Current Californian Drought Highlights the Importance of Saving Water in Chemical Laboratories

Posted: Wednesday 8th July 2015

In the US, the state of California is currently facing a severe drought: the worst in 120 years of state record keeping. California has one of the largest and healthiest economies in the USA. If this drought is a major threat for California, then how will other, less affluent areas fare?

Climate change is the root cause of the drought. Average temperatures have been higher than normal, whilst precipitation levels have been lower – resulting in drained reservoirs and shrinking snowpack levels. Though climate change lies at the heart of this historical drought, the problem has been compounded by widespread water waste, and poor water management. It’s for this reason that, on April 1, California Governor Jerry Brown demanded “unprecedented action”. The state is now facing its first ever mandatory water-use restrictions.

The pressure is on all Californians to seriously address their water usage. Urban agencies have been ordered to curtail their water use by at least 25%.

Given the crucial role played by water in numerous laboratory processes, this has worried the Californian scientific community. The question being asked is – how can we possibly continue to operate with such severe water restrictions? And how to save water in a laboratory without compromising on results?

Like all urban agencies, Californian laboratories are now required to reduce their water use by at least 25%.

Water condensers play a huge role in many common chemistry applications. In fact, it’s perhaps fair to say that many laboratories simply would not be able to function without water condensers.

The problem is that water condensers can consume up to 150 litres of water per hour. That’s about the same amount of water it takes to run a bath; so in terms of water consumption, to operate a water condenser throughout the day is like repeatedly filling and draining a bathtub, again and again.

UK leading manufacturer of innovative laboratory instruments Radleys has an answer to this issue and offers a significant step forward to reduce consumption of a precious resource and eliminate the costs associated with water purchase and disposal. The Findenser is a revolutionary tool that allows to replace the water-cooled condenser in over 95% of common chemistry applications, and it requires no running water to operate.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s “unprecedented action” should be a warning to us all: water is a precious resource, and it’s simply no longer an option to take it for granted. Even in areas that are not facing a severe drought, the preservation of water should be taken very seriously indeed.

And because the Findenser does not require any running water to operate so it does not have to be placed close to a water source. This can saves room, enabling to make better use of the available lab space. It also serves to hugely reduce the risks of laboratory flooding.

So if you are after saving water, performing well and having a positive environmental impact this is the perfect tool for any innovative chemical laboratories.

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April 2021

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