Monday, October 15, 2007

Water.... must have.... water

Due to massive population growth, unprecedented lack of rainfall and stunning lack of management foresight, Atlanta will run out of water in 3 months if nothing changes.

Read more about it.

Hmm.. Well, I'd been looking for a new project. What better project than the continued survival of one's own family! Now, it's a little strange, because bottled water will (presumably) continue to be available, so dying of thirst isn't really the problem. But we will start to smell pretty bad, and cooking would get to be a chore. So how can you get (not necessarily potable) water, assuming you don't want to dig a well (I don't)?

Here's what I've come up with so far:

* Dehumidifier. You can get 3-6 gallons a day if you run it continuously. Of course, you're burning coal to do so, but seeing as how we're partly in this fix because of a sturgeon and 2 endangered mussels... bugger the atmosphere.

* Solar still. Dig a shallow trench, cover it with plastic at an angle, sun hits the earth, water evaporates onto plastic, drains into basin. Output depends on the size of the still, but are modest - maybe a gallon or 2 a day, with a BIG trench.

* Dew collection. This involves simply constructing an inverted pyramid of a fabric with a large surface area. Yields are said to be more than a solar still. And I have a lot of PVC pipe with which to experiment.

* Conservation. Apparently 40 gallons/person/day is a good target to shoot for, which seemed high to me. We already don't wash the children as much as we should, so we can stop filling the bath as much when we do, switch to more sponge baths, and stop flushing the toilet so much. All things I recall from my own childhood.

The next few months should be interesting.


Keath said...

I look forward to the results of your testing. The dew collection certainly sounds like the most fun. I also like the idea of Dirty Children Save Water. You should start a foundation... "DCSW Needs Volunteers like you!"

If the experiments don't pan out (no pun intended), there's always the back up plan of holing up in Texas or NorCar.

Keath and Ceridwen said...

Wet Ones! Chemical toilets! Paper plates and plastic ware! Money,schmunny.