Water Water everywhere and not a drop to drink? Why is it that we don't purify ocean water and run it to our sink?


3 Answers

Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered

I guess the answer is cost.

Desalinating ocean water requires energy, which usually means expensive fossil fuels like oil or gas come into the equation.

That doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Oil-rich Dubai is home to the biggest ocean water desalination plants in the world:

There are many interesting articles on the subject, so it does seem like we're making progress, but at the moment we simply don't have a technology that is scalable and affordable.

Solar powered desalination could be a game changer though, and you can bet that there is a lot of effort currently going into this direction.

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

Following decades of drought in New South Wales a desalination plant was built on the Sydney coast line. Just before it was due to be brought into use the rains came, the dams filled, water rationing was dropped, and it's been pretty moist here ever since. The plant has never been used.

On the news the other night I heard that we are being taxed $90 every year to pay for the thing, even though it isn't operating.

The problem is that the weather is unpredictable and there's little doubt that it will prove an asset at some time in the future, particularly as climate change produces higher temperatures in the region and upsets the El Nio cycle.

So, Soul Fly, it can be done and, in some places it is being done, but it's pretty expensive.

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