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We’re Running out of water
Posted: 12 January 2014 09:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Robert Walper - 12 January 2014 08:36 PM

Water and energy actually are enough, because that is all nature requires to accomplish the same effect.

So now you’re saying nature can do this all by itself? Are you that naive?

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Posted: 12 January 2014 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Water and energy actually are enough, because that is all nature requires to accomplish the same effect. All your mentioned additional problems are something I would agree are problems in the strictest sense, but they are human created and self imposed problems, which is not what I was talking about.

But that was what I was talking about Robert in my original post, i.e. the human created problem of polluting the existing supply of potable water with toxic poisons and how this will continue if government regulations are allowed to lapse or are blocked by lobbies. As to the water suppy being diminished in some areas of the World, which seems to be what you’re aiming at then yes it’s happening and has been a major concern of the UN since the early 1990’s. Those countries who are the hardest hit are the ones without the funds to build desalination plants and future wars will be fought over water for irrigation and drinking if the problem isn’t solved. And don’t forget that a large percent of the available water is locked in ice near the poles.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 12 January 2014 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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DarronS - 12 January 2014 09:06 PM
Robert Walper - 12 January 2014 08:36 PM

Water and energy actually are enough, because that is all nature requires to accomplish the same effect.

So now you’re saying nature can do this all by itself? Are you that naive?

You’re actually going to sit there and pretend nature does not desalinate and distribute fresh water across the globe? Are YOU actually that naïve? Where do you think all our current sources of fresh water came from, DarronS? Magic land?

Thevillageatheist - 12 January 2014 09:08 PM

Water and energy actually are enough, because that is all nature requires to accomplish the same effect. All your mentioned additional problems are something I would agree are problems in the strictest sense, but they are human created and self imposed problems, which is not what I was talking about.

But that was what I was talking about Robert in my original post, i.e. the human created problem of polluting the existing supply of potable water with toxic poisons and how this will continue if government regulations are allowed to lapse or are blocked by lobbies. As to the water suppy being diminished in some areas of the World, which seems to be what you’re aiming at then yes it’s happening and has been a major concern of the UN since the early 1990’s. Those countries who are the hardest hit are the ones without the funds to build desalination plants and future wars will be fought over water for irrigation and drinking if the problem isn’t solved. And don’t forget that a large percent of the available water is locked in ice near the poles.

None of which has anything to do with my single point that we have no shortage of water on our planet and no shortage of energy to purify and distribute it. Ergo, the title of this thread “We’re running out of water” is misleading and false.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 09:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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You’re hopeless.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Robert Walper - 12 January 2014 08:36 PM

Water and energy actually are enough, because that is all nature requires to accomplish the same effect. All your mentioned additional problems are something I would agree are problems in the strictest sense, but they are human created and self imposed problems, which is not what I was talking about.

What in the world does that mean?

I thought this was all about the amount of clean water available to people?

We and our self-created problems - thanks to a tradition of environmentally unrealistic planning!  smirk
Compounded by the continuing contempt so may show towards “environment”, “nature”, “biosphere” and all that jazz.

And I know “environmental” is pretty near the most hated and ridiculed world among Republicans -
it’s their nightmare failure - the fools forget environment equals our life support system.

{But since so many people can’t even figure out that our planet is the product of billions of years worth of an incredible evolutionary process -
how can we hope for them to appreciate that we depend on the natural world. }

You know Robert it’s like there’s a big difference between what is intellectually feasible and
what actually works, and how/if it works, in the real world.

Take the mega-cities in the Southwest desert that are dependent on water from the Colorado River and air conditioning.
Snow pack in the mountains is decreasing resulting in decreasing water flows.

How do you suggest supplementing their current water deficit?
How should we prepare?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/us/colorado-river-drought-forces-a-painful-reckoning-for-states.html?_r=0
Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States
By Michael Wines |  JAN. 5, 2014

The sinuous Colorado River and its slew of man-made reservoirs from the Rockies to southern Arizona are being sapped by 14 years of drought nearly unrivaled in 1,250 years.

{...}

But many experts believe the current drought is only the harbinger of a new, drier era in which the Colorado’s flow will be substantially and permanently diminished.

