|
|
Examiner
  • Lynn Youngblood: Saving water makes a difference

  •  Fresh water resources have become a hot commodity in the United States. I remember well a college friend from Colorado who went to law school to become a water rights attorney because the ranch that had been in her family for four generations was in constant threat of losing the main water source from landowners upstream.

    • email print
  •  Fresh water resources have become a hot commodity in the United States. I remember well a college friend from Colorado who went to law school to become a water rights attorney because the ranch that had been in her family for four generations was in constant threat of losing the main water source from landowners upstream.
    We are now hearing quite a bit about issues on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers concerning what should be done upstream to appease waterways, landowners, commerce or agriculture downstream.
    The Colorado River, which begins its journey in the state for which its named, once made its travel all the way through Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, and through Mexico before it reached the ocean. Now, so much water is diverted in the thirsty United States that it doesn’t even reach Mexico any longer. The river once kept Mexican rancheros thriving and small porpoises swimming in brackish estuaries in the mouth of delta. Even jaguars stalked through the marshes and river channels. What once teemed with life is now a barren deserts.
    The river is gone, and only a dry riverbed howls through the sands. The rancheros are gone too. The river dried up in 1983. That is when one more subdivision was built on the United States side, pulling just enough water out of the Colorado so it would no longer reach our southern neighbors.
    Fresh water is not just a problem in the United States. In fact, Americans may be the least affected by lack of fresh water. According to Tyler Falk of Smart Planet, “Currently, all Australian states ... are under water restrictions or permanent water efficiency measures. And the cost of water use is going up for residents.”
    So, it’s not surprising that a New Zealand-based company came up with a design for a low-flow shower head. There are many such designs, but this one is quite unique. It actually pulls air in to mix with the water. This translates into 50 percent less water used without feeling like you are making a sacrifice.
    Felton, the manufacturer, collaborated with The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization – Australia’s national science agency – to develop the “Oxijet” nozzle, or “Air Shower.”
    “Traditional flow restricters reduce flow and pressure, whereas Oxijet uses the flow energy to draw air into the water stream, making the water droplets hollow,” said Jie Wu, a fluids specialist at CSIRO. “This expands the volume of the shower stream, meaning you can save the same amount of water, while still enjoying your shower.”
    Falk further reported that Australian hotel Novotel Northbeach was the first to use the shower nozzles on a large scale. Their expectation was to see big savings.
    “With over 200 rooms we go through over 10 million liters (2.64 million gallons) of water per year, so any saving we can make is very important,” stated Walter Immoos, general manager of Novotel Northbeach. “We’ve found our customers prefer Oxijet over other ‘low flow’ shower heads, because it gives the illusion of full water pressure.”
    Page 2 of 2 - I could not find a U.S. distributor for the Oxijet by Felton, but I will keep a look out for it. This sounds like a “Must-try” for any tried-and-true Green Space reader. Happy Trails!
    Reach Lynn Youngblood at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.net.
     
     
      • calendar