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Why Can't We With Water?


jdla22
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1 minute ago, Sensei said:

There is plenty of water in the far west just ahead of Los Angeles and other cities on the West Coast: the Pacific Ocean.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination

"Desalination costs in 2013 ranged from US$0.45 to $1.00/cubic metre."

https://www.google.com/search?q=desalination+cost+2020

"the cost of desalinated water in most regions could range from €0.32/m3 to €1.66 "

They just should be powered from renewable energy sources..

Desalination cost is only part of the retail cost of water. This doesn’t rebut my post; I don’t see why I was quoted.

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5 minutes ago, Charles 3781 said:

We live on a planet which has ~70% of its surface covered by oceans with an average depth of~ 12,000 ft  of water. 

Given these facts, doesn't it seem strange that we're worried about water-shortage?

 

Drink all the salt water you want to.

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1 hour ago, Charles 3781 said:

If you were dying of thirst, wouldn't sipping salt-water in modest quantities relieve dehydration?

No, not if it’s seawater, or of similar salinity

”Human kidneys can only make urine that is less salty than salt water. Therefore, to get rid of all the excess salt taken in by drinking seawater, you have to urinate more water than you drank. Eventually, you die of dehydration even as you become thirstier.”

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/drinksw.html

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5 minutes ago, swansont said:

No, not if it’s seawater, or of similar salinity

”Human kidneys can only make urine that is less salty than salt water. Therefore, to get rid of all the excess salt taken in by drinking seawater, you have to urinate more water than you drank. Eventually, you die of dehydration even as you become thirstier.”

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/drinksw.html

Thanks swansont for clarifying that point.  I used to wonder how sailors could die in agony of thirst when surrounded by water.  I thought: "Well, even if the sea-water has got salt in it, surely a little bit of it,  would at least help relieve the thirst".  And you know -  I still kind of think that way!  But, as you explain in your post, both science and maritime experience testify to the contrary.  From the point of view of long-term survival, that is.

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1 hour ago, Charles 3781 said:

I used to wonder how sailors could die in agony of thirst when surrounded by water.  I thought: "Well, even if the sea-water has got salt in it, surely a little bit of it,  would at least help relieve the thirst". 

 

There's a (fairly) famous quote from poem The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge that emphasises this very point...

"Water, water, every where, nor a drop to drink."

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43997/the-rime-of-the-ancient-mariner-text-of-1834

(Although the modern version has not instead of the outdated nor.)

 

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4 minutes ago, Dord said:

 

There's a (fairly) famous quote from poem The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge that emphasises this very point...

"Water, water, every where, nor a drop to drink."

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43997/the-rime-of-the-ancient-mariner-text-of-1834

(Although the modern version has not instead of the outdated nor.)

 

Thanks Dord.  On your remark concerning the outdated "nor",  I think  you raise a valuable point.

Consider these two lines:

"Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink" -  (18th century original)

"Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink" - (revised 21st century modern)

The modern revision gets rid of the awkward " nor".  Replacing it by the much smoother, and  more natural "and not".  A definite literary  improvement.

In a similar way, Science is always being revised and improved.  For example we have improved our understanding of combustion,  by replacing the 18th century  "phlogiston",  with "oxidation".  Shouldn't such scientific principles  be applied to past literature,  so as to update and improve it.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Charles 3781 said:

You're right. My post was definitely off-topic, Apologies for derailing the thread.

Nonsense! I thought it was a rather interesting addition. You never know what something off-topic will inspire.

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Just now, jdla22 said:

Nonsense! I thought it was a rather interesting addition. You never know what something off-topic will inspire.

Well of course it was.  But please understand my position.  When one has acquired a -25 rating,  and  faces the danger of getting booted off,  a degree of unctuousness is called for.

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/28/2020 at 3:33 PM, jdla22 said:

So I'm sitting here as rain is pouring down, collecting in puddles, raising the water table, and filling aquifers to the point of almost flooding and I'm just thinking about all the areas in the U.S. that are facing drought. My first thought is, do I really have this excess of water here that I think we do? Is the ground supersaturated with water or has it just not filtered through yet? My second thought is, if there really is all this excess water and flooding, why can't we send it to the drought stricken areas? We have oil and gas pipelines that crisscross our nation, why can't we do the same with water and fill up Californian reservoirs? Just some thoughts. I would love to hear expert and more well thought out opinions on the matter.

Firstly I am not an expert but can offer this, as others have pointed out money and the costs involved

Here in the UK we do have a canal network,  that can extend vast distances (well at least for the UK) but I think ultimately it is about proper management of the land,  dredge rivers.  This of course depends on the land owner giving permission etc  (the same for land owners)

Unless they can be convinced,  which is easier if they can some how benefit too.

I think  another cause of flooding is blocked sewers, people will put oils /fats down sinks,   or put wet wipes down the toilet,  all of which cause blockage.   Blocked drains caused by leaves and other debris,  which if left causes problems, 

But how often do we get so much rain it causes these issues,  so the argument is that unblocking drains to stop the issue becomes an expense.  

When there is heavy rain  the sewers can't cope, of course London sewers have been around since Victorian times, so while still working, the population of London has increased massively since that time.

but finding efficient ways to move water around will be essential going forward.

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