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    Can Infrared Scanners Save the Millions of Gallons of Water We Waste Every Day?

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    With the world’s population growing explosively, expect the political water wars typical of the American Southwest (to say nothing of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) to become more common worldwide. Water’s our most precious resource, and, as the recent installments of Vice’s Toxic series remind us, one that’s very susceptible to contamination. We also waste it like there’s no tomorrow, with millions of gallons of water wasted daily.

    High-efficiency fixtures and grey water recycling systems can be a huge help, but it can be difficult to get people to use them. Tom Rachlin of Boulder came up with a novel solution: a system that uses infrared scanners to distinguish between used and unused water during basic household tasks like brushing your teeth. The system, part of his Clean Water Reserve Project, separates the unused water into a reserve tank that can be used later for watering the lawn or washing a car. It’s a high-tech method that seamlessly and easily saves the water you’d otherwise waste.

    Rachlin’s project is one of five finalists in Ketel One and GQ’s “A Gentleman’s Call,” a contest seeking innovators with projects worthy of a $100,000 investment. Check out the other contestants and vote for your favorite right now on Facebook.

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