Blue Is The New Green: Future Power

By Ari Phillips In February, a natural gas power plant along the Central California coast closed after operating for more than 50 years, thus ending an era that saw the surrounding community of Morro Bay grow up around it. In an unlikely partnership, the shuttering may also help usher in a new era of energy generation — this one reliant on power from the waves that undulate through the bay before crashing up against the nearby shoreline. The antiquated Morro Bay plant is part of a pattern of seaside plants closing due to a combination of stricter environmental regulations coupled with California’s requirement that 33 percent of electricity in the state come from renewable sources by 2020. Two companies have filed preliminary permits with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to test wave energy projects off the coast of Morro Bay, a town of about 10,000 people north of Los Angeles. Both projects would use the defunct plant as a much-needed transmission hub to push energy to the grid and from there to consumers throughout the region. “If we aren’t able to use Morro Bay, there are other shore-based power plants shutting down along the coastline,” said Paul Grist, president and chairman of Archon Energy, one of the companies applying for a FERC permit. “They can’t meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard and they suck in and spew out millions of gallons of water.” Dynegy, the owner of the power plant, is the other company that applied for a FERC permit. A Houston-based utility company with around 13,000 megawatts (MW) of nationwide power generation capacity, their February 6 application with FERC came several months after Archon’s. If their project tests successfully and goes on to get the two dozen or so licenses and permits that would be needed, it would eventually generate 650 MW of power and cost more than $1 billion to build. “Dynegy filed their permit many months after we did,” Grist said. “Our goal was to use that transmission corridor to the coast and Dynegy basically followed. Their application is further towards land than ours. I’ve talked with them and we’re going to try to work together and help each other out as much as we can.” Wave energy will be coming of age in the immediate future. Archon Energy, co-founded by Grist in 1999 when he was 20 years old, is a small, independent power producer focusing on next generation technologies with minimal environmental impacts. In the fall of 2013, the company filed for a FERC permit to pursue testing on a one-by-fifteen mile site several miles offshore that would cost about $1 million. Grist said they are waiting for preliminary permits to start investing significant capital and holding consultations with stakeholders, including local community members and environmental groups. coque iphone 8 However, he’s had his eye on hydrokinetics — the production of energy from the flow of moving water — for a decade. coque iphone xs “There’s a lot of technology happening in wave energy conversion,” Grist said. “Wave energy will be coming of age in the immediate future.” Ocean-Powered Future A spate of recent developments would seem to support Grist’s prediction. In March, Lockheed Martin, a global defense, security and technology company, signed on to help build what will be the world’s largest wave energy project — a 62.5 MW project several miles off Australia’s southern coast that will have the capacity to power 10,000 homes. Across several oceans, a 320 MW tidal project, another world’s largest, is under consideration off the coast of Wales. Ideally, it will lay the groundwork for similar installations around the U.K. The first FERC-licensed, grid-connected tidal project was approved in 2012 off the coast of Maine for the Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Company. Having invested over $20 million dollars in the project, no major negative environmental impacts have been observed thus far and the company plans to expand the installation this year, deploying several additional devices and greatly increasing the amount of tidal power they are capturing. On March 20, in an indication of FERC’s willingness to support such technologies, the agency approved a ten-year pilot license for the 600 KW Admiralty Inlet Pilot Tidal Project to be located in Puget Sound off Washington state. The project will be grid-connected and, as the first U.S. undertaking at such a scale, is leading an effort to better understand how wave and tidal energy projects interact with local environments, numerous stakeholders ranging from tribal groups to business organizations, and the electric grid. “Anyone who has spent time on the waters of Puget Sound understands the power inherent in the tides,” Steve Klein, Snohomish Public Utility District (PUD) General Manager, told the local news. “In granting this license, the FERC acknowledges the vigilant efforts of the PUD and its partners to test the viability of a new reliable source of clean energy while at the same time ensuring the protection of the environment and existing uses.” Ocean current resources are about 800 times denser than