Interesting project described in the blog article ‘Understanding your city by understanding its flow: towards Participatory Urban Metabolism Information Systems’ by Sven Eberlein of the Ecocitizen Worldmap Project.

This is a participatory approach where young citizens track the water flows in their city in a crowd-mapping approach. The data is visualized as Sankey diagram (here called MetaFlow diagram). Pilots were carried out in Casablanca and Cairo.

This project is somehow linked to Sebastian Moffat’s activities I have featured in a blog post back in 2008.

This seems to be the result from either the Casablanca or the Cairo field work. Great colorful Sankey flow diagrams. Judging from the photos in the blog post, working with the local community seems to have been fun. The participatory approach is emphasized (Sven calls this a ‘Participatory Urban Metabolism Information System (PUMIS)’).

More Sankey diagrams can be seen in the original blog post.

Dutch tech consulting firm ‘Water and Energy Solutions’ looks at optimization opportunities and cost saving potential in industrial production sites.

Their services offer is advertised with this sample Sankey diagram.

Their approach called “Flux Technology” is a methodology that “first considers a production site at the largest possible scope, focusing primarily on intersecting process and utility streams. At different scope levels we analyze site, plant(s), unit operations, equipment and general operations both qualitatively as well as quantitatively.”

David Wogan at the Scientific American blogs that “Over 12 percent of all U.S. energy consumption is directly related to water”. This was identified in a 2012 study by researchers of UT Austin.

The values in this Sankey diagram are for 2010 in trillion BTU. Energy is used for direct and indirect water services such as steam generation.

The author argues “The study also identifies an interesting policy issue: roughly 25% more energy is used to heat, cool, or pump water than is used for lighting (in the residential and commercial sectors) in the United States – about 5 quads. So why are more efficiency policies and technologies targeted towards lighting and not water conservation?”

Followup to a 2012 post on water footprint: here is another water flow Sankey diagram, this time from tiles production.

Consulting firm Ceram calculated a water footprint of tiles produced for Stoke-on-Trent based Johnson Tiles in 2010 and illustrated the study with this Sankey diagram.

No absolute values are given, but water losses along the processing steps (based on the 100% of water input) are shown in percent.

From a 2006 EU-funded research project called ADU-RES, here is a Sankey diagram from one of their reports (p. 24).

It features the energy flows of an autonomous desalination unit based on renewable energy. The plant (ITC’s Dessol) where they gathered the data is on the Spanish Canary Islands. “The system is conceived for small settlements (1-1500 inhabitants), since the scale/cost factor of the required investment/land restricts the capacity of production installed to 100 m³/day”.

The figures represent annual average specific energies in kWh per m³ of desalinated water (or pumped seawater?).

From the thesis of architect and designer Gabriel Guerriero comes this beautiful Sankey diagram. Labels show quantitites but I have no information on the unit of measurement.

Gabriel writes:

“[This Sankey diagram] illustrates the measures of capacity and exchange of water in the Sacramento/American river confluence. Sankey diagrams are an essential constructive framework to analyze the breaching processes and estimate the manipulated water flows. The work is supported with calculations derived from California Department of Water Resources measurements as a means to describe where flows become broken, crosswired, appropriated, or out of tolerance. While the Sankey should hold a useful matrix to describe a section of a closed system, the Sacramento/American River measurements describe a broken system of flows in which the input of 100% on the top end results in disrupted quantities of output.”

A similar diagram for the Colorado river catchement can be seen here.

UNEP’s GRID Arendal web page that “collect[s] and catalogue[s] all graphic products that have been prepared for publications and web-sites from the last 15 years in a wide range of themes related to environment and sustainable development.” It has mainly maps and infographics. Not that many Sankey diagrams, but one I found this one interesting:

It is titled ‘Nigeria and the Freswater Challenge’, originally from a 2005 study by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

The description says:

Out of the total precipitation reaching Nigeria, it can be separated into green and blue water. Green water (79% of the precipitation) represents the fraction of rainfall that generates soil moisture and which supports terrestrial ecosystems. It is not returned to groundwater and rivers, but will eventually evaporate or transpire through plants. Blue water, on the other hand, represents the fraction (21%) of the precipitation that runs into rivers and aquifers, and that has a potential for withdrawal for societal use. Out of this, the environmental water flow is the amount of water needed to sustain ecosystem services. In the case of Nigeria, there is a huge potential to increase the withdrawal for irrigation and food production to meet current and future needs.

Flows display percentages rather than absolute values. The green water arrow representing 79% is broken down further and reveals the contributions, but only on one segment. Nice idea!

Just a quick post with a Sankey diagram for water flows in a hotel. Apprently from a research project called Zer0-M. More images here.

No units for the streams, so I just guess these are litres per hotel guest per day or cubic metres per day. Unicolor, no directed arrows.