I’d like to share this brief thought process, that I’ve heard referred to as:
Fundamentally transforming the way the world uses water
That’s actually being used as the advertising slogan for a new product. I’ve changed a few minor details to make it a little less painful for the true believers.
Let’s assume that an amazingly clever innovator and self-promoter has come up with a new way of providing water to the masses. It’s going to provide for a smooth flow of water over the course of every 24 hour day, and usher in a new era of total independence from “The Man” or powers that currently be. Great advertising copy.
People are ready to lay down their cash just based on that alone, heck with the math or science or engineering, because this promoter dude did all that for them.
Here are some specifics.
Each unit is capable of holding 10 gallons of water. Due to current plumbing restrictions, the absolute most you can get out of a unit is between 1 and 3 gallons of water per hour, but a typical household application is default at 1 gallon per hour.
There are no elves in waterwheels hidden in the bottom of the receptacle, so you have to refill the unit, and again, the default is at 1 gallon per hour. Ironically, that comes from “The Man” for the most part. It’s theoretically possible to install a relatively expensive roof mounted water collection system, with local government restrictions. In all fairness, a 4′ square section of roof could fill the tank with only 1″ of rain, assuming 100% efficiency, though there will be some losses for evaporation, etc.and the current plumbing system restrictions state that the absolute most you could transfer into the unit at any given time is 1 gallon per hour. But future “scientist self-promoters” will get that straightened out, presumably with the help of the elves.
Those are some simple scientific, er, engineering restrictions on the actual unit. Now to transform the way we use water. Let’s select an imaginary couple with no children. Let’s say that they are typical users of water and use 2 gallons for brushing teeth 3x a day, and hey, we’ve already exceeded the capacity of the tank.
We’d have to cut down to a 1 gallon shower, taken over the course of that trickling 1 gallon per hour default flow rate. We’d be limited to 3 x 1/3 gallon tooth brushings, lasting approximately 20 minutes each, at the default flow rate. Twenty minutes to fill the coffee pot. Now when it comes to drinking, we’re at a much more balanced equation. 10 x 1/10 gallon cups, at a 6 minute fill isn’t too bad.
So this is laughable when you consider the average current usage of water, wouldn’t you say? Yes, you could set a bucket in the tub, and after an hour of filling dump it on your head for your bathing. Yes, this is a fundamental transformation of the way we use water.
When you consider the irrational belief in how this new water system will free us from “The Man” it’s completely hysterical that normal rational people who passed 5th grade math could buy into such a fantasy.
But what if I were talking about some other utility? Like gas or electric? What if the numbers converted gallons to KWh, or CFM straight across? Your flow rates for all are controlled by the length and diameter of your pipes and wires, and current building codes. Every faucet, every appliance, is rated for the flow rate they require. The numbers have to add up using very simple 5th grade math. This isn’t an Einsteinian thought experiment with fairy dust filling in the gaps.