wind currents … meaning a 12-mph marine current generates the equivalent amount of force as a 110-mph wind gust. Wave and tidal power are both hydrokinetic sources of energy. Wave power harnesses the energy of surface waves through a number of different mechanisms, many still in early stages of development. Currently the primary method involves floating buoys the size of lighthouses that are moored to the ocean floor. In another example, a group of researchers at UC-Berkeley have developed what they call a “seafloor carpet” that absorbs the impact of ocean waves much as muddy seabeds do. Tidal power uses the flow of ocean currents, tides or inland waterways to capture the potential energy between high and low tides as they occur every 12 hours. “The rotation of the earth creates wind on the ocean surface that forms waves, while the gravitational pull of the moon creates coastal tides and currents,” the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) explains. As the search for new forms of clean, sustainable energy persists, the global potential of wave and tidal power represents an untested but immensely promising frontier. Oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface — and they do so densely. Ocean current resources are about 800 times denser than wind currents, according to NREL, meaning a 12-mph marine current generates the equivalent amount of force as a 110-mph wind gust. With more than half of all Americans living near the coastline, wave and tidal power is also appealing for its proximity to electricity demand centers, whereas the many of the best wind and solar sites are hundreds of miles from population hubs. A 2012 report prepared by RE Vision Consulting for the Department of Energy found that the theoretical ocean wave energy resource potential in the U.S. is more than 50 percent of the annual domestic demand of the entire country. The World Energy Council has estimated that approximately 2 terawatts — 2 million megawatts or double current world electricity production — could be produced from the oceans via wave power. Testing Waves Up And Down The Coast But even in the small nook of ocean lapping into Morro Bay, an impressive amount of energy is being devoted to the development of wave, and possibly tidal, power generation. Just about a dozen miles inland from the Bay, research into setting up a National Wave Energy Test Facility in California (CalWave) is underway at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. As part of the newly formed Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy, the facility has been selected by DOE to determine which location along California’s coast has the best potential to accelerate the development of a commercial ocean renewable energy industry. IATPP, formed in 2012, is the brainchild of former California State Senator Sam Blakeslee, who has been running it since its inception on a pro-bono basis. Blakeslee has a Ph.D. in geophysics from nearby UC-Santa Barbara and also worked as a strategic planner for Exxon before entering state politics in 2005. He left politics just over a year ago after leading the GOP State Assembly and helping craft California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, among other things. “I have no plans to return to politics,” Blakeslee told ThinkProgress. “The best place to drive policy right now is in some of these think tanks working on exciting new ideas, and not in state houses or on the Hill where people can’t seem to agree on anything.” Blakeslee wants to help develop and spread the potential transformative benefits of emerging technologies rather than get bogged down by laws, regulations, and standards that can actually impede the application of such innovations. acheter coque iphone en ligne And after signaling its interest in giving up to $40 million to the expansion of wave energy technologies — pending Congressional approval — its seems DOE is pursuing the same type of paradigm-shifting innovation. Blakeslee likens the prospect of a national wave testing facility to the public-private partnership that led to the proliferation of satellites. In that case, satellite owners and operators share in the common technology and infrastructure provided by the government which would otherwise be cost-prohibitive to development. “The Obama administration is looking to develop the test facility so companies can test equipment and compare results in a facility that would otherwise be unavailable to them individually,” Blakeslee said. coque iphone 8 “Down the road as the technology develops there will be wave farms, and this is one of the major steps towards that. By having this facility in the U.S. the likelihood that the country will be a big commercial player in the industry greatly increases.” By having this facility in the U.S. coque iphone 8 the likelihood that the country will be a big commercial player in the industry greatly increases. Blakeslee has had conversations with Grist about the type of research that needs to occur off Morro Bay before any siting decisions are made. He and Grist both expressed concern for marine life, especially migratory mammals such