Hydro Dynamics Research Project
This year’s theme is about Hydro Dynamics, so we’ve been working on the challenge of saving fresh water by using wastewater instead in suitable contests. We have analyzed the problem very deeply and we found out there are plenty of valid solutions to do that, mostly various types of tanks. So why isn’t the problem solved yet? It must be because those systems aren’t being applied. But something not in use is very much like it doesn’t exist. We wanted to know why, so we studied many of them and tried to list the main causes. Then we tried to design a solution that could solve all of them together. We listed all the characteristics the ideal solution should have and we created our EWSC (Ecological Water Storage Concept). It’s a concept that puts together the population’s needs to make storing wastewater easy and practical for anyone. The main problems of existing solutions are space, aesthetics, costs and construction. This is because tanks have always been external attachments, not an integral component of any other common structure.
So this is the idea. Why should we build tanks, which are basically empty structures, while we have plenty of common objects with lots of loose space inside that could easily store water? This solution is extremely efficient and in the meantime easy enough to be put in practice. We developed it in different ways adapting to different settings and these are a few examples.
So, what if at the store looking for a new flowerpot you find one that costs as much as a regular one, looks exactly the same, can store rainwater, you can use for irrigation making you save money, is ecological and contains all the equipment to water your garden so that everything is more practical? You would turn from a person that would never consider having a tank to a fierce owner of one. We also built a technical working prototype. Its purpose is to understand the components needed and verify whether it works, the looks aren’t the definitive ones. And this could be exactly the same for an outdoors sofa you could buy in any furnitures shop.
And what about terraced houses? As you probably know many of them have small walls that divide their gardens. What if those were tanks covered by fake bricks textures looking like normal walls that store rainwater? If you were buying a new house knowing that one with this feature could make you save a lot on water bills you would be most likely to buy that one and therefore builders would be boosted to apply them.
But think big. Wouldn’t it be great to do the same in playgrounds? They have a much bigger area and saving water on a surface like that would have a huge ecological impact. So we could store rainwater into outdoor games and connect it to the irrigation system. But there is a difference from the previous solutions. These structures are rarely replaced with new ones so building brand new ones wouldn’t be practical. But it would be way smarter and cheaper to place prefabricated tanks under these structures and close this space with wooden panels. Nobody would know there is a tank there and an unused place would finally be exploited saving up to 1.600.00 liters per year for a playground with a surface of about 2000 square meters.
One thing we really care about is the flexibility of this project. When applying it you don’t have to stick to our examples. You can customize depending on your needs. You can make everything automized, add and electric or mechanical pump, connect it to a gutter as well as any other source of wastewater you wish to exploit. You can add filters, purifiers, use different materials, choose the sizes and the capacity depending on your hydric needs or use more than one set to store more water. To have the best efficiency you’ve got to be adaptable and create a type of solution suitable for many uses. Like this way more people will benefit from it and you’ll achieve higher goals and a greater environmental impact.
But let’s go back a little bit. We said that you can have the best solution ever but, if nobody uses it, it’s worth nothing. Now we found out how to convince people to use them, but nobody knows this yet so our work is still unuseful. Our next step then must be to share our findings with the most people possibly can.
So we started from Acque Veronesi, the business which manages water sources in our city, Verona. We talked with them and explained our idea as they could benefit a lot from it. Then we got in touch with the Streets and Gardens office of the Town Hall of our city as they could be interested in applying this in the city’s playgrounds and public gardens, and we explained them in the detail our project. Then we published everything on our school’s website and in here, on our team’s website. We’ve printed a summary of it on brochures we’ve given out during the competition’s event, in shops around the city, to students of our school and to their parents during school events. Then we’ve exposed the project to the 12th graders of our school and created an interactive presentation suitable for that type of public. We’ve also collaborated with a Spanish and a Jordanian team and talked about all of our projects and how each of us could implement them. We also showed our solution to Engineering University teachers from Padua and Milan, plenty of businesses that produce outdoor games, furnishing and build houses. Moreover we collaborated with Andrea Belli, the director of Verona’s Bricoman Shop.
If this gets in use, way less water will be dirtied for purposes that could be fulfilled by reusing wastewater. For example, nowadays around 30% of fresh water in urban areas is used for irrigation. Imagine if everybody replaced it with rainwater: the percentage could drastically get lower. In order to make this happen, we just have to produce these ordinary objects that can turn into tanks, and wait for people to take the best decision for their wallets, their comfort and, of course, the planet.
*this is just a general outline of the project. We've developed it deeper so if you want to know more please contact us.