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Posts Tagged: "water"

Don Arney’s Bambi Bucket, a major contribution to aerial firefighting tech from the 1980s

Helicopters and other aircraft are often used to combat fires which cannot be controlled by personnel on the ground and the practice is a fairly expensive one. Various online sources cite to a 2003 statement from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management that those agencies own, contract or lease 1,000 aircraft for aerial firefighting each year at…

Florida algal blooms put focus on phosphorus depletion and ultrasonic wave tech

Algal blooms are caused when algae living in seas or freshwater grow uncontrollably because of the presence of nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen; high temperatures and the underwater penetration of light also play roles in the process. Public health costs, however, are dwarfed by the price tag which algal blooms can put on industries requiring clean water, such as seafood, tourism and restaurants. Every year, harmful algal blooms (HABs), the toxic variety currently seen in Florida, cost about $82 million in lost economic output according to statistics published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Last year, algal blooms on the West Coast caused beaches in Washington State to close, preventing razor clamming at an estimated economic cost of $9 million over one month.

The Top 10 Patents Issued in 2015

2015 was a truly remarkable year for innovation and we saw major trends in self-driving cars, wearable technologies, digital wallets and much more. I hope you will enjoy this top 10 listing, which includes innovations for providing water in arid regions, wireless charging systems for electronic devices and even the collection and retransmission of sunlight. Of course, as with all of these types of lists, the criteria used for inclusion on this list is subjective, based on my own personal preferences. Please feel free to let us know if you saw something particularly noteworthy in 2015.

Harriet Strong, Queen of Walnuts and Hall of Fame Inventor of Water Storage, Flood Control Systems

The story of its inventor, Harriet W.R. Strong, is a reminder of the incredible resilience that most innovators show in the face of adversity, whether those challenges are life or work-related. On December 6th, 1887, Strong was issued U.S. Patent No. 374,378, titled Dam and Reservoir Construction, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It claimed an improvement in collecting and retaining water consisting of a series of reversed arched dams built one above the other in an inclined channel or valley so that the water in each lower dam acts as a brace or support for the dam above; the series of dams was connected by gates. This irrigation innovation allowed for lower-strength dams to be used higher up in the dam series and worked to save water in steep inclines or valleys instead of letting it drain away.

Western U.S. drought sparks innovation in irrigation management, desalination

A push for innovation to solve the water crisis has been kickstarted this summer in some part due to an executive order from California Governor Jerry Brown that initiated a drought technology program intended to accelerate the development of innovative water and energy saving technologies.

California won’t likely benefit from El Niño rains

Unlike Big Bear Lake, which will collect the runoff snowfall or rain, much of the rest of southern California is ill equipped to take advantage of El Niño rains. Those familiar with southern California will know that in beach towns there are signs on or near drains warning people not to dump things into the gutter because whatever goes into the drain will be released into the ocean. That, of course, also means that water that falls in beach communities in southern California will not be collected, or even useful. Due to perpetual poor government planning, even if El Niño does drop large amounts of rain water on southern California much of it will simply wind up in the ocean.