as blue whales, gray whales, and humpback whales, as well as fishing communities that could be impacted by the projects. These concerns will need to be addressed up and down California’s 750-mile coastline and the rest of the West Coast if wave and tidal power are to proliferate. The closing of the Morro Bay Power Plant is not a one-time, serendipitous occasion, but part of a trend of coastal power facilities closing due to old age and new regulations aimed at protecting sea life being negatively impacted by the facilities’ cooling systems. In fact, the plant is just one of 19 gas-fired power plants along the coast of California to be phased out of operation in order to project marine life from being sucked through their cooling systems or impacted by the hot water released back into the ocean. This will open up 5,500 MW of transmission lines and a similar amount of energy demand — although many would like to see some of that demand reduced through efficiency and conservation measures rather than replaced, even by sustainable sources. Farther down the coast, the recent closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has opened up not only hundreds of megawatts of transmission lines, but also a power supply void that will need to be filled. The California Public Utilities Commission recently directed Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to secure up to 1,500 MW of new energy by 2022, with at least 600 MW coming from renewable energy sources or energy efficiency measures. Having available transmission lines is critical for a nascent technology like wave power. “Building transmission lines in California can take up to a decade,” Blakeslee said. “The availability of transmission lines and to have a prescribed amount of power brought into the system through Independent System Operators are big considerations for any energy project in the state.” Transmission is far from the only challenge wave and tidal power will have to overcome on the path to becoming major energy providers. New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies encapsulates the ups-and-downs of the early days of the industry. In February, Ocean Power Technologies signed on to provide buoys for the Lockheed Martin project off the coast of Australia, a major deal that sent the company’s stock soaring. The company has spent millions of dollars developing a PowerBuoy that converts ocean wave energy into commercial scale electricity. Standing 140 feet tall, it resembles a giant metal detector and when submerged in the ocean, only the handle remains above water. The tip-of-the-iceberg effect in the form of wave energy. Then in March, Ocean Power Technologies shelved its much-hyped plans to develop the country’s first large-scale wave energy project off the coast of Oregon, which would have employed a flotilla of up to 100 buoys. A key challenge is that all new technologies are initially uncompetitive. Kevin Watkins, the Pacific Northwest representative for Ocean Power Technologies, told the Oregonian that implementing the wave energy technology on a large scale became too expensive and complicated. The cumbersome regulatory process and concern from fishing and crabbing communities about ecological and economic impacts caused unanticipated delays. Peter Fraenkel, co-founder of U.K.-based Marine Current Turbines Limited and a pioneer in the field of wave and tidal energy, thinks that the bottom-line concern is really cost. coque iphone en ligne “A key challenge is that all new technologies are initially uncompetitive,” he told ThinkProgress via email. “Conventional generation using steam turbines, gas turbines or nuclear for example were originally developed on an almost cost-no-object basis mainly for military purposes. Sadly there seems to be no military application for wave or tidal energy so it will need subsidies in some shape or form for early projects.” Fraenkel also acknowledges the challenges of grid connectivity, saying that in the U.K., unlike along California’s coastline, promising tidal and wave resources lack easy transmission options. “So we have a ‘Catch 22′ situation where nobody wants to invest in grid extension until the technology to generate into the grid extension is ready and nobody wants to invest in projects where there is no certainty of having a grid connection.” While oceans may cover more than two-thirds of the planet, wave and tidal power require concentrated energy locations with strong currents or consistently large waves. This limits the opportunities to a tiny percentage of the ocean, according to Fraenkel. So on top of technological advances and economic favorability, siting, natural resources availability, and transmission access must all align for a successful wave or tidal power project. Even so, Fraenkel views the challenges as not only worth overcoming, but necessary to overcome. “The oceans contain a huge amount of energy so logic dictates that we need to learn to extract energy where possible bearing in mind that future use of fossil fuel is going to be inhibited both by the effects of pollution induced climate change and by resource depletion,” he said.

