Couple Wins prize with making water from air

LOS ANGELES – It started out modestly enough: David Hertz, having learned that under the right conditions you really can make your own water out of thin air, put a little contraption on the roof of his office and began cranking out free bottles of H2O for anyone who wanted one.


Soon he and his wife, Laura Doss-Hertz, were thinking bigger — so much so that this week the couple won the $1.5 million XPrize For Water Abundance. They prevailed by developing a system that uses shipping containers, wood chips and other detritus to produce as much as 528 gallons (2,000 liters) of water a day at a cost of no more than 2 cents a quart (1 liter).

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World Toilet Day is November 19, 2018

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A Celebration of When Nature Calls

World Toilet Day, an annual event to help bring awareness to the fact that billions of people around the world do not have access to safe, clean, and reliable toilets or water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and handwashing, will be held this year on Monday, November 19, 2018.

The theme this year is When Nature Calls, and while a tad humorous, the problems related to accessible working toilets and safe drinking water are a major problem worldwide.

It is estimated that one in three people do not have access to a toilet or dependable “potable” water supplies. 

According to a joint 2017 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, Ethiopia has the highest percentage of people in the world – about 90 percent - without access to toilets.

India, with all its economic and technological progress over the past decades comes in second. An estimated 730 million people in India live without basic sanitation facilities, according to these organizations.

“World Toilet Day promoters are asking us all to become WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) ambassadors on Nov. 19,” says Klaus Reichardt, CEO and found founder of Waterless Co., Inc.

“The job of a WASH ambassador is to spread the word and encourage action.  The lack of clean, sanitary, and reliable toilets is one of the major reasons for disease and death around the globe.”

According to Reichardt, some of the ways we can all become WASH ambassadors include the following:

•    Photograph how your organization is helping to promote sanitation and the proper use of toilets in your community. Deliver to by November 14; a high-tech camera will be awarded for the winning photo

•    Take part in one of the many World Toilet Day events around the world, which are listed here

•    Share social media cards available from this site

•    Download posters, artwork, and fact sheets

“Most importantly, get involved,” adds Reichardt. “I would like to see more corporate sponsors backing these efforts.  Millions if not billions of people can benefit from their efforts.”

Fact Sheet:

•    Today, an estimated 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet

•    Nearly 900 million still practice open defecation, which can spread disease on a massive scale

•    Approximately 80 percent of wastewater flows back into the environment without being treated (Sato et al., 2013)

•    Nearly two million people use drinking water with no protection against contamination

•    Twenty percent of schools worldwide have no toilets.

The Connections Between Beer and Waterless Urinals

We might be surprised to know that beer and waterless urinals have a lot in common because men make a number of visits to restrooms now using waterless urinals

Putting Shame Messages To Work for the Environment


Organizations may use "shame" messages to get people to act.  Sometimes to give to a charity, for instance or other times to  change behaviors.

Whatever the case, they can be useful.

A few years back, researchers wanted to see if different types of shame messages might encourage residents to scale back on energy consumption.

An experiment was carried out in neighborhoods in the San Diego area.  Four different messages were left on doors, all asking that residents scale back on energy use.  

The different notes were the following:

1.    Please reduce energy to reduce the expenditure of resources on the planet

2.    Please reduce energy to save money at the end of the month on your own bill

3.    Please do this for future generations so that your children will have access to these resources

4.    The majority of your neighbors are regularly undertaking efforts to reduce energy in their homes. Please follow.

A month later, the researchers checked the electricity meters on the houses.  They discovered that the residents that received the first three messages made no changes, there were no reductions in energy consumption. 

However, the fourth one did produce results. Less energy was used in those homes.

"This is an example of 'prosocial' behavior," says Klaus Reichardt, CEO, and founder of Waterless Co., manufacturers of No-Water urinals. "This is when people band together to support each other and society as a whole."

In another experiment in Florida, 627 households were divided into two groups:

1.  Residents in group one were told to follow current water restrictions in place, i.e., only water their lawns on designated days

2.  Residents in group two were reminded (using street signs in their neighborhood), if the recent rainfall was meeting the watering needs of their lawn."

The researchers reported an “astonishing” 61 percent decrease in lawn watering in the second group. Further, many continued to not water their lawns after recent rains. **

"In this case, the shame message just had to appeal to common sense," says Reichardt. "There simply is no reason to water lawns after it rains."

For more information on the features and benefits of Waterless Urinals, contact a Waterless Co representative.



Move Over Gentrification: The Word of the 21st Century is "Aridification"

airidification, water shortage, drier climate

In 1964, a German-born sociologist coined the term "gentrification."  This is the process of renovating deteriorating urban areas, turning them into affluent enclaves.  It became a popular movement in the 20th century and one reason why we still see several home remodeling shows on television today. However, what will become a much more important word in the 21st century, and one we must all become familiar with, is "aridification."

The Colorado River Research Group, an independent team of scientists, focused on the river, introduced the term in 2001.  It means "the gradual change of a region from a wetter to a drier climate."

While it can be caused by different reasons, invariably climate change is the culprit.  As aridification increases, it can have significant consequences in certain areas such as the following:

•    Reduce or eliminate agricultural production

•    Lower underground water tables

•    Cause soil degradation, ecosystem changes, and decrease water runoff

•    Cut the amount of water used by industry, potentially impacting profits and the survival of some companies 

•    Force consumers to make drastic changes in how they use water

"Words matter," says Klaus Reichardt, CEO and founder of Waterless Co. "We need to have words to help everyone better understand the long-term water challenges before us.'

According to Reichardt, aridification is already making itself known in many parts of the west. 

For instance, in June 2018, more than 1,000 people had to evacuate Durango, CO because of fire. This was caused by significantly reduced snowfall that appears to be a trend. 

In fact, the entire Four Corners region, where New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah meet, is now suffering from aridification. "They still may have some good years with plenty of rainfall, but long-term they will experience less and less precipitation."

Reichardt says we can no longer refer to these situations as droughts. A drought is short term. "We need words like aridification to help people realize we are in for some lasting changes that will impact all aspects of our lives due to less water."

For more information on the features and benefits of Waterless Urinals, contact a Waterless Co representative.