With adversity, also comes opportunity ...
Here's one inventive company, that sees California's growing Drought problem -- and also sees it as a "unmet environmental need" ... one that parched farmers will soon be "demanding" ...
An Unconventional Desalination Technology Could Solve California's Water Shortage
by Dina Spector, Business Insider, sfgate.com -- Mar 12, 2014
This year, farmers in California's Central Valley likely won't receive any water through the federal irrigation program, a network of reservoirs, rivers, and canals that is normally replenished yearly by ice melt from the Sierra mountains.
Crippling water shortages have made desalination technology more attractive, including a startup, WaterFX, that uses the sun to produce heat. The heat separates salt and water through evaporation.
WaterFX has fewer environmental repercussions than traditional methods of desalination that rely on fossil fuels to generate electricity.
[ Amazing Sun discovery. www.1019thewave.com -- Posted by kevin on May 12, 2014 ]
Imagine that -- using the Sun to do what it does best -- to evaporate Water, from the contaminants that taint it. To make it drinkable once again.
To make it irrigable once again ...
California drought: Solar desalination plant shows promise [with Video]
by Kevin Fagan, sfgate.com -- Mar 18, 2014
Within about five years, WaterFX company co-founder Aaron Mandell hopes to be processing 10 times that amount throughout the San Joaquin Valley. And here's the part that gets the farmers who buy his water most excited: His solar desalination plant produces water that costs about a quarter of what more conventionally desalinated water costs: $450 an acre-foot versus $2,000 an acre-foot.
There's our Inventive power, once again 'turning Lemon-aide back into Lemons'.
Our problems used to be 'solvable' -- they need to become that, once again.
[ continuing pg 2 ... WaterFX the desalination California startup ... ]
Water that dribbles down from nearby hills, and through the soil in the Central Valley after being used for irrigation, collects so much salt, selenium, boron and other minerals that it's not fit for human consumption. The solar plant captures the foothill runoff and sucks in used irrigation water from a French drain-style system 6 to 8 feet under the crops, and sends that tainted water through a series of pipes and tanks that heat it.
The heat comes from the plant's huge, parabolic-shaped solar reflector, which focuses the sun on a long tube containing mineral oil. That heated tube in turn creates steam, which condenses the brackish water into usable liquid, separating out the minerals.
The water then goes back out for irrigation. Mandell says that because his condensation method distills the minerals more efficiently than other desalination methods, he is installing a system that will process them for use. Selenium and boron can be vitamin supplements, for example, and gypsum can be used for drywall.
More conventional desalination plants -- such as a $1 billion operation being built near San Diego -- use a reverse osmosis process, in which brackish water is forced through screens to filter out the contaminants. That requires a lot of energy, which is why it is more expensive.
WaterFX -- Home page
WaterFX -- Aqua4™
A modular, solar-thermal water system to treat and desalinate any water source, on-site.
[ Click to watch Video. ]
About Aqua4™ Technology:
Aqua4™ is an “engineered aquifer” for reliably producing freshwater when and where it’s needed. At its core, Aqua4™ is a Concentrated Solar Still (CSS), a proven technology for optimizing freshwater production from any source of treatable water. The system uses solar thermal energy to evaporate and distill water at 30 times the efficiency of natural evaporation. Unlike simple stills, the Aqua4™ CSS uses advanced absorption technology to dramatically increase production. A single Aqua4™ module generates 65,000 gallons of freshwater per day – 70 acre-feet per year – from wastewater, drainage water, runoff, saline groundwater and industrial process water. The remaining brine is concentrated into solid byproducts for resale.
If 'Necessity is indeed the Mother of Invention' ...
Who, do you suppose, is Invention's Father?
Perhaps our innate drive ... to Survive?