Ensuring Water Security

Water security is a complex issue with a lot of independently moving parts. While the earth’s surface is three-quarters water, almost all of that is ocean, unusable due to its salinity. There are limited freshwater resources available for everyday use, consumption by humans and human food products. Global climate change is slowing replenishment of fresh water supplies while there has been no let up in demand. In 2012, the United States created the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) to help provide access to information about water and provide outlets for collaboration on water improvement projects. Of course, this is only a

Risks from Fracking

Fracking, properly, hydraulic fracturing, has a number of tradeoffs. From a purely economic standpoint, fracking is a very expensive way of extracting natural gas out of the ground. So natural gas prices must be fairly high in order to support the fracking process. That said, efficiencies are pushing down the cost, leading to more potential fracking in even less efficient gas fields. This is all kind of a big deal because the fracking business has discovered gas fields in the United States sufficient to support the nation for more than 100 years. It’s worth remembering, at this point, that natural

Eutrophication Reduction Through Local Limits

Both the Baltic Sea and the Chesapeake Bay are great examples of complex and diverse watersheds. The Baltic Sea is quite large and has a catchment area of 1,641,650 square kilometers over nine or ten countries. The Chesapeake Bay is smaller about a tenth the size, but 166,534 square kilometers over seven states. We can see them both here. Both the Baltic Sea and the Chesapeake Bay are afflicted by eutrophication, a strange kind of dead zone in the water. Eutrophication is caused by an overabundance of phosphates and nitrogen in the water. Small amounts are healthy in the water,

Notes on Wastewater Treatment

Chase, I think in an attempt to avoid bedtime, asked me on Friday what happens to the water after it leaves the bathtub. Well, lucky for him, I spent a lot of time growing up in the LeSourdsville Regional Water Reclamation Facility. My father had worked in the LeSourdsville Facility for just about 15 years when died. He worked second shift, so, especially if I had a late class, I’d often run over at night. We’d even grill in the parking lot. Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games. At the time, I also worked for Butler County Information

Watch my Ignite Talk on Stormwater Management

On Thursday, I had the joy of speaking at Ignite again, this time at Ignite Baltimore #18. I spoke about stormwater management and how we need to fix the stormwater management fee in Maryland to properly care for the bay. It’s a topic I’ve discussed here before. The talk is now available online. It’s only five minutes, so take a watch! The Ignite format, 20 slides, autoadvancing every 15 seconds, is quite challenging and it was a lot of fun to do it again. You can check out more of Ignite Baltimore’s speakers over the last few years on YouTube:

Come see my talk on Maryland’s stormwater problem at Ignite Baltimore #18

Hey everyone, Ignite Baltimore has announced the lineup for Ignite Baltimore #18 and I am pleased to say I am there. I will be talking about Maryland’s stormwater management problem. I was lucky to have talked at Ignite Howard County last September, as the Ignite format is fun and brisk and forces you you figure out what the core message quickly. It’s on April 21 at MICA and you can get tickets on Eventbrite! Ignite Baltimore #18 Five Minutes, Twenty Slides. What Would You Say? At every Ignite Baltimore, 16 artists, technologists, thinkers, and personalities take the stage to answer