Greywater Workshop with Valerie Strassberg

The Benzie Community Water Council is pleased to announce a Greywater Workshop as an additional event for the Benzie County Water Festival. Valerie Strassberg, Direct of Water Resource Management for Energy Conservation program at Nature’s Voice Our Choice. This workshop is first of two workshops focusing on using, and reusing water effectively.

Nature’s Voice – Our Choice is a nonprofit organization that uses engineering principles and community engagement to proactively conserve water through local action. Through 3 key programs we focus on
bringing water to the forefront of public concern and developing water management solutions that combine energy, economic, ecological, and social elements:

Global Sustainable Water designs, promotes, and delivers solutions for sustaining water resources globally.

Give Water a Voice promotes youth education and increasing community awareness around
water issues.

Water Resource Management for Energy Conservation (WRMEC) provides local governments with water resource management solutions to meet climate change mitigation and
adaptation goals.

Our Beginning—Global Sustainable Water

Since its founding in 2003, Nature’s Voice-Our Choice (NVOC), has been evolving to meet the water challenges facing communities. Our organization began in Mauritania, West Africa, as a demonstration project for the treatment of domestic wastewater and its reuse in urban agriculture. Following the success of this project, NVOC was established in the United States. We continue our aim to achieve global sustainable water by providing people in the U.S. and abroad with information and technical support to implement balanced community water resource projects.

Give Water A Voice

Through our high school summer internship program, we engage students by addressing and finding solutions to the current water crisis. One of our 2010 interns is continuing the research he began last
summer by traveling to New Orleans to investigate the roll of bacteria in cleaning up the oil spill. We are now in the 4th year of our very popular ‘Students Give Water a Voice’ art competition. Through posters, poems, and videos, students use their creativity to draw attention to water issues in their communities. This year we expect over 10,000 students from 50 countries to participate.

Energy efficiency and carbon emissions have garnered national attention in recent years, muting the voice of water and its role in climate change. Our WRMEC program seeks to amplify water’s function in a changing global environment. The program delivers solutions for managing water as a resource, like that of oil, gas, and other precious assets that must be carefully regulated. WRMEC demonstrates that by reducing our water use, we also reduce the amount of energy and CO2 emissions associated with treating and distributing water and wastewater. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 40% of municipal energy use is consumed in the treatment and distribution of water. WRMEC is focused on decreasing this energy demand by heightening community awareness and technical innovation to
improve water resource management. The program promotes five key areas of water management through energy saving case studies, technical and economic analysis, municipal education, and community
outreach. The program focus areas include:

  • Green Infrastructure
  • Greywater Reuse
  • Water Conservation Devices
  • Municipal Operations and Distribution
  • Renewable Energy at Water and
  • Wastewater Treatment Plants
  • Virtual River Project—NEW!

    Creating a new water source through conservation
    The EPA states that 36 states will experience local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013, even under non‐drought conditions. Water conservation is a much more cost‐effective and low‐energy method of meeting this need than developing new sources. The Virtual River Project aims to create a new water source through conservation by inspiring and tracking real world water savings. Through the combined efforts of individuals, businesses, and the government, we are creating a water revolution, and the Virtual River runs through it, bringing these efforts to life. This year we aim to add over 5 billion gallons to the Virtual River. As each sector contributes to and advances the water conservation movement, the virtual river grows.

    Nature’s Voice, Our Choice website: www.nv‐

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