The Golden State: California Special Bureau for the Management of Toilet Affairs

LA-water

 California Drought Leads to Historic Toilet Policy

Katy Steinmetz  reports: California officials working to combat the state’s four-year drought are taking aim at everyday practices that use billions of gallons of water each year: flushing toilets and running faucets.

“We’re seeing serious dry spell here in California. And we need to make sure we are not only saving water right now but in the coming years.”

— Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the commission

The California Energy Commission took emergency action on Tuesday by mandating that all toilets, urinals and faucets sold in the state must conserve water. That means only low-flush toilets and low-flow sinks will be allowed for sale after Jan. 1, 2016, regardless of when they were manufactured. The mandate applies to both public places and private residences.

 “These regulations come less than a week after Governor Jerry Brown imposed the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions, aimed at cutting the state’s usage by 25%.”

“We’re seeing serious dry spell here in California,” says Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the commission. “And we need to make sure we are not only saving water right now but in the coming years.” These regulations come less than a week after Governor Jerry Brown imposed the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions, aimed at cutting the state’s usage by 25%. Read the rest of this entry »


BBC: Fracking Not at Fault in Water Contamination

us-oil-rig

Does this mean the tracking industry can sue for slander?

From The American Interest, via BBC News

Poorly encased wells are to blame for water contamination in fracked wells, not the controversial drilling process, according to a new study. The BBC reports:

The researchers used noble gases to trace the path of methane as these inert chemicals are not affected by microbial activity or oxidation. […] By measuring the ratios of the noble materials to the methane they were able to accurately determine the distance to the likely source. […]

“The mechanism of contamination looks to be well integrity,” said one of the authors, Prof Robert Jackson from Stanford University. […] “In about half the cases we believe the contamination came from poor cementing and in the other half it came from well casings that leaked.” Read the rest of this entry »


Astronaut Pee Turned Into Fuel

astronaut_urine_recycling

Alyssa Denigelis reports: It’s a classic fact that astronaut urine can be processed into drinkable water. Now a new bioreactor could turn the waste filtered from that pee into an energy source as well.

When water supplies run low on a space mission, astronaut urine can be treated to become drinking water. But the waste removed is still, well, waste. University of Puerto Rico scientists Eduardo Nicolau and Carlos R. Cabrera, working in collaboration with the NASA Ames Research Center, came up with a new approach to make use of the waste.

Read the rest of this entry »