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

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  •  Energy and money, plus waste disposal issues. (0+ / 0-)

    Most large scale desalinization operations are considered options of last resort for areas that have no possible options. Once again the societal filter of profitability is often the final deciding factor. Desalinized water is the most expensive water in the world, based on extraction costs. There is also a large issue concering the waste products disposal. Desalinization leaves large amounts of highly concentrated waste brine that cannot simply be dumped back into the ocean without effecting marine biology in the area.

    One area that needs to be addressed is the actual value of water to the human species. The largest amount of waste are on non-essential aspects that could be addressed to lower consumption overall. The average person sees water as a necessity of life for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Industry sees it as a cheap and plentiful resource to be utilized for the lowest cost possible to maximize benefits, and as with oil they also operate on the assumption that it is an infinite resource. Once again we are presented with the conundrum of capital versus humanity and want versus need.

    What many people are not aware of is the amount of water that is consumed by the energy industry. Fracking uses huge amounts of water from local sources which is contaminated beyond use as drinking water. Ethanol is a huge consumer of water as corn is one of the most water intensive crops currently being grown in North America, over 40% of this crop is used to produce ethanol. One study found it may take up to 50 gallons of water to grow and process enough ethanol to drive one mile in an average car.

    The simplest solution is to change our consumption habits and means of production and distribution. The core issue comes down to supporting overconsumption of unnecessary products weighed against survival of our species. Water may become the issue that breaks the strangle hold of our present economic systems and moves us toward more rational resource based economies.

    •  People used to (0+ / 0-)

      carry their water in buckets.  Usage can be pretty low if you have to carry it yourself. Running water wastes tons.

      Corn uses water but the cattle they feed it to use even more. The "simple life" ala Green Acres was not all that simple.

      As you say, industrial use dwarfs the rest.

      "...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 10:38:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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