The Problems with Water Desalination

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The average human can not live any longer than three days without water. Many of the world’s fresh water sources are running dry or are being contaminated, particularly in developing nations, leaving many without safe water to drink. Only two and a half percent of the Earth’s water is freshwater, and less than one percent is accessible by humans (not tied up in ice caps). This one percent of the Earth’s water supply is expected to sustain a population of over 7 billion people, each needing 2.6 liters a day to remain fully healthy, plus all of the water required for agriculture and industry. These scenarios will only become more and more prevalent as time moves on and we consume more water. The United Nations has classified our planet as being in the midst of a global “water crisis.” Global water supply and shortages are becoming an incredibly real and serious issue, and planning for the future is key to preventing population decline due to a lack of safe drinking water. Shortages of drinking water lead to wars and serious international conflict for basic human survival needs. One of the most popularly and commonly proposed solutions to this problem is to create seawater desalination plants to remove salt from ocean water to make it safe to drink. These water desalination plants, however, are not a viable option to carry us in to the future due to their potentially harmful impacts and expenses.
Before delving in to what is actually wrong with seawater desalination plants, it is important to establish that there are plenty of alternatives available. One of the best alternatives is to adopt more efficient practices, such as conservation of water, and recycling storm water and grey water (from washing machines and bathrooms...

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...sequences and are far cheaper.

Works Cited

1. Into the Sea: Desalination as Hydro-Social Fix in Spain
Erik Swyngedouw, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 103, No. 2, SPECIAL ISSUE: Geographies of Water (March 2013), pp. 261-270
2. “California Water Boards Fact Sheet.” California Water Boards. waterboards.ca.gov, 23 May 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
3. Desalination in Chennai: What about the Poor and the Environment?
Gregor Meerganz von Medeazza, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 41, No. 11, Money, Banking and Finance (Mar. 18-24, 2006), pp. 949-952
4. “Desalination: An Ocean of Problems.”Food and Water Watch 1 (2009): 1-20. Print.
5. Postel, S.L., G.C. Daily and P.R. Ehrlich. 1996. Human appropriation of renewable fresh water. Science 271:785

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