California continues to suffer through a fourth year of water shortages, bordered by the largest body of water on earth. The crisis has encouraged residents to once again wonder if the Pacific Ocean is the answer to the state's water woes. Some are pushing for additional desalination plants like those used in water-starved Israel and Australia to convert ocean water into unlimited fresh water. Coastal Santa Barbara turned to desalination during a devastating five-year drought in the late 1980s, but by the time a new plant was ready for operation in 1992, heavy rains had returned. The $35 million facility ran for a few weeks before being shuttered. That's because the desalination process is not only potentially harmful to marine life, but removing salt by pushing salt water through membranes takes far more energy than simply pulling fresh water from inland sources. All that energy use is not only counter to the state's push for lower emissions, but it only seems economical during the worst of a drought. As Santa Barbara reactivates the plant this summer, water bills in the area are expected to increase by 40 percent.
Since California will be using desalination, they will need an Alkaline Water Machine to return the minerals to their water
Compared to local freshwater sources, desalination is certainly energy expensive. But it's only slightly more costly than other options available during drought conditions. That's why Santa Barbara is spending another $40 million to reopen its plant, and why 17 others are in the works along the state's coast. In Carlsbad, California, Poseidon Water is opening a $1 billion plant that will be the largest in the U.S. when it is completed in the fall. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, CEO Carlos Riva defended desalination plants against those that worry that they represent a step backward in the state's efforts to reduce carbon emissions, pointing out that the plant will "use less energy than one of the data center that are being built, and nobody claims that they are somehow immoral." According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, data centers are expected to consume 140 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year by 2020—the output of 34 large coal power plants. According to the Pacific Institute, the Carlsbad plant will take 750 megawatt hours per day, so more than 500 equivalent plants would have to be constructed to match the energy cost of our Facebook and Google habits... 324
127 To reach this state of stability, both hydrogen and oxygen atoms create covalent bonds with each other, as illustrated in the diagram on the right. In a water molecule, two hydrogen atoms are covalently bonded to the oxygen atom. But because the oxygen atom is larger than the hydrogen atom, its attraction for the hydrogen's electrons is correspondingly greater so the electrons are drawn closer in to the orbit of the larger oxygen atom and away from the hydrogen orbits. This means that although the water molecule as a whole is stable, the greater mass of the oxygen nucleus tends to draw in all the electrons in the molecule including the shared hydrogen electrons giving the oxygen portion of the molecule a slight electronegative charge. The orbits of the hydrogen atoms, because their electrons are closer to the oxygen, take on a small electropositive charge. This means water molecules have a tendency to form weak bonds with other water molecules because the oxygen end of the molecule is negative and the hydrogen ends are positive. A hydrogen atom, while remaining covalently bonded to the oxygen of its own molecule, can form a weak bond with the oxygen of another molecule. Similarly, the oxygen end of a molecule can form a weak attachment with the hydrogen ends of other molecules. Because water molecules have this polarity, water is a continuous chemical entity. These weak bonds play a crucial role in stabilizing the shape of many of the large molecules found in living matter. Because these bonds are weak,
they are readily broken and re-formed during normal physiological reactions. The disassembly and re-arrangement of such weak bonds is in essence the chemistry of life. Water is a universal solvent due to the marked polarity of water molecules and their tendency to form hydrogen bonds with other molecules. To illustrate water's ability to break down other substances, consider the simple example of putting a small amount of table salt in a glass of water. Table salt, also known by its chemical name sodium chloride [NaCl], is an example of an ionic compound, which means that one of the atoms involved stole a valence electron from the other. In this case, the chlorine atom [Cl], stole an electron from the sodium atom [Na], resulting in the creation of an electronegative chloride ion [Cl-] and an electropositive sodium ion [Na+]. The two ions are bonded together because of the attraction of opposite charges. better understand ionic bonds After salt is placed in water, the ionic bond between the sodium and chloride ions is broken due to the competitive action of the water molecules that outnumber the salt molecules. The electronegative oxygen pole of the water molecule is attracted to the positively charged sodium ions [Na+], and the electropositive hydrogen pole of the water molecule is attracted to the negatively charged chloride ions [Cl-]. As with the example of table salt, water has the ability to dissolve many unwanted substances that have accumulated in our bodies over time, such as solid waste and toxins, and to flush them away through the body's natural elimination channels such as lungs, colon, kidneys, liver, and skin.