Hickenlooper on Frakin’ Frack Fluid

I was surprised to learn from my governor here in Colorado that he believes ANY fracking fluid would be safe. It’s not just what goes down the hole, it’s the quality of water coming back up that will be contaminated, just like any other “produced water.” It’s important industry wants to minimize what goes down the well.

Despite what you might have heard, I much prefer drinking beer to frack fluid.

For the uninitiated, “frack fluid” is the liquid product oil and gas developers use in deep underground drilling operations. It is mostly water, but includes other ingredients and chemicals that are designed to open up oil and gas deposits and be recovered in the drilling process.

Knowing what’s in the fluid and making sure the ingredients are known to the public is what prompted us to pass the most rigorous and transparent frack fluid disclosure rule in the country about a year ago. We negotiated that rule with industry and the environmental community (including the Environmental Defense Fund).

Our goal has been to encourage industry to use ingredients that are safe for the environment. So when an industry executive came to my office over a year ago touting the safety of their product – a new form of frack fluid based on food additives – we put him to the test by asking whether it was safe to drink. He said yes. So I challenged him to take a sip. He did, and so did I.

I can’t say it tasted good, but it was, as advertised, a completely safe product for human consumption. (This is not to imply that anyone would drink the frack fluid being used today).

As we move forward in developing energy, we ought to insist on the strictest and most effective environmental safeguards.

Although tasting frack fluid might seem newsworthy to some, it was not really the point of testimony we recently gave to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in Washington, D.C. We were drawing attention to the fact that Colorado has created the most comprehensive and stringent set of regulations around oil and gas production in the country.

If you are interested in what went on there, please take a moment to click on this link (and go to 48:45) and let me know what you think.

Thanks,
John Hickenlooper

IX Power Clean Water’s OrganiClear™ Inventor Dr. Jeri Sullivan Graham to head vital Water Work Group for New Mexico

           Dr. Enid (Jeri) Sullivan Graham of Los Alamos National Laboratory, who led the multi-lab team that created IX Power Clean Water’s OrganiClear™ technology, has been tapped by New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez to head up a key team working on one of that drought-ridden state’s most important energy and water science issues. Dr. Graham will be leading the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) Brackish Water Work Group.

            The EMNRD has announced that the Brackish Water Work Group’s primary goals are to identify and gather available information on the brackish water resource in New Mexico and review existing regulations surrounding brackish water. The overarching goal of the group is to make brackish water more available and useable as a buffer against drought.

            “Jeri Sullivan Graham has incredible expertise in water treatment, particularly in the treatment of produced and brackish water,” said John R. (Grizz) Deal, CEO of IX Power Clean Water. “Her work in creating the OrganiClear technology will have a monumental impact on the way the oil and gas industry treats produced water. Now the State of New Mexico will also benefit from her expertise in brackish water, which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the state’s precarious drought situation.”

            It is a well-known fact that New Mexico is entering its fourth year of extremely dry conditions. Nearly two-thirds of the state is dealing with severe drought or worse. For a map of the state’s drought conditions, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

            Dr. Graham is a hydrogeologist and geochemist at LANL, working in the Chemical Diagnostics and Engineering Group, and earned a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science (Hydrology) from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Graham will split time between LANL and EMNRD as part of the collaborative agreement.

            It was at LANL that Dr. Graham spearheaded the team to create IX Power Clean Water’s OrganiClear. Other key contributors on the project included Dr. Rob Bowman from New Mexico Tech, and Dr. Lynn Katz, Dr. Kerry Kinney, and Dr. Soondong Kwon from the University of Texas at Austin. 

OrganiClear was specifically designed to solve the issues surrounding the release of organic hydrocarbons in produced water from the oil and gas industry, as well as manufacturing and mining industries. The OrganiClear machine cleans water to the point that it can be safely used for agriculture and livestock and, with additional processes, can also be used for community water systems.

