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Author Topic: Is there a real Global Water shortage?  (Read 8967 times)

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« on: 13/02/2010 18:30:39 »
Is there a real Global water shortage?  Is the problem shortage or is it related to other problems such as:  Water storage, water transportation, water purification, water accumulation. Perhaps others.  There is an awful lot of rain water which mainly goes down the drainage into rivers and, ultimately, into the sea.  Is the world beginning to recognize this problem and are plans being made to rectify it?  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan


 

Offline geo driver

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #1 on: 16/02/2010 03:36:53 »
in the emptiness of my mind i recall a podcast god knows from where but;

it seems there is a shortage of fresh water, through irrigation and waste.  i recall them saying that the problem was that we use the water quicker then it is being used. there are some "old water" wells in texas that are being used up and not being replenished. its like sequestration in reverse, or like taking oil, eventualy it will run out, water will remain a constant...ish but the amount we will be able to use wont.

this could all be tosh so i await clarification ,

a further note on water;  not all water is the same age, like rock it is in a constant process of recycling. if anyone can expand on this it would be welcome
« Last Edit: 16/02/2010 03:38:25 by geo driver »
 

Offline JimBob

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #2 on: 16/02/2010 23:06:58 »
Using fossil water is not localized to Texas. It happens all over the world. A prime example outside the US is north Africa. Most water used outside of the area around the coast and along rivers is old, very old. In Lybia 40,000 year old  water has transformed the society but the resulting growth portends disaster in the future when water runs out.

But the solutions are also at hand. Solar-powered water purification systems can produce a lot of water but it is costly. One day, the cost of water will probably exceed that of oil.It is why all major oil companies (Exxon, Shell, BP,etc.) are investing heavily in buying water rights where they are available and buying patents for new desalination technology.

 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #3 on: 16/02/2010 23:11:45 »
Using fossil water is not localized to Texas. It happens all over the world. A prime example outside the US is north Africa. Most water used outside of the area around the coast and along rivers is old, very old. In Lybia 40,000 year old  water has transformed the society but the resulting growth portends disaster in the future when water runs out.

But the solutions are also at hand. Solar-powered water purification systems can produce a lot of water but it is costly. One day, the cost of water will probably exceed that of oil.It is why all major oil companies (Exxon, Shell, BP,etc.) are investing heavily in buying water rights where they are available and buying patents for new desalination technology.


Why don't they just catch some of the billions and billions of gallons that go down the drain?  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline JimBob

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #4 on: 16/02/2010 23:17:21 »
If it rained in North Africa, they would.

What do you think dams are for? The oldest dam in the world is in this area.
« Last Edit: 16/02/2010 23:30:49 by JimBob »
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #5 on: 17/02/2010 00:10:18 »
If it rained in North Africa, they would.

What do you think dams are for? The oldest dam in the world is in this area.
Well, there again is not a shortage of water but a storage and a transportation problem.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline JimBob

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #6 on: 17/02/2010 18:13:57 »
It is much more than a storage and transportation problem. For each an ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Newtonian physics is not suspended because you deal with geology. As a result of this cost of transport is prohibitive. And if you try to dam a river you get what happens with the Nile.

124 million tons of sediment to the sea every year are deposited behind the dam.

fish stocks die because of turbidity (mud in the water)

lack of fresh water in the delta has caused a salinity rise and destroyed the fishing in the delta - a huge loss of protein whose replacement is much more expensive than the original

The lack of the 4 million tons of sediment over the fields has caused a significant decline in the productivity of the existing farm land, making reliance on outside food sources greater. As well, the increased use of fertilizer and insecticides has caused pollution of the drinking waters, making it unsafe to drink in an ever increasing area. And the lack of the sediment coming into the delta is causing it to sink below the Mediterranean. The land gets washed out to sea and since there is no sediment replacing it, the delta farm lands and living space disappeared. The salinity increase also pollutes well water so drinking water for the largest portion of the population of Egypt has been decreased.

Everything is connected to something else in this world.
« Last Edit: 18/02/2010 03:33:31 by JimBob »
 

Offline geo driver

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #7 on: 18/02/2010 02:20:28 »
so less wasting, more thinking, and more work on trying to purify water, what are the cheeper techniques of dong this.

another thing with dams is that it distroys millions of acres of land and living space, nbuggered if you do buggered if you dont!
 

Offline JimBob

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #8 on: 18/02/2010 03:34:12 »
Much more thought

 

Offline gordondi

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Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #9 on: 19/10/2011 09:59:07 »
Water harvesting seems to be nice idea against water shortage.But are these water harvesting systems are affordable enough to fits in everyone's budget and what about their maintainable issues the spam filter worked even if the water filter didn;t
« Last Edit: 19/10/2011 10:47:31 by imatfaal »
 

Offline Sirens Cry

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Re: Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #10 on: 31/01/2012 20:22:38 »
The water cycle is closed - what ever nature takes out, nature puts back in. Even man, even with dykes, dams, pipes (leaking ones), purification plants, etc.,  to a greater or lesser extent moves water around in a cycle (I leave my tap running when I brush my teeth).

But nobody ever mentions all the millions.... tens of millions.... of tonnes, gallons, whatever, of water that are locked up forever in all the concrete that has even been made.


Bugged me for years - we castigate the water companies for leaky pipes, and Joe Public for watering lawns/washing cars when there's a drought (or what we term a drought in the UK), whilst the concrete mixers keep tumbling happily away.

Not offering a solution, merely an observation!
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #11 on: 01/02/2012 04:24:58 »
Certainly there are a number of processes that essentially store water in one form or another for a very long time. 

