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From today's featured article

Bill Mollison talking about the future.
Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. The word itself is a contraction not only of permanent and agriculture but also of permanent culture, as cultures cannot survive for long without a sustainable agricultural base and landuse ethic.

Bill MollisonW, Introduction to Permaculture

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Micro hydro scheme showing the power house, the penstock and the transmission lines
Microhydro power. Water power can be harnessed in many ways; tidal flows can be utilized to produce power by building a barrage across an estuary and releasing water in a controlled manner through a turbine; large dams hold water which can be used to provide large quantities of electricity; wave power is also harnessed in various ways. It is a technology that has been utilized throughout the world, by a diverse range of societies and cultures, for many centuries. Water can be harnessed on a large or a small scale. Micro-hydro power is the small-scale harnessing of energy from falling water; for example, harnessing enough water from a local river to power a small factory or village. This fact sheet will concentrate mainly at micro-hydro power.

In the UK, water mills are known to have been in use 900 years ago. Their numbers grew steadily and by the 19th century, there were over 20,000 in operation in England alone. In Europe, Asia and parts of Africa, water wheels were used to drive a variety of industrial machinery, such as mills and pumps. The first effective water turbines appeared in the mid 19th century and it was not long before they were replacing water wheels in many applications. In contrast to water wheels and the early turbines, modern turbines are compact, highly efficient and capable of turning at very high speed. Hydropower is a well-proven technology, relying on a non-polluting, renewable and indigenous resource, which can integrate easily with irrigation and water supply projects.

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Greywater Ecuador La lagrima purificadora

A detailed greywater system at Centro Orgánico Finca Sarita, an Ecuadorian seed saving center.

Estuaries and coastal waters are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth.
Water is vital for all known forms of life. Covering 71% of the Earth's surface, it is found mostly in oceans and other large water bodies. 1.6% of the total mass of the Earth's water is below ground in aquifers and 0.001% is in the air as vapor, clouds, and precipitation (rain, snow and sleet).

The Earth's water moves constantly through a cycle of evaporation and transpiration (evapotranspiration), precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea. Over land, evaporation and transpiration contribute to the precipitation over land - thus deforestation and other changes to land can have wide and long-lasting effects through their impact on the water cycle.

Some observers estimate that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be vulnerable to a lack of water. Appropriate water supply and water purification technologies can help.

Related portal: Greywater
edit  watch  Selected service learning Projects gallery (refresh)

Engr305 Appropriate Technology Projects: Below are selected service learning projects from Engr305 Appropriate Technology, which is a course on appropriate technology at Humboldt State University taught by instructor Lonny Grafman.

Treadmill-a-volt treadmill powered charging

Treadmill power for the Humboldt Bay Center for Sustainable Living  
Troubleshooting the AEF photovoltaic system

Troubleshooting, repairing, testing and maintaining a preexisting off-grid photovoltaic system  
Tule Fog Farm Grassfed Shed

An indoor space for pigs and goats that also restores a previous brownfield while improving the overall natural landscape  
Umbrella solar cooker

A multi-use solar cooker  
Wild Chick Farm

A commercial pastured chicken operation in Arcata, California  

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