Air Solar Water & Rain Capture

Ease Water Scarcity around the work using Rain Capture

Boarded-up-building

Help Dry Cities Mitigate impact of Global Warming

Mitigate impact of Global Warming on Dry Cities

A2WH solution harvests the water humidity in the air and converts that humidity into super clean liquid water. This can be done from personal sized units that yield a few gallons per day up through large scale infrastructure producing billions of gallons per year. All air even very dry desert air contains moisture so our solution works anywhere.

The Sun evaporates 1 trillion tons of water every day which makes this source of water the ultimate renewable resource. The sun evaporates so much water that it takes about 39 seconds to evaporate 111 billion gallons equivalent to Las Vegas consumption every year.

Extracting Water from air has previously been energy intensive and expensive. The A2WH units are using Patent Pending approaches that allow us to make the technology competitive with other approaches such as deep wells and long pipelines.

A2WH can be financially attractive

Over their 20 to 30 year life A2WH units will financially out perform most of the expensive alternatives such as new reservoirs and installing large scale desalination plants to supply water for Non coastal areas. Global Climate change is likely to cause many of us serious problems.

New Mexico is already worried about the global warming impact on groundwater

Federal agencies have predicted climate changes and we are starting to see reports in states like New Mexico where they predict a larger number of more severe droughts that last longer. In New Mexico they are already concerned about the impact this will have their groundwater supplies. They are also concerned about their ability to provide adequate water for the cities. They are also concerned that these climatic changes could happen very rapidly which will give them little time for a well reasoned response. Municipal water planners have to change their approach because strategies that have worked well for hundreds of years are quite likely to break down as a result of these climatic changes. It is more important now than it has ever been for the municipal water planners to minimize risk by diversifying their water portfolio. It is incumbent on the politicians and residents living in each region to ask hard questions about the impact of extended droughts and what plans the planners are making to mitigate the impact.

SNWA in Las Vegas is a group that is poised for problems during the next 10 years with almost guaranteed problems after 20 years. Even after coming through a severe drought their resource plan does not adequately accommodate the impact of a multi state many year drought but they haven’t even acknowledge the risk in their current plans let alone started seriously seeking different solutions See our article Nevada-saga for more details.

2016 update.  SNWA has made progress in their future water planning.  They have essentially used legal trickery to appropriate  water from less prosperous surrounding counties and import it into Las Vegas.   I guess the rule that those with money and plenty of lawyers make the rules worked in this instance but the ethics of the approach SNWA has taken are questionable .   SNWA claims they are only tapping deep water tables below and disconnected from those already used in the county but residents are already reporting their own wells drying up as a result.  In any case it just seems wrong to take the water out from under the residents of those counties so they don’t have it as a resource in the future.   They have essentially stolen he future land value from those residents who will face severe challenges when their ground water resources are gone and SNWA has used legal trickery to make it impossible for them to use the water under their own county that they should have had in reserve.   We may be able to help using the A2WH technology but it will be the victims in the counties the water was appropriated from who end up paying bill while the wealthy businesses in Las Vegas reap the windfall of the cheap water they imported into Las Vegas.

Depending on ground water is becoming increasingly risky

Cities require large volumes of water which when coupled with aqua quivers that are already depleted makes it even more riskily to depend on ground water to supply everything needed during severe droughts. This is complicated during long droughts because the ground water recharge rate will be even lower during long term droughts and ground water has been the most heavily used resource during droughts in the past.

Steps for municipal planners

Municipal planners must proactively analyze their entire portfolio with two questions

  1. Which sources may be impacted simultaneously by a wide spread and long term drought.
  2. Which sources will be impacted the most if electricity or fuel charges triple every 3 years.

A2WH features minimize risk

The A2WH A2WH solution minimizes risk by eliminating critical risk factors the cities will face during the next 20 years.