            To discuss OrganiClear™ for produced water, and OrganiClear VBR™ for air emissions, with a IX Power representative, please call: 505-661-1000, ext. 902 or email: info at IxPower dot com.

            IX Power Clean Water (pronounced Nine Power) is based in Golden, Colorado and is one of the IX Power Companies, a group focused on bringing game-changing safe power and clean water innovations to market. The companies also have offices in Washington, D.C.; London, England; and Moscow, Russia. Before starting the IX Power group of companies, Deal was the CEO of Hyperion Power Generation for four years. He co-founded Hyperion Power, the first commercial small nuclear reactor (SMR) company, along with the IX Power Leadership Team: Dr. Otis (Pete) Peterson, Dr. L. Robert Libutti, Randall Wilson, and Deborah Deal-Blackwell.

– IX –

Colorado Passes First-of-A-Kind Air Pollution Regulations & IX Power is Ready to Assist Oil & Gas Industry with New OrganiClear for Airborne VOCs

 

           As Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) was voting Sunday (Feb. 23, 2014) 8 to 1 to approve an unprecedented set of new rules aimed at curbing methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) leaks, IX Power was already prepared to assist with the state’s oil and gas industry in meeting those new requirements. “As soon as the Governor (Hickenlooper) made his support for the new emission regulations known last Fall, our team swung into creating a new version of our OrganiClear technology for produced water treatment, so the product can now also be used in capturing and converting airborne organics from oil and gas operations.”

            OrganiClear, a technology-transfer project “spun out” from Los Alamos National Laboratory, was specifically designed to solve the issues surrounding the release of organic hydrocarbons in produced water. The OrganiClear machine cleans water to the point that it can be safely used for agriculture and livestock, and community water systems.

            “The new product, inspired by Colorado’s new emissions regs,” added Deal, “is a natural extension of OrganiClear, and utilizes its proven ability to capture and convert airborne organics from filter recharge in a produced water treatment system. We have modified the OrganiClear design to provide a robust Vapor Bioreactor (VBR) to meet and exceed these new emission standards. OrganiClear VBR is built to customer specifications, but all IX Power VBRs provide for a wide range of operating conditions, chemistries, and environmental conditions at an affordable price point.”  

            “OrganiClear will change how the world manages pollution from the oil & gas industry, mining industry, and in manufacturing,” further explained Deal. “As part of an operation’s treatment train, OrganiClear not only separates the dangerous organic hydrocarbons, it destroys them while creating no additional waste stream. While other existing processes leave piles of toxic consumables that then must also be disposed of, OrganiClear effectively “converts” the toxins leaving nothing behind for additional handling.”

             Cathy Proctor, energy reporter for the Denver Business Journal, reported that Colorado’s new rules are unique in several ways:

  • They cover the entire state of Colorado.
  • In addition to addressing the problem of VOCs, the new rules also target methane leaks. Colorado is the first state to do this. (Methane is much more dangerous than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.)
  • Routine checks for leaks and malfunctioning equipment and repairs are now required.
  • The entire natural gas chain is now involved. This includes the well site, storage tanks, gathering lines and compression stations as well as processing plants.

 To read Ms. Proctor’s latest story, visit:  Energy Inc. – Denver Business Journal.  

To discuss OrganiClear™ for produced water, and OrganiClear VBR,™ for air emissions, with a IX Power representative, please call: 505-661-1000, ext. 902 or email: email: info at IxPower dot com.

            IX Power Clean Water (pronounced Nine Power) is based in Denver, Colorado and is one of the IX Power Companies, a group that focuses on bringing game-changing safe power and clean water innovations to market. The companies also have offices in Washington, D.C.; London, England; and Moscow, Russia. Before starting the IX Power group of companies, Deal was the CEO of Hyperion Power Generation for four years. He co-founded Hyperion Power, the first modern SMR company to approach the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission with its SMR concept, along with the IX Power Leadership Team: Dr. Otis (Pete) Peterson, Dr. Robert Libutti, Randall Wilson, and Deborah Deal-Blackwell.