How NASA Can Save Us Billions of Gallons of Water

A $1.5 million machine, a small aircraft, and a bunch of ex–ski bums traipsing about in the woods could be the key to a well-irrigated future.

March 21, 2014 By Vince Beiser Vince Beiser has reported from more than two dozen countries for publications including ‘Wired,’ ‘Harper’s,’ ‘The Atlantic,’ and ‘Rolling Stone.’ He is the winner of the 2014 Media for Liberty Award. ___ Here’s something to add to your doomsday list of natural resources that people need to survive but are threatened by climate change: snow. coque iphone 8 It’s a key source of freshwater for more than 1 billion people across the globe, slaking thirst, irrigating croplands, and driving turbines that generate electricity. Conveniently, in much of the world, snow also acts as a natural reservoir, storing water during wet seasons, then rationing it out slowly during drier summer months. But today, growing populations, warming temperatures, and changing weather patterns are straining that supply like never before. “June is the new July,” says Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company in Colorado. “Snowmelt comes earlier than it used to, and it all happens in one big flood.” Which means that knowing exactly how much snow is in the highlands—and when it’s coming down to lower elevations to feed rivers, aqueducts, and irrigation channels—is ever more important. outlet coque iphone But how do you measure something that’s spread over thousands of miles of steep, rugged, alpine terrain? Tom Painter, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has an answer: by measuring snow from thousands of feet in the air. Using sophisticated, aircraft-borne sensors that gauge snow’s depth and the amount of light it reflects, Painter and his team are assembling the most accurate measurement ever made of just how much water the mountains hold. This is welcome news in California, where the water content of accumulated snow is at historically low levels. Runoff from the Sierra Nevada mountains provides about a third of the entire state’s water, and up to 80 percent in some areas, supplying tens of millions of people and almost 1 million acres of farmland. Painter can’t make it snow, but he can provide more and better data to water managers, who need to plan how to most efficiently fill their reservoirs; farmers deciding which crops to plant and when; and cities trying to figure out if they’ll have enough water to supply their residents—or will need to start rationing. “The demand for knowledge about water resources is at an all-time high,” says Painter, a gregarious, athletically built 46-year-old. For decades, state water officials have estimated the snowpack’s water content by a straightforward method that will appeal to steampunk aficionados: They clamber into the mountains on snowshoes and stick aluminum tubes into the snow. The tubes indicate depth while collecting a sample revealing water volume. More recently, California has added a network of tabletop-size scales scattered through the mountains that electronically transmit the weight of snow that has fallen on them. coque iphone xs max Both systems yield reliable measurements but only of the snow where the measurement is taken; extrapolating out from that to a whole basin, or a whole mountain range, is better than guesswork but less than precise. What’s more, both the scales and the human surveyors are concentrated at lower elevations, leaving scientists to wonder what lies farther uphill. “The old system worked OK historically because there was always enough water,” says Painter. “But now it’s all been allocated out, and demand is starting to exceed supply.” With a wide, toothy smile, an open-collared shirt, and stylishly-frayed-at-the-cuffs jeans, Painter comes across more like an enthusiastic backcountry guide than a Ph.D. who’s been published in top research journals. There’s a reason for that: Growing up in Fort Collins, Colo., he says, he always felt at home in the mountains—so much so that he dropped out of college twice to be a ski bum. “The problem was that I had to be in the mountains, but I also had to use my brain,” he says. “I’m so lucky to have found this job.” (Many on Painter’s team tell similar stories of finding a way to turn a passion for wilderness into a respectable profession.) Painter’s project, dubbed the Airborne Snow Observatory, is a three-year, $4 million trial funded by JPL and California’s Department of Water Resources. On a recent morning at JPL’s tree-lined campus northeast of downtown Los Angeles, the project’s white-walled lab was strewn with gear being readied for the next batch of flights: two-way radios, boxes of tools, and a desk-size metal frame that will be attached to a little Twin Otter plane to house the project’s two key remote sensing instruments. The first is a lidar system—a gizmo similar to radar that uses light instead of sound, shooting out as many as 800,000 pulses a second to measure the elevation of the terrain beneath the plane. Those readings are then compared with lidar measurements taken of the same area during the snow-free summer to figure out the snow’s current depth. The second is a spectrometer, which measures the snow’s reflectivity, or albedo, to gauge how much sunlight the snow is absorbing, a key indicator of how fast it will melt. coque iphone soldes In flight, the plane is tracked by GPS and an accelerometer to align its measurements precisely with a geographical position. “We get about a terabyte of data from each flight,” says Painter. coque iphone 8 Painter’s team is focusing on Colorado’s Uncompahgre River Basin, part of the huge Colorado River Basin that supplies water to much of the Western United States, and California’s Tuolumne River Basin in the Sierra Nevada, which feeds the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the primary water supply for 2.6 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Unexpected Way Beer Is Helping a Calif. soldes coque iphone Town Get Through a Historic Drought

