Questions tagged [water]

Questions regarding sustainable use of water, or water's impact on sustainability in general. For questions on [waste-water], [greywater], [seawater], [water-footprint] or [virtual-water] please use that tag.

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2
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1answer
63 views

How would a garden adapted to drought look like?

Hypothetical question, since I neither have a garden, nor live in a region seriously affected by drought (yet). In context of the current drought along the western US coast, experts and scientists ask ...
5
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1answer
86 views

What is the recommended way to dispose of a used water filter?

I have just replaced water filters for the water filtration system recently. There are a total 5 filters. 1 of them is ceramic, the other 4 are made of other materials which could probably be opened ...
2
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1answer
104 views

Can furnace condensate water be used for houseplants?

I recently had my old, broken furnace replaced with a high-efficiency condensing furnace. One function of this furnace is that it extracts enough heat from the exhaust gases to condense them into ...
5
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2answers
79 views

Does oil spilled in backyard contaminate groundwater?

A poster near a recycling station mentions that one liter of cooking oil contaminates 1 million liters of water and suggesting cooking oil recycling. If I spill cooking oil in the dirt of the backyard,...
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0answers
29 views

Long-run marginal energy cost of my water use?

As a residential water consumer on US city water, I am used to thinking about the marginal environmental cost (particularly energy cost) of my additional water use, based on considerations like ...
1
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1answer
31 views

How does the cost of wastewater treatment scale?

Is it the case that some of the energy expenditure associated with wastewater treatment is more proportional to the amount/type of waste than to the amount of treated water (meaning that my water has ...
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1answer
39 views

Where in the US water system does most chilling occur?

A few studies I've seen investigating the energy intensity of water use in the US specifically enumerate the energy use of chilling*. Where in the system does most of that happen? How common/for what ...
3
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2answers
81 views

Is residential water pumping common?

Is it common for people on city water in the US to have their own on-site pumping as part of the "standard" delivery system, or is the pressure usually entirely supplied by the municipal ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Are there long-distance water pipelines emanating from the North American Great Lakes region? Why or why not?

Are there long-distance water pipelines emanating from the North American Great Lakes region? Why or why not? Under what circumstances would this be an ecologically reasonable way to provide water to ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Embodied energy of tap water

There is a significant chance that this has been covered on SE, but I haven't yet found anything similar enough for my taste (see related questions, below). Question: How could I go about coming up ...
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2answers
70 views

Will this work to prevent my pipes from freezing?

I live in an apartment in the US midwest, and during the winter my pipes freeze unless I trickle my faucet. I think that the point at which it freezes is in a difficult-to-access exterior wall on the ...
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0answers
57 views

How do I create a cheap solar still?

I am trying to create a cheap and easy way to distill water. I learned through some research and talking with people that making a solar still is the best way. I really would like a cheap solution to ...
2
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0answers
28 views

Are there examples of Greywater reuse between buildings?

Are there any documented cases or examples about reusing greywater from a particular building in another adjacent building? For example: Using treated greywater from an office building for toilet ...
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0answers
42 views

Where can I find graywater reuse quality thresholds for different uses? [closed]

I'm having a hard time finding specific up-to-date sources that contain clear guidelines and regulatory quality thresholds for graywater reuse. The only thing I could find was the EPA 2012 report and ...
3
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1answer
212 views

How do I clean my avocado oil intermediate bulk container so I can store water in it?

I have two 275 gallon (1040 liter) IBC totes that used to hold avacado oil in one, and canola oil in the other. I want to use it for emergency drinking water. What is the best way to clean it and ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Could multiple ram pumps be used to fill a watertower for a pico hydroelectric system?

Since a watertower stores potential energy just like a reservoir does for a hydroelectric dam, could I use that to power a pico (<5kW) hydroelectric system for my homestead? Now, I have read that ...
4
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2answers
165 views

What to do if a small amount is left over in the toilet after flushing?

