Zephyr Cove man set for Y2K, anything else | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Zephyr Cove man set for Y2K, anything else

What will you be doing on Jan. 1, 2000? Edward Dilley, Sr. will be relaxing at home – and quite unconcerned about all the potential Y2K problems.

Don’t get the idea that Dilley thinks nothing is going to happen to society due to Y2K; he most certainly does. It’s just that his home is unlike any other home in the country, or maybe the world.

Dilley has spent more than a decade planning and building a subterranean “bio-home,” a self-sustaining prototype in “closed-system housing” in which he plans to live comfortably through the impending crises.

“Here’s what Y2K means to me,” said Dilley, a 30-year Lake Tahoe resident who now lives in Zephyr Cove. “As we enter the new millennium we are confronted with the serious possibility of having our technology that we have worked so hard for shut down,” he said. “We could be looking at power outages, food shortages … the only thing that makes any sense is to prepare for it.”

Enter the bio-home project. Begun and tested at the University of Nevada in 1995, the bio-home is an underground structure in which, according to Dilley, one will be able to grow food, recycle water and air and process wastes in a truly closed system.

The home is actually a monolithic dome under a shallow layer of earth. It will gather some of its light from “water windows,” which will let the light in with minimal heat.

“One of the reasons for going underground is to eliminate expensive heating and cooling costs,” Dilley said. “There will be minimal maintenance; you could heat the thing up with a light bulb. And it will stay cool in the summer.”

The home will feature an ammonia absorption chilling technology, which will be solar powered.

“Is this all because of Y2K? It isn’t,” Dilley said. “I’ve been planning this for years. I think that it’s just smart to plan to become self-sufficient, no matter what happens in the world.”

Dilley is one of a growing breed who has developed into over the past three years – the Y2K entrepreneur Many are smart businessmen who are cashing in on the public’s Y2K anxiety, hawking everything from 55-gallon water containers to bulletproof briefcases.

There are also those of the survivalist mentality that are already taking to the hills – Northern Nevada included – and stockpiling food and other provisions for what could be, they say, the end of the world as we know it.

But while some businessmen are fanning the flames of ignorance to simply make a buck, others are quite sincere; maintaining that it never hurts to be prepared for an emergency, no matter what year it is.

In which category do we place Dilley? That’s unclear. The University of Nevada thought enough of him to use him as a consultant when they constructed an environmental chamber in 1995 – a sort of space garden such as the famous biosphere projects that were popular in the 1980s.

Dilley, who says the UNR project was actually his idea, has now branched off to create his own bio-home in the desert. Where is this prototype located? Dilley will only say that it is “in the Northern Nevada high desert; let’s leave it at that. I really don’t want people to know the exact location, for a variety of reasons.”

Dilley is a filmmaker who runs a small production company based in Zephyr Cove, producing promotional videos for the Lake Tahoe area among other subjects.

But these days he is quite involved in another Y2K-related project – the Airwell Survival Kit. The technology involved in the Airwell kit ties in with the bio-home project – it is the home’s water source.

“The Airwell Survival Kit produces distilled water almost anywhere,” Dilley said. “It can produce three to seven pints of distilled water per day, out of thin air.”

Water out of thin air? Does that sound like a scam?

“In the atmosphere around our planet, there is a constant 3,100 cubic miles of water, which is the earth’s hydrological system,” he said. “Because it’s a constant, we can take as much as we want.

“Knowing that, where do you think we ought to be getting our water?”

The Airwell system comes in three varieties, averaging about $69.95 per kit. With all of the plastic involved, it appears to have something to do with creating water through condensation – but Dilley did not break open a kit and go into specifics.

“We’re doing quite well with it,” Dilley said. “We’ve estimated that in the coming months, we could be shipping these kits by the millions of units” (manufactured by Silver State Industries, the kit is available on the Internet at http://www.airwellinc.com)

But hurry … time is running out. At least if you live above ground.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User