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To catch the rain cover.png Rainwater catchment around the world. Get a paperback on Amazon or free digitally at http://www.tocatchtherain.org.


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.

WaterPod Rocket Stove

The WaterPod's only cooking appliance for the entire summer voyage. Discovery News says, "If rising ocean levels force us to figure out how to float, it might not be an entirely bad thing. Especially if the food tastes like this."

Ballard Farmers' Market - vegetables.jpg

Feb 17 Commons: Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet, Richard Cooke [1]

Feb 12 Climate change solutions: Planting Trees Won’t Save the World, By Erle C. Ellis, Mark Maslin and Simon Lewis. The authors are scientists. [2]

Feb 12 Europe: Car ‘splatometer’ tests reveal huge decline in number of insects [3]

Feb 11 Education UK: Pupils draft their own climate bill as anxiety grows over lack of guidance for schools [4]

Feb 2 Community involvement news: Global study finds ample evidence of a worrying ‘democratic recession’ [5]

Read More...


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My friend, all theory is gray, and the Golden tree of life is green.

Johann Wolfgang von GoetheW
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Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems. Since work is defined as a force acting through a distance (a length of space), energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length.

Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable energy sources are most often regarded as including all renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar energy and power, wind power, wave power, geothermal energy and power, biomass fuel and energy, and tidal power. It usually also includes technologies that improve energy efficiency.

While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. As of 2011, small solar photovoltaic (PV) systems provide electricity to a few million households, and micro-hydro configured into mini-grids serves many more. Over 44 million households use biogas made in household-scale digesters for lighting and/or cooking, and more than 166 million households rely on a new generation of more-efficient biomass cookstoves.

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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Spring 2010: World Shelters: One lab of the Spring 2010 semester of Engineering 215 worked worked with World Shelters to design and improve upon structures by leveraging the resources of Haiti and World Shelters.

Spring 2010 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - World Shelters
Simple Square
Reduces the amount of unique connecting pieces needed to construct World Shelter's JAS Shelter  
Rock Roots JAS
JAS Shelter retrofits to withstand a Class One hurricane  
Make it Complete with Papercrete
Inner wall system incorporates the use of papercrete, a weatherproof and fire resistant material  
Rubble to Resource
Rubble trench foundations utilize rubble to rebuild Haiti  
Bags of Shelter
Earthbag shelter designed for use as a transitional shelter  
Titanium Sun Shield
Primer and topcoat application over the polypropylene exterior of a WorldShelters temporary structure  
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