New York is set to open the world’s largest ultraviolet (UV) drinking water disinfection plant in two months in order to rid the city’s drinking water of cryptosporidium, giardia and other harmful pathogens. The Catskill–Delaware Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility will be equipped with 56 massive UV units which will be used to kill waterborne pathogens in water from the city’s major sources – the Delaware County and Catskill watersheds. When it is activated in two months, the plant will process up to nine billion liters of H2O daily.
Interesting post on water infrastructure projects at the mammoth blog.
Whether immense re-configurations of watersheds on a geological scale or fine and playful tunings of the interactions between city-dwellers and the infrastructures that deliver their water, those that transmit water or those that sit on and in it, the intersection of hydrology and infrastructure is a continual fascination for mammoth.
An interesting piece via the Times: Alan Berger from MIT is studying the Fascist era water management system of Litina outside Rome which is built on a system of pumping stations and canals to drain the otherwise swampy and and make it viable for urbanism. The region has had a tremendous economic boom, but is terribly polluted.
“But instead of simply recommending that polluting farms and factories be shut, Professor Berger specializes in creating new ecosystems in severely damaged environments: redirecting water flow, moving hills, building islands and planting new species to absorb pollution, to create natural, though “artificial,” landscapes that can ultimately sustain themselves.”
“Latina’s prosperity is built on drained swampland, kept habitable by six pumps as huge and noisy as airplanes, put in place in 1934 by Mussolini. Each day they pull millions of gallons of water — up to 9,500 gallons a second — out of the soggy ground, directing it into an elaborate system of cement-lined canals that ultimately dump it into the sea.
The entire province would return to marshland in seven days if the pumps were turned off, Carlo Cervellin of the Pontine Marsh Consortium said. He is in charge of maintaining and regulating the immense machines, which are in a pump house at the lowest point in the province, in Mazzochio.”
This past week’s edition of On the Media, the weekly WNYC program on media issues featured a segment on Circle of Blue, a coalition of journalists who donate their time and resources to produce news stories about water issues, drought, and desertification. It’s an extraordinary group doing important and fascinating work that calls attention to stories about the water crisis.
The segment is available on their website: http://www.circleofblue.org/
Listening to the segment, I was reminded of the potential of the media to bring visibility to a set of issues and raise their level of prominence in the culture. The notion of constructing the conditions of visibility is certainly something that all the projects in the studio have the potential for as well. Many of you are dealing with fairly fluid and ephemeral forces and effects and more than a few of you are dealing with the movement of an edge or other aspects of a crisis front that may benefit from the responsive potentials of architecture as well as architecture’s capacity for institutionalization, for marking position and establishing new datums.
The site also provides a rich history of journalism and journalists bringing visbility to drought issues going back to Dorothea Lang and the dust bowl and beyond. This is an excellent resource especially for those interested in water issues, but really for all you.