For example, when a tree converts carbon dioxide to plant matter, it requires water to supply the hydrogen for all hydrocarbons that are produced.  So, you could think of the billions of gallons of water locked up in the trees in the Amazon forest.  Much of it is now being released with slash and burn forestry!!!

As far as the production of Portland Cement, part of the processing is running it through a high temperature kiln, perhaps in part driving off many of the hydrates.  So, there may be a step of dehydrating, followed by re-hydrating of the concrete/cement.

Anyway, the issues with water are multi-fold.

Access to CLEAN Water.
Contamination of water.
Depleting of wells in arid areas.
Depleting of rivers (often for irrigation)

Irrigation supports human food crops.  But, there can also be conflicts over water sources for municipal water and agricultural water usage.

Significant amounts of water is replenished from the oceans (which some people believe are getting over-filled). 

Perhaps part of the water cycle should be considered evaporation, and non-local redeposition of the water.  Evaporating from the oceans, and then raining inland is often considered good (when not in excess).  However, many of our irrigation practices, as well as waste water treatment practices enhance evaporation.  And, if in the desert, it may not rain back down in the same place.

Certainly Western Oregon gets our fair share of water in the winter. :-\  Usually our reservoirs are intentionally drained down in the fall to prevent over-filling in the winter and spring.

I have watched Lake Mead a bit.  It appears as if for the last decade, the water resources have consistently been over-used, and not replenished with spring runoff.  However, on the bright side, 2011 was a very good year.  Perhaps 2012 will continue to raise levels.
http://www.arachnoid.com/NaturalResources/
 

Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #12 on: 27/02/2012 16:33:37 »
Here in Florida we get most of our fresh water from underground aquifers. When usage exceeds replenishment, the aquifers do not get lower. Instead salt water flows in to replace the fresh water that has been taken out. Obviously too much of this activity will render our fresh water aquifers useless as the saline content gets too high.

This is a situation that has been known for decades. The solution was to limit the population growth in the state. But that doesn't make anybody any money, so instead we have been doing the opposite, not only building new housing, but building high density housing for years.

Result, we now have way more people than the aquifers can handle, especially when we are in dry cycles as we have been in for the past few years. So now we have water rationing requirements when the situation gets too serious. Not drinking water (yet), but any other use of fresh water is restricted; lawn watering is severely cut back, to the point that lawns cannot survive. No washing of cars in the driveway. Water police patrolling the subdivisions looking for people not obeying the rules.

And we continued to build, build, build, and bring in more and more people. Does this sound insane to anyone else? Personally I think the best thing to happen to Florida has been the crash in the value of housing the past few years. Even though my house is worth far less than it was worth five years ago, this event has slowed the building of new properties. And of course, every other house has been repossessed by the banks, but that is another story.

Bottom line is that we may have finally slowed the rate of loss of our aquifers because new building has stalled. Unfortunately, it may be too little too late as our aquifers were already on life support.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #13 on: 27/02/2012 17:43:41 »
One option would be to build a water cistern system for rain water.

It would mean a significant plumbing re-design, but it could be done.

Capture water runoff from roofs.  Route it into a cistern, & sand filter, then use the rain water for ordinary water needs, showers, laundry, etc.  Supplement with well water or secondary source as needed.

Kitchen, and perhaps all sink water would be from a clean well water source.

One could also build a grey-water system to capture much of the waste water for use with irrigation, and perhaps toilets, although, obviously care would need to be exercised for commercial installations.
 

Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #14 on: 27/02/2012 18:28:38 »
All good ideas in normal times, Cliff. However, for the past number of years we have been suffering from moderate to severe droughts. Most of your ideas require rainwater, and that requires rain! Same issue for wells, a lot of them are drying up, or are too unreliable to be practical considering their expense. For people in rural areas where wells are their only source of water, it can be scary.

Most of us get by with dirty cars, and with brown lawns. Hand watering is not restricted so we can at least hand water our other plants. That and use drought resistant foliage as much as possible.

Salinity plants processing seawater is being considered, but even that comes with its own issues. The "waste" from the process is almost pure salt, which has to be piped far from shore. Being that I am on the Gulf of Mexico side of the state, there is quite a debate on whether any distance is safe because the Gulf is an almost completely closed water system.

We could always run a pipe over to Texas, but I think they would get cranky about it. Intra-state solutions are not abundant.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #15 on: 28/02/2012 00:55:12 »
Doesn't Florida periodically get about 10 inches of rain in a day?  And, then they complain about not having enough water!!!

Louisiana and Western Mississippi have plenty of excess water.  I'm sure they would be willing to give some to Florida, especially if you would take it in mid-winter when they have too much water!  But, it would be an enormous undertaking to build a canal, say from western Tennessee to Florida.  What about using one of those tunnel machines that were used on the English Channel?

I would think there would be a market for salt, although I could imagine the market would quickly be overwhelmed by desalination plants.  If you dumped brine water into the Atlantic, surface circulation would take it away from the gulf.  But, the density gradient might cause it to sink quickly, which would send it back towards the gulf.  There is a pretty wide continental shelf along the Florida coast, so one might choose a quite a long discharge pipeline, but at least one wouldn't have to worry too much about elevation gradients of the pipe itself, so it should be easy to lay down.

Could you make a thermal gradient plant that would generate some power and some fresh water...  and perhaps only generate low level waste that would be easy to dispose of.  I suppose the problem is that it is difficult to scale up to the size to make a significant amount of power and water even for a single city.

The USA needs to concentrate on population control within our own country, as well as globally.  Why are the "good shepherds" so against population control methods?
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Re: Is there a real Global Water shortage?
« Reply #16 on: 28/02/2012 17:10:26 »
Poland Springs gets to bottle water from Maine @ no charge!
 

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Re: Is there a real Global Water shortage?
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