Faced with the shortage, federal authorities this year will for the first time decrease the amount of water that flows into Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, from Lake Powell 180 miles upstream. That will reduce even more the level of Lake Mead, a crucial source of water for cities from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and for millions of acres of farmland. …

http://www.mynews3.com/mostpopular/story/Lake-Mead-water-only-31-feet-above-critical-levels/ezA9m0xOCESphTGMAbJoSg.cspx
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3)—Looking at any recent picture of Lake Mead tells the story of just how low our only source of water is getting. Lake Mead is the nation’s largest manmade reservoir, and our primary source of water in southern Nevada.

It’s drying up faster than water managers expected. The lake is capable of storing 26 million acre feet (almost 8.5 trillion gallons) of water. But according to the Bureau of Reclamation, the lake is only 47 percent full today.

Water levels at the lake are 1,106 feet above sea level. Water managers are concerned because we are just 31 feet away from hitting the critical level of 1,075 ft.

More than a decade of drought caused the lake to drop about 100 ft.

http://www.weather.com/news/science/environment/drought-lake-powell-lake-mead-climate-change-20130818

Dwindling Colorado River Forces First-Ever Cuts in Lake Powell Water Releases
Terrell Johnson Published: Aug 20, 2013


Incidentally, we haven’t mentioned another one of those “externalities” -
the vast amount of water/rivers/lakes/wetlands that we have poisoned to the point that it damages all the biology it touches.
But, that’s just the cost of PROFITS ain’t it.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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DarronS - 12 January 2014 09:43 PM

You’re hopeless.

Why don’t you cut to the chase, DarronS, and explain what it is you think we’re apparently disagreeing about? We’re in agreement there is plenty of water and energy available to solve the problem, and that was my only point.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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theoretically perhaps,

but in the real world with real distances between sources and needs

there isn’t enough water and energy, nor infrastructure.

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Posted: 13 January 2014 03:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Talking about producing fresh water by boiling it.  Seems this is the very method that is being considered. Thousands of stills for millions of people.
wiki

A still is an apparatus used to distill miscible or immiscible (e.g. steam distillation) liquid mixtures by heating to selectively boil and then cooling to condense the vapor. Stills have been used to produce perfume and medicine, Water for Injection (WFI) for pharmaceutical use, generally to separate and purify different chemicals, and most famously, to produce distilled beverages containing ethyl alcohol.

A still is a boiler, which also creates another source of heat. Where do you build them?

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Posted: 13 January 2014 03:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Ok Robert, I’ll concede the point concerning my title. I left out the adjective Potable,but as to Darron’s point there is ample evidence to back his contention that there is a water shortage and it will lead to a crises in the future. Here is only one example, there are many others:

http://engineering.columbia.edu/will-we-run-out-fresh-water-21st-century


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 13 January 2014 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Maybe we can simplify what we agree on here and identify the source of our disagreement.

I think we have already said we all agree on the following items.

1) The world has an enormous supply of water.
2) Most of of the water is not drinkable
3) We also have a very large supply of solar energy.
4) Solar energy is not cheap nor available everywhere
5) The cost of building desalinization plants to supply a significant portion of the worlds water requirements would be extremely high with current technology
6) There are real practical shortages of readily available potable water in many parts of the world today and these problems may be more widespread in the future if current trends continue.

I think where we disagree with you Robert is in your characterization of the problem as “stupid”. The point of bringing this issue up is that the problem is a difficult one to solve. Not because people are stupid but because there are enormous financial and political obstacles to solving this issue and in the U.S. at least it is not currently enough of a problem to be seen as a priority. In parts of the world where it is more of a crisis there isnt the money or the political organization to tackle the difficult logistics.

Reading back over the posts we dont really disagree on a lot. Its your approach that has people arguing with you more than your arguments themselves.

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Posted: 13 January 2014 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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to Robert Wolper- DarronS is not a scientist. He is an environmentalist. He sees the sky fall where ever he looks. I bet he is almost ready to write a book about it. As informative and truthful as ‘an inconvenient truth’.
He is not much fun most of the time….ask him about his specialty….climate change…or running out of oil…....

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Posted: 13 January 2014 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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DarronS - 12 January 2014 06:08 PM

Robert, Brownsville, TX, is facing a water shortage because people upstream are using the water in the Rio Grande before it reaches Brownsville. I don’t know if you are familiar with the area, but South Texas is a very poor region and the people living there cannot afford a desalinization plant. This is not a matter of logistics, it is overpopulation and economics.

