Friday, March 27, 2009

Watery Visions of the Future

Remember how not so long ago the people who advocated that we get more of our electricity from wind or solar power were regarded as wackos. Today, those people are regarded as visionaries and people are interested in developing more infrastructure to generate wind and solar power.

Now we come to another problem. Water. Doesn't it strike you as strange that the way that Los Angeles and Las Vegas get water is to have it piped from the Colorado River? Why haven't we set up plants by major coastal cities like Los Angeles to desalinate and clean up water from the ocean? It could be done on the east coast too.

Atlanta had a drought last year because the water levels from the Chattahoochee River were down. A pipeline from the Atlantic would not be nearly as long a pipeline as the Alaska pipeline that transports oil.

I would also expect that bottled water might be one of the next industries that will see sales go down. Two reasons. One, it seems wasteful to throw away a plastic bottle every time we take a drink. As far as filtering, a person can get something as simple as a pitcher with a filter or attach one to their sinks or, of course, in many refrigerators. Using a refillable container is much less wasteful and more cost effective.

Perhaps one day in the not too distant future, we will hire engineers and construction crews to build desalination plants on our coasts near major cities to solve our problems with water shortages.

Maybe that sounds too visionary now, but then again, sustainable agriculture is now something we hear talked about more all the time, along with questions about the quality of our food sources and more inspections for food production facilities.

Maybe it is time for some of these watery visions to come true.

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