- IX -

Use of Produced Water to help reduce the global food shortage.

Annually, the oil and gas industry around the globe produces at least 70 billion barrels of what is known as “Produced Water.” This water is incredibly contaminated and some of the contaminants can cause disease and birth defects—in addition to damaging local and regional ecology.

In many locations the water is contaminated from the "Produced Water" brought up by the oil & gas and mining industries. Some companies are responsibly cleaning up or disposing of their Produced Water, but others are not.

In many locations water is contaminated or non-existent. Converting produced water to clean, safe water creates an entire new stream of “found water.”

Yet, this water can be cleaned and turned into Found Water: water that is pure enough to be used for agriculture, livestock, and human use.

Why go to that effort?  Because increasingly we need every drop of clean water we can wring out from every source possible.  Read previous post on water.

Water = Food 

You see, we don’t just need water to drink, or bathe. We also need it to run power plants for electricity, and to grow food. Most people don’t think about that one: how much water is required to grow food?  Let’s look at the impact, and the amount of water needed to grow food and keep us alive.  

Essentially, every calorie of food requires a litre of water to produce it.  So on average, we require between 2,000 and 3,000 litres of water per person to sustain our daily food requirements. Here are some examples.

To grow or breed ….
•1 pound of chicken meat:  it takes 500 gallons of water (1,893 litres)
•1 hamburger: it takes 4,000 to 18,000 gallons of water  depending on various factors  (15,142 litres to 68137 litres)
•1 cup of coffee: it takes 35 gallons of water   (132 litres)
•1 pound of wheat: 110-250 gallons of water (416 to 946 litres)
Another interesting fact:  Wheat consumes about 790 billion cubic meters of water annually, which constitutes 12 % of the global water use for crop production.
So – we need a lot of water on this planet, just to grow our food.
Food InSecurity is coming – in fact it’s already here
Food Security is getting more and more attention lately. U.S. President Obama has started trying to address the issue and the United Nations has been concerned for some time now. Why? Because …     
We can turn Food Insecurity into Food Security by turning Produced Water into Clean Found Water.

We can turn Food Insecurity into Food Security by turning Produced Water into Clean Found Water.

•We will have 2.5 billion extra mouths to feed by 2050
•Finding the extra water each year will not be an easy task, given that it is more than double what is currently used in irrigation
•We will not be able to produce all the food, feed and fiber required in 2050 unless we improve the way we manage water, and that management of water includes better management of the 70 billion barrels of “Produced Water” from the oil and gas industry.
 
So exactly what is “Produced Water?”  This is water trapped in underground formations and brought to the surface along with the oil or gas. Produced water contains chemical characteristics of the formation and the hydrocarbons present. It may include water from the reservoir, water injected into the formation, and chemicals added during the production and treatment processes. Major constituents of concern are salt, oil and grease, various other natural inorganic and organic compounds, chemical additives used in drilling, and naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM).

In many places, the oil and gas industry is trying to do the responsible thing and dispose of its “produced water” in a manner that will not affect the local groundwater or sources of water. Companies pay an enormous amount of money to transport that water away from local communities or pay to clean it up. Dealing with produced water is one of the most expensive problems the oil and gas industry, along with the mining and manufacturing industries, faces today. Unfortunately, in other places, less responsible companies just dump it and subject the local community’s inhabitants to very hazardous substances.

 Produced water from oil & gas and mining work can be cleaned up and turned into "Found Water" to grow crops.  New technology such as IX Power's OrganiClear can make it easier and more affordable to clean up produced water so it can be re-used to solve the Food Insecurity problem.

Produced water from oil & gas and mining work can be cleaned up and turned into “Found Water” to grow crops. New technology such as IX Power’s OrganiClear can make it easier and more affordable to clean up produced water so it can be re-used to solve the Food Insecurity problem.

