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View Diary: Shocking drought data from NASA (382 comments)

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  •  Is it really that hard to desalinize (17+ / 0-)

    the ocean water in this day and age of incredible technological advances and breakthroughs?

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:24:32 PM PDT

    •  Not at all. Ya just need a HUGE source of heat (26+ / 0-)

      ...which means either a lot of fossil fuel or a nuke.

      So not hard, just expensive.

      A far more interesting question-

      Do we need bottled water at all?
      At least in this country, tap water's about universally potable, regardless of what our TV's tell us.

      Why do we pay 10x as much to get water in a plastic bottle, when we could drink practically free from an infinitely reusable glass or canteen?

      •  Wouldn't nuclear energy be worth it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JPax

        Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

        by dov12348 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:33:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Personally, I think so, but nukes these days are (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psnyder, Bluefin, JPax

          a hard sell. I don't think that the deployment of a large # of small pebble beds ( ya wanna have multiple facilities close to pop centers to avoid transport costs/impacts- water is heavy) is politically feasible within the foreseeable future.

          It's pointed out downthread that solar could be used- I never think of it, because I've seen very little industrial application of solar. I don't know enough to be able to say how practical that might be.

          •  Nuclear powered generating stations (11+ / 0-)

            would require a significant amount of fresh water (once through cooling using ocean water would be unacceptable). I honestly don't think that we will see another new nuclear plant constructed in the U.S.

            •  LFTR's and gravel/pebble reactors don't need (13+ / 0-)

              water. They're self contained units, basically a battery the size of a large refrigerator to a small semi trailer, that can generate power for a village, factory, etc. They're very different from the billion dollar boondoggles of existing nuke plants. They also can be made to run on the waste products of existing plants or thorium and their designs include features like shutting down when damaged rather than run-away meltdown. Also they can't be used to create weapons. But they've got the word "nuclear" in them so they must be bad and won't be a likely option for power.

              GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

              by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:13:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If Congress will allocate the funding, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bluefin

                we could have test reactors on line in 15 years and commercial reactors connected to the utility grid in 30.

                Is Congress allocating the funding?

                Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

                by FrY10cK on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:48:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Unfundable, and rightly so. (10+ / 0-)
                  Is Congress allocating the funding?
                  No way.

                  Dead on Arrival.

                  First, gridlock in Congress.

                  Second, good reasons on both the left & the right ends of political spectrum for not funding it.

                  Third, money. Wind and solar technology cost curves have come down so far that they've cut the legs out from under even the most optimistic nuclear revival /LFTR/gravel/pebble scenarios. Plus wind and solar will be benefitting from favorable cost curves for years and decades to come.

                  Solar is the ultimate nuclear technology: 100% automated longterm sustainable fusion generator, optimally sited 93 million miles from earth -- photonic distribution to earth -- all with zero infrastructure CapEx or OpEx -- and then decentralized photoelectric transducers close to point of use. The ultimate in simplicity & efficiency & scalability.

                  Fourth, time. 15 years to test reactors and 30 to grid-tie production? Best joke I've heard all day. Just extending current price & penetration curves, Solar & Li-Ion are on track to replace all fossil and all nuclear before 2044. Add in wind, other renewable innovations, and the radical energy efficiency breakthroughs that digital technology keeps on bringing -- in other words, abundant supply, intelligent timeshifting (storage technology), and peaking/leveling/shrinking demand -- and it's clear that nuclear is done: stick a fork in it.

                  #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

                  by ivote2004 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:59:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  They aren't without their problems (0+ / 0-)

                The test plants that have been built have had their problems. In so far as there is money to test out things with such a long pay off horizon, they could be developed as a way to dispose of waste from old power plants, but there are more practical ways to generate energy at this point and that is where we should be focusing our funding. Also, no one is proposing building anything but old style reactors.

            •  Multiple coolant loops reduce fresh water need. (0+ / 0-)

              Pressurized light-water reactors use a multiple coolant loops and heat exchangers. The primary coolant is very clean fresh water. The same for the second loop. The third loop is open to the environment and might use sea water. In this setup, there's not really a high demand for fresh water.

              -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

              by JPax on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:05:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Or we could use that safe nuclear energy Bill Nye (0+ / 0-)

            talks about: fission reactor about 93 million miles offshore.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:03:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm in favor. (0+ / 0-)

            Since having read the first EPA report on climate change in the early 80s.

