Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.
With over 7 billion humans currently alive on Earth, water is beginning to become a growing concern. This concern is due to a combination of the sheer number of people as well as the global locations that humans have built their cities.
Seventy-one percent of the Earth is water, and if you have ever flown overseas it sometimes feels like a lot more. However, of that 71% only 2.5% is fresh water and as populations continue to increase, that amount will need to go even further to sustain people, crops and livestock as none of these can drink salt water.
Or can they? With massive droughts on the west coast of the United States, many are looking towards desalination as a means of increasing our supply of drinkable water. Many developed, desert areas of the world already use this technique in order to sustain themselves.
The process, when it first came to light in the mid 1900’s, simply evaporated salt water and then collected the condensation which was then pure distilled water. The technology has come a long way since those times and now relies on osmosis technology to quickly and effectively remove the salt.
The entire process is not without concerns however. Many environmentalists fear for the disruption of ocean habitats due to the constant removal of ocean water. At the same time, these desalination plants have a significant carbon footprint. So much so that it can take upwards of 10 years to break ground on one, given the government red tape and required permits.
With the world moving towards green energy, do you think that desalination plants are the future or is the world in need of a different option?