Will Humans ever really learn to conserve fresh water or continue to waste it now?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by elusive, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. elusive Registered Member

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    Will Humans ever really learn to conserve fresh water or continue to waste it now?

    from:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131208085304.htm

    Vast Freshwater Reserves Found Beneath the Oceans
    enlarge

    New research reveals that an estimated half a million cubic kilometers of low-salinity water are buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves around the world. (Credit: © DJ / Fotolia)

    Dec. 8, 2013 — Scientists have discovered huge reserves of freshwater beneath the oceans kilometres out to sea, providing new opportunities to stave off a looming global water crisis.

    A new study, published December 5 in the international scientific journal Nature, reveals that an estimated half a million cubic kilometres of low-salinity water are buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves around the world.

    The water, which could perhaps be used to eke out supplies to the world's burgeoning coastal cities, has been located off Australia, China, North America and South Africa.

    "The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we've extracted from the Earth's sub-surface in the past century since 1900," says lead author Dr Vincent Post (pictured) of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) and the School of the Environment at Flinders University.

    "Knowing about these reserves is great news because this volume of water could sustain some regions for decades."

    Dr Post says that groundwater scientists knew of freshwater under the seafloor, but thought it only occurred under rare and special conditions.

    "Our research shows that fresh and brackish aquifers below the seabed are actually quite a common phenomenon," he says.

    These reserves were formed over the past hundreds of thousands of years when on average the sea level was much lower than it is today, and when the coastline was further out, Dr Post explains.

    "So when it rained, the water would infiltrate into the ground and fill up the water table in areas that are nowadays under the sea.

    "It happened all around the world, and when the sea level rose when ice caps started melting some 20,000 years ago, these areas were covered by the ocean.

    "Many aquifers were -- and are still -- protected from seawater by layers of clay and sediment that sit on top of them."

    The aquifers are similar to the ones below land, which much of the world relies on for drinking water, and their salinity is low enough for them to be turned into potable water, Dr Post says.

    "There are two ways to access this water -- build a platform out at sea and drill into the seabed, or drill from the mainland or islands close to the aquifers."

    While offshore drilling can be very costly, Dr Post says this source of freshwater should be assessed and considered in terms of cost, sustainability and environmental impact against other water sources such as desalination, or even building large new dams on land.

    "Freshwater under the seabed is much less salty than seawater," Dr Post says. "This means it can be converted to drinking water with less energy than seawater desalination, and it would also leave us with a lot less hyper-saline water.

    "Freshwater on our planet is increasingly under stress and strain so the discovery of significant new stores off the coast is very exciting. It means that more options can be considered to help reduce the impact of droughts and continental water shortages."

    But while nations may now have new reserves of freshwater offshore, Dr Post says they will need to take care in how they manage the seabed: "For example, where low-salinity groundwater below the sea is likely to exist, we should take care to not contaminate it.

    "Sometimes boreholes are drilled into the aquifers for oil and gas exploration or production, or aquifers are targeted for carbon dioxide disposal. These activities can threaten the quality of the water."

    Dr Post also warns that these water reserves are non-renewable: "We should use them carefully -- once gone, they won't be replenished until the sea level drops again, which is not likely to happen for a very long time."

    The study, "Offshore fresh groundwater reserves as a global phenomenon" by Vincent E.A. Post, Jacobus Groen, Henk Kooi, Mark Person, Shemin Ge and W. Mike Edmunds, is published in the latest issue of Nature.

    The National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training is an Australian Government initiative, supported by the Australian Research Council and the National Water Commission.
     
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  3. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Naa - we can always just make more.
     
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  5. Gage Registered Senior Member

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    " Post says that groundwater scientists knew of freshwater under the seafloor, but thought it only occurred under rare and special conditions." Ya right, this isn't new. Its just now it might become profitable and some one put two and two together... Sad it's coming to drilling for water kilometers offshore.. Next it'll be asteroids. Water is generally undervalued and subsidized... Like most things nobody cares, until they have too...
     
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  7. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    Depends upon the human. I live within 1000 miles of 80% of the worlds Lake water so I doubt I will ever need to conserve (or want to).
     
  8. Peregrine Registered Member

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    90
    People will live thier lives based on:

    1. Education
    2. Repeated censervation training

    Where I live (a million+ city), kids are drilled on environmental conservation.

    Its a far cry from the 'manifest destiny' generation or even the boomers.... my GOD, THE BOOMERS!!!!

    However, the discovery of these reserves is what I find most relevant.

    It is a very incredible discovery. Thanks for the share.
     
  9. Peregrine Registered Member

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    90
    Subsidized? Where do you live??

    Also, most farms are running from well water into aquifers. Yes?
     
