Saturday, January 25, 2014

Drought, now what?

When I lived on the Sonoma coast of California during the mid 90s to 05, conditions were dry. Some planned communities could only get water permits if they built large reservoirs, and only took water from streams during high water in the winter. Some long time residents on wells were seeing their well water declining due to rapid vineyard development sucking the aquifers dry. Recently, a large food producer in Santa Rosa was having trouble getting a permit because the city wanted a lot of money to supply the water and sewer.

And now, we see California in a super drought. Northern California has 8% of normal snow pack. Stories from the Sonoma coast are of January with everything brown, when the hills should be green from December rains. Predictions are that this situation will likely become the new normal.
California residents and planners will have to take lessons from India and Africa about capturing and storing water when it is available for use when it's not.

A few years ago. I did some research and design for planned communities which could not use ground water or water from nearby ponds or streams. All water use had to be derived from captured rainwater. The above picture shows the result. massive underground reservoirs built from space age structural plastics, covered with permeable geo fabrics and permeable landscaping materials. Beautiful and functional year round supply. In India, a return to traditional rainwater catchment is happening. Small retention dams are built in swales and stream beds. The object is not to make ponds, but to slow the water down so it sinks into the soil and recharges the aquifers instead of running off to the sea.

Industry is going to have to forget about sewer systems, and focus on "0" discharge and recycle all their water and adjust their thinking about how they use water.

Arguing about water rights and rates is not the answer. A paradigm shift in how water is viewed, captured, and utilized is necessary from the large scale user all the way to the homeowner.

To read about progress in India that may relate to problems here-

Blue Future Filters rainwater filter systems

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Latest Scam- Beware!

A couple of days ago, I received an email from someone named

Bob Wilson
4002 Ronson Court,
San Diego, California 92111
United States

URGENTLY requesting information to order effluent filters. Usually when someone just wants to order product without any questions, I figure it's a scam especially if they want to pay by credit card. There are other clues, but I don't want to alert the scammers to their own vulnerabilities. This has happened before to us. Fortunately we saw through the veil before we processed an order. This one was a bit more sophisticated. I emailed the guy back asking for details of his application. He responded by asking for an link to see the units. A reasonable request. I sent him a link for our roughing filters. He replied "yes" and wanted a price on one of the units we offer. I sent him that price FOB.

Then came the long email saying he wanted me to get a quote for shipping using a particular shipping company in the Netherlands and he wanted a grand total so he could pay by credit card.

Now I new it was a RAT. I Googled the above mentioned name and address and got the following link-

link to others contacted by this scam

At this page, you will see a sad story of people trying to accommodate this person who is trying to scam them.

This would not have gone any further for us in any case, because we would require more verification before processing an order such as this, but nevertheless, I'm sure others, eager to make a sale in a bad economy, may fall for this.

Be forwarned. If it sounds too good to be true, start checking around.