for RHS in NC

Technical Guidance: Stormwater Treatment Credit for Rainwater Harvesting Systems

North Carolina Division of Water Quality

Revised September 22, 2008


It is the policy of the Division of Water Quality to enable and encourage the use of rooftop rainwater harvesting systems (cisterns) to reduce stormwater runoff pollution from an individual site. Collecting and storing rooftop runoff, and providing a consistent, dedicated, and reliable end use, will reduce the volume of runoff and enable the reduction in size of other required stormwater treatment systems on the site. In watersheds requiring nutrient removal from stormwater, dedicated uses of the collected rainwater or proper treatment/infiltration can reduce stormwater nutrient removal requirements. This policy establishes the credit that will be allowed in DWQ permitting programs that consider impervious built upon areas (BUA) and that rely on calculations of runoff volume and peak flow for sizing stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Click here to view the complete document.

What a great way to control stormwater.