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Terra Bella Water is Now Doing Rainwater Harvesting

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WATER EDUCATION & RESOURCES
 
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Using a variety of dynamic presentation tools we help clarify water issues and increase awareness of water problems. Whether you are a water provider, non-profit organization, an environmental group, a community group, a student group, a small business or a corporation, we customize our material to make sure our audience is getting the most relevant and useful information. 

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WHO WE ARE

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Paula Henson

paula_hensonI am a Los Angeles native, an educator and water conservation advocate with a background in landscape design. I have been providing classes all over southern California for adults about landscape water conservation, and have over 10 years of experience teaching 3 to 5 year-olds. Previously I facilitated courses in several major U.S. cities in Film Production for AFI (American Film Institute) Public Service programs.

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IS THERE WATER IN THAT ART OR. . .

Major Works of Art reveal fixation with water! Ok, maybe you’re not so surprised.

I was wondering how many famous paintings feature water. So, not being an art afficiando I tried to come up with the most famous paintings I could think of. Mona Lisa, Monet’s Water Lilies, that melting clock, the Scream and the American Gothic one.

Water in the background? Mona Lisa, check. The Scream, check. Melting clock, yep. American Gothic…well, no but there’s always an exception. And, what do you know, here are a bunch of others. Starry Night, Birth of Venus, Sunday Afternoon on the Island…. (Seurrat), Ok, that girl with the pearl earring does not have any water in it (but her headband’s blue!!)

And famous artists: Klimt? Well, really I have no idea. (Ditto, Picasso, Jackson Pollack) Those ballerinas? Da Vinci’s Last Supper—you betcha (gotta look closely)

AQUASTAT – GREAT INFO!

AQUASTAT is FAO’s global water information system, developed by the Land and Water Division. The main mandate of the programme is to collect, analyze and disseminate information on water resources, water uses, and agricultural water management, with an emphasis on countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. This allows interested users to find comprehensive and regularly updated information at global, regional, and national levels

TOP 10 GLOBAL WATER HOTSPOTS

TOP 10 GLOBAL WATER HOTSPOTS

Turkey – Completing dams on the Tigris and Euphrates will deprive both Syria and Iraq of their primary sources of water.

India – A long-standing disagreement over the Indus River, which flows from Kashmir into Pakistan, continues to be a point of contention. Meanwhile, India and Bangladesh continue to battle over the depleted and badly polluted River Ganges.

Israel – A dispute over the Jordan-Yarmuk system between Israel, Syria and Jordan has been simmering since the 1950s.

Laos – Erecting a dam on the Mekong River will affect the water supply to Cambodia and Vietnam.

Tajikistan – A plan to dam a tributary of the Amu Darya river has prompted Uzbekistan to impose tariffs and travel restrictions on its neighbour.

China – Conflict is growing over the Brahmputra River, which originates in Tibet and feeds into India and Bangladesh.

Ethiopia – Ethiopia’s plan to dam the Blue Nile will stifle the flow of water to Egypt and Sudan.

Senegal – The west African nation has been battling since 1989 with neighbour Mauritania over grazing rights on the Senegal River.

The Aral Sea – Once the world’s fourth-largest inland lake, it’s now 10% of its original size due to diversion projects. Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan still rely on it for water.

Mexico – Ongoing disputes continue between Mexico and the seven U.S. states that are fed by the Colorado River. The river is so depleted that it no longer reaches the sea.

BE EMBARRASSED BY YOUR LAWN…

I’ve been thinking about all the ways that we (Angelinos, Californians, Americans) use our potable water supply. If we were a developing country such extravagances wouldn’t be possible. And if  when we have a big earthquake here in SoCal what things will we just not really care about for the weeks/months following? There’s nothing like a catastrophe to show us what’s really important.

Here are some of the crazy things we do with our drinkable water (feel free to hang your head in shame for the rest of the day):

1. Washing your car – Think about this for a minute. Is it really necessary to keep the outside of your car free of dirt, grime etc? Do you wash down the outside of your house on a regular basis? I didn’t think so. So the pressure is off to have a car that is shinier than the neighbor’s. Don’t you feel better?

2. Car washes – I realize that some use recycled water but that recycled water could be used for irrigation or something else. Be proud of your dirty car! And by the way, I have heard that many of them in fact don’t recycle their water. Sounds like a job for an investigative journalist!