            For desal:  Secondary cooling loop desalinizes seawater, some of the resulting freshwater is used in the primary loop, the rest goes to regional communities' water supplies.

            The only problem is, the West Coast is full of extremely dangerous earthquake faults.   But the reactors could be built inland, with water pipes extending to & from the ocean, and cooling ponds adjacent to the plants.  

            Thus the reactor is in a safe location and if a quake damages the to/from water pipes, the plant can run on locally stored cooling water, or at least for long enough to effect a safe shutdown.  The longer water pipes are an added cost, but the greatest expense is for trenching & installation, so running three pipes is only an incremental cost compared to one.  (Three pipes: seawater intake to reactor, freshwater output to coastal communities' water systems, and brine output to ocean.)

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:21:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Nuclear waste can be easily turned into a... (5+ / 0-)

          ...radiogenic weapon. It doesn't have to explode at all. Just take a pound of it, grind it up into a very fine powder, then release it into the air or the air conditioning of a building.

          There simply won't be enough security to make sure that some of that poison will stay out of terrorist hands.

          A million Arcosantis.

          by Villabolo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:12:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How much water to make plastics? (14+ / 0-)
            Individual Bottled Water

            This irony shouldn't be lost on anyone: it takes 1.85 gallons of water to manufacture the plastic for the bottle in the average commercial bottle of water.

            Curious about other products that require using water and how much?  Read more here:
            http://www.treehugger.com/...
            Where to being to quote how we waste water making products that we end up tossing away in the trash....
            The Hidden Water in Everyday Products

            http://gracelinks.org/...

            And I just grabbed the first two links in google.  Plastic products drive me into a spin when I begin to think about how we really screwed up when we thought we were so smart producing plastic products.  Don't get me started on bottled water or my biggest gripe, plastic packaging.  Plastic products that require petroleum.  That makes the Koch Bros. very happy.  

            Anyhow, this news from NASA is very disturbing.

            I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

            by KayCeSF on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:26:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I reuse one gallon water bottles... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KayCeSF, Bluefin, greengemini

              ...and get my water from an over the counter kitchen filter which is good for a couple of thousand gallons. The filter is (of course) made of plastic but it more than pays off, in filtered water and plastic use, after a few months.

              A million Arcosantis.

              by Villabolo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:58:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good for you! I invested in an under-sink filter, (4+ / 0-)

                it's metal and was a bit over my budget, but like you it has saved money in the long run even though every 6-8 mos. I need to replace filters, and I have found I never need plastic bottles.  I use stainless steel travel mugs and thermoses.  There just isn't any excuse for using bottled water anymore.  I always carry a little thermos in my car or handbag in case I need water when out and about and I can always fill it up at a water fountain.

                I do have some plastic bottled water in my pantry for emergency.  

                I try very hard to buy anything and everything in glass containers, even for food storage.  

                [Thank you very much, Tupperware for starting it all way-back-when.]

                I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

                by KayCeSF on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:18:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I put my plastic water containers, (4+ / 0-)

                  filled with water in a freezer for emergency use. The freezing eliminates the need for rotating or sterilizing the water (It does get germy after a couple of months at room temperature). The freezer will also stay cold longer, if the power goes out, when it's half filled with frozen water.

                  A million Arcosantis.

                  by Villabolo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:27:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OH! I never thought of doing that! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BlackSheep1

                    Thank you!  I have a deep freeze in the garage that's empty.  What better place to put them!  Good advice, thanks again!

                    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

                    by KayCeSF on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 07:57:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I reuse those 64oz juice bottles (cran-whatever), (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BlackSheep1

                fill with tap water (no filter), put 'em in the icebox for cold drinking water (and mixing other drinks); and keep a bunch in the freezer for use in the travel coolers, they also extend the 'cold' in case of power outages. Just the right size containers too.
                One or two juice brands use a quality, strong bottle (some are way too flimsy to resuse and have to handle).
                Trouble is I've built up a surplus of them filling a shelf in the pantry.

                "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

                by Bluefin on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:40:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  whatever happened to glass soda bottles (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superpole

              you could pick up out of the barditches and turn in for a refund at the store? I used to double/triple my allowance during summers with an evening stroll along the highway...

              LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

              by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:05:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wind turbine blades can be used as battering rams (0+ / 0-)

            Easily too, when you have access to cranes, trucks, flatbeds...