So, we need water for many things, and we certainly need it to produce food. Industry creates a lot of produced water.  Let’s clean it up and use it!  How? With new technology such as IX Power’s OrganiClear™ which removes the most dangerous parts (the BTEX:  organic hydrocarbon compounds) without leaving another waste stream behind to deal with. We invite you to read about IX Power’s OrganiClear by clicking here.  But, we also want to know about other technologies that can be used in the fight to clean up produced water. It’s a big problem and we need everyone working on it…!

The next time you eat a meal, stop and think how much water it took to grow it!

 

 

Saturday, March 22 is World Water Day!

At IX Power we believe that the first and most essential obstacle that must be overcome in order to improve life on Earth is the lack of clean water. We are devoted to finding methods for cleaning dirty produced water – some of the most potentially harmful water that can be found – and turning it into clean water for use in irrigation, by livestock, and even for consumption by mankind.  It’s possible, with technology such as that we are currently working on and hope to introduce to you soon.

Holding place

Holding place

In the interim, please take a moment or several, on Saturday, March 22 to observe World Water Day – it will remind you just how important this resource is for everyone, everywhere!

Thanks to the art department at IX Power, we have some attractive graphics that will provide you with a view of the worldwide water picture for freshwater and surface water.  It’s interesting information!

 

IX Power advocates turning produced water into fresh water.

Only 1% of all the water on the planet is freshwater. This pie chart illustrates how that 1% is divided up.

 

 

 

IX Power advocates turning produced water into freshwater.

This chart further breaks down how the fresh surface water on the planet is categorized. Graphics courtesy of IX Power Art Department.

New OrganiClear™ Technology for Cleaning Produced Water from Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) and other Oil & Gas processes to be presented at 28th Annual WaterReuse Symposium by IX Power Clean Water CEO John “Grizz” Deal

The water industry will get its first official and public introduction to OrganiClear on Sunday afternoon, September 15, 2013 at the 28th Annual WaterReuse Symposium in Denver, Colorado in the U.S. IX Power Clean Water CEO John R. Grizz Deal will present the new technology, which originated at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Texas, and New Mexico Tech. It has been hailed as the most effective proven technology to filter and destroy toxic organic hydrocarbons, such as the notorious BTEX compounds, in “produced water” without creating an additional waste stream. Held in Denver September 15 – 18, the WaterReuse Symposium is the leading event in the U.S. for presenting the latest innovations in water reuse and desalination. More information about the event can be found at http://www.watereuse.org/symposium28.

A $40 billion per annum problem for the oil and gas industry, the handling, cleaning and disposal of produced water is gaining more attention from environmental regulators in the U.S. and other oil and gas producing countries every year. Produced water is a term to describe the polluted water extracted from the earth along with oil and gas. The water produced may include water from the fossil fuel reservoir, water injected into the formation (including the high pressure water used to fracture the rock formation—“fracking”), and chemicals added during production and well treatment processes.

The OrganiClear machine cleans water of its organic hydrocarbons to the point that it can be safely used for agriculture and livestock and, with additional processes, can also be used for community water systems.IX_PCW_Logo_Sept12

“OrganiClear will change how the world manages produced water from the oil & gas industry, mining industry, and in manufacturing,” explains Deal. “As part of an operation’s water treatment train, OrganiClear not only separates the dangerous organic hydrocarbons, it destroys them while creating no additional waste stream. While other existing processes for cleaning produced water leave piles of toxic consumables that then must also be disposed of, OrganiClear effectively “eats” the toxins leaving nothing behind for additional handling.”

The major constituents of produced water are salt, oil, grease, and various other natural inorganic and organic compounds, chemical additives used in drilling and fracking, and naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM).

BTEX is one set of compounds of organic hydrocarbons of major concern. BTEX is an acronym that stands for Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes, which are all closely related. These compounds are soluble in water so produced water from the extraction of crude oil is always contaminated with these compounds.

Unfortunately, BTEX is extremely toxic and dangerous to humans, animals, crops, and natural vegetation. Benzene is carcinogenic while Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes have harmful effects on the central nervous system. Frequently found together, the BTEX compounds can cause illness, birth defects, eventual death—and even immediate death if highly concentrated.

