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(Popular Science)   Many people believe the next major global conflict will be about who controls the water. But exactly where will the conflict start? Here comes the very dry science   (popsci.com) divider line 49
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2356 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Jun 2014 at 12:17 PM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-16 11:31:36 AM  
Something, something, rising sea levels, something, something, desalination, something, something, water shortage problem solved!

/something
 
2014-06-16 12:18:57 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com

Agrees...
 
2014-06-16 12:20:47 PM  
DRTFA. IRAQ.
 
2014-06-16 12:28:15 PM  
(peeks at the map)

So, basically where people are shooting each other over bullshiat reasons now?
 
2014-06-16 12:30:05 PM  

The answers to "where" and 'when" is "everywhere" and "it's been going on for years."

Some of us have mentioned this on FARK more than once over the years. Water, not oil, is your next big fight, and we've been dealing with it for years here in the United States. You're not seeing it start, you're seeing it escalate.
The article covers this, by rating the events that have occurred over the years, but what it doesn't cover is the slow escalation of the events since 1990. Local, state, and federal government here in the U.S. has dealt not just with domestic water rights, but also with negotiation over shared water rights with Canada and Mexico for some time. It's going to be interesting to watch over the next half-century.
 
2014-06-16 12:32:46 PM  
So, SeaQuest DSV is finally happening? Do we have talking dolphins yet?
 
2014-06-16 12:35:43 PM  
Meh. I have a StillSuit. Rigged Fremen style. I'm good.
 
2014-06-16 12:38:21 PM  
Large corporations are buying farms in California, shifting them to nut trees (to sell in China). Nut trees take a LOT of water to grow (about a gallon per almond, for example). California has minimal water usage rights, so these large corporations can grab all the water running under their land they want.

California Thunderdome, right around the corner.
 
2014-06-16 12:54:24 PM  
Meh, there is an infinite supply of water.

It's called the ocean.

Now, desalinization plants ain't cheap, but they do exist (and are cheaper than going to war over water).
 
2014-06-16 01:23:19 PM  

Geotpf: Meh, there is an infinite supply of water.

It's called the ocean.

Now, desalinization plants ain't cheap, but they do exist (and are cheaper than going to war over water).


You do realize than some people do not live near an oceanfront, right?
 
2014-06-16 01:28:07 PM  

Geotpf: Meh, there is an infinite supply of water.

It's called the ocean.

Now, desalinization plants ain't cheap, but they do exist (and are cheaper than going to war over water).


Yes but desalinization has huge environmental impacts that dramatically reduce the vitality of sea life. No one really understands what large scale desalination will actually do but it won't be good for the creature in the ocean and those who depend upon them (us).

There is no free lunch.
 
2014-06-16 01:32:56 PM  
Downstream and moving upwards.
 
2014-06-16 01:38:21 PM  

worlddan: Geotpf: Meh, there is an infinite supply of water.

It's called the ocean.

Now, desalinization plants ain't cheap, but they do exist (and are cheaper than going to war over water).

Yes but desalinization has huge environmental impacts that dramatically reduce the vitality of sea life. No one really understands what large scale desalination will actually do but it won't be good for the creature in the ocean and those who depend upon them (us).

There is no free lunch.


The ocean is very big, I find this hard to believe.

Show your math.
 
2014-06-16 01:43:28 PM  
As the climate shifts, rivers will both flood and dry up more often, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

If only there was some way to capture and store water during floods for use during droughts.
 
2014-06-16 01:51:13 PM  
Is this another thread where we get to hear nonsense about piping the Great Lakes to Arizona?
 
2014-06-16 02:04:30 PM  
Water has been a large factor in the Arab-Israeli conflict for years. Protection of water resources was the primary motivation for Israel occupying the Golan Heights and the source of the Jordan River.

Depriving Palestinians of water has long been a weapon of the Israelis.

The average Israeli consumes for domestic and urban use approximately 104 cubic meters of water a year, or 280 liters per person per day.

Per capita water consumption in the West Bank for domestic, urban, and industrial use is only 22 cubic meters a year, which translates into 60 liters per person per day.

http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/cache/offonce/pid/11612 ;j sessionid=099EECCE67262BDAE3649318C1A41625
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=41579#.U58xdvldXh4
 
2014-06-16 02:11:47 PM  

wxboy: Is this another thread where we get to hear nonsense about piping the Great Lakes to Arizona?


