The coming global water shortage

Aquifers in India are being sucked dry Several decades ago, farmers in the Indian state of Gujarat used oxen to haul water in buckets from a few feet below the surface. Now they pump it from 1,000 feet below the surface. That may sound good, but they have been drawing water from the earth to feed a mushrooming population at such a terrific rate that ancient aquifers have been sucked dry — turning once-fertile fields slowly into sand.

According to New Scientist magazine, farmers using crude oilfield technology in India have drilled 21 million "tube wells" into the strata beneath the fields, and every year millions more wells throughout the region — all the way to Vietnam — are being dug to service water-needy crops like rice and sugar cane. The magazine quoted research from the annual Stockholm Water Symposium that the pumps that transformed Indian farming are drawing 200 cubic kilometers of water to the surface each year, while only a fraction is replaced by monsoon rains. At this rate, the research suggested, groundwater supplies in some areas will be exhausted in five to 10 years, and millions of Indians will see their farmland turned to desert.

via Link: MSN Money – Invest in the coming global water shortage

In China, the magazine reported, 30 cubic kilometers more water is being pumped to the surface each year than is replaced by rain — one of the reasons that the country has become dependent on grain imports from the West. This is not just an issue for agriculture. Earlier this year, the Indian state of Kerala ordered the PepsiCo (PEP, news, msgs) and Coca-Cola (KO, news, msgs) bottling plants closed due to water shortages, costing the companies millions of dollars.

In this country, shareholder activists already are lobbying companies to share water-dependency concerns worldwide with their stakeholders in their financial statements.

Water, water everywhere, but . . .
The central problem is that less than 2% of the world’s ample store of water is fresh. And that amount is bombarded by industrial pollution, disease and cyclical shifts in rain patterns. Its increasing scarcity has impelled private companies and countries to attempt to lock up rights to key sources. In an article last month, the Christian Science Monitor suggested that the next decade may see a cartel of water-exporting countries rivaling the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries for dominance in the world economy.

"Water is blue gold; it’s terribly precious," Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians, told the Monitor. “Not too far in the future, we’re going to see a move to surround and commodify the world’s fresh water. Just as they’ve divvied up the world’s oil, in the coming century, there’s going to be a grab."

Home Energy Efficient Design

This new user-friendly energy design tool shows how much money can save by making changes to your home. HEED (Home Energy Efficient Design) works equally well for remodeling projects or designing new buildings. You begin by giving four facts about your building, and then the expert system creates two basecase buildings, one that meets the energy code and another that incorporates more energy efficiency features. Then you can draw in your home’s proposed floorplan, rotate it to the correct orientation, then click and drag windows to their exact location on each facade. Copy this to successive schemes to test various passive solar strategies such as window shading, thermal mass, night ventilation, and high performance glazing. For basic users the easy-to-understand bar charts show how energy bills change with each different design. For experienced users there are more detailed data input options, plus dozens of 3D graphic outputs that reveal subtle differences in of building performance. Clients will especially appreciate how these graphics clearly show the benefits of good energy efficient design.

Link: Building Energy Software Tools Directory : HEED.

Although HEED was developed for ratepayers in California, EnergyPlus climate data files for sites around the world can be read in directly (see read-usa.txt in the download docs folder). HEED can also be used for one-zone non-residential buildings. Screen Shots


whole building simulation, energy efficient design, climate responsive design, energy costs, indoor air temperature


HEED has been validated against the BESTEST protocol (ASHRAE Standard 140), and against the results of experimental test cell data.

Expertise Required

No special expertise is required in the Basic Design section, so homeowners and ratepayers will recognize all the terms. The Advanced Design and Evaluation sections are intended for designers familiar with energy efficiency issues, and for energy consultants and engineers working on smaller buildings.


As of October 2004 there have been 6021 downloads. A survey in April 2002 showed 16 % of the users were in Southern California, 7% were elsewhere in California, 48% were elsewhere in the US, and the remaining 29% were in another country. (Survey results available on the web site.)


Homeowners and ratepayers will be comfortable with the Basic Design section of HEED which requires no special vocabulary or expertise. Designers and Energy Consultants, familiar with energy efficiency issues, will appreciate the features of the Advanced Design and Evaluation sections.