Thus far, the oil and gas industry worldwide has generally dealt with produced water by subsurface disposal, disposal on the surface (in ponds), and by cleaning it to a degree that it can be re-used in oil and gas extraction processes. Some operations have cleaned it to the point that it can be used for irrigation, although without the OrganiClear technology, that process is costly and damaging to the environment. Given the high cost of organics elimination, some oil and gas operators are forced to release their produced water untreated where it pollutes aquifers, rivers, and the ocean. OrganiClear solves this important problem.

“This is a global environmental issue,” said Deal, “because for each barrel of oil recovered, 5 to 40 times as much water is produced, creating the adage that ‘oil recovery is really water recovery with a bit of oil thrown in.’ Worldwide, the volume of produced water generated each year exceeds 70 billion barrels (1 bbl = 42 U.S. gallons.

Produced water accounts for 98% of the waste products in the oil & gas industry. Each year in order to comply with local, state, provincial, and federal environmental laws, oil and gas companies spend an estimated $40 billion cleaning and/or disposing of produced water. Costs include transportation, pre-treatment, re-injection, and desalination, and vary widely depending upon the water’s properties, volume, and geographic location. Typical handling costs range from $2 to $10 per barrel of water, and can run as high as $15 per barrel. The cost to eliminate “everything but TDS*” using OrganiClear in produced water ranges from $0.28 to $0.50 per barrel.

“So, why not clean it for beneficial use or recycle it for reuse?” notes Deal. “When millions of people around the globe suffer from water and subsequent food scarcity, we need to clean as much produced water as possible and turn it into “found” water. OrganiClear can make a huge difference: for industry, for the environment, and humankind. The oil and gas industry wants to do the right thing with its produced water. OrganiClear helps them in that effort.”

IX Power Clean Water (pronounced Nine Power), is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is one of the IX Power Companies, a group that focuses on bringing game-changing safe power and clean water innovations to market. The companies also have offices in Washington, D.C.; London, England; and Moscow, Russia. Before starting the IX Power group of companies, Deal was the CEO of Hyperion Power Generation for four years. He co-founded Hyperion Power, the first modern SMR company to approach the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission with its SMR concept, along with the IX Power Leadership Team: Dr. Otis (Pete) Peterson, Dr. Robert Libutti, Randall Wilson, and Deborah Deal-Blackwell. The objective of Hyperion Power was to introduce a mass-produced, self-contained 25MWe nuclear power reactor that was factory assembled and safe and compact enough to be shipped on the back of a truck. Now known as a design in the Generation IV (GenIV) class of reactors, the Hyperion reactor was designed to bring safe, emission-free clean nuclear power to industry and remote communities.

 *Costs to reduce Total Dissolved Solids, TDS, vary widely given TDS quantities and discharge limits.

IX

IX Power Clean Water Acquires Los Alamos National Laboratory’s “Ultimate Solution” to Hydrocarbon Pollution in Oil And Gas Produced Water

19 August 2013 — A $40 billion per annum problem that has plagued the oil and gas industry for the last 100 years will soon meet its match. IX Power Clean Water (IX PCW), has acquired the patent rights to OrganiClear from Los Alamos National Laboratory and begun commercialization of the most effective proven technology to filter and destroy organic hydrocarbons in “produced water” without creating an additional waste stream.

IX Power Clean Water's "OrganiClear" cleans organic hydrocarbons - BTEX - from produced water from oil & gas, mining operations, and industrial processes like no other technology can.

IX Power Clean Water’s “OrganiClear” cleans organic hydrocarbons – BTEX – from produced water from oil & gas, mining operations, and industrial processes like no other technology can.

Produced water is a term to describe water extracted from the earth along with oil and gas. The water produced may include water from the fossil fuel reservoir, water injected into the formation (including the high pressure water used to fracture the rock formation—“fracking”), and chemicals added during production and well treatment processes.

