Saturday, April 28, 2012

Save The Aral Sea #1 - Dams

The Aral Sea has the particularity to have a relatively low depth compared to its large surface. As water evaporation is proportional to the surface, the lake is somewhat suffering from this surface/depth ration.

One way to fight evaporation is to reduce the water surface while keeping some volume in depth. The smaller Aral Sea has been isolated with the Kokaral Dam from the Greater Sea in the 90's. The dike was damaged during a storm in 2002 and water was lost to the South Aral Sea. Finally the dam was repaired in 2005.

Today, this lake has recovered: the average depth in the small sea is about 40 m and salinity has decreased enough to reintroduce some local fishing. Dams are relatively cheap to build and their result is immediate. The only drawback of such solution in the South is that the most populated area (East) would be sacrificed.

North Aral Sea   Kokaral Dam

To be continued..

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Water Aflamed 1.6 is available

This version brings a simplified mode of water footprint computation.
The number of products are reduced to 20 for a quicker result.

The app has been free so far and has been downloaded by about 1000 people per year.
In order to fund some additional development, a small fee is required from now on.

Next version will compare meet water footprint with its proteinic equivalent in vegetables, fruits, crops... in an attempt to give you some alternatives.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Water Aflamed v1.5 available

This version is bringing:

- tips for water preservation
- water eco-label level A to H
- enhanced country database to more than 150 countries


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Water Aflamed v1.4 introduces water efficiency eco-label

Water labelling

A new function called "Shopping" is helping you doing a more sustainable market in terms of fresh water resources preservation.

Choose a food product, a country of origin and see a label going from A to G.
The label is measuring the impact on local water resources during production.
Water effciency eco-label for iPhone

The calculation is taken into account 3 factors:

- the water footprint of the product
Meat requiring more water than vegetables.

- the quality of the water used
Green (rain) water being more renewable than blue (irrigation) and grey water (pollution from fertilizers).

- the water available per capita in the country of origin
Growing food in Canada has clearly less impact than in semi-arid countries like South Africa for instance.

Other features added:

- performances improvement on the water footprint calculator
- the menu has been reworked somehow
- a mini guide is present on each major function
- products have been reorganized
- some minor data fixes


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Water Aflamed v1.3 is available

water footprint calculator for iPhone
The free water calculator for iphone brings now all scientific data updated (2010).

5 new countries have been added: France, Germany, Canada, South Africa and Turkey.
Now you may browse virtual water content of hundred of product within 16 nations.

Additional fixes:
- zoom in functionality in embedded user guide
- data fix for soda

A new screen will come with next version: it will help your you to make your shopping more water efficient.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Towing icebergs: a new technique to solve water scarcity ?

Freshwater Mountains

As we know, potable water is a rare resource in many countries.
A French team - led by Frederic Mougin - has been working on a crazy project to use gigantic freshwater pools which never have been exploited: icebergs !

Unlike floe ice, which consists of frozen sea-water and is populated by wild animals, icebergs are drifting mountains of fresh water. Calved from polar glaciers and continental icecaps, icebergs drift naturally in the ocean until they melt. Each year, tens of thousands of icebergs are produced this way from glaciers, all destined to melt and be lost in the oceans’ salt waters. And each year, the equivalent of a year’s consumption of potable water melts and disappears.

From Greenland to Canary islands

Foreseen 2012, a huge tabular iceberg of 30 millions of town will be towed from Newfoundland (after a natural drift from the Western cost of Greenland) to the Canary islands which are lacking of water.
Every technical expect has been carefully studied: shape of the giant, risk of fracture, melt estimate, negligible impact on the crossed ecosystems, and much more.

tabular iceberg towing between Greenland and Canary islands

Capitalistic view?

We should admire this technical challenge and wish go luck to the project team !

However, before pretending that iceberg carrying would a solution to water scarcity, there are several things to consider.

This experience seems a typical capitalist and old-fashionned way of thinking. Water is missing ? Well, let's plunder another water source !
This is true for every mineral resource on earth: priority is given on mining before sparing.

A more sensible and modern aproach could be: let's try to understand and to lessen/adapt our water consumption.

Using modern agriculture techniques, reducing exports of crop products and importing food products whose culture is water intensive, may certainly cut down the water footprint of Canarias.

Old Arabic dream

Such idea of retrieving fresh water from ice is not completely new. It emerged in the 70's in Saudi Arabia.
Since, the clever Saudis have found a better virtual source of clean water: crop and live-stock products, imported from country having a better climate ;-)

Sea of wheat
Credits: Mehdi Belatara

Indeed, food products are virtually containing water up to thousands of time their weight. Transporting them is far more simpler, cheaper and less polluting than this big iceberg hunting.

Conclusion : use the right water at the right place !

Read more on the original site. Enjoy nice videos.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Water Aflamed v1.2 available

Enjoy new products:
- soda
- sugar
- extra fruits
- extra vegetables

Water footprint of biofuel has been fixed.

The application embedds now a user guide.

New data have been issued by the water footprint network, so Water Aflamed roadmap is quite full for 2011 !