NASA is calling the results the most accurate measurements ever of the water content of snowpack. Last spring, managers of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir used Painter’s data to help figure out optimal flows for generating the hydroelectric power that runs much of San Francisco’s public transportation system, and for keeping the reservoir filled. The ASO, says Jeff Dozier, the founding dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara, where Painter got his Ph.D., “gives us a very good measurement of the properties of snow. It’s a really systematic set of observations that are not easy to measure over the spatial scales of mountain ranges. Everybody is pretty excited about it.” Measuring snow from the air isn’t an entirely new concept. The National Weather Service has been doing it for some 30 years, using airplane-mounted sensors that record gamma radiation levels emitted from a given piece of ground when it’s clear and when it’s covered in snow, a difference that can be used to calculate the snow’s depth with great accuracy. That works well in the eastern part of the U.S., says Andrew Rost, director of the NWS’s National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center, but not in high mountains like the Rockies or the Sierra. “Out West, the snow is so deep that it blocks the gamma radiation completely,” Rost says. coque iphone xr “And our planes need to fly just 500 feet above the ground. You can’t do that in steep mountains.” If the ASO proves reliable, Rost says, “it would be a huge step forward.” One of the project’s most important findings is the crucial role of dust. Mountain bikes, ATVs, resource extraction, road building—all that and more across the West and as far away as China has contributed to the atmosphere in the Rockies containing seven times more dust than when settlers arrived from the East Coast in the 19th century. “Until recently we assumed the albedo of snow stayed constant,” says Painter. “But now we’re learning there’s a huge range.” Concentrations of factories and highways near mountains can have a major impact on the timing of snowmelt. That’s why half of Painter’s lab is taken up with a walk-in freezer full of ice and snow samples from around the world, and machines for measuring the concentrations of particulates they hold. The American West is hardly the only place facing serious water worries. A 2012 report by the National Intelligence Council warns that “during the next 10 years, many countries important to the United States will experience water problems—shortages, poor water quality, or floods—that will risk instability and state failure [and] increase regional tensions.” Tens of millions of people depend on meltwater from the Andes, as do hundreds of millions on waters flowing from the Himalayas. Nuclear-armed archrivals India and Pakistan are quarreling over rights to the waters of the Indus River, which is seeing reduced flows thanks in part to declining snowmelts. Meanwhile, tensions run high among Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran over the snowpack-fed Tigris and Euphrates rivers. “If we can put together the remote sensing infrastructure that tells us what’s going on with snowmelt in the Western U.S.,” Painter says, “we can migrate the technology around the globe, because the regions of water stress—the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, the Kazakhstan-China border, the Andes—are all at the intersection of mountains and desert, just like here in the U.S.” Painter says he’s been contacted by water officials in several foreign countries interested in trying out his technology, and he hopes to start a pilot project in one of them soon—he won’t say where. In the meantime, he’s aiming to expand beyond the Tuolumne basin to cover the entire Sierra Nevada. “The information we have on our snowpack here is the envy of the world, but it’s actually pretty sparse,” says Painter.

5 Shocking Facts About Water Scarcity

5 shocking facts about water scarcity that will make you cry a river

  For most of us, water scarcity and water poverty probably aren’t high on our list of things that we regularly think about or take action on (but if they are, good on ya), what with all of our attention being pulled every which way by the news story or Facebook meme or funny video of the day, but those water issues directly affect hundreds of millions of people every day of their life. Most of us probably have no problem when we want or need water, anytime of day or night, as safe clean water flows right out of our taps with virtually no effort on our part, and we can use it for for drinking, for washing, for watering the garden, at a very low cost to us. But in many parts of the world, getting enough water to drink everyday may mean walking miles to fetch it, which directly impacts the lives of those people especially women and children, who are primarily responsible for water collection in developing countries), because it not only takes a huge amount of time (estimated 200 million hours each day, globally), but also takes a physical toll, as the water is often transported on their backs. coque iphone 2019 soldes To help raise awareness of these very real water issues on World Water Day 2014 (March 22nd), here are five shocking facts about water scarcity. 1. Almost 800 million people lack access to clean safe water every day. That’s more than two and a half times the population of the United States, where most of us probably waste more water before noon than those people use in a month. 2. Almost 3 ½ million people die every year because of water and sanitation and hygiene-related causes, and almost all of them (99%) are in the developing world. coque iphone pas cher That’s like the population of a city the size of Los Angeles being wiped out each year. 3. coque iphone pas cher Every 21 seconds, another child dies from a water-related illness. coque iphone 2019 pas cher Diarrhea, something we don’t really consider to be dangerous in the developed world, is actually incredibly deadly, and is the second leading global cause of death for kids under five. 4. More than 1 billion people still practice open defecation every day. In fact, more people have a mobile phone than a toilet. Open defecation is just what it sounds like, which is squatting wherever you can and pooping right on the ground, which can not only pollute the immediate area, but can also contaminate community water supplies. Sanitation and clean water go hand in hand. 5. coque iphone soldes The average American, taking a 5 minute shower, uses more water than an average person in the slums of a developing country does in a whole day. And to be honest, it seems like a 5 minute shower is probably on the short side for many people, so that’s as if we used our entire day’s water ration, just to wash our body. Water poverty and its related issues affect the health, wealth, education, and wellbeing of all of those who live with it every day, so supporting clean water initiatives can make a big difference for many of our fellow Earthlings. But that doesn’t always have to be in the form of a monetary donation to a water charity or nonprofit (although those are certainly welcome). coque iphone 6 Support for water issues can be as diverse as being an outspoken advocate and sharing water stories via social media, or educating our children about the issues, or volunteering for a water advocacy group. If you’re a smartphone user, this water charity initiative dares you to not touch your phone for 10 minutes to fund a day of water, and this one, asks Instagram users to upload and donate a photo of “your water day” (and tag it with #waterday) via the Donate A Photo app to get $1 donated to from Johnson & Johnson. The theme of this year’s World Water Day is Water and Energy, because those two issues are not only closely interlinked, but also interdependent, and addressing them both is the only way forward.

