Too much salt: water desalination plants harm environment: U.N.

Too much salt: water desalination plants harm environment: U.N.

FILE PHOTO: Workers walk outside a desalination plant, south of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 2011. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

OSLO (Reuters) – Almost 16,000 desalination plants worldwide produce bigger-than-expected flows of highly salty waste water and toxic chemicals that are damaging the environment, a U.N.-backed study said on Monday.

Desalination plants pump out 142 million cubic meters (5 billion cubic feet) of salty brine every day, 50 percent more than previous estimates,

[more…]

Case study suggests new approach to urban water supply

Graphic: MIT study on water infrastructure

If you live in the developed world, safe water is usually just a faucet-turn away. And yet, global warming, drought conditions, and population growth in coming decades could change that, ushering in an era of uncertain access to water.

Now an MIT-based research team has evaluated those potential problems and, based on a case study in Australia, suggested an alternate approach to water planning. In a new paper, the researchers … [more…]

Desalination Produces 50 Percent More Toxic Brine Than Previously Thought

photo: desalination plant

The world’s desalination plants, which use energy intensive processes to remove salt from water, produce enough toxic brine each year to cover all of Florida under a foot of water.

Factories around the world are pumping out toxic brine at a rate much higher than previously estimated and dumping it back into the ocean, according to a report published on Monday.

This super-salty brine is toxic to marine life, and … [more…]

A permanent solution to California’s water woes — seawater

photo: workin on pipes at world's largest desalination plant (Carlsbad, San Diego County, California)

Workers move a pipe in front of the 2000 pressure vessels that will be used to convert seawater into fresh water through reverse osmosis in the western hemisphere’s largest desalination plant in Carlsbad (San Diego County). Long ignored as too costly and environmentally dubious, desalination is returning to the public discussion of how to address California’s water woes. Photo: Gregory Bull / Associated Press 2015

“During the dry years, the

[more…]

Pioneering solar-powered greenhouse to grow food without fresh water

photo: head grower Adrian Simkins. Sundrop Farms pioneering solar-powered greenhouse to grow food without fresh water

Photo: Sundrop Farms head grower Adrian Simkins says the tomato project is a world-first. (Landline: Kerry Staight)

A groundbreaking greenhouse that relies on sunlight and seawater to grow tomatoes officially opens next week, 300 kilometres north of Adelaide. The company Sundrop Farms spent several years developing the idea at a pilot plant on the outskirts of Port Augusta, before building a commercial facility that is 100 times larger.

"This is

[more…]