Could the rising sea levels be beneficial to us as drinking water? The National Geographic reports:
With 1.8 billion people predicted to live in areas of extreme water scarcity by 2025, desalination — the removal of salt from water — is increasingly being proposed as a solution.
But before desalination can make a real difference solving in the looming water crisis, officials and experts need to commit to overcoming obstacles that make the process expensive and inefficient, a new paper argues.
Scientists predict that by 2016, the amount of fresh water produced by desalination plants will exceed 10 billion gallons (38 million cubic meters) a year, or double the rate in 2008.
Modern desalination plants use a technology called reverse osmosis, pressing salty water through ultrathin, semipermeable plastic membranes. Unable to pass through, large molecules or ions, such as salt, are filtered out, so fresh water flows out the other side.
This method wastes much less energy than earlier desalination techniques, such as heating seawater and harvesting fresh water from the steam…
[Continues at National Geographic]