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A late suggestion for Adaptation to Climate Change, addressing drinking water & sea level rise

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Craig Lundy

Sep 21, 2014
05:46

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As a general goal, in order to address shortages of fresh water (for drinking, agriculture and other needs) and the rise of sea levels worldwide, it seems that the development of a more efficient and cheaper method of extracting or converting sea water to fresh water, a method that could be used worldwide, could address both of these concerns simultaneously. It is my understanding that some of the wealthy desert countries in the Middle East (along the gulf) and the Navy already use a technology that does this, but that the current technology to do this may still be too expensive. If improvements in this technology could be invented and developed, that were sufficiently cheap and efficient, then such a technology could be exported for worldwide use, and with a great deal of the world's coastal populations utilizing this technology, surely the volumes of water that would be involved on a global scale could affect a very significant drop in ocean levels over time.

Richard Gillaspie

Nov 20, 2014
10:16

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The easiest is often best. A simple transparent dome placed over a bowl which is rimmed with a gutter for collection. Contaminated or salt water placed in bowl evaporates condensing on dome. Droplets roll to be collected in gutter. Capacity is determined by size. This would use power only for filling bowl or water transport. Only toxins or contaminants which fit in the same vaporization as water would not be removed.

Monica Klavano

Jan 17, 2015
07:34

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No

Monica Klavano

Jan 17, 2015
07:59

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That is not how it factors out at all

Monica Klavano

Jan 17, 2015
07:55

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Where did you learn about the hydrological system anyway?

Monica Klavano

Jan 17, 2015
07:22

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You will need acqueducts. Ancient Romans understood that! What we to understand is how to redistribute flood waters to drought areas without contaminating the water in the process or causing international incidents

Richard Gillaspie

Jan 18, 2015
12:00

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O.K. maybe I misunderstood, my education is a bit rusty. I tend toward low tech solutions. I was thinking on household or small community level. After all, I chose my screen name for a reason. Obviously desalinization method I proposed would not redistribute water from floodplain to drought stricken area.

Jim Wright

Apr 7, 2015
02:31

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There is quite a comprehensive article on desalination in Wikipedia. It raises the fundamental problem with desalination, which is "what do we do with the salt?". The method used in Australia is reverse osmosis distillation in which the water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane. Most of the output is salt free. The remainder, with all of the salt in it, gets pumped out to sea where the amount of salt transmitted is a small proportion of the amount in the sea. This is the cheapest industrial form of desalination but it is still expensive. The best policy (if available) is to use all of the water wisely and not waste any of it. Again in Australia, the largest river system, the Murray-Darling system has elaborate rules for allocating water to irrigation, domestic water, biodiversity protection and so forth.

Jan Kunnas

Apr 8, 2015
04:03

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We are talking about two issues on completely different scales. It will not be possible to desalinate sea water in an quantity that would affect the sea level rise substantially, especially as some of it would eventually run out or rain in to seas. Furthermore, if the desalination is powered by fossil fuels, the effect would be exactly the opposite. Global warming will though increase the need of fresh water, so the need for inexpensive and fossil-free alternatives to desalination for drinking water and agriculture will grow. Perhaps an idea for another Climate Colab competition?

Mose Echuru

Apr 11, 2015
08:06

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Teach also more about water hydrology

Jan Kunnas

Apr 12, 2015
05:24

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"The plant will use a huge amount of electricity, increasing the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming, which further strains water supplies." http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000
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