Apologies in advance for a disgusting question. I share a bathroom with someone, who has complained that after I flush the toilet, not all the waste gets removed. When I flush once, 95% of the waste ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Are there environmental benefits to a water softener?

The municipal water where I live is considered very hard, measuring about 325 parts per million dissolved mineral content. I currently have a water softener in my home, but it has been giving me some ...
3
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0answers
405 views

What is the environmental impact of detergent pods?

Laundry detergent pods became popular around 2012. Rather than measuring out detergent, you throw a pod in your washer and it does the rest. The "capsule" is made from a type of plastic that is water ...
2
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3answers
88 views

How can I conserve energy and water in my bathroom? [closed]

I am interested in energy conservation and would like some simple tips on ways I can reduce my water and energy use in the bathroom in particular, as I feel that this is the place that I use the most ...
2
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2answers
85 views

Why not use scarce California water for almond milk?

Many argue that we should not drink almond milk as it uses scarce water. (e.g. https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/food-drink/shopping-guide/soya-non-dairy-milk). However given that consuming almond milk ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Does decanting eliminate heavy metals in water?

If heavy metals are present in water would they precipitate to the bottom of a container if the water is left decanting long enough? This would be in order to reduce water contamination when no ...
4
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2answers
105 views

What are the most sustainable options for filtering tap water for drinking?

I live in Europe (Belgium), where tap water is generally safe for drinking, but may vary in hardness and taste. It's pretty hard and not so good in my area, so I've been using (Brita) water jugs for a ...
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0answers
43 views

Objective Index of environmental impact of consumer goods and food [closed]

I often hear arguments from people around me, about the environmental impact of certain consumer behaviours like: eating meat using plastic bags travelling via car instead of plane and many others. ...
3
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1answer
106 views

Roughly, how much water does it take to grow 50 lbs of fodder for most dairy cows in the US?

I'm looking for a ballpark number. Obviously fodder can include more than just one crop (e.g., barley/corn or hay/straw), and that's why I am having trouble finding a figure. Aside, I found that an ...
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2answers
206 views

Ongoing source of distilled/filtered water for humidifiers

My family has several table-top humidifiers (the cool-mist/nebulizer kind) in the house that we use a lot during the winter. Distilled water is recommended for using in humidifiers because the ...
3
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2answers
138 views

What is the energy and greenhouse gas footprint of Skysource/Skywater water generator?

The Water Abundance X-Prize was recently awarded to the Skysource/Skywater alliance for: ... developing an easily deployable high-volume water generator that can be used in any climate, meeting the ...
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4answers
214 views

Alternatives to bottled water in the UK

I live in Devon, and tap water in my household does not taste consistently. When I moved in my current property, the neighbours warned me that they had been buying bottled water since 20 years, ...
3
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5answers
170 views

How does one utilize the low pressure of a rain barrel?

We've been considering getting a rain barrel, and I like the idea -- it doesn't make sense to just have the water run off into my yard creating a rut; I'd rather put it to good use. Problem is, my ...
5
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3answers
125 views

Are motion activated faucets more sustainable than traditional faucets?

In the spirit of this question about paper towels vs electric dryers, which types of faucets are most sustainable? The marketing reasons for using motion-activated faucets are that they reduce water ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Are aluminum sheets appropriate for rainwater catchment roof?

I was thinking of building a rainwater catchment system at my place in the boonies, but ... I want to make sure -- priority one -- I'm not going to get toxic stuff in my water. I looked at the ...
3
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1answer
120 views

How can we all together clean up the vast plastic carpets in our oceans? [closed]

It is mind-boggling to me that there is still so much plastic out in our oceans, floating around for years and ever growing and nothing is being done about it. Governments should work together, ...
7
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2answers
331 views

Processing grey water (sink, shower) in off-grid situation

What is the best - cost, minimising negative environmental impact, simple - way to process grey water outflow? I plan to build an off-grid cabin, I will be harvesting rainwater, using it in my sinks/...
3
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0answers
496 views

Ammoniacal Nitrogen (NH3-N) test and sources of ammonia in natural bodies of water

One parameter that's involved in water quality assessment is ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N), a measure of ammonia. Where does ammonia come from in natural water sources, such as a river? What factor ...
4
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1answer
113 views

Energy saving "bonus" for apartment renters

I live in an apartment building with three units, but only one gas meter, one electric meter, and one water meter. As a result, there is no inherent incentive to save water and energy, and no fair way ...
4
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3answers
274 views

Is it worth washing a plastic bag to reuse it?

