13 May 2015

Your reservoir is better than a low flush toilet

While I was based in Vancouver, I worked on selling WaterSavr in California. WaterSavr is a safe compound that reduces evaporation on reservoirs (think "oil on water") by about 20-30 percent, at a cost of about $150/acre foot (about $185/ML).

What bothers me is seeing California sink deeper and deeper into doom without managers adopting products like watersavr that deliver way more bang for the buck.**

I blame three factors for this zombie response from water managers:
  1. They are terrified of making a mistake on a "new" idea. It's easier to watch reservoirs drop and say "it's a drought."
  2. They do not understand a technology that does not involve pipes and pumps.
  3. They do not need to worry about failure because no water managers have ever been fired for incompetence in California.***
Bottom Line: Water managers should think about WaterSavr as the "low flush toilet" response to their shortage concerns. The Pacific Institute reports (PDF, table 4) that low flush toilets will save water at a cost of $1,500/af. That "solution" was just made mandatory across the State. Then water managers should think of all the praise they will get if use WaterSavr to save water at a much lower price (and hassle). Or they should think of the alternative: getting fired for gross negligence for allowing their customers water to evaporate.****

* And takes 10+ years to put into operation. WaterSavr takes a a day (after less than a month to deliver) to put into use. It can be stopped --- with all product biodegrading -- in three days

** Wichita Falls, TX put it into use last year

*** Send me ANY story to this effect. Fraud and theft do not count.

**** OTPR has a simple rule: farmers (and corporations) need to share out the value of the water IF they're taking it from others