Waterblogged.info’s desalination update!

Scroll down to view yet another slew of useful Web resources about everyone’s favorite using-technology-as-a-panacea-for-averting-catastrophe solution: Desalination! These will be duly added to our ever-expanding compendium, Getting serious with Waterblogged.info: desalination. We note that recent developments appear to indicate that proponents of reverse osmosis (RO) are being challenged here and there by desal technologies based on solar distillation and deionization.

We’re on record as not being big on massive-scale desalination here at Waterblogged.info. At least not RO, which is energy-intensive, environmentally destructive, and excessively complicated.

Today’s idiosyncratic, ecentric rant from the picky people who bring you Waterblogged.info: Reverse osmosis (RO) is from our point of view, a misleading misnomer. Osmosis is a basic, natural process; so-called reverse osmosis is really power-assisted filtration. Why do we call it osmosis? There’s nothing osmotic about it. Just had to get that off our chests.

More desalination resources on the web:

Desalination: A National Perspective: A 2008 comprehensive report on the current state and prospects for desalination in the U.S. from the National Research Council

Here’s an accompanying podcast:

Experimental desalination plants based on deionization being built in Australia: From online outlet of techie journal IEEE Spectrum

The World View Desalination Project: A commercial venture that aim to develop, in their words, a scalable desalination and purifying system powered by the sun. Looks at first glance like a passive system based on distillation and use of recycled plastic.

A blog entry on the Carlsbad desalination project recently approved for Southern California: A San Francisco Bay Area blogger has doubts about the efficacy of what will be the largest desal plant in North America.

Seawater Greenhouse: Another commercial venture that uses a passive distillation method to desalinate ocean water and produce mini-climates for horticulture.

Teatro del agua: Visionary project proposed for the Canary Islands. A combination water desalination plant and beautiful outdoor theater. Our chief archivist just realized that we’d already posted something about this, linking from the glorious Pruned. YouTube marketing video here.

Relatively recent invention of more efficient? desalination membrane technology: Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science today (11/06/06) announced they have developed a new reverse osmosis (RO) membrane that promises to reduce the cost of seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation. A startup, NanoH2O, is betting on this technology. An MIT Technology Review article and an Economist article assess the new technology and mention NanoH2O.

The Perth, Australia reverse osmosis desalination plant: The largest in the Southern hemisphere and when at total capacity will supply 17% of Perth’s water.

NPR’s All Thing’s Considered on the state of desalination in California: Great overview of the 18 or so desalination projects underway or scheduled in the mega state.


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