Saturday, 10 November 2012

Water, Water, Everywhere

I found this really good "infographic" on the net. Click on it to expand.

The diagram refers to a coming crisis of drinking water for a large part of the world's population, but paradoxically, this picture gives me a lot of hope - because it shows that we're nowhere near the end of our potential supply of water! We're currently able to access 1% of the world's supply of freshwater, which in turn is just 2.5% of all the water in the world. There's plenty more where what we have today came from.

Technology is all that stands in the way of our being able to tap into the remainder, and there are a zillion technological ways to skin this cat. One simple idea that has been around for decades is desalination. Economics is the only practical barrier to desalination, and a large part of this is the cost of energy per unit of water processed. Again and again, it comes back to energy. Now, I believe the world is on the cusp of an energy revolution, so with cheap and plentiful energy, many more things will become possible. Safe drinking water for all will be just one of them.

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