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Water Distribution System

  1. Aug 3, 2012 #1
    Given the current and possible future conditions with respect to water scarcity, has anyone looked at developing a water distribution system to recover fresh water(from melting polar ice caps) from oceans (reverse osmosis plants), (shipborne water recovery systems) and distribute through out the country.

    Very Respectfully,
    David Wilwohl
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2012 #2
    What would make you think that water will be scarce in the future?

    Also, this is very close to a banned subject.
  4. Aug 3, 2012 #3
    If I may ask, how is this close to a banned subject?
  5. Aug 3, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    It's not. Andre is thinking of a Climate change discussion. Discussing water scarcity and how it can feasably be handled is fine.
  6. Aug 3, 2012 #5
    Thank you very much. Was just battering around the idea. Onboard Navy ships, they operate reverse osmosis plants for distilling sea water. Figure if this could be done on larger scale, could recoup the fresh water in the oceans while maintaining the salinity. Bring the ships in and hook them up the the water distribution system. Basically, like oil/gas pipelines, but just with water.
  7. Aug 3, 2012 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, it is being done in hot, dry climates.
  8. Aug 3, 2012 #7
    Japan and the Middle East have already towed icebergs into harbors. Supposedly iceberg ice makes interesting noises when you drop it in a drink, it's a pretty blue color, and people are willing to pay extra.

    There has been a lot of progress in water purification systems in recent years and the newest hopeful technology being pursued that I'm aware of involves graphene filters. They're incredibly strong and the holes can be made with such precision they can sort molecules out by size while requiring minimal pressure. However, even such systems still require a fair amount of energy to operate and what is needed is something like cheap solar power to bring the costs down even further. Likely it will never be anywhere near as cheap as pumping water out of the ground.

    Distributing water throughout an entire country sounds like a fantasy to me. More likely what you'll see is an enormous percentage of the population worldwide move increasingly towards to the coasts which has already been happening for a long time now due to the growth of industries and shipping.
  9. Aug 3, 2012 #8
    My remark was about (bolded):

    Future projections of precipitation/water scarcity are debatable, I guess this is not the place for that.

    Of course there have been several techniques for desalination also solar and reverse osmosis.

    It looks like a good idea to keep devellopments going regardless of future conditions, especially when there is not nearly enough fresh high quality water for everyone.
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