Archive for the ‘Save Water Save Energy’ Category
Pledge to conserve water and reduce pollution!
The month of April is the Second Annual National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, a friendly, community-based competition between cities across the nation to see who can be the most “water wise.”
Presented by the Wyland Foundation, the month-long Challenge invites city leaders and their residents to pledge to conserve water. All those who take the pledge are entered into a national competition with other communities to win hundreds of prizes – including a Toyota Prius, water saving fixtures and Never Waste water bottles from the Alliance for Water Efficiency. Last year residents from over 1,000 cities participated and pledged to save a total of 4.7 billion gallons of water.
HRWC Deputy Director Elizabeth Riggs helped pre-launch the campaign with a presentation to 6-8th grades at Tappan Middle School in Ann Arbor. HRWC and Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje were invited to introduce the Wyland Foundation’s mobile learning experience to the Tappan community and talk about HRWC’s work.
HRWC’s Saving Water Saves Energy program has lots of tips, tools and calculators on saving water, as well as a new 60-second PSA that promotes the connection between water and energy. Start your April by joining in the National Mayor’s Challenge and by going to www.h2oheroes.org to tap into the H2O Hero in you!
At the Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show, March 15-17
Saturday, March 16, 11am-5pm, Ask the Expert! Susan Bryan, Rain Garden Coordinator for the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on all things rain garden. Get a basic introduction or in-depth answers to your rain garden design and installation questions.
Throughout the weekend, HRWC and WCWRC are teaming up to share outdoor water saving tips, rain garden design and installation materials, native plant information and the H2O Heroes spring rain barrel sale with the public. Free copies of Landscaping for Water Quality, Garden Designs for Homeowners, 3rd Edition will be available.
Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show, March 15-17
Friday 3-9, Saturday 10-7, Sunday 11-5
Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd
Admission $5, 12 and under free
Free tickets for HRWC members available — contact Pam, firstname.lastname@example.org, (734) 769-5123 x 602.
Climate adaptation is any action taken that reduces the vulnerability of natural communities and the built environment to the impacts of climate change. For example, if we are going to get larger storms, what do we need to do to our stormwater practices and infrastructure to reduce the chances of flooding or pipe or dam failure? If warmer air temperatures mean we are more susceptible to a new forest pest or pathogen, what do we do to reduce tree loss? These are some of the questions we are considering, along with water resource professionals from throughout the watershed, in our Making Climate Resilient Communities project.
We are not alone in our efforts to adapt to changes in climate. There are communities, agencies and organizations throughout the Great Lakes Region that are engaged in efforts to determine courses of action in response to climate change. Those of us who are working in this arena are pioneering a new field and can serve as a resource to others.
Recently, EcoAdapt, an organization focused on facilitating climate adaptation, released a report: The State of Climate Change Adaptation in the Great Lakes Region. The report provides an overview of climate change in the region, shares the results of a survey to water resource professionals capturing adaptation activities and reflects on common challenges and opportunities to push the needle forward on climate adaptation.
HRWC’s Climate Resilient Communities and Saving Water Saves Energy projects stand proudly among the 57 case studies highlighted in the report (pg 94). You will also find other examples from our watershed including the efforts of the City of Ann Arbor (pg 103) and the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities project that has selected Ann Arbor as one of it’s assessment cities (pg 142). This report, along with many other adaptation resources can be found on CAKE (Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange) website.
Videos for your viewing pleasure . . .
The Saving Water Saves Energy project is producing its first video PSA to raise awareness in our watershed of the connection between water and energy. Some of our early prep work involved spending time on the internets “researching” good examples of PSAs that both grab the viewer’s attention and propose a solution.
From a take off on reality tv to a riff on Law and Order, the following are a few hilarious favorites, screaming director and all. Spend 6 minutes and 27 seconds taking a look, you won’t be disappointed.
Squeeze More From Every Drop (1:49)
Water Conservation PSA (2:38)
Don’t Let Trash Ruin Your Scene (Eternity) (:60)
Don’t Let Trash Ruin Your Scene (Jaws) (:30)
Don’t Let Trash Ruin Your Scene (Hunger Games) (:30)
Got any favorites you’d like to share?
