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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Water Wiz Science Project Saves a Gusher

Oct 06, 2011 10:34PM

Out of the mouths of babes sometimes comes great wisdom. Seven-year-old Mason Perez won a school science fair in Reno, Nevada, for his project addressing water usage efficiency. Now, two years later, the principles he outlined have been used to save his city tens of thousands of gallons of water.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the boy’s inspiration came from an experience in a baseball field restroom, where he found the pressure of the sink’s faucet excessive. He turned it down and it still worked fine. For the project, Perez used a bucket and a stopwatch to measure water flow at several residences. By reducing the pressure while maintaining usability, he recorded savings of up to 24 percent. He repeated his experiments at several local businesses with the same positive results.

Because the default position for valves in new construction is often 100 percent open, it is a simple procedure to adjust them to achieve a more efficient rate. Perez convinced the ballpark’s manager to try it, resulting in a 20 percent water savings for the municipal facility. The local utility, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, is now assessing whether the idea can be implemented in other parks, public schools, casinos and private homes.


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