  1. We do not place any drain on the existing groundwater.
  2. In some installations A2WH excess water production can be banked in ground water reservoirs which helps recover safe aqua quiver levels while providing a large base of stored water.This is important because it allows a smaller set of A2WH units to work for years while preparing for the next drought.
  3. A2WH produces water from the air makes it completely immune to droughts.
  4. A2WH uses solar thermal energy to power the process which makes it completely immune to energy prices which can make coastal desalination plants so expensive to operate.
  5. A2WH can be installed on land that is otherwise undesirable and which is not environmentally sensitive like river valleys so it’s range of land options for installation is quite broad unlike reservoirs that have to placed in high value sensitive river valleys.
  6. A2WH can be installed on parcels as small as 1 acre which allows the production to be spread out for risk management but even more important allows more flexible installation than just about any other kind of water infrastructure.
  7. A2WH can be installed incrementally which means customers can get started with minimal investments rather than risking 250 million like they did on the Yuma, AZ desalination plant only to have it be too expensive to operate. Water for Dry Cities The A2WH solution for large cities can help land locked cities that are experiencing chronic water shortages. Our strategy can help these cities by providing a water source when all other water sources are being used at capacity and there are no other water sources feasibly available. Cities that are currently experiencing these problems or at risk of facing these conditions in the next 10 to 20 years should consider early deployment of the A2WH solution soon.

Cities which are best candidates

  1. The A2WH A2WH solution will be of most use for cities that:
  2. Have used all surface water they are legally able to.
  3. Have used all available ground water.
  4. Are being forced re-inject water to refill ground water.
  5. Do not have viable sources of additional water with in 100 miles.
  6. Are faced with regular shortages due to lack of sufficient source water. ” Are at risk due to a single pipeline or reservoir furnishing over 70% of source water.
  7. Are at risk from long term droughts negatively affecting the amount of water available from their primary sources.
  8. Have a substantial amounts of sunshine available.
  9. Have land available for installation within 50 to 100 miles.

A2WH Advantages and Benefits

The largest advantages of the A2WH solution are:

  1. Will still work even when sever droughts have crippled other sources,
  2. Production tends to be best when other strategies are at worst so it balances production.
  3. It is completely immune to increasing electricity and fuel prices.
  4. Very soft environmental footprint. Unlike new reservoirs our system does not destroy the land it is installed on and the land used can be chosen to avoid environmentally sensitive areas.
  5. Can be installed on otherwise undesirable land rather than where the water is flowing. This saves time, reduces political opposition and can save a lot of money.
  6. Can be installed uphill of city for free electricity generation.
  7. Can be rapidly scaled up to fill in any gaps between water needs and water availability.
  8. Ideal addition to diversified portfolio due to entirely different risk profile than existing strategies. This means that when one or more current sources fail the A2WH solution just keeps right on producing.
  9. Produces water even during the worst droughts.
  10. Leverages resources that are in plentiful supply in large parts of America .
  11. Can be scaled up incrementally unlike the coastal distillation plants which require large scale investments up front.
  12. Can be scaled to handle growth that is several times the 1.6 million additional people Las Vegas expects. ” It is incredibly low maintenance.
  13. A2WH units produce extremely pure water that can be sold for industrial users and a much higher rate which can actually pay for the entire installation if there are a sufficient number of local businesses who need water that pure.
  14. Due to the purity of the produced water the water does not need any further treatment other than adding the federally mandated chlorine so it saves a lot of energy and chemical costs.

The A2WH solution has a unique advantage of requiring no electricity and in some instances actually generating electricity which could lower expenses for other areas of SNWA. This makes so much sense in an environment where we are increasingly uncertain about our oil supplies, energy prices doubled in tripled in a few years and with no end in site. The energy benefits from the A2WH solution will ultimately end up making it’s water cheaper as the energy prices continue to rise.

Even the president of the USA announced in his state of the union address how important it is to reduce energy usage which is allow what the million solar roofs and the large industrial solar power plants are all about they are more expensive today but it is worth making the long term investment. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that ground water is consistently available which is normally correct but during extended droughts cities may well be forced to withdraw less water. The A2WH solution would be the only source capable of producing at peak when the others are in trouble.

Perhaps more important than the any short term cost difference is that the A2WH solution is capable of producing water during the worst droughts when all your other sources are in jeopardy. This ability to mitigate a huge risk is worth paying extra for just like you spend extra for insurance. The A2WH solution also produces very clean water which eliminates the need for extensive treatment plants which offsets substantial cost and provides lower environmental risk through reduced use of chemicals.

The A2WH focus on avoiding the use of electricity and fuel insulates cities from rapidly fluctuating energy costs. Other water production and delivery strategies tend to use a lot of electricity and if by chance the nation finds it self in major shortages of natural gas or oil it will affect electric availability. If electricity rationing was imposed the A2WH solution becomes even more important.

