Bravo to the doctor for taking a small step towards prudent use of resources.
May the lawn be next. It probably represents a better ROI in terms of water
conservation.When 2.8-3 gallon low flow toilets became the norm, I
heard some stories of downstream problems in older homes because the pipes did
not have sufficient gradient to carry the load all the way to the mains,
resulting in clogging over time. Is this a legitimate concern? Does reducing
the flush volume even more increase this risk?Are the local city
building codes ready for composting toilets that use no water at all?
They are a lot better unit than they were when they first came out.
from our experience, yes the low flow toilet has caused problems getting toilet
contents all the way to the septic tank. we have the liquid/solid buttons on
the top of the tank and we have to always push "solid" to push more
water through, or we will get clogged up. Taking baths also helps get more water
through, which I realize isn't water conserving.
To "Lagomorph" I have no problems using the low flow toilets, however,
we should realize that we are wasting a lot of the water once it hits the
treatment plants.Once the water is processed through the waste
treatment plant, it is dumped into a river or is left to evaporate. With a
little more effort, that sewage can be turned into drinking water and put back
into the system. If that is too much of an ick factor for you, you can always
send it back underground to be filtered again before the city pumps it out
again.We don't have a problem with not enough potable water.
What we have a problem with is not recycling enough of the water.
Groan....There are so many science based problems with the whole 1
gallon toilet mania that it is a wonder anyone in their right mind thinks they
are a good idea. But like any bad idea they are forced on all of us by the
government and environmental crazies that don't think anything through.The facts: - The earth is a closed system. 100% of all water
used is recycled back into the system. - The Earths surface is over
70% water and all life on the earth uses only a tiny fraction of it. There is
hardly a world wide water shortage. - The problem is an easily
solvable distribution issue - not a lack of water issue. Governments just
don't want to use tax dollars for distribution. It would take money away
from all the "get me reelected" pork barrels. - "Low
flow" toilets require a lot more flushing both to get everything down and
for cleaning, so even if there is a water saving it is nowhere near the amazing
numbers stated in this article. - Name one single natural resource we
have run out of. The answer - there isn't one, and we aren't even
An entire years water savings from one of these toilets is completely wiped up
with one watering of the lawn. It seems we are focused on the wrong thing.There may not be a world wide shortage of water as others have pointed
out, there is perhaps a shortage of potable water, a very big difference.
About potable water - it is extremely easy to take any level of dirty water and
make it potable. There are even very low energy solutions to clean water.As for lawns... Once established a nice Kentucky Bluegrass lawn uses
the same amount of water as a lousy-patchy desert grass lawn. If you want to
xeriscape go ahead - but don't try and force others to conform to your
opinion based standard of what is appropriate. If you want to convince me then
fine, but passing laws to force my hand is immoral.
PP: "Name one single natural resource we have run out of."I
hear it is very difficult to find roast passenger pigeon, with a rosemary rub
and sage stuffing, served under glass with a side of poached dodo eggs, on a
menu at a fine restaurant anywhere.As you say, water itself is
plentiful, it's the distribution of usable water that is a problem. Your
socialist solution (government redistribution) could be solved more readily with
free market price mechanisms. I pay less for water in SLC (12" precip/year)
than my parents in the humid midwest (40" precip). How crazy is that?BTW, water is constantly dissociating at the molecular level into H+ and
OH- ions. We create water when we metabolize food, just as plants destroy water
when they photosynthesize (converting it to carbohydrate). You really
can't step into the same river twice, figuratively or literally. It's
a common misconception that you might be drinking water a dinosaur waded in.
LagomorphSometimes I wonder if people even read others posts before
criticizing them.My "socialist" solution? Really? First -
taxes are supposed to pay for infrastructure, not things like planned parenthood
and kickbacks for unions, so a desalination facility or a water pipeline is not
a socialist plot. Second, I never said anything about the govt doing it (nor
would I), I just said it was easily possible.Your argument about
water constantly dissociating, plants photosynthesizing and humans metabolizing
is inaccurate (to say the least). Those functions do not "destroy"
water nor do they take it out of the closed system that is the Earth. They
simply change the state where the water (or H and O molecules) exist. Other
processes (decomposition, sweating, etc)restore it to it's H2O state.We are, in fact consuming the exact same elements that the dinosaurs
consumed. So you can actually step in the same river twice.As for
your TIC (I hope) example of Dodos and pigeon - they are commodities. If you
found a male and female Dodo you could repopulate the species. Lets see you do
that with Iron Ore.
Lagomorph - as for your parents... They are obviously getting ripped off.
PP: "Sometimes I wonder if people even read others posts before criticizing
them."I know exactly what you mean.PP: "We are,
in fact consuming the exact same ELEMENTS that the dinosaurs consumed."
[emphasis added]Right, but not the same molecules, which was my
point. If you had a superfine Sharpie and could mark the hydrogen and oxygen
atoms in a particular water molecule in the Mesozoic with a red X, your odds of
finding those same three atoms bonded together as the same water molecule a
minute later (let alone millions of years later) are infinitesimal. The river
is constantly reorganizing itself.PP: "Lets see you do that
with Iron Ore."Actually, that's much easier than
repopulating an extinct species. As you rightly pointed out, the elements are
always with us (law of conservation of matter). Metals are infinitely
recyclable. The problem is it takes energy (read money) to gather diffuse metal
atoms together into usable form, i.e. to push entropy back a bit by
concentrating the atoms. But we do this through mining, milling, smelting, and
refining. We aren't likely to ever run out of iron, but we might run out
of economically attainable iron.