Tag Archives: ecology

Residential water trends for the United States

Here is a report that studied water trends from the past 50 years (pdf) and found both good/bad news.

The good:

A household in the 2008 billing year used 11,678 gallons less water annually than an identical household did in 1978.

To investigate the causes of this decline, a local study of statistically representative households of the LWC was conducted in Louisville. Adjusting for weather, water use per LWC customer fell from 208 to 187 gpd between 1990 and 2007, a decline of 21 gallons.

 

The bad: declines are leveling off.

Most homes have installed low-flow appliances and that accounted for the biggest drop. There was a drop in family size, from 3.38 to 2.59, and that’s not going any lower.

There were no recommendations for next steps. Future declines may be up to us.

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Ecology goes Big Data – 15,000 sensors to measure everything in the soil

This project, called NEON, should revolutionize the study of ecology, and with it global warming.

The Economist – NEON light

Once this network is completed, in 2016 if all goes well, 15,000 sensors will be collecting more than 500 types of data, including temperature, precipitation, air pressure, wind speed and direction, humidity, sunshine, levels of air pollutants such as ozone, the amount of various nutrients in soils and streams, and the state of an area’s vegetation and microbes.

 

I just can’t believe they were able to get $400+ million in funding for this project.

 

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