Aussies Have Innovative Approach to Water Storage (Posted By Gary Cutrer)

An Australian company that specializes in water systems has an innovative approach to water storage. Instead of setting above ground tanks and directing runoff to them, the company digs a wide, shallow hole, lines it with a membrane and then fills the void with interlocking plastic cubes with plenty of  ‘empty space’ for water to occupy. Another membrane is used to cover the water ‘sponge’ and then some of the dirt that was excavated  is used to level the storage area out, back to the original grade.

Here’s a video of that construction process from start to finish.

From the company’s website:

Modular systems are manufactured from 100% recycled plastics which have been designed with a unique interlocking capability, this allows Sub terra to design a tank to any size, shape and specifications your site calls for. Around trees, under sports fields, beneath major roads or as a complete watering system for parks and gardens.

Modular underground water storage tanks are fast and simple to install. The modular, inter-connecting style allows most of the tailoring and assembly to be done off-site. Once delivered, the erection is simple and the free-form structure can be as shallow as 0.1m and as deep as 2.5m, with any length and width in 1m increments.

Plastic modules with plenty of empty space for water are used to form the sponge.

Plastic modules with plenty of empty space for water are used to form the sponge.

The company suggests that parks, sports fields and similar open areas that really don’t bear any load from above, i.e. buildings, are ideal candidates for this type of storage system. I would imagine that, considering some type of plastic is used for the underlying and covering membranes, this system would have a definite lifespan and tend to deteriorate after that. Still, it’s an interesting concept and one that stimulates the thinking organ. (That would be the brain in most people.)

TWDB Offering Free Conservation Workshop (Posted By Gary Cutrer)

More Than a Drop Workshop, Feb. 23
The Texas Water Development Board, in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Brazos River Authority, is hosting a free water conservation workshop.  The workshop will give an overview of reporting requirements for water conservationConservation workshop logo, developing a water conservation plan and completing various reporting requirements.  The workshop will also touch on various components of water conservation planning, strategies for selecting and establishing conservation programs and guidance on appropriate tools and resources.
The conservation planning workshop is intended for those interested in receiving information, guidance and resources to assist in the development of water conservation plans and programs.  The workshop is free of charge and is open to water industry professionals involved in water conservation and resource planning.
The workshop will be held Feb. 23 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Brazos River Authority in Waco, Texas.  Visit the TWDB’s website for more information, including an agenda and registration details.

Toyota Funding 4-H Film on Water Conservation (Posted By Gary Cutrer)

SAN ANTONIO ­ The 4-H2O for the Alamo program in Bexar County is onee of the educational initiatives featured in a new film about water conservation in Texas being produced by National 4-H Council and funded by Toyota, according to project coordinators.

“The film will showcase what 4-H members throughout the state are doing to conserve water and to inspire other 4-H member and non-member youth to do the same,” said Tara Wheeler, national project manager-curriculum for National 4-H Council, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Md.

Wheeler said the film will be completed within the next few months and will have a finished length of five to 10 minutes. She added that while the film’s content is targeted at the middle school-level, young people at higher and lower grade levels also will be able to benefit from seeing it.

“The film is highlighting activities related to the 4-H2O Community Project supported by Toyota and 4-H, and 4-H2O for the Alamo in Bexar County is an example of this important national educational initiative,” she said. “The film’s content will address the need for water conservation throughout Texas and will include interviews with people who have chosen careers relating to environmental stewardship, so kids can learn about jobs involving environmental responsibility.”

The film will end with a “call to action” for young viewers to make changes in their communities by addressing local water issues and concerns, she added. It will be posted on the National 4-H website,, and also will be shown to 4-H members and other young people at schools and in community venues nationwide.

According to the National 4-H Council, 4-H2O Community Project initiatives nationwide have been made possible by a $2 million commitment from Toyota. The initiative’s goal is to involve youth in water quality and conservation while increasing interest in the sciences.
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