            What makes you think there won't be enough security? And what makes you think turning some unspecified type of nuclear waste could be easily turned into anything. If the radioactivity is low, then it's just a scare bomb, if it's highly deadly, then there's nothing easy about it.

            -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

            by JPax on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:17:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Scare bombs are the best kind. (0+ / 0-)

              No particular danger to the perp, extensive hysteria for the pop.

              "...we live in the best most expensive third world country." "If only the NEA could figure out all they have to do is define the ignorance of the next generation as a WMD..." ---Stolen from posts on Daily Kos

              by jestbill on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:44:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unless the populace understands science... (0+ / 0-)

                and progressives believe in science and would understand that a scare bomb isn't that dangerous. Right?

                If it's republicans who are apoplectic and running around like chickens with their head cut off... well, it might be fun to watch.

                -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

                by JPax on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 11:57:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  far simpler to make bioweapons. (0+ / 0-)

            Getting hold of nuclear material is very difficult, even lower-grade material for a radiological dispersal device (RDD), aka "dirty bomb."

            Getting a used gene-sequencing machine is easy and cheap.

            Genetic blueprints are widely available for a range of fatal contagious diseasess.

            And, from the terrorist perspective, the best thing about germs is that they can do something that radioactive material can't:  multiply.   Bioweapons are "the gift that keeps on giving," after you initially release them.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:24:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Every water-to-steam power plant uses LOTS (10+ / 0-)

            of water. If you are boiling water to generate steam to spin a turbine, and then sending water to cooling towers, you are using a ton of water. That includes natural gas plants, coal plants, and nuclear plants.  It also includes, to a lesser extent, the concentrated solar plants.

            The only way to get away from the high water consumption demands of power generation is with wind or photovoltaics. Oh, and ironically, hydro.

            Yet another reason to go with wind and solar; water shortages.

            Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

            by bigtimecynic on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:19:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's right - nukes use the most, (0+ / 0-)

              but coal is a close 2nd.  That is THE reason we're going to get off nuke and fossil fuels whether Big Whatever likes it or not.  We don't have the water.  Right now we're mining fossil water and pretending we have enough water to run these plants, but it's fossil water and the more we waste it on power plants the sooner we won't have it for food and sanitation.

        •  cooling is a problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivote2004

          with both severe drought and tsunami risks, as well as being in a very seismically active location.

        •  Risk Reward for Nuke does not compute (5+ / 0-)

          My husband was a nuke in the Navy, and I also used to know someone who worked as a safety trainer in the industry, and nuclear energy is just a mess. Right now, the after math of Fukushima is quietly making the main population center of Japan uninhabitable. This is largely because of the contamination of the ground water. Also, the situation isn't really under control and there is no knowing how it will really end.

          There are so many threats to our water supply, what with climate change and fracking, it is just time to change how we think about water. Desalinization has not been undertaken for a nation with a big population and would make no sense for our nation.

          •  Fukushima is just beginning (0+ / 0-)

            It's going to be a problem for the next million years, along with (eventually) every other nuke plant in the world.

            They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

            by CharlieHipHop on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:10:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The longer the risk, the safer it is. (0+ / 0-)

              The science is settled and there is consensus. Radioactive decay is logarithmic. This means that the longer the half-life of a radionuclide, the less energy it emits per unit time.

              Look at this way, which is more dangerous: an item that emits all its energy in a brief flash or one that emits it over centuries? Better yet, look at a lit match for several seconds and then look at a camera flash and tell me which hurts your eyes more.

              -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

              by JPax on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:24:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, (0+ / 0-)

                so you test that theory by inhaling some plutonium.

                High-level waste is not safe in any amount.

                They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                by CharlieHipHop on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:06:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They've done tests (0+ / 0-)

                  Plutonium's not the problem, short half-life radioisotopes are.

                  -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

                  by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:25:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What tests of what? (0+ / 0-)

                    Since a nuclear power plant is like both the match and the flash bulb, your analogy seems a little... irrelevant? And people working in the nuclear power industry must be mistaken, because they think plutonium is quite a big problem. The risk of any particular bit of nuclear waste may decrease over the years, but a large reservoir of low level nuclear waste in a forgotten salt mine could turn out to be a very big problem a few thousand years from now.

