Withered D.C. Region Cries for Water, Cool Water – washingtonpost.com

The grass is brown and crunchy. The leaves are falling off the trees is a steady stream of brown. We haven’t had decent rain since April.

Although I know about the drought, this article surprised me:

But with summer rainstorms evaporating after a few drops from the sky, the talk in many corners of the area has centered on a single subject: water.

That’s especially true on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where more than 100 residents have watched their wells dry up — in part because the state’s largest prison has used almost 10 times its allotted amount of the area’s supply, officials said.

Residents on the lower shore, around Somerset County, say the Eastern Correctional Institution is using too much water from the Manokin aquifer. The prison, which houses 3,350 inmates, is allowed to pump about 25,000 gallons per day. But in recent weeks, Somerset County Administrator Daniel Powell said, water use has risen to more
than 200,000 gallons daily.

State prisons spokesman Mark Vernarelli was quick to defend the prisoners, writing in an e-mail, “Our inmates are not taking hour-long showers or flushing water down the drain to waste.” He said officials are auditing water use and will develop a plan to reduce use even as Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced that Maryland will investigate the well failures.

How can a prison use 10 times it’s allotted supply?

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Wired News – AP News – System Relies on Ice to Chill Buildings

It also cuts down on pollution. An ice-cooling system in the Credit Suisse offices at the historic Metropolitan Life tower in Manhattan is as good for the environment as taking 223 cars off the streets or planting 1.9 million acres of trees to absorb the carbon dioxide caused by electrical usage for one year.

Such a reduction in pollution is valuable in a city where the majority of emissions come from the operation of buildings. State officials say there are at least 3,000 ice-cooling systems worldwide.

“It is worth it to do in New York City,” said William Beck, the head of critical engineering systems for Credit Suisse. “If you take the time to look, you can find innovative ways to be energy efficient, be environmental and sustainable.”

Because electricity is needed to make the ice, water is frozen in large silver tanks at night when power demands are low. The cool air emanating from the ice blocks is then piped throughout the building more or less like traditional air conditioning. At night the water is frozen again and the cycle repeats.

Ice storage can be used as the sole cooling system, or it can be combined with traditional systems to help ease the power demands during peak hours. At Credit  Suisse, for example, the company must cool 1.9 million square feet of office space at the Met Life tower, a historic building that was New York’s tallest in the days before the Empire State Building.

Read the entire article for all the info. It’s fascinating.

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Thanks to The Cat Blog . . . Pippy Style, I saw this great little video. I’ve seen cats drink from fountains and glasses but full imersion – never! I wish I knew how to embed this in the page but I don’t so click the link below and enjoy!

Just when you thought cats hated water