Thursday, 12 May 2011

Managing Public Water Systems - cause for concern

Back to Tap is excited about a recent documentary on public water resources. The 90 minute PBS documentary"Liquid Assets" investigates public water infrastructure across the United States and finds major problems with how the entire system is managed. The film is parter of a larger effort to change attitudes towards public water systems and how they are administered. People are slowly realising how precious water systems are - modern city living would quickly revert to Hobbes' "nasty, brutish and short" description of the human condition.

Showing how various cities in the US suffer from degraded and ill-maintained water infrastructure, "Liquid Assets" raises important questions about how we use and dispose of water.

After watching the trailer, we started wondering about water infrastructure here in London, much of which is also creaking, and was installed far earlier than anything in the United States.

Let's hope that the folks at Thames Water have also watched "Liquid Assets" and that the water delivery and management problems facing our 19th century system do not affect our drinking water. It is not that long ago (1854) that London was suffering significant cholera outbreaks.

If we are to ensure that our water system remains in healthy condition, people must speak up and demand regular maintenance of what is an essential public good. Let's not wait for the bottled water companies to turn off all the taps and take over our water infrastructure. Raise your voice and demand the quality we need to go Back to Tap!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

New Energy Projects in Africa: leading the way with innovation

Back to Tap has been busy working on a number of new initiatives - looking for ways to affordable water filtration technology to new markets like Africa, where innovation and ideas are blossoming.

In particular, we were excited by all the talk of renewable energy at this year's Africa Utility Week in South Africa. If even a fraction of the projects discussed during the week are acted upon, Africa's use of renewable energy with soon put Europe and the UK to shame. Here's hoping that Africa leads the way in adopting mostly renewable energy and other sustainable technologies in the future.

Moving Grass in Your Window: green is good.

How many times do you wish there was more green in your life? At Back to Tap, we are also partial to blue, but are excited about a recent playful design that popped up here in London.

A shop window that waves its green grass fingers at you as you stroll by. Connected to a series of motors, the graceful long grasses follow one's movement across the pavement...

When when they come up with a window shop wave?

Fishing for Plastic...What have we done?

We were surprised to read this morning that fishermen in the Mediterranean are not expected to fish for plastic. As mu