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World Water Day

How does one actually celebrate World Water Day? It’s not like other holidays with parades, family reunions, games, or special dinners. I’ve seen lots of articles for the day that has been broadcast all over the internet, and a couple suggestions on what to do. I decided on a shorter-than-usual shower and an informative blog post. (By the way, short shower means under 8 minutes in the realm of environmental engineering as this is the average time people spend under the shower head. If 8 is more than your normal, keep doing you!)

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Great Lakes Bluegill depiction from Missouri DEC.

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Desert Island

If you’re ever stuck on a desert island and have the chance to bring three things, don’t fret about potable water. Save your three wishes for a designer bikini, Netflix, or something more worth your while. According to Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine, activated carbon from coconut hull is a more efficient filter than activated carbon from bituminous coal. Below is a picture featuring this week’s topic of coconuts, and holding the coconut is a wonderful French traveler, writer, and inspirer I follow on Instagram, Jade Phoenix.

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Image from theadventuresofjade Instagram.

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Wonder Down Under 2

What makes Lake Rotomairewhenua of New Zealand the cleanest lake in the entire world? It compares to distilled water in its level of clarity and cleanliness. In my last post I covered the possibilities of UV radiation, decreased air pressure, freezing cold temperatures, and limited human interference. After a little digging, I found The Freshwater Project by Michel Roggo from Switzerland. Roggo is a photographer whose passion is photographing clear, beautiful waters.

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Membrane filtration as explained by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Wonder Down Under

Blue Lake or Rotomairewhenua of New Zealand contains the cleanest natural water in the entire world. It is protected not only by Nelson Lakes National Park but also by a local tribe for its sacred waters.

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Image of the lake in New Zealand by Michel Roggo.

If you’re anything like me, you probably wonder why and how Rotomairewhenua came to be this way. Although only seven meters deep, you can see straight through it. Students at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) in Finland conducted a study called “New technology purifies waste water by freezing it first: Possible applications in mineral extraction industry” in January of 2015 that helped me connect the dots on this lake. Continue reading

What a Trip

Wow. I have learned so much from studying abroad in Turkey! Although I was unable to use the WaterBobble due to a lack of background information on the efficiency of its bacteria removal, I was able to bring back lots of knowledge on environmental issues abroad. It is impossible to recount my experiences perfectly but I can attempt to share what I learned with pictures and words. Here are the most important conclusions that I developed from this trip:

  1. Studying abroad is possible even for people of limited resources! Scholarship funding from organizations like the Turkish Coalition of America, Fulbright Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, grant proposals, and scholarships specific to your school contribute to students who want to broaden their scope. Click on each scholarship opportunity to find out more about it.
  2. While we explored the countryside of Turkey I noticed hundreds, maybe even thousands of solar cookers from my previous post on rooftops. Sometimes a condominium had five or six solar cookers all crammed on one rooftop. I thought it was amazing that even in very poor neighborhoods efforts were made to conserve energy and harness solar power.
  3. Environmental solutions like wind and solar power have become more frequent in Turkey, but some issues continue to arise due to new projects like the 3rd Bosporus Bridge and highway project as well as air pollution due to open fires and disregard of the inversion layer. Since Turkey connects multiple continents, it is a crucial land crossing for many species. Large industrial projects hamper the ability of species to migrate to other parts of the world.

    All pictures taken by me.

Water from Air

Lima, Peru is said to have nearly one hundred percent humidity. That means that this major city located in a desert with less than one inch of rain per year has air that is completely saturated on the most humid days. Still, over 18 percent of the Peruvian population lacks safe water, and around 32 percent are not equipped with modern day sanitation.

Image from Big Think.

Using inverse osmosis filtration and electricity, the University of Engineering and Tech of Peru developed a billboard that filters, condenses, and cleans water from air. The billboard can produce almost 100L of clean water per day. I hope that soon all billboards in Peru have this feature, and that the plans for building and modeling similar products are released!