Governor Brown, Solar Desalination As The Solution To The Drying California

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The Drying of California map

The Drying of California map

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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For the first time in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered mandatory water use reductions on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.  No Foolin’!   Finally the state’s four-year drought had reached near-crisis proportions after a winter of record-low snowfalls.”This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” Brown said, standing on a patch of dry, brown grass in the Sierra Nevada mountains that is usually blanketed by up to 5 feet of snow. In an executive order, Gov. Brown directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a 25% reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies (serving 90% of California residents). The agencies will be responsible for coming up with restrictions to cut back on water use and for monitoring compliance. State officials said the order would impose varying degrees of cutbacks on water use across the board — affecting homeowners, farms and other businesses, as well as the maintenance of cemeteries and golf courses.

“We’re in a new era,” Gov. Brown said. “The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that’s going to be a thing of the past.” The state had trouble reaching the 20% reduction target that Gov. Brown set in January 2014 when he issued a voluntary reduction order. The state water board has the power to impose fines on local water suppliers that fail to meet the reduction target set by the board over the coming weeks.

The California Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, said, “The current drought in California is devastating. Today’s order from governor should not only alarm Californians, but the entire nation should take notice that the most productive agriculture state in the country has entered uncharted territory. I’m from the Central Valley, and we know that we cannot conserve or ration our way out of this drought.”

To Gov. Brown and Rep. McCarthy, I’d like to say, “Consider Solar Desalination!” Below is taken from Wikipedia on the topic of solar powered desalination unit. There are  also several videos helping to explain the process of seawater desalination and various technologies of solar desalination, utilizing our abundant sea water. Historically, due to the great deal of energy that is required in seawater desalination, desalination has not been utilized much in USA. With the dramatically decreased cost of solar coming on scene, Solar Desalination is now more likely to be an economically feasible solution to the California drought. Please be sure to also view the last video on “Seawater Desalination via Solar Power Satellites” that will utilize the currently existing 27 oil rigs  and off-shore platforms to serve as receiving antennas for the power beams of space solar satellites, running salt water desalination plants and using excess energy to power homes, cities, and industries in California.

A solar powered desalination unit produces potable water from saline water through direct or indirect methods of desalination powered by sunlight. Countries such as Australia, Italy and Egypt have adopted this system as an alternative source of water for the population.

 

 

 

 Direct solar desalination produces distillate directly in the solar collector. An example would be a solar still which traps the Sun’s energy to obtain freshwater through the process of evaporation and condensation. Indirect solar desalination incorporates solar energy collection systems with conventional desalination systems such as multi-stage flash distillation, multiple effect evaporation, freeze separation or reverse osmosis to produce freshwater.

The intermittent nature of sunlight and its variable intensity throughout the day makes predicting its efficiency difficult. However, incorporating a thermal energy storage system solves this problem and ensures constant performance even during non-sunlight hours and cloudy days, improving overall efficiency.

There are some concerns regarding seawater desalination such as the efficiency level and environmental impacts that would need to be monitored continuously. But solar desalination may provide California with the viable solution, I am optimistic.

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

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