                    •  Waste should be reprocessed. (0+ / 0-)

                      That would keep it out of the salt mine and contribute to the energy paradigm that keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere. More advanced reactor designs, like LFTR could make use of it without a need for long term storage in Nevada. As long as they don't build it in an obvious disaster zone, it should be okay.

                      CO2 and methane are worse threats to the global environment than the radioactivity releases from properly operating nuclear plants.

                      It probably doesn't matter. By the time we could get new nuclear plants up and running, we'd have pumped so much CO2 and Methane into the atmosphere, that civilization will collapse within a century from climate change. Miami is already lost, they just won't notice it for a few decades yet.

                      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

                      by JPax on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 04:04:24 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I substantially agree with you (0+ / 0-)

                        As a long term response to nuclear waste, LFTR is certainly worth pursuing, over the long term, on a smaller scale than usually undertaken by the energy industry. Isn't there some suitable staffed and funded university that could make a small scale experimental plant? In the mean time, solar, wind, conservation, lifestyle adjustments, etc., etc., are better positioned for short term solutions of how to make it to the second half of this century, assuming we don't just kill each other over something stupid.

                        Plus, the graphite balls still have to be disposed of.

        •  Nope. Aside from risk, real or perceived, lack (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivote2004, CharlieHipHop, YucatanMan

          of a waste facility and protocol and cost... NOPE.

          The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

          by cany on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:46:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No hell NO (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83, DocGonzo, kurt

          Leaving behind a million-year problem for the mistakes of your generation (being gluttonous wasters of all that matters) is NOT. COOL. IN. ANY. WAY.

          They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

          by CharlieHipHop on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:07:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I never buy bottled water (15+ / 0-)

        but I hardly leave home anymore and I use a Brita home pitcher water filter, because I have pretty hard water here (mineral buildup is a constant fight in my kitchen and bathroom).

        Still, it makes me sad to see people buying entire cases of bottled water at the local grocery store. Especially since I know that our local community public water EXCEEDS our mandated water quality every year, they send every county residence a large postcard mailer with the information each spring. Plus it tastes pretty good. But the local water tower which feeds us draws water from wells put in less than 10 years ago about 1500 feet from my place. That water feeds the water storage tower about 1/2 mile from my property, which in turns feeds my home water.

        Ever since they put in those new wells, the hard mineral content has gone up considerably, I've lived here 30+ years in this house, so I know.

        But the cost alone of bottled water (at about $4 to $10 for a plastic covered case of bottles each week or maybe bi-weely) versus the Brita system I have ($20-$30 for a gallon pitcher & 2 filters for about 4 months of filtered water) should be a deterrent to people buying it. I just don't understand why anyone does this instead of home filtering and using & reusing a single portable plastic water bottle, as I do.


        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:21:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We switched from Brita to Pur (0+ / 0-)

          Filters are more expensive, but go for 100 gallons instead of 40. Less waste and cheaper per gallon. Fits right on the tap rather than having to use the pitchers. Flip a switch for regular/filtered water.

          "It's the (expletive) 21st century man. Get over it." - David Ortiz

          by grubber on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:53:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I like the pitcher, I keep it in the fridge and (0+ / 0-)

            have cold water in place of cold pop, which I used to drink an awful lot of, and not drink only occasionally.

            I tried that Pur faucet filter before, but it always leaked a bit and I had trouble getting it off and on the faucet, plus it got banged about when trying to get water into larger pots at the sink.

            So I'll stick with the Brita pitcher, thank you, though.


            "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

            by Angie in WA State on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:32:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a big fan of tap water (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83, JPax, Angie in WA State

          I drink lots of tap water, and I can't pass a drinking fountain without using it, especially in the summer.

          The tap water is still pretty good in NYC.  Hope they never start fracking upstate.

          They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

          by CharlieHipHop on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:12:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the big problem of fracking in our region (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, we are one area that is unlikely to loose too much rainfall, and we have these giant pre-existing storage units called aquifers, lakes and ground water, but we are thinking about blowing all that so some gas companies can squeeze out their last profits!

      •  Agriculture and industry are the culprits. (8+ / 0-)

        Potability is not really the issue. It's the large scale usage that is the problem.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:30:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  if your tap water tastes yicky, get a tap filter! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluefin

        or a filter pitcher for drinking water, or a whole-house filter system. vastly le$$ in the long run! and no terrible plastic water bottles to get rid of!!!

        the Hazardous Waste section at our local Garbage Intake facility now takes used filters for proper disposal, AFAIK.

