Could Seawater Be The Answer To The Fresh Water Crisis?

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Photo: Hannes Grobe (CC)

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]

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  • medicine ball

    ummm yeah! or stop living in those freaken waste lands expecting to have it be ideal for living

    • Anarchy Pony

      Well don’t ignore the unsustainable water use in some areas that is causing desertification.

  • medicine ball

    ummm yeah! or stop living in those freaken waste lands expecting to have it be ideal for living

  • Elifiknow

    Well don’t ignore the unsustainable water use in some areas that is causing desertification.

  • rtb61

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • Anonymous

    People really understand nothing. Freshwater is not a problem, the energy required to create it is.
    Basically what is happening is greed driven psychopathic corporations are sucking up all the “LOW COST” fresh water sources to inflate the profit margins, leaving nothing but high cost, high energy fresh water for everyone else.
    The reality is corporations should be forced recycle water regardless of cost, emphasis on “REGARDLESS OF COST” and leave low cost, low energy fresh water for general community uses.
    That potable natural fresh water is wasted on industrial uses is criminal, as it not only wastes a valuable resource but is also generated a huge waste stream, an unusable mass of polluted water, that only cannot be used by the rest of the community but also pollutes what remains of the readily accessible fresh water resources.
    Want more fresh water, start demanding that all industrial and manufacturing resources recycle one hundred percent of their water usage.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m all for desalination…but only if it comes in a package of other serious changes in the way we treat water.                  

    and #1 with a bullet is this: Water is not a private property…ever. It is a national resource that must be husbanded with great care to preserve it for the future. Whether its aquifers or ponds…I do not care…it is all equally precious and the use of it is a human right…not a property right. Its fine that a person may have a lake or a river somewhere on property that is theirs…not a problem…but the minute they get the notion that its a fiscal commodity they can parcel off for cash…altering everything around that water permanently…FUCK THEM…THEY HAVE NO FUCKING RIGHTS!

    Speaking for people who have watched the Great Lakes slowly drain until people are poling their boats out into the center of channels between islands that have been dredged every year to keep them viable as waterways…AND using dock extensions because the docks that were built 70 years ago were meant for a lake that was 6 feet deeper then…

    …its about time we woke up and realized that that 6 feet of water didn’t evaporate naturally…its in the cooler at your local stores at 1/2/3 dollars a pop. So just living next to water isn’t a carte blanche to do anything you like with it. If the actions affect everyone else…forget it. I only wish the state of Michigan would get off its ass and forbid corporate draining and bottling of water…but with Herr Snyder in the Fuhrers office…we may be out of luck for awhile (not that Fuhrer Granholm was any better). 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m all for desalination…but only if it comes in a package of other serious changes in the way we treat water.                  

    and #1 with a bullet is this: Water is not a private property…ever. It is a national resource that must be husbanded with great care to preserve it for the future. Whether its aquifers or ponds…I do not care…it is all equally precious and the use of it is a human right…not a property right. Its fine that a person may have a lake or a river somewhere on property that is theirs…not a problem…but the minute they get the notion that its a fiscal commodity they can parcel off for cash…altering everything around that water permanently…FUCK THEM…THEY HAVE NO FUCKING RIGHTS!

    Speaking for people who have watched the Great Lakes slowly drain until people are poling their boats out into the center of channels between islands that have been dredged every year to keep them viable as waterways…AND using dock extensions because the docks that were built 70 years ago were meant for a lake that was 6 feet deeper then…

    …its about time we woke up and realized that that 6 feet of water didn’t evaporate naturally…its in the cooler at your local stores at 1/2/3 dollars a pop. So just living next to water isn’t a carte blanche to do anything you like with it. If the actions affect everyone else…forget it. I only wish the state of Michigan would get off its ass and forbid corporate draining and bottling of water…but with Herr Snyder in the Fuhrers office…we may be out of luck for awhile (not that Fuhrer Granholm was any better). 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6TF3HJDO67QPMGIRDEG22W5EQ kls525

    Perhaps I don’t know wtf I’m talking about, but what ever happened to flash distillation of water to make it potable ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6TF3HJDO67QPMGIRDEG22W5EQ kls525

    Perhaps I don’t know wtf I’m talking about, but what ever happened to flash distillation of water to make it potable ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6TF3HJDO67QPMGIRDEG22W5EQ kls525

    Perhaps I’m talking out of turn, but whatever happened to flash distillation of dirty water utilizing solar power ? Sure the solar powered distillation apparatus will cost upfront, and will require maintenance, but couldn’t that water, and the resulting solar power be sold to offset the cost of the purification system ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6TF3HJDO67QPMGIRDEG22W5EQ kls525

    Perhaps I’m talking out of turn, but whatever happened to flash distillation of dirty water utilizing solar power ? Sure the solar powered distillation apparatus will cost upfront, and will require maintenance, but couldn’t that water, and the resulting solar power be sold to offset the cost of the purification system ?