Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Algae Landscaping and Architecture

When you think of algae, landscaping or architecture likely aren't the first thoughts that come to mind. However, in a recent Algae Competition, innovative thinkers designed ways in which algae could be incorporated into urban landscaping and other kinds of planning. Many entries considered the possibility of algae biofuel production, such as floating farms along coastlines.

The entry pictured, below, for example, is a floating green park in Hong Kong which aims to capture the carbon dioxide from car exhaust and and use algae to turn it into fuel for the city.

Carbon Dioxide Eliminating Floating Green Park, Hong Kong. By Adrian Yee Cheung Lo. 1177. Algal Urbanism: 50 Year Master Plan for Alameda Air Base. By Olga Kozachek, E. Avera, A. Galo.

Looking for more information about green planning?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Research Help at the Water Library

Don't forget: the Water Library has many resources to help you with research, water-related questions, or just plain curiosity.

Our Water Research Guide includes aquatic sciences news, as well as research tips and resources about aquaculture, aquatic invasive species, coastal ecosystems, the Great Lakes, and much, much more.

Got a specific question? Visit our Ask Water page, stop in, or call. We'd be happy to help you out!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Is "recycle more" part of your New Year's resolution? Maybe not. But if you've vowed to spend less money, or be less wasteful, recycling can help. The Wisconsin DNR recently posted a list of 12 ways that you can reduce waste- saving the environment and some cash, too.

Here are just a few:
  • Lessen the amount of junk mail you receive by registering with the Direct Marketing Association
  • Buy in bulk to cut down on packaging
  • Visit E-Cycle Wisconsin to find out where to recycle old electronics
  • Store food in reusable containers, rather than disposable bags

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Global Groundwater Levels Dropping

The most recent issue of Science News reports that globally, groundwater levels have dropped over the last nine years, a trend that's visible thanks to gravity-monitoring satellites.

This is especially true in areas where agriculture is increasing, often drawing a higher water demand in dry climates. For example, according to Science News, California's Central Valley pulls almost 4 cubic kilometers of groundwater per year. That's enough to fill over 1.5 million Olympic sized swimming pools- and that's only one region of the globe. Other factors, such as climate change, worsen the problem. In order to reach a more globally sustainable levels, changes will have to be made in irrigation and other water management practices.

Want to learn more about gravity-monitoring satellites or groundwater levels?
Image via GRACE