To start HEED only four facts are required: building type, square footage, number of stories, and location. From this the expert system creates the two basecase buildings called "Meets Energy Code" and "More Energy Efficient". The Basic Design information are things that any homeowner would know, and are input by click and drag or by selecting from radio button lists of building components. The Advanced Design inputs are tabular inputs of thermal characteristics, dimensions, schedules, etc.


HEED is unique in that most of its performance data is presented graphically, in a wide array of formats. The Basic output is a bar chart of gas and electricity billing costs for up to nine different schemes. Advanced outputs includes 3D plots for each hour of dozens of different variables including heat gain an loss for seventeen elements of the building’s total load, plus indoor and outdoor air temperatures, air change rate, furnace and air conditioner outputs, power for lights and for fans, and gas and electricity costs. There are also 3D bar charts comparing over 40 variables against up to 9 schemes. Tabular data is also available.

Computer Platform

HEED runs on all versions of Windows, from 95 to XP, and also on Mac OS 10.2 or later.

Programming Language

HEED graphic user interface is written in Java and C. The Solar-5 computation kernel is written in Fortran.


HEED’s strengths are simplicity of use, ease of input data, a wide array of graphic output techniques, computational speed, and the ability to quickly compare multiple design alternatives. It uses a sophisticated 8760 hour whole-building heat balance simulation algorithm. HEED includes an intelligent whole-house fan thermostat and window-dependent daylighting controls, and calculates the air pollution implications of design decisions. It can automatically manage up to nine schemes in up to 24 different projects. A full Spanish language version is also available, including Advice, Help and the FAQ file.


Limited to single-zone buildings and generic HVAC systems. Basic Design is limited to four types of residential buildings, but Advanced Design users can input data for any building type (see heed-faq.txt). Currently contains only California electric rates, but they can be user modified. HEED comes with climate data for many California zipcodes and all 16 California Climate Zones, plus it allows Energy Plus climate data for sites around the world to be loaded directly (see read-usa.txt).



Department of Architecture and Urban Design


Box 951467
University of California at Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California 90095-1467
United States


+1 (310) 825-7370


+1 (310) 825-8959




HEED can be downloaded at no cost from the web site.

Rethink: Helping people safely dispose of electronic waste

The first official day of the Consumer Electronics Show conference in Las Vegas featured Apple Computer, (AAPL) IBM, (IBM) Gateway, (GTW) Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and others launching an initiative called Rethink. Leaders of Intel, (INTC) Microsoft (MSFT) and the Federal Communications Commission also spoke Thursday or late Wednesday.

Rethink’s mission is to work with government in coming up with ways to help people safely dispose of electronic waste.

EBay (EBAY) Chief Executive Meg Whitman said eBay came up with the idea and enlisted others to help. "It’s a tired cliche, but I really think this is a win-win situation for everyone," Whitman said.

She also says the effort is partly motivated to head off government regulation. Officials released no funding details, but the gist of the effort will be posted at

Link: Today in Investor’s Business Daily stock analysis and business news.

"Old PCs are piling up. It’s clear we need to step up to the plate, and do this soon," Whitman said at a CES press conference that was a surprise, since it hadn’t been on the CES agenda. "If we don’t, government regulators will step in."

Rethink also includes the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Postal Service.

Whitman cited research from Gartner that roughly 133,000 PCs are retired each day. Those PCs might contain toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury.

Only about 10% of PCs in the U.S. are recycled, according to figures from the Grass Roots Recycling Network.

Rethink wants to raise U.S. awareness of the problem and provide tips on what to do with old PCs and related gear.

Thomas Friedman Highlights the Arab Cultural Divide

None of these Arab countries – Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia – are based on voluntary social contracts between the citizens inside their borders. They are all what others have called "tribes with flags" – not real countries in the Western sense. They are all civil wars either waiting to happen or being restrained from happening by the iron fist of one tribe over the others or, in the case of Syria in Lebanon, by one country over another.

What the Bush team has done in Iraq, by ousting Saddam, was not to "liberate" the country – an image and language imported from the West and inappropriate for Iraq – but rather to unleash the latent civil war in that country. Think of shaking a bottle of Champagne and then uncorking it.

Link: The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: The Country We’ve Got.

