Most fresh water is contained in ice. The second largest supplies are underground aquifers, lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams.The estimated supply in the second source is one quintillion gallons(3.8 quintillion liters). Humans primarily draw from this supply for fresh water use. Currently, Americans use 1300 gallons(4940 liters) per person per day. This includes all uses, including domestic, agriculture, and industry. Each person uses 475,500 gallons(1,806,900 liters) per year. The entire U.S. population uses 141 trillion gallons(535.8 trillion liters) per year. Fortunately for the planet, not every nation is as wasteful as the U.S., because if they were, then the entire world would use 2.8 quadrillion gallons(10.64 quadrillion liters) per year. However, our current rapid use of water is depleting natures capacity to restore itsself. Nature, under proper circumstances, can purify waste water through time and ecological processes.
A new system of water management that treats water as a precious resource can deliver large quantities of water to everyone on earth without compromising the environment. This new system must return to a primitive concept that was in accord with nature. The new system must also use advanced technologies and design methods to implement the system for large populations.
The new system is called the Polybranched Feed/Drain System. It separates water by use like a primitive settlement near a river. The settlement uses the most upstream water for drinking, then downstream in this order:
1) Personal Hygiene
2) Cleaning utensils, cookware
3) Irrigation, etc.
The water would naturally purify as it moved downstream.
The Polybranched System also uses these elements:
1) State of the art plumbing materials.
2) Living Machines(Water Treatment Systems) developed by Dr. John Todd.
3) Water conserving methods and water appliances.
4) Advance monitoring and management system.
5) Rainwater catchment and diverter system.
6) Irrigation and aquaculture ponds.
The polybranched system separates water by types to reduce the need for intensive water treatment. Multiple Living Machines treat each water type before reuse. Each Living Machine only treats one type of water. Thus, incoming water is first used for tap water. After the water is treated by a Living Machine it then goes to a secondary use such as watering fruit or vegetables. A separate incoming line would be for showering then treatment by a separate Living Machine that will discharge to flush the toilet. The toilet water will be treated by a separate Living Machine which discharges it to a wetland for final treatment. The Washing Machine has a separate incoming line. After a wash the water is treated by a Living Machine. The water is then reused in the next cycle by the Washing Machine. The Living Machine will evapotranspire part of the original water and part will be lost drying clothes so the incoming line will always bring in new water supplies. More complex systems can be designed that integrate industry, agriculture and domestic use.