Water, the new Oil?

August 20, 2008 at 8:42 pm 1 comment

I have been hearing a lot about how we are running out of fresh water and that this once abundant resource is now on the endangered list!

It all started lately with me when I was reminded about T. Boone Pickens’ water investment in Texas.  I was reminded by an article suggesting that one of his main motivations in building the largest wind farm in texas was to get an easement along with the power lines that would allow him to build a pipeline to deliver his water to other parts of Texas.  On the face this seems silly to suggest that his investment of billions is motivated by a chance to makes millions.

However if an oil man is investing in water that is in itself suggestive. (http://seekingalpha.com/article/24410-t-boone-pickens-invests-in-water-should-you)  It does turn to be true that he is planning to build the pipeline, but I think that this is simply good use of opportunities on his part.

What give me hope and let’s me go to sleep at night is the steady advances being made in desalination technology.  My own home town, Long Beach California is at the forefront of this field and has a new technology that it has patented and is licensing to others. (http://www.lbwater.org/pdf/PressReleases/09-07-06PR.pdf) and (http://www.lbwater.org/pdf/PressReleases/02-12-08PR.pdf) and including a video that was part of a local PBS broadcast (http://longbeach.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=252).

Another interesting site is in the Canary Islands and is still a concept. However it is both a desalination plant and a theater!From teh S.E.E.P blogspot website (http://theseep.blogspot.com/2007/06/zero-energy-desalination-plant-and.html)

A new “Water Theater” is being planned for the Canary Islands which will not only be a seaside cultural center for performing arts, but will also serve as an innovative desalination plant. The architecture of the sea-facing wall is such that cool sea water is pumped into tubes then sprayed on a membrane through which sun-warmed air flows. The warm air over the cooler tubes causes the condensation of fresh water which drips into collecting troughs below. This is essentially a giant solar convection powered dehumidifier that supposedly can provide enough fresh water for an entire city! It also combines aesthetic architecture with renewable resource management and doubles as a theater that benefits the entire community.

All this is just amazing to me and I am excited to hear more developments!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Technology. Tags: , , .

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