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:32:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why not solar? The sun yields about a kilowatt (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned, blueoasis, ivote2004, Bluefin

        per square meter to Earth's surface, it does not require very complex technology to boil water with solar energy.

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:38:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or Evaporate (0+ / 0-)

          It doesn't have to boil, just vaporize. Or freeze - 55F ocean water is much closer to 31F ice than to 212F steam.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:38:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If I were to design such a system (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo

            I would pump the ocean water into the condenser first to cool the vapor into liquid water before it went into the solar boiler. That way the energy required to evaporate the water will be reduced because the water would first gain some heat in the condenser.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:52:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  i think we may be at risk of running out of tap (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, blueoasis

        water. bottled has always amused me since the cartoon of the store clerk filling up bottles from a hose in the back room.

      •  The ugly cold north is probably OK on water, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, 207wickedgood, catwho

        when not affirmatively flooding, but it's all those Red and retirement states that have the issue.  The Southwest has in relatively recent geological times, Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries,  times had humongous long lasting droughts so it may be that a lot of AZ and a few other places will be hitting the road. Either that or CA will start buying water from the Rockies elsewhere and the NW the way they now buy electricity from Bonneville.

      •  combine the water with coolant process! save money (0+ / 0-)

        and get radioactive at the same time!

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:07:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bottled water is a ridiculous (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paul Ferguson, Bluefin, Back In Blue

        Waste of money and resources and should be stopped, the same as plastic grocery bags.

        I'm talking fashionable/convenient small bottles, not water storage. Water filters and a canteens already, please!

      •  Now that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

          ...makes sense!

        Compost for a greener planet.............got piles?

        by Hoghead99 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 06:54:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you can get surplus canteens cheap (0+ / 0-)

          BPA free 'cause they're metal. You might need new washers for the caps, tho.

          LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:10:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  not necessarily bpa free cause they're metal (0+ / 0-)

            canned food is suspect because it is lined with bpa

            As Israeli bombs fall now, I can only think of and honor the motto of the besieged Jews of the Warsaw ghetto "To live and die in dignity" -- Mohammed Suliman @imPalestine

            by skywriter on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 02:43:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, come on... (0+ / 0-)

        You can distill water with a clear plastic sheet, a tin can, a pebble and a hole in the ground, if the sun is shining.

        I figure that would scale up to whatever volume you need.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 07:00:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where do you get the water? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, Orinoco

          You have to have water to distill, and if it's dirty enough to need distilling, what do you do with the waste at scale?

          They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

          by CharlieHipHop on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:15:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you dig the hole in the ground. You weight (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Orinoco

            the sheet down over the hole to cover. You put the cup / can under the middle of the sheet. You put the pebble atop the sheet directly over the cup / can.

            You go away.

            The sun draws water from the hole. The plastic traps it. Gravity makes it run down under the pebble and drip into the cup.

            It's the same technology as a water well, only you can dig it with a spoon or a beer can instead of a drilling rig, and the plastic sheet takes the place of the pump.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:12:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's the problem - Scale (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, catwho

          You scale that up and you're covering miles and miles of land with plastic sheeting.

          Although, when it comes to agriculture, it's the plants that are transpiring it anyway, so cover the plants, and you'll recapture a lot of that water.

          -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

          by JPax on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:31:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obviously you don't scale up with plastic sheets (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PeteZerria

            and pebbles.

            You'd pipe brackish or salt water in from somewhere, and use glass instead of plastic sheets to cover the evaporators.

            The plastic sheet and pebble technology is desert survival stuff. But you can do something similar to get a distilled water supply off grid, if you're somewhere the wells are brackish or otherwise contaminated, and scaling up for a small town wouldn't take miles and miles of land, although it would take some.

            My point was you don't need nuclear power or a huge fossil fuel fired boiler to do the evaporation. And it doesn't have to be massive industrial scale.

            My bet is when people's drilled wells start spewing up fracking chemicals, you're going to see a lot of these mini-solar stills springing up in back yards.

            "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

            by Orinoco on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:11:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It isn't (6+ / 0-)

      Takes a lot of energy

      And leaves a lot of brine.

      San Diego is building one, it is expected to bring water to 300,000 residents.  They plan to dump the brine back into the ocean.