3. Water parks/water slides – Sure, they are fun and keep people cool on a hot day, but really?  Loss to evaporation must be higher than, say, a swimming pool.  Speaking of…

4. Swimming pools – A status symbol that may be seen in the future in the same way as having a gold-plated bathroom. Unless of course this is your cistern…in which case, keep it covered so it doesn’t evaporate!

5. Fountains (decorative, not drinking) – From the showy Vegas strip to a backyard fountain, absolutely not necessary. Save the precious water for a better purpose!

6. Koi ponds or other decorative water features – I am in no way advocating for killing koi but can we just not use them as visual entertainment (and/or food for local critters)?

7. Spas – Other than for some medical reason, I don’t think we need jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms, etc. Anyone care to disagree?

8. Golf courses – Before the golfers invoke the recycled water excuse, please see above “Car washes”.

9. Bottled water – Don’t EVEN get me started!

10. Gardens – If only people could really irrigate responsibly, we wouldn’t have to go there. I would argue for the value of a garden, but it doesn’t have to use a lot of water.

11. Long showers and full bathtubs – Make them the exception, an indulgence – not the norm. Yes, it’s important to be clean but how much time do you need?

12. Flushing – Since we’re getting a bit more personal, let’s stop for a minute and think twice about our tendency to flush the toilet. Big water user, especially if you don’t have a newer model. And if you haven’t seen this video, you really should. There are so many things we flush down the toilet because it seems like the fastest way to rid ourselves of whatever it is that we want to get rid of RIGHT AWAY (ie. dead goldfish, the butt of that secretly enjoyed cigarette, pharmaceuticals-legal and otherwise). Major problems. If you haven’t heard, our water supply in America is becoming contaminated with pharmaceuticals that most treatment plants don’t filter out. Rule of thumb: If it didn’t come out of your body, or isn’t toilet paper, do not flush it. (I’m sure many a college student is relieved that they can still take comfort in the bathroom at the end of a long night of drinking…)

 

 

IF LADY GAGA CAN’T GET US TO CONSERVE WATER. . .

A month or so ago Twitter was all lit up with news that Lady Gaga had done a PSA about conserving water in California. Well, it looks like she didn’t make such a dramatic impact…it’s not like we’ve been getting serious about really saving water. Her 17 seconds of a shout out isn’t gonna cut it.

LADWP DRINKING WATER QUALITY REPORT…IN A NUTSHELL

You haven’t read the newest Drinking Water Quality Report from the L.A.D.W.P for 2013? I’m shocked! Well, I can boil it down for you to these few highlights:

In 2013, the LADWP did the following:

-Supplied 4 million customers with 200 billion gallons of treated water. Said water passed or surpassed all standards set by the EPA and State Health Dept.

-Collected over 25,000 water samples and performed 240,000 water quality tests and tested for more than 200 contaminants, constituents (yuk!) etc. etc. etc.

-Started construction on the largest ultra-violet (UV) water treatment facility in the West and the Headworks Reservoir new Griffith Park which will have two underground reservoirs and a combined capacity of 110 million gallons.

Chloramination- If you live in the following areas you have already been getting chloraminated water for years: Harbor, East L.A. and Sunland-Tujunga. Pacific Palisades and Brentwood began receiving it in late 2012. Don’t worry, we’re all getting it…

Oh, and what IS chloramine? “While both chlorine and chloramine are effective killers of bacteria and other microorganisms, chloramine lasts longer, forms fewer byproducts and does not have a chlorinous odor.”(LADWP)

They’re spending $250 million for the chloramine conversion and for compliance with Stage 2 of the Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (basically more monitoring and compliance rules, not a change in allowable levels of disinfection products in our drinking water.

Oh, if you want to read the whole thing yourself enjoy! LADWP 2013 Drinking Water Quality Report

CITY OF L.A. IRRIGATION REQUIREMENTS

Doesn’t sound so fun, does it? Well, it’s titled “Guidelines” but the fact is, these are requirements. If you’re not familiar, take a look. Enjoy!

L.A. Irrigation Guidelines

L.A. WATER…HOW DOES IT WORK?

Ever wonder how L.A.’s water system really works? We can explain the ins and outs of this hidden network of everything from the Colorado River and groundwater to recycled water and biogas! www.terrabellawater.com

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