Desalinization: Using the Ocean to Satisfy Our Fresh Water Shortage | Josh Bolinger
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In World by Josh Bolinger | March 24, 2012

Josh Bolinger onDesalinization: Using the Ocean to Satisfy Our Fresh Water Shortage

Desalinization would seem to be the answer to our water problems.

With cities and even entire regions all over the world experiencing chronic water shortages, the massive amounts of salt water in our oceans and many aquifers look very attractive to planners. But desalinization is a difficult process. It is complex, produces large quantities of waste products, and uses so much energy, that currently it is simply impractical for large-scale application in any but the most desperate of situations.

The approach to this problem is two-fold. While research into more efficient desalinization techniques is urgently needed, and is part of my long-range goals for progress, an interim solution may lie in the use of small, portable, energy-efficient devices to scrub water from atmospheric humidity. While these devices will have limited applications in very arid regions, they can still be very useful in the Americas and in much of Asia, where humidity tends to be high, but there are still chronic shortages of drinking water.

I have been working with a group of engineers to produce such a device, and prototyping is proceeding, so we are hopeful that demonstrations will be available in the very near future.

But this is just an interim step. Salt water is an effectively unlimited resource, and research into more efficient and cleaner desalinization methods is urgently needed.

5 thoughts on “Desalinization: Using the Ocean to Satisfy Our Fresh Water Shortage”

  1. efpierce says:

    It seems like a good idea, but what happens when we start losing the oceans? I realize that science believes they replenish themselves, but that’s what they thought about our lakes and streams not too long ago.

  2. sarah evanston says:

    Taking water from atmospheric humidity? That is an amazing concept, it will be good to see it in action.

  3. dylan says:

    Corporations should be moving ahead faster with their desalinization methods if they want to be at the forefront of this technology. There is a lot of competition out there and whoever can do it better will go down in the history books for future generations.

  4. Kris French says:

    It’s incredible technology, for sure – what about the by products that it produces though – surely green energy is required to create clean water otherwise it just adds to pollution. And how about the salt, I assume that is a bit of an issue? I would hope it isn’t simply dumped into other waterways.

  5. kevin says:

    We wouldn’t need to worry so much about desalinization if we wouldn’t dump so much pollution into the fresh water we have.

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