The OrganiClear machine cleans water to the point that it can be safely used for agriculture and livestock and, with additional processes, can also be used for community water systems.

“OrganiClear will change how the world manages produced water from the oil & gas industry, mining industry, and in manufacturing,” explained IX PCW CEO John R. Grizz Deal. “As part of an operation’s water treatment train, OrganiClear not only separates the dangerous organic hydrocarbons, it destroys them while creating no additional waste stream. While other existing processes for cleaning produced water leave piles of toxic consumables that then must also be disposed of, OrganiClear effectively “eats” the toxins leaving nothing behind for additional handling.”

The major constituents of produced water are salt, oil, grease, and various other natural inorganic and organic compounds, chemical additives used in drilling and fracking, and naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM).

BTEX is one set of compounds of organic hydrocarbons of major concern. BTEX is an acronym that stands for Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes, which are all closely related. These compounds are soluble in water so produced water from the extraction of crude oil is always contaminated with these compounds.

Unfortunately, BTEX is extremely toxic and dangerous to humans, animals, crops, and natural vegetation. Benzene is carcinogenic while Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes have harmful effects on the central nervous system. Frequently found together, the BTEX compounds can cause illness, birth defects, eventual death—and even immediate death if highly concentrated.

Thus far, the oil and gas industry worldwide has generally dealt with produced water by subsurface disposal, disposal on the surface (in ponds), and by cleaning it to a degree that it can be re-used in oil and gas extraction processes. Some operations have cleaned it to the point that it can be used for irrigation, although without the OrganiClear technology, that process is costly. Less scrupulous operators, usually in evolving economies without strict environmental regulations, release their produced water where it pollutes aquifers, rivers, and the ocean. 

“This is a global environmental issue,” said Deal, “because for each barrel of oil recovered, 5 to 40 times as much water is produced, creating the adage that ‘oil recovery is really water recovery with a bit of oil thrown in.’ Worldwide, the volume of produced water generated each year exceeds 70 billion barrels (1 bbl = 42 U.S. gallons), with 20 billion barrels generated in the U.S. alone. This equates to nearly 200 million barrels of produced water each and every day; enough water to flow over Niagara Falls for three months.”

Produced water accounts for 98% of the waste products in the oil & gas industry. Each year in order to comply with local, state, provincial, and federal environmental laws, oil and gas companies spend an estimated $40 billion cleaning and/or disposing of produced water. Costs include transportation, pre-treatment, re-injection, and desalination, and vary widely depending upon the water’s properties, volume, and geographic location. Typical handling costs range from $2 to $10 per barrel of water, and can run as high as $15 per barrel. The cost to eliminate “everything but TDS*” using OrganiClear in produced water ranges from $0.28 to $0.50 per barrel.

“So, why not clean it for beneficial use or recycle it for reuse?” notes Deal. “When millions of people around the globe suffer from water and subsequent food scarcity, we need to clean as much produced water as possible and turn it into “found” water. OrganiClear can make a huge difference: for industry, for the environment, and humankind. The oil and gas industry wants to do the right thing with its produced water. OrganiClear helps them in that effort.”

IX Power Clean Water (pronounced Nine Power), is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is one of the IX Power Companies, a group that focuses on bringing game-changing safe power and clean water innovations to market. The companies also have offices in Washington, D.C.; London, England; and Moscow, Russia. Before starting the IX Power group of companies, Deal was the CEO of Hyperion Power Generation for four years. He co-founded Hyperion Power, the first modern SMR company to approach the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission with its SMR concept, along with the IX Power Leadership Team: Dr. Otis (Pete) Peterson, Dr. Robert Libutti, Randall Wilson and Deborah Deal-Blackwell. The objective of Hyperion Power was to introduce a mass-produced, self-contained 25MWe nuclear power reactor that was factory assembled and safe and compact enough to be shipped on the back of a truck. Now known as a design in the Generation IV (GenIV) class of reactors, the Hyperion reactor was designed to bring safe, emission-free clean nuclear power to industry and remote communities.