  10. elusive Registered Member

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    It is good you have the passion for saving water but so do a lot of boomers one even made the post (me)

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. alphagao Banned Banned

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  12. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Its a mad world if water we have access too, we cannot clean, and we have to drill for clean supplies. I will never understand why more effort has not gone into understanding how to clean water, so we can recycle apart from the toilet water we all drink now in cities which is disgusting. The earth can obviously only clean so much water at a time.

    Amazing people are now thinking about drilling for clean water, lol.

    Its amazing how uncoordinated the whole world is, and clean water is the most important thing in life apart from sun light. I will never understand why mankind never put more effort into understanding how to clean water, and we all just take it for granted that the earth will always clean it for us. The cycle is limited to how fast the earth does this obviously.

    Just imagine how much we have polluted the water in 100 years of industrialisation, and the population is still getting bigger.

    Drilling for water, it shows you how far this has gone if people are thinking about that.

    All that other environmental stuff is rubbish, clean water is our only concern, and it shows you if they are thinking about drilling for clean water, it shows you how far we have come. Remember too its only been 100 years of industrialisation, imagine how old the earth is and the process of cleaning water is quite slow.

    Drinking water is horrible today, and i find today bottled water is like drinking water and detergent, its horrible. Why does bottled water have bubbles today? Obviously they are adding detergent to it.
     
  13. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    2,862
    Charge more to use the water then humans will conserve more.
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,801
    Wait. Are you for or against water recycling here? (We do this in San Diego.)
    Like I said, San Diego already recycles water and we're almost done with a desalination plant. We understand it just fine; rivers are just cheaper.

    I'm thinking that breathing is important too. You can, after all, drink bottled water - but it's pretty impractical to breathe bottled air.
    Because they add CO2 to carbonated water.

    CO2 actually.
     
  15. Peregrine Registered Member

    Messages:
    90
    Well, I am making a generalization based on water usage per capita:

    View attachment 6774

    View attachment 6775

    However, in my personal opinion, there has to be a crises for a solution to be relevant. So many solutions for envrionmental problems are arising. So thanks for wasting water!!

    I shower twice a week.... and re-wear clothing in rotation for weeks at a time.
     
  16. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    5,051
    No. This is just a curiosity, nothing more. Even in areas where fresh water is scarce (such as the middle-east), it is far cheaper to just make it than dig it from under the ocean floor.
     
  17. Gage Registered Senior Member

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    165
    Where do you live?? Your right most farms are using well water from aquifers.... Most being Non-renewable!!!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Google Ogallala Aquifer if you want a great example.
     
  18. Gage Registered Senior Member

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    165
    bingo!!!
     
  19. Gage Registered Senior Member

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    You know it says in the article this has been known for along time.... Are you really telling me your willing to believe they just found out about the quantity that's really there the other day....
    Where IS IT cheaper to drill for water UNDER THE OCEAN than make it/ pipelines/ or maybe just invest in <USING LESS> <USE LESS>:scratchin: I think you missed the point of the article. The sad truth is were actually considering going to these extremes, for areas, where water ISN'T SCARCE it's just were wasting it.
     
  20. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    2,088
    @ Buddha,

    No. That would be short lived as voters would vote in the guy who vows to lower water rates.

    The flaw with our political systems is that voters have control and normally want immediate gratification.

    If voters were told they had to pay double their gas prices or die in 20 years, they would all die in 20 years.

    This is an exaggeration, but governments already cannot get their public interested in prevention of Global Warming or Environmental impact.

    Canada removed a Prime Minister for proposing a 18 cent per gallon tax increase over 20 years ago. Gas has since quadrupled in price.
     
  21. Peregrine Registered Member

    Messages:
    90
    (You were agreeing to charge more for water)...

    Agriculture is the main use of water. See: View attachment 6778

    This use of materials and resources is usually applicable to all resources and materials. Meaning, the acquisition, processing, and manufacture...and distribution of 'stuff' requires the most 'stuff' than the end-user buying and using the stuff. (= Why communism always fails, digress...)

    Anyways, you cant charge for well water. The only cost is the well... and drawdown.
     
  22. Gage Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Yes.
    Mmhmm Yes it is.. Very good. :bravo:
    :huh: No. You definitely can be charged for it. It's called a water meter. It's just in some places private wells are not charged or metered (yes that includes the farms).. Hmmm I wonder why. Wait who uses the most water again?:scratchin:
     
  23. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    Messages:
    2,088
    @ OP,

    Why is water conservation so important to you.

    Is our supply diminishing? You do know that everything you drink finds its way back to the lake don't you?

    Even your body will be drunk by future generations.. MMMMM.
     

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