The Romans managed to build an underground aqueduct over 100 miles long. I'm not saying we should enable those people that live in a desert to have lush green lawns, but making sure they have enough water to wash and drink is doable. There are other pipelines today that send oil and natural gas over incredibly great distances.
 
2014-06-16 02:13:39 PM  
Wasn't there a James Bond movie about this?
 
2014-06-16 02:15:37 PM  
"For me the really interesting part is how even Arabs and Israelis, Indians and Pakistanis, are able to resolve their differences and find a solution."

img.fark.net
 
2014-06-16 02:31:47 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: wxboy: Is this another thread where we get to hear nonsense about piping the Great Lakes to Arizona?

The Romans managed to build an underground aqueduct over 100 miles long. I'm not saying we should enable those people that live in a desert to have lush green lawns, but making sure they have enough water to wash and drink is doable. There are other pipelines today that send oil and natural gas over incredibly great distances.


Is it technically doable?  Of course.  But the Great Lakes states are more likely to secede than allow that to happen.
 
2014-06-16 02:39:04 PM  

Geotpf: Meh, there is an infinite supply of water.

It's called the ocean.

Now, desalinization plants ain't cheap, but they do exist (and are cheaper than going to war over water).


Those plants run on oil which is even harder to get, and sometimes takes a lot of water to extract. 

InterruptingQuirk: wxboy: Is this another thread where we get to hear nonsense about piping the Great Lakes to Arizona?

The Romans managed to build an underground aqueduct over 100 miles long. I'm not saying we should enable those people that live in a desert to have lush green lawns, but making sure they have enough water to wash and drink is doable. There are other pipelines today that send oil and natural gas over incredibly great distances.


It's not about lack of ability, it is about the desire to do so. Why would the great lake states want their lakes emptied because people in Vegas want green grass in a desert?
 
2014-06-16 02:41:16 PM  

wxboy: InterruptingQuirk: wxboy: Is this another thread where we get to hear nonsense about piping the Great Lakes to Arizona?

The Romans managed to build an underground aqueduct over 100 miles long. I'm not saying we should enable those people that live in a desert to have lush green lawns, but making sure they have enough water to wash and drink is doable. There are other pipelines today that send oil and natural gas over incredibly great distances.

Is it technically doable?  Of course.  But the Great Lakes states are more likely to secede than allow that to happen.


NOBODYTAKINOURDAMNWATER!
 
2014-06-16 02:49:16 PM  

moike: The ocean is very big, I find this hard to believe.


The ocean is very big, but you have to put the hypersaline effluent of your desalination plant somewhere that won't kill fish by the thousands. Pumping it off the continental shelf and into the abyssal depths makes it even more expensive than it already is.
 
2014-06-16 02:51:17 PM  

nocturnal001: It's not about lack of ability, it is about the desire to do so. Why would the great lake states want their lakes emptied because people in Vegas want green grass in a desert?


And it's not terribly clear exactly what the response of the Great Lakes will be to a changing climate. They may get more rain... they may get less.
 
2014-06-16 02:55:42 PM  

sendtodave: If only there was some way to capture and store water during floods for use during droughts.


Ask Austin how their drinking water reservoir on the Colorado River is doing these days.
 
2014-06-16 02:58:26 PM  

theorellior: moike: The ocean is very big, I find this hard to believe.

The ocean is very big, but you have to put the hypersaline effluent of your desalination plant somewhere that won't kill fish by the thousands. Pumping it off the continental shelf and into the abyssal depths makes it even more expensive than it already is.


Couldn't we just pump it in-land into a flat area and turn it into usable salt?
 
2014-06-16 03:07:43 PM  

moike: Couldn't we just pump it in-land into a flat area and turn it into usable salt?


How much salt are you gonna need? That's a lot of hypersaline brine we're talking about.

Salt's a cheap commodity, anyway. What with salt dome mining, there's no way desalinated salt could compete in price.
 
2014-06-16 03:08:55 PM  
When I drive the family from Seattle to LA every year or two we always stop for food at the Kettleman City IN-N-Out Burger on I5. The place seems to be the go-to place for local farmers to discuss, negotiate deals and argue over water. You'd be amazed at the conversations you'll hear all around you.

I've overheard some farmers there hatching some truly Machiavellian schemes to get revenge or screw over neighboring properties. I'm almost amazed I haven't seen fist-fights or shoot-outs there as things have been going from bad to worse there.