 

*Costs to reduce Total Dissolved Solids, TDS, vary widely given TDS quantities and discharge limits.

 

IX

 

Solar Powers Water

Now, I like this!  Renewable, modern technology energy being paired with the cleaning of water.   

Sandra Chaloux is the president of Chaloux Environmental Communications, Inc.

Sandra Chaloux is the president of Chaloux Environmental Communications, Inc.

Fellow energy blogger Sandra Chaloux reviews some interesting information from Water Technology Magazine is her entry on July 18.  The story is about a municipality and their decision to integrate a solar power system to provide energy for their wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).

Check out her post at Chaloux Environmental Communications …    

Water: Now U.S. Gets a Taste of Going Without (and in a Heat Wave!)

Thousands in Maryland are frantically preparing to lose running water for as much as five days

We have it so good here.  Really.  Yes, it’s true.  Here in the section of the U.S. that stretches from about the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast, we are having a heat wave.  It’s not THAT hot compared to say, Arizona, or maybe Death Valley! – but when you factor in the humidity, it’s miserable.  (And I thought I was escaping the relentless steam bath I endured in Orlando, by moving to Northern Virginia.  Ha!)

However, it’s still not so bad.  Most folks seem to have air conditioning or some access to it.  And, there’s plenty of water to drink, swim in, take refreshing showers in, etc.

Until Now.   Splashing water on white.  Splash of water on a surface.

Now, a part of Maryland that borders Washington, D.C. is about to see what it’s like to live like so many people have to outside of the U.S.  Thousands of folks living in Maryland’s Prince George’s County are going to have the water turned off to their homes and businesses.  The reason?  Our country’s notoriously aging infrastructure is rearing its ugly head. In this case, a 54-inch water main is beginning to fail, officials say, and they must shut down part of the system to replace it.  For as many as FIVE days.  And, this event affects not only regular businesses and homes.  It’s knocking out all the business at National Harbor, a popular resort and conference hotel area, and even Joint Base Andrews, the combo Air Force and Navy Base that’s the home of Air Force One. The media is full of advice on which pots and pans to fill up, how much each person will need, etc. but there is no getting around the fact this is going to be a BIG PAIN IN THE NECK for a bunch of Americans, and a good deal that serve our federal government.

Maybe it’s good however, for two reasons:IX Power LLC is offering new clean water technologies

Maybe, just maybe, it will help highlight the issue of our infrastructure, which is literally decrepit in many areas.

And, # 2:  Some folks are going to get a taste of what it’s like to live without running water.

True, no one in Maryland is going to have to walk two miles in bare feet in 100 degree temperatures with a gallon of questionable water on their head like folks must in Africa, Asia, South America and even parts of Mexico.  But, maybe it will help open some eyes in this country about the urgency of the water scarcity situation on this planet. There’s nothing like going without yourself, to bring home others’ suffering.

We simply don’t have enough water on this planet. The total usable freshwater supply for humans and ecosystems is only around 200 000 km3 of water – less than 1 percent of all freshwater resources. According to the United Nations, water scarcity already affects almost every continent and more than 40 percent of the people on our planet. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.  To look at it another way, we are over-consuming our natural resources at an unsustainable rate. Scientists at the U.N. say that around 3.5 planets just like Earth would be needed to sustain a global population achieving the current lifestyle of the average European or North American. And realize – everyone on the planet pretty much is striving to live like we do. Fat, happy and with plenty of water.

IX Power Water Machines, OrganiClearSo, what are we going to do about it?

At IX Power we’re working on new ways to clean “produced” water – the water from oil & gas extraction and processing. We have a new way to clean it for use in irrigation, and by livestock and humans. That’s one of our particular water niches. But, we can’t do it alone. More effort by other labs, companies, and government entities needs to be put into finding solutions for the growing problem of water scarcity.

