Somewhere under the rainbow - American Nurseryman Magazine - Horticulture Magazine and Horticulture Books - Somewhere under the rainbow

Somewhere under the rainbow

9/14/2012

If you're looking for an ambitious project, say, something along the lines of Dylan Lauren's wedding or your town's centennial celebration, have we got an idea for you. Don't settle for a few potted tropicals or a bubbling fountain --- go big time! Create a rainbow! Seriously, check out the work of Watertronics and artist Michael Jones McKean. You'll be inspired.

Irrigation and rainwater harvesting experts from Lindsay Corporation and its subsidiary, Watertronics, took a more artistic approach this summer with the patented SkyHarvester Water Conservation System.
 
Partnering with artist Michael Jones McKean, Lindsay and Watertronics helped create a commissioned artwork and exhibition, The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Life and Shapes Between Forms at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Neb. On-demand rainbows were projected in the sky using sunlight, renewable energy and 100-percent rainwater that was captured by the SkyHarvester system, which is typically used by commercial landscapers and architects for rain water collection and distribution.
 
According to the Bemis Center, a project of this nature and scope has never been executed anywhere in the world.
 
Lindsay Corporation was the lead sponsor of the exhibit to show the efficacy of a SkyHarvester system on a large, custom-made scale. The project demonstrated the importance of water conservation and how modern technology such as the SkyHarvester system can be used to conserve and recycle water.
 
Using customized downspouts and storage tanks, the SkyHarvester system stored rainwater in custom tanks, then filtered and pumped it for reuse. The system collected as much as 8,000 gallons (30,283 liters) from an inch of rain, which was projected in the air to produce a rainbow lasting 20 minutes twice a day, once in the morning and again in early evening. Between 130 to 250 gallons (492 to 946 liters) were used per minute to create a rainbow that reached over the two-story art center.
 
Extensive modifications to the Bemis Center took place to create a completely self-contained water-harvesting and storage system on an industrial scale. Collected and recaptured rainwater was filtered and stored in six 10,500 gallon (39,747 liter) tanks above-ground. Within the gallery, a custom-designed 60-horsepower (45-kilowatt) pump supplied pressurized water to nine nozzles mounted to the 20,000 square-foot (1,858 square-meter) roof on the Bemis Center. A wall of water rushed up 130 feet (39.6 meters) in the air, producing a rainbow. About 50 percent of the water projected from the nozzles landed on the roof and was cycled back into the system. Despite average to slightly-below-average rainfall in Omaha, The Rainbow has been completely sustainable since its June 23 debut.
 
The SkyHarvester system that made the rainbow project possible can gather water from one or more building locations, including rooftops, parking lots and cooling towers. Tank sizes for large-scale commercial use range from 3,000 to 1 million gallons (11,356 liters to 37.8 megaliters). It provides a single-source solution for every step of the water-management cycle, from system design and manufacturing to installation supervision and long-term support. SkyHarvester systems have helped numerous businesses earn LEED building credits and reduce municipal water consumption by up to 100 percent. Visit www.bemiscenter.org/art/exhibitions/rainbow-project.html for more about The Rainbow project online. Or, for more information on Watertronics' SkyHarvester system that made The Rainbow project possible, visit www.watertronics.com/skyharvester.