Research, analyze, and design ways to manage energy and conserve water.
POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF PORTERVILLE
INTRODUCTION TO WATER AND ENERGY ISSUES IN CALIFORNIA
California has had a water shortage for almost 40 years now and unfortunately this problem is nowhere near being solved. This water shortage has been causing many problems for everyone in the San Joaquin Valley. It’s not that it never rains in the central valley, it’s just that it doesn’t rain enough for our needs and unfortunately our other water supplies are starting to dwindle down as a result. A Polytechnic University built to study water conservation techniques and energy generation would greatly help the agriculture industry as well as businesses and residents, because the two things that are used most in our daily lives are water and energy. With this Polytechnic University we can help solve the problem of the water – energy nexus. The basic definition of the problem of the water – energy nexus is that it takes water to make energy and energy to create water infrastructure. Basically, one cannot exist without the other. Water is very precious, out of all the water found on Earth, we can only obtain and use about .4%. 98% of the Earth’s water is the ocean, and the other 1.6% is in the North Pole. Our proposal to create a University would greatly help in lessening the amount of water and energy that is wasted, used, and needed.
PROPOSED SOLUTION AS A POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
California has one of the biggest agriculture industries in the world and in order to sustain that and even expand on that, water management must be put in place. With a Polytechnic University in the center of California, water management for the agriculture industry will definitely expand, new ideas and techniques will form. California will be the pioneer and leader in energy and water management. With this university we will have teachers and students working directly with the local farmers to achieve a common goal. In recent years farmers have been upset at the amount of water that they have been getting. This university will solve that problem. This university will be built inside of farm lands, so that it can study these areas. Having part of the university built with a farm is going to give us a huge gain in understanding water management, because the university will be right there with instant access to study it. New technologies will be created and our farmers of Porterville will be the first to have and use them.
This university will be working partially on water conservation and partially on energy creation. It will have water storage techniques such as rain chains and fog capturing systems. As well it will have and develop water purification techniques such as UV water purification. Hopefully with the help of these techniques and much research by the university, it will be possible to create many new water conserving technologies and maybe even find an efficient way to make sea water usable. The other half that the university will be focusing on will be energy creation. Many techniques have been built for this already, but not studied enough to reach their full potential and discover new techniques. Some of these processes that we plan on implementing into the school are solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric plant, and geothermal energy tanks. By studying these old techniques and ways of creation of energy, new and more efficient ways will be discovered.
LOCAL EDUCATION BENEFITS
The university is a community asset and a vital building block in city-wide education. The first part of this integration will be the continuation and extension of the pathway system that has been set up for all of the high schools in Porterville. Several ideas are circulating as to what can be done. These ideas include allowing students that are in K-8 to visit the University on fieldtrips, as well, allow them to participate in simple versions of the projects that the university has been working on. The High School students interested in coming to a University will be able to come on campus and work with Polytechnic students, as well there will be programs set up to specifically help students who live in this area that are wanting to attend this University that will help them get accepted. For students that attend Porterville College, they will have an honors program that gives select students guaranteed acceptance into the Polytechnic University.
This university will be very significant to our city, state, and world. Our city will benefit greatly from this university being here. It is known that when a major university is built in a city, even if it is small, the city is sure to grow. Some of the other benefits that come with a university are: boost in economy, more jobs, larger community, electricity made by the university, and statewide recognition. Porterville will lead the discovery of new energy generation and water conservation techniques to create a sustainable future for agriculture. These are the benefits of just having a university, but this is going to be a different kind of university, with its many ties to the community, the community itself will learn and benefit directly, and the benefits don’t stop there. At a state wide look, many students from different states will be coming to this university, this will bring a greater diversity in the area that we live in. As well this school will hopefully be a model to other new schools that would like to create the same kind of success that we will hopefully have. On a world level, this university will be the leader in water and energy technology, many people will look to us for answers.
As well, for anyone in the community, the University will provide an education center in which people can learn about water conservation techniques as well as energy creation and conservation techniques. This education center will be similar to the PG&E education center in San Louis Obispo. The community will not only get an education center, but as with all major universities the community will also receive a football stadium and theatre which will be used for many community events. Finally, for the businesses in Porterville, the University will help them by sharing with them the new techniques that have been created by the university on creating, conserving, capturing, and preserving water and energy. One of the major goals of this university is to get people, especially children, interested in learning and practicing ways to conserve energy and water. It is for this reason that we hope to get this university as integrated as possible, so that the community will get interested and willing to work on conservation in order to help save our planet.
With so little water actually usable, it is vital for us to research as much as possible into this area. As well, with the energy crisis that has been going on for about 8-9 years now it is also vital for us to create new techniques for energy. In order for growth and prosperity to continue, we must achieve some goals. These goals are mastering water and energy. We must know everything that we can about them and with this university, we will. Sadly enough these are the two things that we use the most of. Gas prices in recent years have been going up and up, now this is partially because we’re importing it, but it is also because it’s becoming harder and harder to get this resource, the supplies are running out. Soon enough it might be the same way with usable water. Imagine if it cost us $4 for a gallon of water. This is why it is imperative that we get a university to study all about these things now. It is vital to create this university, because it could save mankind.
Written by Doug Murdock and Raymond Almanza Harmony Magnet Academy, Porterville Unified School District Junior Interns