DALLAS, July 22 (Reuters) – When the going got tough due one of with worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita Falls got going with its program to recycle sewage water for drinking. The city this month opened th…
Interesting… In times of crises possibilities appear.
Will the dry toilet, invented by Reverend Moule in 1869, break the the Technological/Institutional Lock-In of the water-closet system?
I am now drawing heavily on the wikipedia entry of Thomas Crapper: The water closet was invented by John Harrington in 1596, but it was Thomas Crapper’s plumbing business who imposed the system when in the 1880s, when Prince Edward (later Edward VII) purchased his country seat of Sandringham House in Norfolk and asked Thomas Crapper & Co. to supply the plumbing, including thirty lavatories with cedarwood seats and enclosures, thus giving Crapper’s firm his first Royal Warrant. The firm received further warrants from Edward as king and from George V both as Prince of Wales and as king.
This sufficed to steadily reinforce the technological adoption of this toilet, and the resulting world-wide "Institutional/Technological Lock-in,that is now provoking so much worries in Texas.
My friends at the "Cities for Good" project are promoting re-engineering of the metabolism of cities, as it was first expressed in an essay on “Cities” by Paul Crutzen (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), Bruce Beck (Engineer), and Michael Thompson (Anthropologist). The essay was prepared as a discussion piece for the US National Academy of Engineering’s (2006/7) Blue Ribbon Panel on “Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century”.
For further reading see http://cfgnet.org
To be fair, a multitude of other initiatives world-wide are proving that flushing 30 liters of drinking water to remove the daily "output of every human is a real waste…of both water and matter, provoking incredible destruction in watersheds world-wide, and that that all that waste can be put to much better use as valuable resources in many other, much needed, ecologically and humanly sound processes