As the trend keeps getting worse I can see that whole CA central valley going Thunderdome before much longer.
 
2014-06-16 03:09:36 PM  

moike: theorellior: moike: The ocean is very big, I find this hard to believe.

The ocean is very big, but you have to put the hypersaline effluent of your desalination plant somewhere that won't kill fish by the thousands. Pumping it off the continental shelf and into the abyssal depths makes it even more expensive than it already is.

Couldn't we just pump it in-land into a flat area and turn it into usable salt?


We do use a lot of it:

sustainablewater.org
 
2014-06-16 03:12:59 PM  

theorellior: moike: 

Salt's a cheap commodity, anyway. What with salt dome mining, there's no way desalinated salt could compete in price.


We just need to market it as "Bottled Salt", "Organic Salt", "Craft Salt" "Limited Production, Free-Range Pacific" salt
 
2014-06-16 03:17:58 PM  
Canada has about 20% of the world's fresh water, and about 7% of the world's renewable fresh water, with about .4% of the world's population. Shiat like this makes me nervous.
 
2014-06-16 03:19:26 PM  

theorellior: moike: The ocean is very big, I find this hard to believe.

The ocean is very big, but you have to put the hypersaline effluent of your desalination plant somewhere that won't kill fish by the thousands. Pumping it off the continental shelf and into the abyssal depths makes it even more expensive than it already is.


See, now here is where you get a free lunch:  Dry the salt and sell it.  Most salt production outside of mining subterranean deposits of it consists of evaporating ocean water, so just substitute desalination for evaporation.  Two for one deal.

Plus, it's not like the water supply is an open system where once you use it, you lose it permanently:  It's a closed system and it *WILL* eventually end up back in the ocean, so you aren't going to do any permanent damage.
 
2014-06-16 03:22:45 PM  
The upper midwest. Water barons to the world!
BWA HAHAHAHAHAH!
 
2014-06-16 03:44:00 PM  

FormlessOne: The article covers this, by rating the events that have occurred over the years, but what it doesn't cover is the slow escalation of the events since 1990. Local, state, and federal government here in the U.S. has dealt not just with domestic water rights, but also with negotiation over shared water rights with Canada and Mexico for some time. It's going to be interesting to watch over the next half-century.


One of the most prescient elements of the US/Canada FTA (later rolled into NAFTA) was the prohibition on bulk water exports from Canada.

But short of a pipeline, there aren't many flowing sources between the two countries that can be disrupted.  Considering the length of the border, it's actually a pretty amazing quirk of geography that there are only 3 rivers that cross that international boundary- The Columbia, whose headwaters are the columbia glacier that sits astride BC and Alberta and ends up in the Pacific at the Oregon/Washington border, the Milk river, which crosses from AB into Montana, finds the Snake then Missouri systems and eventually ends up in the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico, and the Red river, which flows northward from North Dakota into Manitoba and eventually Hudson Bay.  Only the Red has been a source of some contention, and that mostly due to the flooding effects of it's specific geology.

Of course, there are also those 4 rather large lakes that we share.
 
2014-06-16 04:11:51 PM  

Stan Lee's Ghost: theorellior: moike: 

Salt's a cheap commodity, anyway. What with salt dome mining, there's no way desalinated salt could compete in price.

We just need to market it as "Bottled Salt", "Organic Salt", "Craft Salt" "Limited Production, Free-Range Pacific" salt


Nexzus: Canada has about 20% of the world's fresh water, and about 7% of the world's renewable fresh water, with about .4% of the world's population. Shiat like this makes me nervous.


Being the Saudi Arabia of fresh water makes me want to nuke up, or at least have a good poison pill strategy in place.
 
2014-06-16 04:15:20 PM  

unyon: FormlessOne: The article covers this, by rating the events that have occurred over the years, but what it doesn't cover is the slow escalation of the events since 1990. Local, state, and federal government here in the U.S. has dealt not just with domestic water rights, but also with negotiation over shared water rights with Canada and Mexico for some time. It's going to be interesting to watch over the next half-century.

One of the most prescient elements of the US/Canada FTA (later rolled into NAFTA) was the prohibition on bulk water exports from Canada.

