Last night it snowed. This morning it melted and all that water went away. Well, not entirely.


Mullein, 1 pm

Last night’s snow has turned to sleet, caught by the hairs on these insulated leaves. Couldn’t harvestable membranes be built on this model?

That’s why it’s handy to have leaves covered with velcro. To collect snow and use the sun to transform it into available water, you can also use ribbed leaves, like this…


Elm Leaf Water Collector

Compare it to the knapweed above it. Boo, knapweed. 

It seems that leaves designed to handle drought do well at catching water, such as this rowan …

Rowan Leaf Water Collector
See the ribs again?

What works on other principles are these wetland leaves, such as these Ontario maples…

Maple Leaves Just Absorb the Water

Like sponges.

Hey, that works, too. I mean, we can collect water like this …


Grand Coulee Dam

A method of industrializing the personal collection of water by transforming it into industrial storage, which transforms humans into consumers of capital cost services. This form of mixed capitalism and socialism is called, by any other name, national socialism. Is that what we want?

…or one can capture water like this …

bottleClear Plastic Bottle Extracting Water from the Soil

Technology appropriate, perhaps, to an old conception, in which a house was a productive space, rather than a consumer of industrial products, and a generator of wealth, rather than an expense. Couldn’t this example be developed as a cool technological device no home would be complete without?

…or like this…

P1150432Bag of Leaves Collected for Recycling

Even the winter sun can extract water from these leaves. What if we had ingenious, simple devices, that could extract, altogether, a litre of water a day from scraps like this? Would that not be useful? What if it could reclaim grey water from sink and shower drains, and we could reclaim 20 litres per person per day? Wouldn’t that be useful?

…or like this …

P1150380Cheat Grass’s Trick …

… use the water now and store it as yourself. This is the season in which cattle might be grazing. Instead, because environmental costs aren’t figured into production costs they’re at the feedlots or in the farmyards, fed by hay, which is a byproduct of evaporated industrial water, collected by devices such as the Grand Coulee Dam. What if in the evaporation process, at least, we collected that water? What if that added up to a litre a day per person, wouldn’t that be useful? Alternately, what if we planted spinach and winter crops now, and let this late season water be harvested now, in their leaves? Or what if we just mowed off cheatgrass, evaporated it, collected the water and then fed the dry matter to our cattle? Let’s say we collected a further litre a day per person this way. Wouldn’t that be useful? What if altogether we collected, perhaps, 25 litres per day per person. At 40,000 people in my city, Vernon, that would be 1,000,000 litres, per day.  Given that Vernon is facing a $100,000,000 water system capital cost upgrade, for health purposes, wouldn’t it be useful to cut down our dependance on such a costly system? 

It would all be very low tech, but clever tech, nonetheless — and timely.

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