Friday, May 18, 2007

A crisis more dire than oil supply

Hi-tech bid to boost desalination - National - theage.com.au:
"This week the West Australian Government announced it is to build a second desalination plant. The $400 million existing plant, which began operating last month, now provides about 17 per cent of Perth's drinking water."

This is the shape of the world to come. There are substitutes for oil (nuclear, coal, etc.), but there is no substitute for water. When water runs out, so does life.
The Age of Melbourne reports that Aussie scientists are hopeful that in a few years they might be able to cut the energy costs of operating desalination plants by half. Let us all hope they succeed.

We might need that technology soon for Los Angeles. Already the US and Mexico are at loggerheads because the US is exceeding treaty quotas for withdrawals of water from the Colorado watershed for diversion to southern California and Mexico retaliates by overdrawing from the Rio Grande hurting farmers in Texas.

4 Comments:

At Sat May 19, 11:11:00 AM EDT, Blogger Simon said...

We will never run out of water.... With enough determination, energy anything can be done. We could even refill all the water we pumped from underground. We only need to be positive that the human race can transform the world in a beautiful garden. With all the alarmist around that are feeding the next generation with negative thoughts, we have a lot of work to do...

 
At Sat May 19, 12:15:00 PM EDT, Blogger J. Keen Holland said...

Thanks for your comment. You are right, of course, in the long run. The concern is not that there will be no water, but will supplies of clean, fresh water be adequate in particular spots at prices that don't stifle industry or send consumers to the poorhouse. That's why I thought it important that this article points to a halving of the energy cost of desalination in a relatively short timeframe.

 
At Sun May 20, 03:50:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keen,

I've been so "hit-or-miss" on the net for last several weeks, I don't even remember where I read this -- possibly NewsMax, perhaps elsewhere.

BUT, within last 7-10 days I've read about a new desalination plant either "newly opened" or "about to open" in Marin County, CA. That's the county 'cross the Golden Gate, just north of Frisco--Mill Valley, etc.

If memory serves well, it is also the second plant in the area.

Check it out.

hth

 
At Sun May 27, 12:10:00 AM EDT, Blogger J. Keen Holland said...

To HTH - Thanks for tip. What I found was that the Marin Municipal Water District had operated a demonstration facility and is now deciding how large a permanent desalination plant to build. The idea is to run it at about half capacity in normal times and have the capability to ramp up production during times of drought.

 

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