But short of a pipeline, there aren't many flowing sources between the two countries that can be disrupted.  Considering the length of the border, it's actually a pretty amazing quirk of geography that there are only 3 rivers that cross that international boundary- The Columbia, whose headwaters are the columbia glacier that sits astride BC and Alberta and ends up in the Pacific at the Oregon/Washington border, the Milk river, which crosses from AB into Montana, finds the Snake then Missouri systems and eventually ends up in the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico, and the Red river, which flows northward from North Dakota into Manitoba and eventually Hudson Bay.  Only the Red has been a source of some contention, and that mostly due to the flooding effects of it's specific geology.

Of course, there are also those 4 rather large lakes that we share.


When it comes to Canada & Mexico, it's not just about surface water when it comes to transboundary water resources. For example, we share 18 transboundary aquifers with Mexico, and we've pushed hard (and failed) to install comprehensive usage agreements there. Canada, similarly, is busily hedging its bets with the United States when it comes both transboundary river basins and transboundary aquifers.

Transboundary water resources, such as aquifers, are difficult to manage because there's no real way, short of mutual enforcement, to guarantee appropriate management. The United States is busily draining aquifers like there's no tomorrow - the Ogallala Aquifer is a lovely example of what not to do with an underground water resource that doesn't replenish quickly - and we're greedily demanding disproportionate water rights to these transboundary resources.
 
2014-06-16 04:16:18 PM  

unyon: Stan Lee's Ghost: theorellior: moike: 

Salt's a cheap commodity, anyway. What with salt dome mining, there's no way desalinated salt could compete in price.

We just need to market it as "Bottled Salt", "Organic Salt", "Craft Salt" "Limited Production, Free-Range Pacific" salt

Nexzus: Canada has about 20% of the world's fresh water, and about 7% of the world's renewable fresh water, with about .4% of the world's population. Shiat like this makes me nervous.

Being the Saudi Arabia of fresh water makes me want to nuke up, or at least have a good poison pill strategy in place.


Exactly. There's a reason that Canada's negotiations with the United States have been so involved when it comes to water rights.
 
2014-06-16 04:23:33 PM  

unyon: Stan Lee's Ghost: theorellior: moike: 

Salt's a cheap commodity, anyway. What with salt dome mining, there's no way desalinated salt could compete in price.

We just need to market it as "Bottled Salt", "Organic Salt", "Craft Salt" "Limited Production, Free-Range Pacific" salt

Nexzus: Canada has about 20% of the world's fresh water, and about 7% of the world's renewable fresh water, with about .4% of the world's population. Shiat like this makes me nervous.

Being the Saudi Arabia of fresh water makes me want to nuke up, or at least have a good poison pill strategy in place.


Uh, why?
 
2014-06-16 04:58:56 PM  

Stan Lee's Ghost: theorellior: moike: 

Salt's a cheap commodity, anyway. What with salt dome mining, there's no way desalinated salt could compete in price.

We just need to market it as "Bottled Salt", "Organic Salt", "Craft Salt" "Limited Production, Free-Range Pacific" salt


Too late,  it's already on the market.

img1.targetimg1.com

My girlfriend already pays way too much for 'fancy' salt.
 
2014-06-16 05:37:46 PM  

theorellior: moike: The ocean is very big, I find this hard to believe.

The ocean is very big, but you have to put the hypersaline effluent of your desalination plant somewhere that won't kill fish by the thousands. Pumping it off the continental shelf and into the abyssal depths makes it even more expensive than it already is.


Though I'm no oceanographer, I'm thinking that the fresh water from the melting poles would be doing a fair job of balancing the hypersalinity.  Knowing the politicians, though, I am going to say their answer will involve pumping money off shore and relying upon rain dances to solve the problem.
 
2014-06-16 05:46:34 PM  

zarberg: Wasn't there a James Bond movie about this?


Pretty close.

Everyone thought QoS was a far-fetched movie.

Granted it wasn't a good movie, but still.
 
2014-06-16 08:53:20 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Something, something, rising sea levels, something, something, desalination, something, something, water shortage problem solved!

/something


InterruptingQuirk: wxboy: Is this another thread where we get to hear nonsense about piping the Great Lakes to Arizona?

The Romans managed to build an underground aqueduct over 100 miles long. I'm not saying we should enable those people that live in a desert to have lush green lawns, but making sure they have enough water to wash and drink is doable. There are other pipelines today that send oil and natural gas over incredibly great distances.



Note that the issue isn't one of running out of water in an absolute sense, but having less easily accessible (and therefore cheap) fresh water. "Doable" in a technical sense does not say much about feasibility in terms of costs or inter-boundary conflicts, the latter of which is what TFA is largely concerned with.
 