Furthermore, citing the Earth as being 78 percent covered in water is disingenuous. Ninety-eight percent of that water will kill you if you drink it, or kill your crops if you trying watering them with the water. I’m sure you knew that, which is the reason I suggested you are being disingenuous.

Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink.  Another cosmic joke?

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Posted: 13 January 2014 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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But, the fish and their friends like it an awful lot.

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Posted: 13 January 2014 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 12 January 2014 10:44 PM

theoretically perhaps,

but in the real world with real distances between sources and needs

there isn’t enough water and energy, nor infrastructure.

I agree on the third point, but not the first two.

Thevillageatheist - 13 January 2014 03:53 AM

Ok Robert, I’ll concede the point concerning my title. I left out the adjective Potable,but as to Darron’s point there is ample evidence to back his contention that there is a water shortage and it will lead to a crises in the future. Here is only one example, there are many others:

http://engineering.columbia.edu/will-we-run-out-fresh-water-21st-century

I strongly disagree with the notion there will be any major water crisis in the future. Not because I dispute the existence or potential of the problem, but because I’m convinced it’ll be solved well before it becomes too big a one.

sine dues - 13 January 2014 08:35 AM

to Robert Wolper- DarronS is not a scientist. He is an environmentalist. He sees the sky fall where ever he looks. I bet he is almost ready to write a book about it. As informative and truthful as ‘an inconvenient truth’.
He is not much fun most of the time….ask him about his specialty….climate change…or running out of oil…....

Climate change and finite oil supplies are serious and real issues. DarronS is quite justified in being concerned about those. He’s also justified in being concerned about developing available water supplies beyond that which natural systems can produce. I simply don’t share a pessimistic attitude on any of those three issues.

macgyver - 13 January 2014 07:51 AM

Maybe we can simplify what we agree on here and identify the source of our disagreement.

I think we have already said we all agree on the following items.

1) The world has an enormous supply of water.
2) Most of of the water is not drinkable
3) We also have a very large supply of solar energy.
4) Solar energy is not cheap nor available everywhere
5) The cost of building desalinization plants to supply a significant portion of the worlds water requirements would be extremely high with current technology
6) There are real practical shortages of readily available potable water in many parts of the world today and these problems may be more widespread in the future if current trends continue.

I agree with these points with the exception of point 4 and partially disagree with point 5.

I think where we disagree with you Robert is in your characterization of the problem as “stupid”.

I didn’t claim the problem was stupid, I said the claim we’re running out of water is stupid. As per my previous analogy, massive areas of land completely devoid of human settlement and life is not evidence of shortage of human life in the big picture. Particular areas facing drought and water shortages does not reflect the bigger picture of our planet.

The point of bringing this issue up is that the problem is a difficult one to solve.

I never claimed otherwise, although I submit I think the problem will be solved much easier and sooner than many believe.

Not because people are stupid but because there are enormous financial and political obstacles to solving this issue and in the U.S. at least it is not currently enough of a problem to be seen as a priority. In parts of the world where it is more of a crisis there isnt the money or the political organization to tackle the difficult logistics.

I suspect the perception of the problem is warped by the notion of sticking to large scale centralized systems for water treatment and distribution, rather than a far better model of much smaller and more distributed water treatment and distribution systems.

Reading back over the posts we dont really disagree on a lot. Its your approach that has people arguing with you more than your arguments themselves.

That’s a classic Style over Substance fallacy, however.

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Posted: 13 January 2014 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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I strongly disagree with the notion there will be any major water crisis in the future. Not because I dispute the existence or potential of the problem, but because I’m convinced it’ll be solved well before it becomes too big a one.

So, is that an IMO Robert, because I see no research to back your claim. Personally though as a fellow optimist I hope you’re right. At present there are approx. only 14,000 desalination plants World Wide and these are powered by fossil fuels that add to the greenhouse effect not to mention the continuing cost of daily maintenence due to continuous use. Over 400 are now in the planning stages but the need for potable water is increasing exponentially with the rise in usage due to population and draught. I don’t want to think that people are profit driven, stupid and shortsighted but you know the facts. From where will the Deus Ex Machina come?


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