Why aren’t we hyper focused on ocean desalination?

Chew Toy McCoy

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While billionaires are launching themselves into the stratosphere for a 30 second joyride or talking about terraforming a planet that has no water and other major issues, we are living in a reality where water shortages are going to cause a lot of death and many predict will be the cause of massive wars….on a planet that is 71% water. Gee, if only we could figure out how to get potable water on a planet that is 71% water.

Why is ocean desalination largely being ignored while we just accept that water shortages are going to cause mass death and war and that’s just the way it is?
 
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Energy costs I guess. Reverse Osmosis ain't cheap so one has to consider that in the production of the water.

It'll happen eventually when the cost of water reaches levels that make it more financially viable. But it may be more environmentally friendly to pipe it with a national water grid. That however involves states and the government so good luck there.

 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I understand the potential environmental issues, but "cost" always pisses me off. Money is a completely manmade construct, and in these situations cost is almost entirely related to some other competing industry being given priority to bleed their industry for every last cent before we might consider an alternative.
 

Herdfan

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Why is ocean desalination largely being ignored while we just accept that water shortages are going to cause mass death and war and that’s just the way it is?

I asked this question over on the other site and the consensus was that you need ways to dispose of the salt. Now my initial thought was just dump it back in the ocean, but supposedly if you do that, it increases the salinity in the area where it was dump affecting ocean life.

I would think you could simply use it on the roads in winter.
 

SuperMatt

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I asked this question over on the other site and the consensus was that you need ways to dispose of the salt. Now my initial thought was just dump it back in the ocean, but supposedly if you do that, it increases the salinity in the area where it was dump affecting ocean life.

I would think you could simply use it on the roads in winter.
What’s winter? Sounds like something we used to have in the 20th century if I can remember that far back.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I asked this question over on the other site and the consensus was that you need ways to dispose of the salt. Now my initial thought was just dump it back in the ocean, but supposedly if you do that, it increases the salinity in the area where it was dump affecting ocean life.

I would think you could simply use it on the roads in winter.

You could load it into a time machine and transport it back to when salt was more valuable than gold. From all the resulting wealth all our current problems will be solved or we will be extinct and not posting on this forum. :)
 
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You could load it into a time machine and transport it back to when salt was more valuable than gold. From all the resulting wealth all our current problems will be solved or we will be extinct and not posting on this forum. :)
Back in the day, all the oceans were freshwater then, with no readily good reason they turned to saltwater.

PARADOX!
 

Yoused

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Gee, if only we could figure out how to get potable water on a planet that is 71% water.
Technically, the Earth is
Earth-Western-Hemisphere.jpg

the big sphere is all surface water
the second is all fresh water (including ice)
the third (tiny dot) is all water in lakes and rivers​
though it is kind of a pedantic point.
 

hulugu

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Technically, the Earth is
Earth-Western-Hemisphere.jpg

the big sphere is all surface water
the second is all fresh water (including ice)
the third (tiny dot) is all water in lakes and rivers​
though it is kind of a pedantic point.

Yep, there's a significant confusion the total composition of fact the Earth, and the fact that water covers around 71 percent of the Earth's surface.

We probably have enough water, we just don't have clean, fresh water in the right places.

Our current situation remains interesting. I have a 10,000-gallon water-harvesting system, and it's completely full after this crazy monsoon. Basically, around 3,000 gallons went into the catchments in the yard, and that's only counting the rain coming off the roof.
 

Eric

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With the draughts in California this has become a bigger discussion and there are serious talks about adding more to the few existing ones that we already have. Over the last couple of decades the climate here has shifted dramatically.
 

Pumbaa

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I asked this question over on the other site and the consensus was that you need ways to dispose of the salt. Now my initial thought was just dump it back in the ocean, but supposedly if you do that, it increases the salinity in the area where it was dump affecting ocean life.

I would think you could simply use it on the roads in winter.
Unfortunately the salt won’t stay on the roads. It’s bound to affect water supplies, soil and vegetation, and local wildlife. But who cares about that?
 

Eric

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Unfortunately the salt won’t stay on the roads. It’s bound to affect water supplies, soil and vegetation, and local wildlife. But who cares about that?
From my understanding based on a recent report here in California is that the biggest impact would be to sea life as a result of the concentrated salt that gets dumped back into the ocean but they're still studying it. For us the drought is very real so sacrifices will have to be made but it sounds like they're putting a lot of thought and research into it.
 

Pumbaa

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From my understanding based on a recent report here in California is that the biggest impact would be to sea life as a result of the concentrated salt that gets dumped back into the ocean but they're still studying it. For us the drought is very real so sacrifices will have to be made but it sounds like they're putting a lot of thought and research into it.
My post was regarding “simply“ using it on the roads. Unsurprisingly, adding salt is no bueno for nature, neither on land nor in the sea.

If they can figure out safe long-term storage of nuclear waste hopefully they can figure out what to do with the waste from desalination plants. Will be needed.
 

Herdfan

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Unfortunately the salt won’t stay on the roads. It’s bound to affect water supplies, soil and vegetation, and local wildlife. But who cares about that?
Not sure where you live, but we put salt on the roads every time it snows. And they have actually started brining the roads before the snow and then salting as it is coming down and afterwards as well.

So unless you live somewhere they can afford calcium chloride to put on them, if there is snow, then there is salt on your roads.
 

Pumbaa

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Not sure where you live, but we put salt on the roads every time it snows. And they have actually started brining the roads before the snow and then salting as it is coming down and afterwards as well.

So unless you live somewhere they can afford calcium chloride to put on them, if there is snow, then there is salt on your roads.
Oh, we are familiar with snow here alright. And also with the consequences of road salt and the importance of limiting its use. Unfortunately it is the only currently viable option in a range of cases. New roads are designed to if possible reduce the need for road salt and to lessen the environmental impact of using road salt.

Increasing the use of road salt to get rid of desalination byproducts sounds like a bad idea.
 

Renzatic

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Not sure where you live, but we put salt on the roads every time it snows. And they have actually started brining the roads before the snow and then salting as it is coming down and afterwards as well.

That's something we even do down here, in a place where it snows maybe once every three years.

We have two salt trucks, and I think people take turns salting their roads with it.
 

Herdfan

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Oh, we are familiar with snow here alright. And also with the consequences of road salt and the importance of limiting its use. Unfortunately it is the only currently viable option in a range of cases. New roads are designed to if possible reduce the need for road salt and to lessen the environmental impact of using road salt.

Increasing the use of road salt to get rid of desalination byproducts sounds like a bad idea.

Wasn't advocating increasing the usage. Simply using it instead.
 
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