Desalination Fail (PR wise)


I've expressed great enthusiasm for desalination as one of the technological end runs we might make on water fickle Mother Nature.

YaleGlobal Online (yep, published by Yale) takes a pretty hard anti-desalination position with:

Desalination is not a solution to freshwater shortages being reported by many dry regions around the globe, including many sections of the United States. Adam Scow of Food & Water Watch argues that conservation of water is the better strategy and notes that “the technology is being pushed by private interests looking to profit from the sale of water while sticking the public with its high financial and environmental costs.” Desalination has high energy costs, and the leftover salt is a pollutant. He explains that about 80 percent of California’s water, for example, is used for agriculture purposes. Farmers could plan for efficient water use by using more care in selecting crops appropriate for their region’s climate and ecology. The United States and other nations could do more to protect freshwater supplies by collecting rainwater and keeping up with maintenance of crucial water infrastructure systems. – YaleGlobal

I've not been reading this publication long enuff to know if this summary before a piece they publish is their editorial position.  Probably just a summary of the piece, but still...

One of Adam Scow's complaints is that desalination is an energy hog.  I say, Big Energy is good if it goes for a good cause, like getting water.  Our tech evolution just has to make Big Energy cleanly.  If there is a lot of salt left over, our tech evolution just has to learn how to repurpose, recycle or store it safely.  We can tech-evolve just about any problem.  Except for a shortage of water.  I agree with everything he says,  BTW, about conserving water.  Check it out.  If you've got nothing better to do, "comment" here on whether you buy Scow's arguments.

Bad press for desalination.  Darn.  Fooey.


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