Trout Pout – off-gridders ticked off with obscure fish
by TECHSTAR on AUGUST 25, 2014 - 0 Comments in water

Off-Grid Cabins in Holy Joe are victimised by trout-lovers

Fire chief says human needs trump trout

ORANGE COUNTY, Aug 24th – Mike Milligan trudges up the canyon, gesturing at bone-dry trees, streams that have turned to trickles and thick carpets of tinder- ready, dead leaves. A cigarette dangles from his lips, slowly becoming ash.
Milligan, the volunteer fire chief for Holy Jim Canyon and longtime cabin owner in the area, frets about fire. His firsthand experience tells him that the driest year on record – 2013 – has only grown worse. The first seven months of 2014 were the hottest ever in Orange County.
“I’ve been coming up here 50-plus years, and I’ve never seen it this bad,” Milligan said.
One problem? The canyon’s alder trees are dying. In healthy times, the alders shade fishing holes. During this drought, the tall, dead alders serve as potential torches. The desiccated trees also shed duff – dead branches and leaves – that in some spots is a foot deep.
The last time the entire forest burned was in 1908, though the smaller Indian Fire took out great patches of forest in 1980. (more…)

100 things to do on British Waterways
by AMY SUAREZ on APRIL 29, 2014 - 0 Comments in water

1x1placeholderThe Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways) is publishing details of 100 readymade waterway days out ( to give individuals, couples and families a simple and affordable chance to spend quality time.

Half the UK population lives within five miles of one of the Canal & River Trust’s waterways and canals. And there are now 34,000 licensed boats and thousands more unlicensed ones where off-gridders can leave cheap or free lives.

British Waterways were unable to say how fast the numbers are growing, but they do say there are now more boats on the waterways “than at the height of the Industrial Revolution” in the C19th. (more…)

Rainwater politics
by NICK ROSEN on DECEMBER 1, 2013 - 2 Comments in water

Tax on rainwater coming soon, State rules prevent  free use of rainwater

Water, water everywhere

You can drink the rainwater in Atlanta, Georgia, but that is one of the few places in the US that provides for the use of rainwater as a source of drinking water. A handful of states – including Arizona, Texas, and Virginia – have created tax credits to reduce rainwater harvesting system costs.

Meanwhile water rates are rising at an average of 8% a year, and corporations are freely using “our” rainwater to increase their profits. (more…)

Solar powered irrigation
by VEG-HEAD on NOVEMBER 17, 2013 - 0 Comments in water

Irrigation pumps powered by clean renewable energy, such as solar pumps, could solve both the economic and environmental dilemma: they don’t emit greenhouse gases, and their fuel is free. But renewable-powered pumps have remained a marginal technology. There is currently no such pump available on the market, with an unsubsidized price low enough to compete with the diesel pumps and be adopted widely. (more…)

Introducing Aquatecture
by NICK ROSEN on NOVEMBER 1, 2013 - 1 Comment in water

Floating house designs

King Canute should have thought of this

A new architectural movement is leading to fresh opportunities for off-grid living – close to the rivers and seas that carry so much of our food. We will be following it closely on this web site.

Instead of bringing the water to our homes, why not bring our homes to the water? Especially at a time when rising sea levels threaten the flooding of some of the world’s greatest cities?

Aquatecture is a fundamentally new reappraisal of how we co-exist with the sea and rivers. Leading exponents include Baca Architects, London. Their first domestic project went on site last month.

The Netherlands, which The Washington Post sees as “the world’s premier lab for how to tame rivers and seas,” is also at the forefront of building “amphibious houses,” which are designed to adapt and respond to rising sea levels. (more…)

Tips for harvesting rainwater
by TECHSTAR on JULY 28, 2013 - 4 Comments in water

Umbrella can be used for rainwater harvesting

Any surface will do

Many cities and states encourage rainwater harvesting, yet few homes and commercial buildings have implemented it.

Excuses range from the cost of construction to lack of knowledge. Yet individuals who have incorporated such systems say that integrating water harvesting reduces costs over the long run.

“I have not used Utility water since 1994 in my home.” said A R Shivakumar. “With planning, rain water harvesting does not have to be expensive and space consuming.” Here are his tips:


Multiple rainwater tanks can be built depending on the flow of water. For instance, at Shivakumar’s home there is a 4500-litre rooftop tank. The excess water from this tank is allowed to run down rainwater pipes to a 25,000 litre sump built under the portico. If these two tanks fill up, then the extra water is allowed to seep into the ground. (more…)

Six things you should know about rainwater harvesting in the desert
by AMY SUAREZ on JULY 15, 2013 - 4 Comments in water

Water harvesting in Tucson,AZ

Makes you parched just to look at it

TUCSON AZ – New techniques and revival of old skills can make a little water go a long way, even here in the Catalina foothills.

1. The secret to urban water harvesting is using the many impermeable surfaces that surround us: roofs, streets, sidewalks and driveways. The runoff from those surfaces amounts to a huge amount, if properly collected and used for irrigation. In rural situations, create as many hard surfaces as you can.
2. Good collection techniques can triple the amount of water that falls, so for example, the patch of garden that now needs irrigation would get about 12 inches a year. That’s still pretty dry, but it does just lift that patch out of a “desert” definition. Diverting rainfall from your rooftop and driveways can provide quite a bit of water for irrigation. (more…)

Patent Application submitted for off-grid Water Condenser
by TECHSTAR on JUNE 28, 2013 - 0 Comments in water

Archetypal water condenser

Archetypal water condenser

Canadian firm Freedom Water Company Ltd. combine caqre for humanity with technical skill in this patent application submitted for Approval. Here is an exerpt from their document:

“At any given moment the earth’s atmosphere contains 326 million cubic miles of water and of this, 97% is saltwater and only 3% is fresh water. Of the 3% that is fresh water, 70% is frozen in Antarctica and of the remaining 30% only 0.7% is found in liquid form. Atmospheric air contains 0.16% of this 0.7% or 4,000 cubic miles of water which is 8 times the amount of water found in all the rivers of the world. Of the remaining 0.7%, 0.16% is found in the atmosphere; 0.8% is found in soil moisture; 1.4% is found in lakes; and 97.5% is found in groundwater.

“Nature maintains this ratio by accelerating or retarding the rates of evaporation and condensation, irrespective of the activities of man. Such evaporation and condensation is the means of regenerating wholesome water for all forms of life on earth. (more…)

Price of harvesting rain in South Africa
by TECHSTAR on JUNE 15, 2013 - 1 Comment in water

The price of water is rising sharply in the ritzy yet dangerous countryside around East London. Even the rich, old, white landowners are going into rainwater harvesting to protect themselves from municipal price increases.

Land surveyor Neil Henderson is doing it at his Nahoon Mouth home – collecting water off his roof, storing it in tanks and he believes it is the way to go.

He recently had eight 5 000 liter tanks installed. He says in 2007 each tank would have cost 2785 Rand (about $276 US), a 5% a year increase from 2004, and at today’s R3369 would have amounted to 10% a year escalation. (more…)

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