When we think of what it takes to produce electricity, we tend to think coal, natural gas, nuclear. Maybe, wind and sun. You may think about carbon emissions. But do you think water? Heaps and heaps of water? In a new report from the River Network, Burning Our Rivers: The Water Footprint of Electricity, we learn that it takes 42 gallons of water to produce a single kilowatt hour of electricity. What this means, in effect, is that the actual water use in an average household is 5 times more that what you see on the water bill when you factor in the water it takes to power our homes. More than half of all the freshwater withdrawn from surface waters in the United States goes to supporting the production of power. In truth, it takes a lot of water to keep the lights on.
Water is used in the mining, cleaning and transport of the raw materials for energy production. At the plant, water is used for cooling and in various processes. It is withdrawn from local sources and either lost as steam or released into surface waters at high temperatures and with pollutant loads that can lead to algal blooms, fish kills and other impacts to our lakes and streams. For hydropower, water evaporates from reservoirs behind dams in quantities that exceed even the water demands at fossil fuel plants. Wind and solar require very little water.
The report highlights some key ways to reduce the impacts to water from the production of electricity. The use of water-efficient technologies at power plants and a shift to low water intensity alternatives to supply more of our energy needs will go a long way toward reducing the water footprint of electricity.
At home, simple energy and water conservation measures can help on many fronts. Turning off lights, shifting to low energy bulbs and installing high efficiency appliances will contribute to water conservation, reduce carbon emissions and save you money. A win-win-win. More and more utilities are offering the option to supply a portion of your electricity from alternative sources such as wind and solar. Enrolling in these programs (such as DTE’s GreenCurrents or Consumer Energy’s Green Generation) can also help reduce our collective water footprint and encourage the development of low water intensity energy sources.
For more ideas on how to reduce your energy and water use take a look at our Saving Water Saves Energy project’s top ten tips.
At Huron River Day on Sunday!
Over 70 H20 Heroes pledged to save water and energy with the help of a 5-minute shower timer at Sunday’s 32nd annual Huron River Day in Ann Arbor. The crowd braved the record warm weather to talk with HRWC volunteers and staff and get a photo with the H2O Hero, meet Congressman John Dingell, try a Huron Mystery Geocache Challenge hosted by the Michigan Geocaching Organization (MiGO), and enjoy food, music, paddling on Gallup Pond, a classic small boat show and plenty of family friendly activities.
HRWC was there presenting information on the Saving Water Saves Energy project and other initiatives like RiverUp! and the Huron River Water Trail. It was inspiring to see so much enthusiasm and excitement for the Huron River.
Thanks to the HRD Committee for organizing such a great event, to Bob and Beth Hospadaruk and Steve Fritz of MiGO, to HRWC volunteers Korinne and Joe Wotell for helping with the HRWC booth, and to Congressman Dingell for his support of HRD.
Hope to see you next time at HRD 33!
Video Features the Five Minute Shower!
Why wouldn’t you want to save water? That question forms the basis for this video produced for HRWC’s Saving Water Saves Energy Program by Skyline High School seniors Carson Alexander-White and Marissa Relitz.
The video serves as the students’ senior capstone project for the Communication, Media, and Public Policy Magnet program at Skyline. Led by teacher Pat Jenkins, CMPP students learn how to identify and solve some of the major problems of the day and use a variety of professional quality multimedia tools to inform the Ann Arbor community about issues that mean the most to them. Alexander-White and Relitz worked with HRWC through their last trimester to study the water-energy nexus and how saving water saves both energy and money and reduces CO2 emissions. As part of the project they surveyed their peers about what might persuade them to take shorter showers or save water in everyday activities.
Michigan at the bottom.
At the end of April, the Alliance for Water Efficiency in partnership with the Environmental Law Institute released a draft scorecard report of state level water efficiency and conservation policies and laws. Michigan came in with a grade of D. By comparison California and Texas both scored A-, Wisconsin B-, South Carolina C-. Overall, the 50 states as a group average a “C” grade.
