Sometimes the best innovations aren’t about finding the most technologically advanced solutions, but merely looking at the problem differently.
In arid regions throughout the world, the problem is simple: inadequate ground and surface water supplies force people to undergo hardship even where sufficient rain falls. A group called PITCHAfrica has part of the solution.
By the numbers, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy is hard to fathom. The so-called super storm swept through eight states, killing 159 people and causing $70 billion in damage.
From power outages to flooded streets, the hurricane exposed alarming weaknesses in the infrastructure of Eastern Seaboard cities. Now, Climate Central, an independent research and journalism organization based in Princeton, N.J., has added another number to that list: 11 billion gallons of sewage flowed into waterways during the storm.
The majority of overflows occurred in New York and northern New Jersey, where untreated and partially treated sewage flowed into surrounding rivers, bays, canals and, in some cases, streets, according to a recent Climate Central report.
“This record storm revealed how vulnerable the sewage and wastewater treatment system is to major coastal flooding,” says Alyson Kenward, a scientist who is the lead author of the report.
Such water repellant coatings could be used to protect wind turbine blades, airplane wings and for other applications. See the full video here.