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Water Conservation

Environment

Device that harvests water from thin air wins the James Dyson Award

Young Melbourne-based inventor Edward Linacre has won the 2011 James Dyson Award, making it the second year in a row where the prestigious prize has gone to an Aussie. Linacre stole this year's competition with his Airdrop irrigation concept that collects water from thin air. The Swinburne University of Technology design graduate was driven to transform an ancient cooling technique into a new sub-surface irrigation system, following the enduring Australian drought that saw high levels of farmer suicide along Australia's Murray- Darling Basin. Read More

Environment

U.S. Army aims for more energy-efficient base camps

The U.S. Army has opened a System Integration Laboratory (SIL) at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, modeled after forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan to test technologies aimed at creating more energy-efficient base camps. The various energy-efficient technologies being tested are expected to reduce base camp fuel requirements by 20 percent or more and water demand by up to 75 percent. Read More

Around The Home

New Russell Hobbs washing machine cleans up in world record time

Doing the laundry probably isn’t high on anyone’s list of fun things to do, so anything that speeds up the chore, while also cutting down on the amount of water and energy used, is going to be welcome. A new washing machine from Russell Hobbs looks to accomplish all these goals with its “super rapid wash” cycle rinsing and spinning a load of lightly soiled clothes in a world record time of just 12 minutes as opposed to an average 90-minute wash cycle.Read More

Environment

Amphibious floating garden concept would clean rivers across Europe

Concerned about our rising population having serious water supply issues in the not too distant future, Lilypad floating city designer Vincent Callebaut has come up with a floating amphibious garden that can clean our rivers as it travels the waterways of Europe. His proposed "audacious, avant-garde" Physalia project will be a self-sufficient, nomadic research vessel which can also host aqua-focused exhibitions and conferences.Read More

Environment

Every last drop: technologies that save water on show

The Fraunhofer research organization is concerned about the world’s fresh water supply. According to the statistics put forth by groups like the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century, that concern is justified – over 450 million people worldwide currently face severe water shortages, and as much as two thirds of the world’s population could be “water-stressed” by 2025. Likewise, a study by the UN has predicted that water is due to become more strategically important than petroleum; in other words, wars could be fought over it. In reaction to scenarios such as these, 14 of Franhofer’s research divisions have joined together to form the Fraunhofer Alliance SysWasser, with the aim of developing sustainable water system technologies. The group will be presenting six of these technologies at this week’s IFAT/Entsorga water trade fair in Munich. Here’s a quick look at each one.Read More

Environment

NoMix toilets make a splash in European study

If you’ve ever considered the humble urinal, you might have noticed that it uses much less water than a toilet. It only makes sense - since they don’t receive any feces, urinals don’t need all the water necessary to carry such solid waste through to the sewer line. When you use a toilet and just urinate, however, you’re still flushing away just as much water as if you, uh, went “Number 2.” If you were using a NoMix toilet, however, the Number 1 and Number 2 would go separate places, with the flushes being needed for solid waste only. It’s a good enough idea that in a recent pilot project, users in seven European countries gave the device a thumbs - or should that be bottoms? - up.Read More

Environment

Water Pebble watches you (and your water usage) in the shower

In today’s water-conscious environment, any device that helps conserve precious H2O should be applauded. Paul Priestman from design company Priestmangoode has created the Water Pebble – a gadget that monitors how long you’re taking in the shower by flashing red when it’s time to get out. But what makes Water Pebble different from other timing devices is that the Water Pebble memorizes how long you took for your first shower and sets about gradually minimizing the amount of water you use by reducing the time it takes for the device to flash red in subsequent showers.Read More

Around The Home

New touch-free faucets use capacitive sensors to boost reliability

Automatic faucets are a good idea, they're convenient, hygienic and big water savers, but many of us who've encountered these "smart taps" in public washrooms would be familiar with the inordinate amount of hand-waving that's sometimes required to actually make them work. Fontaine believes it has the answer with its new line of Sensa Field automatic faucets. Rather than relying on motion activated Infrared sensors which have a tendency to cut out mid-rinse, these taps utilize a capacitive omni-directional sensing zone around the spout which the company says guarantees activation the first time.Read More

Around The Home

AquaHub conserves H2O in the garden

With water conservation becoming an increasingly urgent priority in many parts of the world, we're always on the lookout for something that saves on H2O. Described as a "power strip + surge protector for watering outdoors", the AquaHub is a water management tool that connects to a standard garden hose, branching out into six regulated irrigation outlets to pinpoint and cater for the specific needs of different areas within the garden, saving time as well as water. Read More

Pets

Drinkwell Hydro-Go portable water bowl for pets

Anyone who has ever embarked upon a road trip with their four-legged friend will appreciate this clever, simple invention. Drinkwell Hydro-Go is a two-in-one canteen and drink bowl designed to cut down on mess and water wastage. The integrated bowl is connected to the top of the bottle neck, flip out the bowl and pour water through the connecting funnel and you have a simple solution to re-hydrating your pet on the go without having to share your own water supply.Read More

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