2014-06-16 09:19:48 PM  
OK, so the usual suspects are there... but the one that will come out of nowhere to smack the shiat out of everyone is the Danube.
 
2014-06-16 09:25:49 PM  

Damnhippyfreak: Note that the issue isn't one of running out of water in an absolute sense, but having less easily accessible (and therefore cheap) fresh water. "Doable" in a technical sense does not say much about feasibility in terms of costs or inter-boundary conflicts, the latter of which is what TFA is largely concerned with.


At a certain point, cost is a factor that must be ignored before it starts costing us things of real value,i.e. lives.


/melodramatic much?
//yeah, sorry
///but seriously though
 
2014-06-16 09:39:04 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Damnhippyfreak: Note that the issue isn't one of running out of water in an absolute sense, but having less easily accessible (and therefore cheap) fresh water. "Doable" in a technical sense does not say much about feasibility in terms of costs or inter-boundary conflicts, the latter of which is what TFA is largely concerned with.

At a certain point, cost is a factor that must be ignored before it starts costing us things of real value,i.e. lives.


/melodramatic much?
//yeah, sorry
///but seriously though



I wish it were that way. Unfortunately, costs do matter, which is why you see you see already-extant conflicts as in TFA.

Even if we put a very high value on lives, it still behooves us to acknowledge that costs do present a challenge, especially in places that are already stretched thin.  In the end, accessing, treating, and transporting water does have a cost, and such needs to be taken into account.
 
2014-06-16 11:40:43 PM  

highendmighty: theorellior: moike: The ocean is very big, I find this hard to believe.

The ocean is very big, but you have to put the hypersaline effluent of your desalination plant somewhere that won't kill fish by the thousands. Pumping it off the continental shelf and into the abyssal depths makes it even more expensive than it already is.

Though I'm no oceanographer, I'm thinking that the fresh water from the melting poles would be doing a fair job of balancing the hypersalinity.  Knowing the politicians, though, I am going to say their answer will involve pumping money off shore and relying upon rain dances to solve the problem.


It's a point source issue.  Yes, underlying thought for most marine chemistry is the "solution is dilution", but a point source that say, doubles the salinity of the local waters is going to be brutal on the local ecosystem.  In shore fisheries, intertidal areas, heck anything directly downcurrent of the prevailing patterns are things that have to be carefully considered.  The worst thing you could do is split the difference and set up a plant at a salt wedge estuary and harvest the brackish water, then discharge brine - basically fouling your own nest in short order.

As several people have suggested, salt farming is an option.  At that point, it isn't to compete with traditional salt production - it's to keep the brine from going into the waters.  What money it generates is a mild offset for the costs of desalination.  Also, electrochlorination is becoming a more popular way to make water potable - generating it at the desalination plant will also cut down on the amount of salts produced.

After that, it comes down to your power generation.  Depending on what you use, it can be as disruptive as the desalination plant you just built.
 
2014-06-16 11:53:20 PM  
Is the answer `somewhere dry`?
 
2014-06-16 11:58:59 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Damnhippyfreak: Note that the issue isn't one of running out of water in an absolute sense, but having less easily accessible (and therefore cheap) fresh water. "Doable" in a technical sense does not say much about feasibility in terms of costs or inter-boundary conflicts, the latter of which is what TFA is largely concerned with.

At a certain point, cost is a factor that must be ignored before it starts costing us things of real value,i.e. lives.


/melodramatic much?
//yeah, sorry
///but seriously though


Actually lives are factored in with a cost value defined by someone somewhere. I heard $4000. The cost in life dollars is balanced against the cost in actual dollars so if it`s cheaper the people die or a war is started.

I imagine insurance companies work the same way
 
2014-06-17 08:03:32 AM  

unyon: Stan Lee's Ghost: theorellior: moike: 

Salt's a cheap commodity, anyway. What with salt dome mining, there's no way desalinated salt could compete in price.

We just need to market it as "Bottled Salt", "Organic Salt", "Craft Salt" "Limited Production, Free-Range Pacific" salt

Nexzus: Canada has about 20% of the world's fresh water, and about 7% of the world's renewable fresh water, with about .4% of the world's population. Shiat like this makes me nervous.

Being the Saudi Arabia of fresh water makes me want to nuke up, or at least have a good poison pill strategy in place.


You could develop a chemical that turns people into mummies when they drink the water.
 
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