      I am not so sure that's a good idea.

      "The NRA, the club you join when the military won't have you" - bumpersticker

      by dawgflyer13 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:24:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If we could use the leftover salt for aqueous s... (3+ / 0-)

        If we could use the leftover salt for aqueous sodium batteries, that would be awesome.

        •  YES, Sodium-Ion Batteries! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, BlackSheep1
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...
              Sodium-ion batteries are a type of reusable battery that uses sodium-ions as its charge carriers. This type of battery is in a developmental phase, but may prove to be a cheaper way to store energy than commonly used lithium-ion batteries.[1] (As of 2014, one company, Aquion Energy, has a commercially available sodium-ion battery with cost/kWh capacity similar to a nickel-iron battery.) Unlike sodium-sulfur batteries,[2] sodium ion batteries can be made portable and can function at room temperature (approx. 25˚C).
              (lots of details, and citations, at URL)
          And.... Saltwater batteries have been a known and proven technology since 200 years ago.

          Now... its time for some modernization... refinement.... innovation... R&D:

          Energetic Aqueous Rechargeable Sodium-Ion Battery Based on Na2CuFe(CN)6–NaTi2(PO4)3 Intercalation Chemistry
              http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/...
          Towards High Power High Energy Aqueous Sodium-Ion Batteries: The NaTi2(PO4)3/Na0.44MnO2 System
              http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/...
          New-concept Batteries Based on Aqueous Li+/Na+ Mixed-ion Electrolytes
              http://www.nature.com/...
              Received 19 March 2013 Accepted 20 May 2013 Published 05 June 2013

              Rechargeable batteries made from low-cost and abundant materials operating in safe aqueous electrolytes are attractive for large-scale energy storage. Sodium-ion battery is considered as a potential alternative of current lithium-ion battery. As sodium-intercalation compounds suitable for aqueous batteries are limited, we adopt a novel concept of Li+/Na+ mixed-ion electrolytes to create two batteries (LiMn2O4/Na0.22MnO2 and Na0.44MnO2/TiP2O7), which relies on two electrochemical processes. One involves Li+ insertion/extraction reaction, and the other mainly relates to Na+ extraction/insertion reaction. Two batteries exhibit specific energy of 17 Wh/kg and 25 Wh/kg based on the total weight of active electrode materials, respectively. As well, aqueous LiMn2O4/Na0.22MnO2 battery is capable of separating Li+ and Na+ due to its specific mechanism unlike the traditional “rocking-chair” lithium-ion batteries. Hence, the Li+/Na+ mixed-ion batteries offer promising applications in energy storage and Li+/Na+ separation.

             
          A low-cost and environmentally benign aqueous rechargeable sodium-ion battery based on NaTi2(PO4)3–Na2NiFe(CN)6 intercalation chemistry
              http://www.sciencedirect.com/...
              Highlights
              • An aqueous rechargable Na-ion battery is developed.
              • Na2NiFe(CN)6 and NaTi2(PO4)3 serve as cathode and anode, respectively.
              • A Na2SO4 aqueous solution serves as the electrolyte.
              • An output of ∼1.27 V and 42.5 Wh/kg is achieved.
              • This battery is safe, low cost and environmentally friendly.

          #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

          by ivote2004 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 07:11:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The ocean is surprisingly large (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries, codairem

        The dilution factor is not infinite but it's pretty gigantic. The Pacific won't notice, I promise.

        Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

        by Anne Elk on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:57:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ocean dumping of brine isn't a big deal. (4+ / 0-)

        The dilution happens pretty readily.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:20:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JPax, yet another liberal

          You're taking brine that would be gradually distributed over thousands of square miles of ocean and dumping it all in one place.  It's going to have an effect on the marine ecosystem.  Sorry.  I'd like to think that it won't, but it will.  That brine will kill a lot of living things.

          At this point I really don't care that humans are going to become extinct because we deserve it.  We're stupid, gluttonous, greedy creatures who have squandered the gifts nature gave us.  We pretty much deserve to die, not that I don't feel sorry for the (now) children who are inheriting this mess.

          What bugs me is that we're going to potentially take down the entire planet.  It's an incredibly beautiful miracle, this planet.  It doesn't deserve this fate.  Oh well.

          They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

          by CharlieHipHop on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:24:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sell the salt. (0+ / 0-)

        And use nucular energy.

        Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

        by dov12348 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:54:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the thing... (18+ / 0-)

      ...you're proposing something that could solve our problem.  This is the United States of America.  We no longer solve problems.  Instead, we look for ways to make money off of them.  If we can't do that, then we ignore them.

      So until the Koch brothers own a controlling interest in a Super Dooper Desalinator, fuhgeddaboutit.

      When you punch enough holes through steerage, the first-class cabins sink with the rest of the ship.

      by Roddy McCorley on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:19:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, Bluefin

        If a Halliburton or a private equity firm can't monetize it, kick the can down the road.

        Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

        by FrY10cK on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:55:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They could make money by selling the (0+ / 0-)

        salt from the brine.  Plus California makes money because there's more income where there's bigger and more water bills.

        Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

        by dov12348 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:53:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

      Takes a lot of money for the membranes, and a lot of power for the pumps.  About the only thing you can say about reverse osmosis is it's cheaper than distillation.

      And solar distillation for that amount of water would require many square miles of evaporation ponds. The cost might run into a fraction of a trillion dollars.

    •  It is a very energy intensive process (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348

      and the resulting brine is considered a pollutant in CA.

      Now with their party out of power, the GOP is flailing more then Mitch McConnell's jowls on a playground swing. S. Colbert

      by christomento on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:44:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Israel does it. Gulf Arab states do it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348

      Lost Tom. Lost Charlie. Can't read (Paul Newman, 'The Left Handed Gun')

      by richardvjohnson on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:05:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's expensive (0+ / 0-)

      Cruising sailboats routinely incorporate desalination.  Googling "Municipal Scale Desalination" produces some interesting initiatives, like the one in Alamogordo, NM.  Desalinization is not an unusual procedure, not cutting edge by any means.  The impediment is cost; it's expensive, but expense is of course relative depending on need.  Current trends suggest that some parts of our nation will seek new sources of potable water because they are going to overtax local supplies.  I think we can anticipate both a more aggressive search and a more aggressive search for ways to get someone else to pay for it.

      •  Would nuclear energy make it cheaper? (0+ / 0-)

        Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

        by dov12348 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:50:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  US nuclear plants have a bad economic record (0+ / 0-)

          I doubt it.  And my skepticism is borne of some experience with the nuclear industry - specifically bidding against Seabrook II's power as ordered by the Maine PUC.  I think it might be interesting to explore something on the waste heat side of the operation.  However, that Seabrook II power was projected to run around 17 cents per KWH, in the mid 80's.  The track record of such projections are that they are low.  There would have to be an enormous revenue enhancement by producing potable water too in order for the plant to be economical overall.  A far bigger income bump than I suspect is practical.  But, I would be interested in the economic argument.

    •  Desal plant should be online in 2016 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, dov12348

      ...in Carlsbad (San Diego suburb.)  They are currently building the connector to the local water system, if I understand correctly.

      It does take a lot of energy. And there's the brine to deal with--you don't want to just dump it right off the coast and devastate the local coastal ecosystem.  

      One of the more interesting things is a possibility for using the minerals to create building materials--kind of a super-shell brick.  TED had a fascinating talk:

      http://www.ted.com/...

      Given that the production of cement & concrete generates a large percentage of global warming, it could be useful on more than one front.

      •  Do It At Sea (0+ / 0-)

        Why pump the seawater onto land just to pump so much of it back as brine? Why not desalinate it at sea, and pump only the potable water ashore?

        There's a vast unobstructed area for solar arrays and diffuse brine production just offshore.

        BTW, California technology/industry solving this problem could be a huge export that would solve one of the biggest problems that other technology/industry has been creating worldwide the past century or so.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:44:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Floating platform or fixed to the sea floor? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catwho

          If floating and moving, you have to worry about connections to the outflow pipes, as well as the transfer pipe which might leak and let in seawater. If affixed to the sea floor, you have to worry about seismicity and sea level rise.

          -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

          by JPax on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:40:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Engineering (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sure there are many engineering challenges for platforms of the scale necessary. The ocean is a very dynamic environment. There will be a lot of maintenance and ongoing construction in unprecedented conditions. A lot of replacement costs and new techniques, possibly new materials. Engineers and probably scientists will have a lot of work figuring out many details, starting with the kind of platform issues you raise.

            But there's a lot of energy out there, and of course the precious H2O. And, at this scale, a lot of valuable elements dissolved that could be "mined" (or is it "farmed"? New cultures await...)

