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If you have cheap desalinization capability, why would there be wars over water?

"Cheap" desalinization is like "bargain" chip fab. It's still an inherently expensive proposition.




I agree that cheap and expensive need context.

According to the first link I found about large scale desalination, it can be done for a wholesale price of around $0.58/cubic meter.[1]

For comparison, my local water authority (in a part of the US that is not particularly dry) charges about $0.94/cubic meter.

Without knowing exactly what the difference is between wholesale and retail rates, I feel reasonably confident that desalination technology is currently sufficient to avoid civilization collapse and/or war.

[1]https://www.technologyreview.com/s/534996/megascale-desalina...


> Without knowing exactly what the difference is between wholesale and retail rates, I feel reasonably confident that desalination technology is currently sufficient to avoid civilization collapse and/or war.

The problem is you're gonna need energy to operate these plants and you can't scale stuff up infinitely as the brine will kill off marine life and eventually, the water sources will become so salty that they can not be used for desalination any more: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals...

Which means, once Peak Salt hits, there will be problems. Oh, and desalinating water for drinking purposes is one thing - using it for agricultural demands is a whole different beast. Egypt, for example, already had problems in 2010, and the issue won't get smaller over the decades. http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/11/09/egypt.water.s...


"eventually, the water sources will become so salty that they can not be used for desalination any more"

Where do you think the water will go? I mean, if it doesn't end up in the ground, or the ocean...


I feel reasonably confident that desalination technology is currently sufficient to avoid civilization collapse and/or war.

Yes. But the experience up until now, is that desalinization is so much more expensive than other water sources, to the point that such plants often get mothballed when the other sources become available again.

https://www.circleofblue.org/2016/asia/water-scarce-regions-...




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