Why Don't we Drink Water from the Ocean?

First published:

Last Edited:

Number of edits:

We know we can't drink salt water from the sea. But why don't we desalinate it?1

According to the article, 1m^3 of desalinated water costs between 1$ and 2$ , while fresh water from a well/river costs as little as 0.1$ . However, newer dams make the price go up to .6$ which starts competing with desalination. Plus, access to fresh water is limited and subject to droughts, while salt water is close to any coastal area.

Main costs for desalinating is energy, plus residue removal. The salt left behind can't be simply released to the ocean since it would increase the concentration locally, being a risk for life. One method for desalinating is by evaporating water, which demands energy. Can't solar energy (i.e. direct sunlight) be used? I think I remember a paper by N. Halas on the use of gold nanoparticles to absorb visible light, transduce it to heat, etc.

My question: How much fresh water does each human need? Especially if we factor the amount of water needed for growing food.


  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-dont-we-get-our-drinking-water-from-the-ocean/ 

Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
This note you are reading is part of my digital garden. Follow the links to learn more, and remember that these notes evolve over time. After all, this website is not a blog.
Subscribe to the newsletter

Get the weekly reflections of a curious mind

Backlinks

Nothing links here, how did you reach this page then?
© 2020 Aquiles Carattino
Privacy Policy
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.