            Solar/wind/wave platforms might be necessary for desalination imminently. Which could be the mother of the inventions for distributing around the world. Everyone eventually catches up with California.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:35:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DocGonzo

              ...indeed they do, my friend, indeed they do!

              The above mentioned engineering challenges are fairly stated, as is your general principle that overcoming them will be a huge economic as well as environmental boon.

              Still, we have to do what we can, with what we have, now.  And the Carlsbad plant is really on the beach, so it's not like that seawater is getting moved seriously inland for treatment.

              I do wish they had incorporated the ideas about using the brine for minerals material.

    •  Opens up other cans of worms (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348

      First of all, there are already 300 desalination plants operating in the United States.  120 in Florida alone.  Source

      What do you do with the "salt" part of the water?  You can't ethically just dump it back in the ocean where it screws up the delicate marine ecosystem, and you can't really do anything with it on land where it represents a threat to crops and other freshwater supplies.

      Even if you could figure out what to do with all that brine, there are consequences to the marine environment.

      http://www.paua.de/...

      They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

      by CharlieHipHop on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:03:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't worry (0+ / 0-)

      Anti-science T-bagger scientists educated in Creationist charter schools will fix it.

    •  People are doing it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348

      http://www.sfgate.com/...

      The next step is scaling up production and building infrastructure to get the water where it is needed.

    •  The Wiki on Desalinization is pretty interesting (0+ / 0-)

      I've thought for quite awhile that it makes no sense for SoCal to help suck the Colorado River dry when it is a desert right next to the ocean.  Plenty of low-cost thermal or solar energy, and an inexhaustible supply of water.

      Never mind the fact that the USA uses twice as  much water per capita as any other place on earth (according to the wiki).

      Partly because we flush our toilets with the same water we drink.  I was working in London almost  years ago, and there were lots of places with three faucets:  hot, cold, and non-potable.

      Water is another resource we have taken for granted as a society for years.  I try to be real careful about my water use, not because it's scarce where I live, but because it's expensive!  Mostly because all the water going through my meter is used to add to my sewer bill.

      "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

      by Delta Overdue on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:42:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ocean water? You MUST be joking! (0+ / 0-)

      With our species' ever growing use of water, what will happen when, at some point in the future, we use up even the seas?

      We need to lower our use of planetary water, especially where industry is concerned. This is a much more important, and immediate issue than global warming, though global warming impacts the water on earth. It is important to be aware that this needs to be addressed as a planetary, not territorial, concern.

       

    •  Nestle? (0+ / 0-)

      Why aren't they shutting them down as a matter of a national emergency?

    •  This is an Environmental Problem. (0+ / 0-)

      People have tried to get desalinization plants approved in Costal Southern California, but those pesky environmentalist always fight it. And they always win.

      Several years ago (5-6?) this was talked about in Huntington Beach, CA. Complete with Tidal Power electrical generation. The Tidal Power was hated as much as Desalinization by the Tree Huggers. Dana Rohrabacher (R) represents Huntington Beach, but the Environmentalists stillprevailed.

    •  Water recycling plants and much more serious... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      ...conservation efforts all over the country are needed NOW.
      The small Southwestern town I live in already has at least three water recycling plants however in my travels through out this area I see many suburbanites still wasting water like there was no tomorrow.
      And I saw water being wasted in the form of unattended lawn sprinklers spilling water into the streets in the parts of town where supposedly better educated people live. Not a good sign.

    •  Israel seems to be the world leader (0+ / 0-)

      in desalinization:

      Roughly 35 percent of Israel's drinking-quality water now comes from desalination. That number is expected to exceed 40 percent by next year and hit 70 percent in 2050.
      http://www.haaretz.com/...
    •  It requires energy (0+ / 0-)

      and energy requires water and water requires energy. You do the math.

    •  Why is fantasy our response to a problem? (0+ / 0-)

      The most disturbing thing about this blog is how quickly people start fantasizing about science fiction solutions to water problems. For thousands of years humans have dealt with water shortages through conservation and rain water capture. Now we could even be thinking about ameliorating climate change and prioritizing water use. Instead, we get in an argument about which is worse, dying of thirst or thyroid cancer caused by nuclear contamination. We already have an energy crisis, so we are going to solve a water crisis through massive expenditures of energy?

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