Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Sea Britain" Revisited

Often you find me talking about alternative energy and things that individuals can do to help reduce their "energy footprint."  While I do believe that energy consumption is the most pressing issue facing us today, water consumption is an extremely close second.

Water is a limiting resource, and as population increases, more water is going to be demanded.  This has led to the development of more efficient systems of water use ranging from more efficient washing machines and dishwashers to low-flow toilets (9 out of 10 men will agree that there has to be a better way make sure these damn toilets don't get clogged as much - I'm looking at you, engineers!).

However, no matter how efficient we get with our water usage, the bottle-neck of water treatment still exists.  The thought of using chemicals to clean our water leaves something to be desired for a lot of people, mainly because it is a constant drain (pun!) of money.

That is until now.

Floating Island International has developed a technique to create man-made islands that use the same natural processes as bogs and wetlands to clean polluted water without the aid of chemicals.

There is a good interview with the company's owners (Bruce and Anne Kania) over at Marc Gunther's blog outlining all the work that they have done up until now.  Most projects are on a municipal level which, in my opinion, is right where it needs to be.

Bruce goes as far as to say that one day he would like to create ocean-front real estate with his islands to support human living conditions, and while even I think that sounds a little bit like science fiction, I am prepared to eat my words the day it happens.

Will this end the need for chemical treatment of our water systems? No.

This will follow the same trend as alternative energy working in collaboration with coal.  Maybe one day we will figure out how to completely replace the dirtier process, but until then we can make great strides in mitigating the pollution we are exerting right now.

(For those of you who don't get the title of this entry, "Sea Britain" is one of the more brilliant jokes that came from Season Three of Arrested Development.)

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