We cannot liberate Iraq, and never could. Only Iraqis can liberate themselves, by first forging a social contract for sharing power and then having the will to go out and defend that compact against the minorities who will try to resist it. Elections are necessary for that process to unfold, but not sufficient. There has to be the will – among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds – to forge that equitable social contract and then fight for it.

In short, we need these elections in Iraq to see if there really is a self-governing community there ready, and willing, to liberate itself – both from Iraq’s old regime and from us. The answer to this question is not self-evident. This was always a shot in the dark – but one that I would argue was morally and strategically worth trying.

Because if it is impossible for the peoples of even one Arab state to voluntarily organize themselves around a social contract for democratic life, then we are looking at dictators and kings ruling this region as far as the eye can see. And that will guarantee that this region will be a cauldron of oil-financed pathologies and terrorism for the rest of our lives.

Amazing Bobby Jones

From the new biography The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America and the Story of Golf by Mark Frost.

After Jones graduated from Georgia Tech, he decided he’d concentrate on what he felt was most important: family. Other golfers near his skill level were turning professional — teaching, playing exhibitions and participating in the professional tournaments of the time. That wasn’t what he wanted. He’d set his priorities, and they didn’t involve his sport. He did love golf, however. So he aimed to balance the two; he decided he’d play in fewer tournaments. Over the next 10 years until he retired, he played in only 40 tourneys. Of the 40, 21 were major championships — and he won 13 of them.

Link: Today in Investor’s Business Daily stock analysis and business news.

Rolling Stone magazine: The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

1 Jimi Hendrix
2 Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band
3 B.B. King
4 Eric Clapton
5 Robert Johnson
6 Chuck Berry
7 Stevie Ray Vaughan
8 Ry Cooder
9 Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin
10 Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

Link: Jimi Hendrix : The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time : News.

11 Kirk Hammett of Metallica
12 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana
13 Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead
14 Jeff Beck
15 Carlos Santana
16 Johnny Ramone of the Ramones
17 Jack White of the White Stripes
18 John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
19 Richard Thompson
20 James Burton
21 George Harrison
22 Mike Bloomfield
23 Warren Haynes
24 The Edge of U2
25 Freddy King
26 Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave
27 Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits
28 Stephen Stills
29 Ron Asheton of the Stooges
30 Buddy Guy
31 Dick Dale
32 John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service
33 & 34 Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
35 John Fahey
36 Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG’s
37 Bo Diddley
38 Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac
39 Brian May of Queen
40 John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival
41 Clarence White of the Byrds
42 Robert Fripp of King Crimson
43 Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic
44 Scotty Moore
45 Frank Zappa
46 Les Paul
47 T-Bone Walker
48 Joe Perry of Aerosmith
49 John McLaughlin
50 Pete Townshend
51 Paul Kossoff of Free
52 Lou Reed
53 Mickey Baker
54 Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane
55 Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple
56 Tom Verlaine of Television
57 Roy Buchanan
58 Dickey Betts
59 & 60 Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien of Radiohead
61 Ike Turner
62 Zoot Horn Rollo of the Magic Band
63 Danny Gatton
64 Mick Ronson
65 Hubert Sumlin
66 Vernon Reid of Living Colour
67 Link Wray
68 Jerry Miller of Moby Grape
69 Steve Howe of Yes
70 Eddie Van Halen
71 Lightnin’ Hopkins
72 Joni Mitchell
73 Trey Anastasio of Phish
74 Johnny Winter
75 Adam Jones of Tool
76 Ali Farka Toure
77 Henry Vestine of Canned Heat
78 Robbie Robertson of the Band
79 Cliff Gallup of the Blue Caps (1997)
80 Robert Quine of the Voidoids
81 Derek Trucks
82 David Gilmour of Pink Floyd
83 Neil Young
84 Eddie Cochran
85 Randy Rhoads
86 Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath
87 Joan Jett
88 Dave Davies of the Kinks
89 D. Boon of the Minutemen
90 Glen Buxton of Alice Cooper
91 Robby Krieger of the Doors
92 & 93 Fred "Sonic" Smith, Wayne Kramer of the MC5
94 Bert Jansch
95 Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine
96 Angus Young of AC/DC
97 Robert Randolph
98 Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer
99 Greg Ginn of Black Flag
100 Kim Thayil of Soundgarden