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Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

bringing salt water inland.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 105 times Debate No: 93211
Debate Rounds (3)
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hello my name is foster tom. I have had this thought and googled a few things about it. bringing sea water inland. It seems that a lot of people, well not a lot but there is speculation on the though, have already been toying with the idea. but they only seem set on the idea of making a lake or distilling through the ground. my thought was bringing salt water inland to an area with man made ponds or maybe silos heated with solar power and evaporating it without introducing the salt water to the land. possibly selling the left over salt. i think this would solve possible droughts and freshwater tables. although it would take years as I would understand. I do understand that it would cost a lot to get the sea water inland. I know that the earth already has a lot of evaporation going on with most of the earth covered in water. But maybe a few inland places need a push to get the rain water up.

Im not a scientific person and I havent done any numbers or calculations. this is just my best guesstimation. It has been boggling my mind. could it be done, is there like minds like mine. im still against the creating a lake.


It is a pleasure to debate with you foster tom. Before I get to far into the numbers I just want to bring up some facts about the process of making salt water into drinking water, also known as desalination. Although I am definitely not against the idea of making more fresh water available to people, I think the cost of it outweighs the benefits. For some simple statistics for start with the most energy efficient desalination process can produce fresh water at a rate of 1kgal/6kWh, or a thousand gallons per 6 thousand watts of energy every hour. The theoretical efficiency of the process claims that it is possible to obtain 1kgal/2kWh. As the process is tweaked and made better the value of efficiency get closer the 2kWh value. (Source:

Many survivalist websites also recommend a person have a gallon of water per day ( Obviously people probably survive on less at times, but a gallon per person makes the math easier.

So with all that in mind the above process running between 6-2 kWh would make enough fresh water an hour for 1000 people. Running 24 hours a day would make the process able to out put 24,000 people with enough water for that day. For a year the process would make enough freshwater for 8,064,000 for a day. It may seem like a lot but if we look at people who rely on that source and account for people drinking water every day we are back to our original 24,000.

Even that number seems pretty good I mean just make a place for a smaller population, and make more water desalination, right? The problem is when we get to the factor of energy issues start to come up. I won't get into the math quite yet but there are some factors I want to bring up that are worth noting.

As of right now the best types of energy we have for this process are electrical and solar, because of their efficiency and ability to transfer/be set up relatively easily. Solar panels are not as efficient as they seem and I am fairly certain they would not be able to supply enough power (again haven't done the math on it yet). Electricity seems to be the next best option, but where does electricity come from.

Coal= 33%
Natural gas = 33%
Nuclear = 20%
Hydropower = 6%
Other renewables = 7%
Biomass = 1.6%
Geothermal = 0.4%
Solar = 0.6%
Wind = 4.7%
Petroleum = 1%
Other gases = <1%

Coal needs water to help the electrical generation process, although the water is put back into the water sources it's pulled from, if we need more energy and more coal plants they'll need to use more water. Same thing with Natural Gas, and Nuclear power, expect Nuclear power also wastes some water.

The biggest challenge in this debate will be to determine if the water we get is worth the energy we need to make it. I look forward to the discussion.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello again. So setting up solar panels or a power station is out of the question. So what about setting up a greenhouse like building and using the heat from the sun to evaporate the water. A kind of set it and forget it until most of it has evaporated. There are places where they can be set up to receive the most sunlight in a day. Places where the humidity in the air has gone down and rainfall isn't what it used to be. like adding a giant humidifier in a place.

I'm not talking about bottling the water and distributing it, possibly the salt left behind and selling that. Even though it would be in minuscule amounts but still worth something to someone right?


Here is an interesting article I found on removing salt from water.
Natasha Wright is still working on the project as far as I know. So there is a possibility that desalination by solar power would be an ideal method.

The largest issues with this, however is that solar power is limited to the amount of sun in a day. Also most of the water that evaporates is because of natural vapor pressure a liquid has at a given temperature. The suns help is more of keeping temperature high. Higher temperatures, in this case, mean more vapor pressure/water evaporation. The sun doesn't really give enough energy to make the water boil though for that it needs to get the temerity up really high. Sea water doesn't boil until it reaches 212"F. There is always some vapor amount in the air above water though, so I suppose if you had a way to constantly collect it the water it would keep evaporating. The dehumidifier idea seems somewhat logical besides, the need to power the unit. If you could somehow just pull the water out of the air maybe it could be separated from the salt that way. Although dehumidifiers are very sensitive to ions like salt so it could end up ruining the unit, unless you used some other heat transfer system that didn't use common refrigeration.

Another point I see other scientists makes it that as far as making salt water drinkable out of all the methods currently being used filtration seems to be the most effective when you consider cost.

As far as selling the salt goes "On average, seawater in the world's oceans has a salinity of approximately 3.5%"( So let's say you were able to collect all the salt from a gallon of water. From some math (I can show if needed) that would give you about 163.52 grams of sea salt.

That amount sold in stores is about $2.00. Someone has estimated that the cost to maintain a village in Africa for a year is around $130,000 ( that would mean you would have to be perfectly evaporating salt out of water at a rate of 8 gallons a day to make enough money for that....well that's if you make 100% profit, ignoring overhead,labor,shipping, ect...

I am not against the idea of it but I don't think the sun would produce enough energy for that, and if you start adding things like humidifiers, heaters, ect.. that all adds cost to the overall process.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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