Monday, April 07, 2014

Ecological Infrastructure Concept: "Reservoir Replenishment Aqueduct System" (RRAS)

Hello All,

Originally this concept was meant to be shared back in March of last month. However due to a family emergency as stated in a prior entry it was pushed back until today.

This concept of the "Reservoir Replenishment Aqueduct System" has its genesis because of nearly a year long dilemma affecting the State of Florida's "Lake Okeechobee". Whereby as Florida's largest fresh water lake its more recent higher water tables has subsequently caused the "Army Corps of Engineers" to authorize large water discharges. To the eastern and western flanks as dam outlets of "Lake Okeechobee" therein lays two saltwater brackish marsh estuaries of the "St. Lucie" to the east and "Caloosahatchee" to the west.

With these untreated fresh water discharges from "Lake Okeechobee" into these 2 predominant estuaries of the "St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee". Has caused large algae blooms which in turn cause ecological catastrophe with mass fish die-offs in both estuaries. Where aviary bird impacts that feed on the fish has a third negative chain of events that are solely man made. It's the classic domino theory of environmental woe in order to prevent over flooding of the "Herbert Hoover Dike" which is an earthen levee surrounding the lake's perimeter.

Here is a July 17th, 2013 broadcast from a local Tv station in "Stuart, FL." on the eastern flank of the "Lake Okeechobee".  (The video runs 3 minutes with a show transcript below)

Environmentalists concerned about Lake Okeechobee drainage polluting St. Lucie Estuary (Link) 

In response to this the State of Florida government in conjunction with its Federal partners of the "Army Corps of Engineers" has allocated over $2.7 billion dollars to address this issue. "The Florida Channel" September 13th 2013 airing of "Capitol Update" briefly updates viewers. (fast forward to 12 minutes 50 seconds until minute 14 in the video)

Capitol Update Week Ending 09/13/2013 (Link)

My concept would build two Wave Farms that has at its core mission as a Water Filtration Aqueduct system. In order to handle the "Lake Okeechobee" discharges at each flank into the estuaries. But let me back track by what I mean regarding a "Wave Farm". Which is an oceanic or in this concept a trapped water source being the aqueducts to generate electricity year round. Using generated Wave Power in its kinetic motion to create electricity as a very green renewable source of energy.

Wave power is the transport of energy by ocean surface waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work – for example, electricity generation, water desalination, or the pumping of water (into reservoirs). Machinery able to exploit wave power is generally known as a wave energy converter (WEC).
Wave power is distinct from the diurnal flux of tidal power and the steady gyre of ocean currents. Wave-power generation is not currently a widely employed commercial technology, although there have been attempts to use it since at least 1890.[1] In 2008, the first experimental wave farm was opened in Portugal, at the Agu├žadoura Wave Park.[2] The major competitor of wave power is offshore wind power.    (Source: "Wave Power by Wikipedia" Link )

I foresee the "Reservoir Replenishment Aqueduct System" (RRAS) for its retention canals to be similar in configuration as to an Air Mattress design.



So within each length of the canal in such a water filtration system to have within it a snake like wave kinetic generator to create electricity like the one shown below.



Now back to the matter of converting "Lake Okeechobee's" fresh water into a more suitable brackish salt water. In PH (potential hydrogen) balance so the salinity of the water into the estuary doesn't cause a ecological nightmare. One set of the facility canals or aqueduct would convert the fresh water into a compatible salt water equal to the one located in the estuary. The second set of canals would act akin to retention ponds or canal feeders nourishing the first set during the salination efforts.

If the situation is reversed and "Lake Okeechobee" is experiencing drought like conditions jeopardizing its own native fresh water marine ecology. These 2 water filtration facilities on either flank of "Lake Okeechobee" located a couple miles away. Can reverse its core mission to drain some of the waters of each estuary especially in cases of over flooding not affecting the lake. To take the salt water from each marsh and desalinate the PH balance via the canal like aqueducts. To subsequently than pipe the now treated fresh water that matches the alkaline of the waters within the lake itself.

To circle back to the beginning noting that as the canals salinate or desalinate water within the maze like aqueducts. They are also generating green renewable electricity to power each flanking facility. Now what if during non use of the water filtration stations that water was siphoned off just to recycle the waters flowing through the aqueducts. The recycled water source would be utilized to generate electricity akin to a hydro power plant like a dam located anywhere in the world. This excess generated electricity would become a positive net gain repaying its capital infrastructure dollar outlay within the decade if not sooner. Thus the water filtration stations if managed by a State water management entity could become a source of revenue generation. By Net Metering Power back to utilities always needing electricity for its own customers throughout the State if not beyond.

The dual mission role of a wave farm that doubles as a ecological life preserver. For its neighboring estuaries is what humanity and mother nature need as good medicine. It knocks out two birds with one proverbial stone to aiding any discharges from "Lake Okeechobee" and vice a versa from the estuaries of "St. Lucie or Caloosahatchee" itself. All the while generating kinetic wave power when its filtering the waters and especially when it is not. This is a Win Win Scenario if I have ever saw one in truth.

Let's just hope that the "Army Corps of Engineers" and the State of Florida water management officials are paying attention one way or another God Willing. If not have something like this imagined to benefit citizen and native wildlife alike in living in mutual harmony.