The report, entitled The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws and Policies, presents results from a 20-question state survey that AWE conducted in 2011, funded in part by a grant from the Turner Foundation. The draft is being released for public review and comment to ensure no laws or policies were missed during the project team’s search. The comment period ends on June 15.
In the coming weeks HRWC will review the final report with an eye toward identifying related best practices and policies from the states that are leading the nation in water efficiency and conservation efforts. While “A” states like Texas and California are dealing with more urgent water supply concerns and higher costs to pump, heat and treat, Michigan’s concerns lie in stewarding our state’s greatest asset, its abundant fresh water. These efforts are part of HRWC’s Saving Water Saves Energy program, funded by the Masco Corporation Foundation, which aims to show that promoting water efficiency and conservation can work as a strategy to mitigate climate change and protect our local fresh water resources.
FRIDAY, JUNE 8
Pick up a 5-minute shower timer and pledge to reduce your CO2 emissions with HRWC’s Saving Water Saves Energy project.
Come to the Ann Arbor’s 12th Annual Mayor’s Green Fair!
Meet our H2O Hero and learn about everyday actions that make you a hero too.
Ann Arbor’s Downtown Main Street will be closed to regular automotive traffic, but will be open for walkers and displays of environmental information, “green” products, bicycle events, live music, and general enjoyment of the urban outdoor environment. Information, entertainment, and hands-on activities for all ages will be provided.
Main Street between East Huron and William will host three the Environmental Leaders Area, the Clean Energy Expo and the Green Commute Area.
There will be information and hands-on activities for all ages, such as environmental information and crafts, live birds of prey demonstrations, live music on two stages (amplification provided through solar energy). This year food vendors will sell organic “light fare” on Washington near Main. The Clean Energy Expo will serve as a forum for innovative energy-saving designs and actions, including displays of alternative fuel vehicles, demonstrations of green building materials, solar energy installations, renewable energy installations, and more! And the Green Commute Area will showcase a variety of ordinary and innovative sustainable transportation choices — ranging from AATA’s buses to Zipcars and bikes, including the circumference/conference bike. Valet bike parking will be offered and 826 Michigan will provide great activities for kids.
For more information on the Green Fair please call the City of Ann Arbor Mayor’s Office at (734) 794-6161 visit www.a2gov.org/green.
Mission Zero Fest 2012: Water Hill, June 9 and 10
Mission Zero Fest is a unique event unlike anything that’s been seen before — it’s part sustainability symposium, part environmental exhibition, part green home tour, and partneighborhood block party. While speakers and workshops exhibit the how and why of sustainability, organizations will exhibit an array of green products and services for living a healthier, more comfortable life with a lighter footprint. Mission Zero Fest offers grassroots solutions to a complex global problem, designed to inspire a greener, more fulfilling lifestyle in our homes.
The two-day event is an opportunity to tour six ultra-green homes, attend workshops led by renowned sustainability experts, grab some delicious local food, and dance in the streets with an incredible array of top musical acts. The event is a celebration of neighborhoods and communities that harvest their energy and water needs and produce no waste.
Mission Zero Fest takes place Saturday, June 9 from 10am to 6pm and Sunday, June 10 from 11am to 4pm in Ann Arbor’s Water Hill neighborhood, located just northwest of downtown.
Volunteer With HRWC or the Fest!
HRWC will be speaking and exhibiting at Mission Zero Fest and sharing our Saving Water Saves Energy program, tips and tools. We need a few people to help staff our table. Contact Pam Labadie at HRWC, email@example.com, to sign up for a 2-3 hour shift at the HRWC booth on Sat, June 9, 10am-6pm or Sun, June 10, 11am-4pm.
The Mission Zero Fest organizers also need help before, during, and after. This is a great opportunity to network, share expertise, and give back to the community. REGISTER HERE to help. For more information, visit www.MissionZeroFest.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Monica Patel at 734-369-9277.