Thursday, April 24, 2008

Solar and wind power to irrigate the deserts by Walt Barrett

I have had this idea for forty years, and now I think its time has come in the light of the recent reports of food shortages worldwide. It remains to be seen if these shortages of crops are real or contrived, but either way it makes sense to me to irrigate the deserts near the oceans with solar power rather than cut down more forests and add to the growing carbon dioxide problem. Recent developments in the reverse osmosis membrane technology have nearly doubled the efficiency of these desalinization units. The same can be done with inland deserts that have a shallow water table of very briny unusable water.
The other side of the problem is what to do with the left over brine, but with the deserts as vast as they are it will be a simple matter to pump the brine into evaporation ponds on land that is now being wasted anyway. When the brine dries out it can be sold commercially.
Now, this sounds like a business opportunity to me – think about it!

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