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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Bicycle Water Pump Creates Synergy

I usually am not that quick to blog about something that happened the same day and if I don't finish this soon that won't be happening today either. This afternoon I spent several hours with a youth group called A.C.T.I.O.N. (Activists Coming to Inform Our Neighborhood) at The Point in the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx. The Point and GrowNYC are collaborating on a project to introduce rainwater harvesting to the neighborhood. The kids (15-18 years old) listened and watched as I gave them some background into where their water comes from - the NYC reservoir system as far away as 250 miles from the Bronx. I didn't have to explain CSO's, they were aware of the issue of Combined Sewer Overflows.  We discussed the cost of water: they knew that a 0.5 liter bottle of water cost $1.25 at the bodega which comes to around $10 a gallon but it took them awhile to guess the per gallon cost of NYC tap water - $1. - No, 10 cents - No, 1 cent - got it! We talked about the true water cost of items like soda and chocolate. It takes 200 liters (52.8 gallons) of water to produce  a 0.5 liter -16.9 ounce bottle of soda and 1700 liters (449 gallons) of water to make a 100 gram - 3.5 ounce chocolate bar if you factor in all of the inputs. 




But the real fun and synergy happened when we went outside and the youth tried out the bicycle water pump that I created. The Point also has an Aquaponics project on site run by S.A.V.E. Farms (Society for Aquaponic Values and Education). The Aquaponics guys were emptying some nutrient rich water -"Fish poop water"  from one of the tanks which they were then going to use to water the garden by watering cans. The bicycle water pump was the right solution for the job with a dozen teens tired of listening to me and ready for some exercise, a 50 gallon barrel filled with fertilizer water and a parched garden. I only took one picture but more will show up soon as folks were coming out of their offices and pulling out their mobile phones to photograph the kids riding and water gushing. In the picture the water tank is behind the bike and the garden is to the left. The rider is watching the water coming out of the hose. Next week, the youth will fabricate another bicycle water pump for the Point to be used with their new rainwater harvesting system which they will build later in the month. The combination of harvested rainwater and nutrient rich fish tank water will practically guarantee that they will never  again have to use water from those far away reservoirs to water their garden. 

10 comments:

  1. Yeah it's true! water pumps create synergy. This is a good invention.

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