People in dry states tend to think power will stay cheap due to the Hydro electric power from Lake Mead but there was just a substantial price increase from Lake Mead power as a result of increasing maintenance costs and if the water levels are low enough Lake Mead will not be producing as much power which means Nevada will be using more Coal and Natural gas power which will follow the California pricing curve and since California power is mostly natural gas it will be some of the most expensive power on the market. We can’t prevent the impact of rapidly spiraling energy costs for your other projects but at least the A2WH solutions will be net energy positive. We actually can produce sufficient power to run the other projects but that would emphasis away from the main problem job of producing water.

If A2WH production sites are chosen with an eye towards maximizing altitude the city could get a substantial power bonus with standard hydro recovery stations.    We did a basic analysis of the cost of the SNWA Lincoln and White Pines ground water project and  with the same 5 billion dollar investment the A2WH units would be delivering water at a cost very close the projected costs for Lincoln and White Pines projects with the added advantage of the A2WH not being at risk to senior water user claims, They can not be impacted by drought and they have none of the negative political overhead so they are a substantially better risk and would provide superior long term financial returns. As is easy to see here the A2WH A2WH solution is actually available well withing the SNWA budget,  is more feasible than any of the SNWA long term items and more reliable than their short and medium term projects.

Reference and Resources

SNWA

  • http://www.snwa.com/assets/pdf/fact_sheet_gdp.pdf – Clark, Lincoln and White Pine Counties Groundwater Development Project
  • http://www.snwa.com/assets/pdf/fact_sheet_surface.pdf – Virgin & Muddy Rivers Surface Water Development Project Articles introducing projects and controversy
  • http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-07-27-dry-west-water_x.htm – In this article  Dry West sends out for water  Patrick O’Driscoll of USA TODAY describes a $2 billion dollar deep well and pipeline project that will extract water from wells up to 250 files away and pipe it back to Las Vegas . He also describes how the people in rural Nevada are worried about this drying up their existing wells and effectively destroying the value of property they have worked for their entire lives to buy.
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4719473.stm – In the article Vegas heading for ‘dry future’ Carmen Roberts of BBC news explains that the same project which is labeled   Clark, Lincoln and White Pine counties Groundwater development project  administered by SNWA in Nevada. pipeline which has grown up to $5 billion dollars and encompasses over 555KM worth of pipe is necessary to support the 5,000 new residents moving into Las Vegas each month and how each one of those new residents will consume 190 gallons of water per day and that Las Vegas is running a severe risk of water shortages within the 15 year time frame. Their use as of Jan 2006 is 272 gallons per day per person with immediate plans for reduction to 250 gallons per day.
  • http://www.ci.north-las-vegas.nv.us/Departments/Utilities/TopicWaterSaversHomeGuide.cfm Utilities DIVISION: UTILITIES TOPIC: WATER SAVER’S HOME GUIDE* Outdoor water usage accounts for about 60 percent of the average residential bill except in hot summer months, when it can be as high as 90 percent. Includes some good examples. ” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4719473.stm – Las Vegas water supplied could run dry within next 50 years. Las Vegas consumes 190 gallons per day per person. Only 30% is commercial and hotel. Residential water 0% is used outdoors and 30% is used indoors. These guys claim that the cost will be 5 billion rather than 2 billion which I would guess is still conservative. SNWA hopes a $5 billion 555km pipeline from central Nevada could be the answer to the future water needs of Las Vegas .
  • http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid1091.php – Las Vegas has one of the highest per-capita rates of water consumption in the nation, at over 240 gallons per day. ” http://wrri.nmsu.edu/wrdis/nmwca/current/fall2001.pdf – Las Vegas promotes conservation efforts Other Links
  • http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/0kbcwater2025sierra071103.htm – Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis Upholding rural Americans’ rights to grow food, own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources. Water 2025: The Coming War on the Western Frontier Report by J.J. Johnson, Sierra Times Las Vegas, Nevada – After about a 20 minute presentation by a Bush administration official in a regional conference, the overall message is clear: If western states do not come up with a way to increase the water supply fast, let’s put it this way: …Terrorists won’t have to do a thing – except watch the Second Chapter of the War Between the States unfold – literally. Vegas Water Usage I talked to Amy at SNWA on Jan 31 2006 and she indicated that current usage is 272 gallons per day per person. They have immediate programs in place aimed at decreasing this to 250 gallons per day. Of this use 60% is spent on outdoor lawn and landscaping and 40% is used indoors. They have nearly 100% recycling on the indoor water but the outdoor water is lost.