Drinkable Water Out of Thin Air!

Finally, a Billboard That Creates Drinkable Water Out of Thin Air

By Matt Peckham @mattpeckham

No really, it’s a billboard that can generate up to 26 gallons of water a day from nothing but air.

I’ve never cared much for billboards. Not in the city, not out of the city — not anywhere, really. It’s like the saying in that old Five Man Electrical Band song. So when the creative director of an ad agency in Peru sent me a picture of what he claimed was the first billboard that produces potable water from air, my initial reaction was: gotta be a hoax, or at best, a gimmick.

Except it’s neither: The billboard pictured here is real, it’s located in Lima, Peru, and it produces around 100 liters of water a day (about 26 gallons) from nothing more than humidity, a basic filtration system and a little gravitational ingenuity.

Let’s talk about Lima for a moment, the largest city in Peru and the fifth largest in all of the Americas, with some 7.6 million people (closer to 9 million when you factor in the surrounding metro area). Because it sits along the southern Pacific Ocean, the humidity in the city averages 83% (it’s actually closer to 100% in the mornings). But Lima is also part of what’s called a coastal desert: It lies at the northern edge of the Atacama, the driest desert in the world, meaning the city sees perhaps half an inch of precipitation annually (Lima is the second largest desert city in the world after Cairo). Lima thus depends on drainage from the Andes as well as runoff from glacier melt — both sources on the decline because of climate change.

Enter the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC), which was looking for something splashy to kick off its application period for 2013 enrollment. It turned to ad agency Mayo DraftFCB, which struck on the idea of a billboard that would convert Lima’s H2O-saturated air into potable water. And then they actually built one.

It’s not entirely self-sufficient, requiring electricity (it’s not clear how much) to power the five devices that comprise the billboard’s inverse osmosis filtration system, each device responsible for generating up to 20 liters. The water is then transported through small ducts to a central holding tank at the billboard’s base, where you’ll find — what else? — a water faucet. According to Mayo DraftFCB, the billboard has already produced 9,450 liters of water (about 2,500 gallons) in just three months, which it says equals the water consumption of “hundreds of families per month.” Just imagine what dozens, hundreds or even thousands of these things, strategically placed in the city itself or outlying villages, might do. And imagine what you could accomplish in any number of troubled spots around the world that need potable water with a solution like this.

Mayo DraftFCB says it dropped the billboard along the Pan-American Highway at kilometer marker 89.5 when summer started (in December, mind you — Lima’s south of the equator) and that it’s designed to inspire young Peruvians to study engineering at UTEC while simultaneously illustrating how advertising can be more than just an eyesore. (Done and done, I’d say.)
“We wanted future students to see how engineers can also solve social needs in daily basis kinds of situations,” said Alejandro Aponte, creative director at Mayo DraftFCB.

The city’s residents could certainly use the help. According to a 2011 The Independent piece ominously titled “The desert city in serious danger of running dry,” about 1.2 million residents of Lima lack running water entirely, depending on unregulated private-company water trucks to deliver the goods — companies that charge up to 30 soles (US $10) per cubic meter of H2O, or as The Independent notes, 20 times what more well-off residents pay for their tapwater.

See A video Here: