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Continental Aqueduct

DanT
Posts: 5,693
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10/13/2011 7:06:03 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I keep hearing people talk about running out of drinking water. Most of the planet is covered in water, and the process of turning salt water into fresh water is so simple I did it back in 1st grade.

The problem is not running out of water, it's running out of water, it's running out of inland water, such as lakes and ponds. Further more the problem is only one of land locked states.

My solution is simple;

In each coastal state, we pump water from the ocean into a tank.
The tank will boil the water into a new tank, Which pumps water to a tank in the next state. That exess water from that state will go to a tank in the next state via aqueducts, and so on and so forth.
Each state will contain two tanks per district (1 main, 1 back up)
This would be used as the emergency water supply for the district in case of water shortages.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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10/13/2011 7:25:15 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Based on the cost of the Los Angeles Aqueduct I estimate the total cost to be under $2 billion, and possibly under $1 billion.

The aqueducts could also be used as a power source as well.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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10/14/2011 9:40:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Dealinization is accomplished by reverse osmosis, something akin to filtering under pressure. It costs about twice as much water collected in reservoirs, which is not too bad.

The coasts are all at sea level. That means that to get water inland, it has to be pumped up hill. The pumps for the California aquaduct are the largest consumers of electricity in California, and that's just to get over the mountains near Los Angeles. It's mostly pumped at night when electricity is cheaper.

Your basic idea is on target, I think. Water is cheap compared to other living expenses, so it's worth paying a little more to have a good supply. I California, government is responsible for water supplies, so there are always shortages despite the Pacific Ocean and plenty of people willing to pay for it.

Oil companies are experts at pumping fluids through long pipes. Some have contracted to pipe water over long distances, in keeping with the theme of your post.
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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10/14/2011 10:48:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Roy that's deceptive... costs may be twice as much now, but that says nothing of how an increase in population/industry size would affect our choices for new sources of fresh water, or if China suddenly decides it's sick of pollution and stops being our industrial beotches, or if water quality continues to suffer. Our water supplies are pretty bad right now; in GB our central river is beyond polluted, the shores of Lake Michigan are disgusting, and in my short time here I've seen lakes go from paradise crystal-clear quality to disgusting and murky (I've since given up swimming as a hobby since I don't consider a YMCA pool to be summer fun). The eutrophication of lakes around here is mostly because of run-off from farming fertilizers http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov... . I used one of your favorite sources just for you Roy... was 2005 before the regime change at NASA?

Similarly, as demand increases for desalinization, it is going to start affecting our energy production. Pumping water through microscopic holes takes a decent amount of energy, and so does boiling it continuously. Technology could further reduce the energy demand but the entire process would be an uphill battle compared to just trying to use the water that we have now in a smarter way (as opposed to thinking in terms of short-term profitability).
Rob
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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10/15/2011 1:02:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/14/2011 10:48:33 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Roy that's deceptive... costs may be twice as much now, but that says nothing of how an increase in population/industry size would affect our choices for new sources of fresh water, or if China suddenly decides it's sick of pollution and stops being our industrial beotches, or if water quality continues to suffer. Our water supplies are pretty bad right now; in GB our central river is beyond polluted, the shores of Lake Michigan are disgusting, and in my short time here I've seen lakes go from paradise crystal-clear quality to disgusting and murky (I've since given up swimming as a hobby since I don't consider a YMCA pool to be summer fun). The eutrophication of lakes around here is mostly because of run-off from farming fertilizers http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov... . I used one of your favorite sources just for you Roy... was 2005 before the regime change at NASA?

Explain how adding supplies of desalinated water would increase the pollution from farm runoff. It makes no sense at all. I'm all in favor of controlling pollution, but cutting off the water to Los Angeles won't help in the least.

Similarly, as demand increases for desalinization, it is going to start affecting our energy production. Pumping water through microscopic holes takes a decent amount of energy, and so does boiling it continuously. Technology could further reduce the energy demand but the entire process would be an uphill battle compared to just trying to use the water that we have now in a smarter way (as opposed to thinking in terms of short-term profitability).

There is energy used in desalinization, but the only way that energy will be a factor is if political pressure makes it a factor. The US has 300 years of fossil fuels left, and thousands of years of nuclear. The time horizon for practical alternatives is about 50-75 years at most. Nuclear is a good match for desalinization because the salt water can be used for cooling.

Desalinization is never accomplished by boiling. The sea water leaves with only a slight increase in salinity.