In Maryland, I expect their short-lived water incident will build some, albeit temporary, empathy and sympathy for those who are already without water. But what happens when the water is turned on again?  Worse yet, what happens when the water crisis is no longer a temporary event for Maryland?  For the rest of the U.S.?

International Women’s Day is Friday, March 8 – Concerns about Water, Literacy & Violence

Friday, March 8, is International Women’s Day.   It seems to me, unfortunately, that women in the United States do not observe this important date as much as we should.  Maybe it’s because, even with the inequalities that remain in our country, we still have it pretty good — good enough to make us complacent and forgetful even, of how much we have to be grateful for and celebrate.

But as the “lucky ones,” relatively speaking, I think we owe it to our sisters in other parts of the world that don’t have it so well, to observe this day and do something to help those women with less opportunity.

From my travels, experience, reading and just years of life on the planet, three of the things that strike me as core issues for women today, particularly in countries with emerging economies are:

*  Water (and subsequently health)    

*  Literacy / Education

*  Violence         

International Women's Day March 8 2013 - will these girls have a future as adult women? Will they even survive to become women?

International Women’s Day March 8 2013 – will these girls have a future as adult women? Will they even survive to become women?

Lack of Clean Water – and therefore health

Of the 1.3 billion people living in abject poverty, the majority are women and children. With this poverty, most often comes a lack of access to clean water.  In addition to the physical harm that comes with having to carry heavy loads of water (and its often not even somewhat clean water) long distances, women in poor regions with no access to running water lose a lot of time – time to take care of their children, educate themselves and their children, and time to to spend on a livelihood to improve their lot in life.

But, they also lose their health, which continues the cycle of poverty because they are too sick to work at jobs or raising food.

According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), “37% per cent of the developing world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities, and over 780 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more.  

The majority of people living in poverty are women and children.

The majority of people living in poverty are women and children.

In fact, every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.  

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because  their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.”

 Violence Against Women 

It is when trying to transport water to their villages on unprotected trips down to water sources that women are often subjected to violence via regional conflict. This violence against them often involves sexual brutality and horrendous acts. But, one of the biggest segments in violence against women is domestic violence. Statistics from the United Nations state that in far too many countries 7 in 10 women can expect to be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes. Aside from the obvious results – death or obvious injury – this violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.  

The World Health Organization has concluded that violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.  A World Bank report, which estimates that more women aged 15-44 are killed violently than die of malaria, HIV, cancer, accidents and war combined.

Studies have shown that for both perpetrator and victim, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality, and low education or illiteracy, play a major role in the problem.

Illiteracy

Which brings us to illiteracy.  In my neighborhood, we just celebrated the opening of the new long-awaited Gum Spring Library. On the first day over 6,500 people visited the library – many of those were women and couples with young children. More than 14,500 materials were checked out the first weekend. But, in way too many countries, a library – even the ability to read – is a luxury people will never live to see.  And this lack of literacy fosters not only conditions that lead to violence, but help to keep women, and men, in a cycle of poverty that includes a lack of access to clean water, which makes people sick and keeps them from working to pull themselves out of that poverty.

In spite of the fact that most development agencies identify women’s literacy as the single most important factor in development, one out of every three women in the world cannot read and write. And, in some countries, men would like to keep it that way.  Remember the attack in October by the Taliban on 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai for her attempts to promote girls’ education in Pakistan. 

Lack of water. Violence. Illiteracy.  They are intertwined in keeping women around the globe from achieving their potential and contributing to the betterment of the human race, the environment, and the planet.

On Friday, March 8, please observe International Women’s Day – make a vow to take a step – even just one small one within the next week – for the benefit of a woman somewhere who’s suffering, and for women everywhere. Make a donation, write a Congressman, talk to your daughters or a class at school or church about women’s issue such as domestic violence … if we all did SOMETHING, we could make a difference 

Read more at the following web sites:

Amnesty International   

International Center for Research on Women      

UN Women – the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women     

World Health Organization    

CNN – “interesting story on women by the numbers”