  • http://santa-monica.org/epd/news/Water_Awareness_Press_Release_2005.htm – Water usage is up in Santa Monica but residents still only using 144 gallons per day versus 240 for Las Vegas . Las Vegas area climate information ” http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT001410 – Temp and Humidity by Month for Las Vegas Area. When the Wells fail I spent a lot of time on the phone with several different people researching this and after my review I have concluded that it is unlikely for wide spread well failures to occur as a result of the Clark, Lincoln and white pine ground water projects. There are a lot of safeguards in place that will protect the existing residents in Lincoln and White pine counties. o They are considered by the state as the senior users so if the new project does have an adverse impact on these users they will have to stop pulling water or reduce the amount they pull and this is guaranteed by state law. o If they do pull water from and it does create a problem for some existing well users those users are almost certain to wind a lawsuit that forces SNWA to either drill the well owner a new deeper well or to provide an equivalent amount of water to the home owner to replace any water lost. o State law mandates that they can only pull from an aqua quiver at its natural replenishment rate which means any water pulled out this year has to be replaced naturally within a year. This will goes a long ways to protecting the integrity of the wells. o The state engineer will do an extensive survey and will set a rate at which these projects are allowed to extract water and these engineers are typically conservative so the rate selected is likely to have a wide margin of error.
  • http://www.A2WH.com/energy/commentatry/world-water-day-problem-with-wells.html – Wells serving the poor may fail.
  • http://www.indiaresource.org/campaigns/coke/2003/continuingbattle.html – Coca-cola accused of taking massive amounts of ground water from Indian aqua quiver. Water samples from these wells analyzed at the Regional Analytical Laboratory at Kozhikode under the orders of the District Medical Officer have revealed hardness, chlorides and concentration of total dissolved solids (TDS) beyond tolerable levels for drinking water.
  • http://www.indiaresource.org/campaigns/coke/2003/continuingbattle.html – women in the Vijayanagaram Colony in the village have been walking nearly 5 kilometers up and down every morning and evening to fetch a pot of water. The open wells in the Colony have either dried up or the little water left in them has become unpalatable.
  • http://www.indiaresource.org/campaigns/coke/2003/continuingbattle.html – Wells failing due to reduction in rainfall After studying water level trends and quality in 20 wells in and around the factory, the State Ground Water Department had concluded in 2002 that only three wells showed quality problems and a drop in water levels. Observing that there has been a reduction in the average annual rainfall in the area –from 2137 mm in 2000 to 1147 mm in 2001 and just 670 mm in 2002– the Department’s report said the depletion of water in the open wells was due to poor rainfall, the resultant reduced groundwater recharge and the high density of irrigation bore wells. But controversial
  • http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/pubs/working/WOR70.pdf – Frequent drought and over extraction of groundwater resulted in the drying up of all the traditional water sources, and farmers are now finding it difficult to get to the water table even after boring/drilling 500 ft deep. women fetch water from nearby villages, where applicable, walking for more than 2 hours per trip. The physical strain of collecting water is doubly compounded during the peak of summer, when the temperature is up to 45oC,
  • http://www.unep.org/PDF/Women/ChapterFive.pdf  – Pg 63 – Many walk long distances to fetch water, spending four or five hours per day burdened under heavy containers and suffering acute physical problems, especially in drought-prone areas (see box 21). In some mountainous regions of East Africa, for example, women spend up to 27 per cent of their caloric intake in collecting water (Lewis, 1994). In urban areas, women and girls wait hours queuing for intermittent water supplies. Many then have no time for other pursuits, such as education, income generation or cultural and political activities. Environmental Every day sun evaporates an incredible amount of water. All of this water in the form of vapor is available for extraction as water and the amount we can extract using mechanical means is a small fraction of what is available. If a sufficient amount was removed from a local area it could reduce the total amount available which would temporarily decrease the airs ability to hold heat but by any reasonable measure this would be less than the impact caused by a transient cloud.
  • Each day the sun evaporates 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) tons of water. This means that it takes the sun about 39 seconds to evaporate sufficient water to meet the annual needs of Las Vegas .
cities

Joe Ellsworth CTO • 2013-08-30


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