As I ask myself the question and start thinking about it, I realise it might be obvious that it is worth it. But I thought I'd ask anyway as someone might have a nice analysis to share. The other day,...
2
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1answer
316 views

Solar water-pump working continuously

I want to install a solar water-pump or a windmill water pump to extract water from an aquifer without stop during the day (constant flow). The solar water-pump is less expensive and comes with the ...
5
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2answers
149 views

Is it environmentally sensible to clean a paint roller?

I'm currently decorating a room and conscious of how much water it's taking to clean the paint out of a paint roller. At what point does the environmental cost of cleaning exceed the environmental ...
5
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0answers
73 views

Calculating wheel and motor size for run-of-river hydroelectric generator [closed]

I am a student designing a hydro electric generator used on rivers to collect kinetic energy from horizontal water flow, rather than potential energy from vertical water drops. My idea is to turn a ...
5
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1answer
105 views

Toilet tank with both water main and waste water (underflow)

I'm looking to supply my toilet tank with rain water and grey water from, say, the washing machine, but if that's not enough water to fill up the tank, I want to use water from the water mains to top ...
5
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1answer
405 views

Are The Great Lakes Getting Cleaner or Worse?

I live in Hamilton Ontario which a major city right on the shore of Lake Ontario, and I was just doing some personal research on the pollution levels in lake Ontario. Generally the water here has a ...
5
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3answers
119 views

Does the world have a defined amount of water?

I was thinking the other day, after having a very wet winter season in New Zealand, if we are getting all this rain, are other parts of the planet, getting droughts? and of course this lead to the ...
5
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1answer
46 views

Reference request - Overview over established solar thermal desalination technologies

I'm looking for an overview of established solar thermal desalination technologies. The wiki page is remarkably poor on sources. "Established" means there is a large scale plant (>50 m³/d) or many ...
3
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1answer
757 views

Can pumped water energy storage be combined with rainwater harvesting?

A recent question on what to do with harvested rainwater got me thinking about pumped energy storage systems. Since both systems require storage of water for later use, is there a cost-effective way ...
4
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3answers
179 views

Why is there so much scarcity of water?

Today I heard on the radio that only 1 litre of water will be available per person by year 2090. If there is plenty of seawater present on our earth and there are processes like desalination and ...
5
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1answer
315 views

Need critique of my idea for a passive heating and cooling system for a tent/waterbed

The Idea A small thin waterbed mattress inside a tent cot that is filled with water that's heated by the sun during the day and cooled at night. The Details Get this tent cot and water mattress (...
23
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4answers
11k views

Why don't toilets use saltwater?

My question is in the header. It would seem to be a major environmental benefit if toilets used saltwater in stead of potable fresh water, right?
6
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1answer
44 views

How much water and energy does it take to produce canned jams in large/medium scale operations?

I'm canning my own cooked jams, and I'm estimating that I'm wasting half gallon (1.9 liter) of water per cup produced, for canning and dishwashing mostly. Not including the water and energy used to ...
6
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2answers
85 views

What are the power requirements for typical water desalinization devices?

I'm interested in marine desalinization. Most every device I have seen this far is some fossil-fuel driven high pressure pump. Are there electric ones? Is high pressure even that necessary to ...
8
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1answer
130 views

How to benefit from air-conditioning water

I'm doing research on the water of the air conditioning, and a dissertation on how it could be collected and where it could be used. I already started by collecting some figures and I did some ...