With the ongoing drought in the southern United States, scientists and researchers are beginning to get creative with water.
According to a 2009 report by the Texas Water Development Board, there is an estimated 2.7 billion acre-feet of brackish ground water in Texas. Brackish means salinated, or salt water but not as salty as seawater, and different areas of brackish water may have a different percentage of salination (low, medium and high). The major question is, can the water be processed and desalinized to make it consumable, or at least useful for other things?
In an effort to conserve fresh water, some companies that require water for their operations use brackish water as a substitute. This has been an ongoing practice for leeching oil from the oil sands in western Canada for a few years now, and hopefully it will be something more companies choose to do as well. With states such as California pushing into their third year of dealing with extreme drought, drinkable water is becoming scarce.
Over 800,000 residents in California have no access to drinkable ground water in their immediate area, meaning they have to find new sources – easier said than done. Ground water is where it is, and many times that’s not somewhere convenient. This is forcing some people to draw on ground water from sources that are already being strained by the rest of the population.
Texas, too, has been suffering from a shift in precipitation trends and therefore, depleted ground water sources. If there were a way to process brackish water into drinkable water, without spending a fortune, it might just be the way to bail these people (and farmers) out. As this issue continues to develop, this may just become the problem of the day to solve. It is easy to imagine inventive minds trying to capitalize on this by being the ones to develop the technology – then again, this could just be wishful thinking.
There are, after all, fairly simple survivalist directions you can follow to make saltwater drinkable, but there is a huge difference between generating enough water for yourself to drink out of a bucket, and converting 2.7 billion acre-feet, for a third of the country. Therein lies the problem, the volume.
Another ongoing misconception about the ongoing drought on America’s west coast is that the city-slickers, better known as celebrities, can suck it up and let their laws dry up and hot tubs go empty. These people probably have dozens of unnecessary features in their home that use up fresh water like a glutton. From fountains to showers with six heads, maybe it’s about time they just eat a little humble pie. Unfortunately, those feeling the H2O pinch the most are farmers. The people that need to make a living off the land are literally floundering on dead ground.
While winter for California is usually the time they see the most precipitation, climatologists are saying don’t count on it – not anytime soon at least. El Nino isn’t even going to be throwing a tropical storm their way this year, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It looks as though California and a few other areas in the South are in for a rough year.
Looking for ground water? Call before you dig. Save time and money by knowing where the water is before you drill your well. Contact American Water Surveyors at:
Call: 877-SEISMO1 (734-7661) or 817-788-5716