Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top 10 Reasons Why Desalination Is Better Than Desertification

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), speculators, and developers have been fear mongering us to believe that the 15 billion dollar (minimum) Groundwater Development Project (Watergrab) is our only option to save Las Vegas from the reality of living in the desert. Any rational person would advise them to live within their means – and that sustaining unsustainable growth is not sustainability.

We've tried. But since the money grabbers don't want to hear that, the rest of us need to minimize their plundering. Just in case nobody noticed, there is an ocean of water just one state away. And desalination costs have plummeted in the over 20 years since the official commitment to take water away from Las Vegas' less politically powerful neighbors. Let's consider the costs/benefits:

  1. With desalination, there will be more water. No matter how we look at it, desalination adds to the total fresh water available to Southern Nevada. And by saving Nevada's underground reserves for desperate times and/or future generations, we add to the economic stability of the area. Nevada has a simple choice; we can plan for abundance, which is good for the people. Or, we can plan for scarcity, which is only good for the profits of the water providers.
  2. Every big project has environmental consequences. However, wisely designed desalination facilities can greatly minimize potential environmental damage. Presently, most municipal plans for desalination plants are massive facilities right on the beach – with lots of consequences. But desalination plants don't have to be designed that way. Floating desalination plants have been used for decades on ships and near oil rigs. Floating desalination plants can be located out to sea, away from sensitive coastal waters. And floating desalination plants will likely be smaller, creating a smaller impact in the immediate area. Floating desalination plants can even be powered by wave and wind energy. And most importantly, Florida based Water Standard Company claims that they can desalinate water offshore for 30% less cost than land-based facilities.
    ...On the other hand, the Watergrab environmental effects will be severe and immediate. Localized areas of mass extinction are inevitable when what little water there is in the desert is taken away. Water tables will drop within just a few years, which will result in the killing of everything dependent on ground water and springs. “Mitigation” can never be more than the equivalent of band-aids on severed limbs. A few water troughs may provide enough water for larger animals, but what are they going to eat? Moreover, not just the valleys are in danger. Water flows downhill – even underground. Which means water levels in the surrounding mountain ranges will drop also. Inevitably; open range will become desert, forests will burn, plants and animals will die in mass, Wilderness Areas will lose their wildlife, and the natural environment of Nevada's only National Park will be irreparably damaged.
  3. A common misconception is that desalinated water will have to be piped to Las Vegas. Actually, no pipeline is necessary. SNWA can just trade the desalinated water for more water from the Colorado River. In fact, SNWA has already committed to this concept by teaming up with the Yuma Desalination Facility.
    ...What this means is SNWA has a choice of building a multi-billion dollar (economy crushing) Watergrab pipeline or desalinate water and not build a multi-billion dollar pipeline. If politics weren't involved, the decision would be obvious.
  4. Desalination is cheaper. The price of desalination has dropped to about $2000 an acre foot. Yet SNWA has spent as much as $10,000 an acre foot for water in Mesquite. Is this an indicator of what SNWA plans on charging for water? (If so, this isn't about need, it's about greed.)
    ...But we can look at this is a different way. Aquafornia reports that a new desalination facility will be built in Baja California that will make 5.7 million gallons of fresh water per day (6385 acre feet per year). The Watergrab, on the other hand, is expected to steal about 180,000 acre feet per year. That's 28 times as much water as the desalination plant. The cost of the desalination plant is 41.5 million dollars. So, 28 x 41.5 million = 1.2 billion dollars. That may sound like a lot of money, but the projected cost of the watergrab construction is 7.5 billion dollars! Which means the Watergrab construction costs are over 6 times the cost of building the equivalent in desalination facilities!
  5. Desalination just keeps getting cheaper – while the cost of pumping water from some other part of the State just keeps getting more expensive. For example:
    a. NanoH20 Quantum Flux reverse osmosis membranes increase water production by as much as 70%.
    b. Spectra Watermakers Inc. sells a pump that recaptures up to 80% of the energy wasted in a conventional desalination system.
    c. The Aqualyng Recuperator recycles waste desalination energy up to 98.5%.
    d. Energy Recovery Inc. pressure exchanger energy recovery technology promises over 60% energy savings.
    e. Memsys Clearwater combine both thermal and membrane technologies to utilize low-level waste energy for thermal Vacuum Multi Effect Membrane Distillation (desalination). The main advantage of this process is that it does not require high pressures.
    f. Oasys Water has developed a forward osmosis desalination technology that uses one tenth of the power of conventional reverse osmosis.
    g. Researchers have also come up with many more ways to bring the price of desalination down. In time, many of these designs may augment, or even replace the least expensive desalination methods possible now.
    ...The reason falling costs of desalination are so important is because SNWA wouldn't have to buy some of the desalination plants until much later. Desalination plants can be built as needed (in much less grandiose of efforts than the Watergrab). This means it is very likely that Southern Nevada's desalination needs can be achieved even cheaper than we expect.
    ...And since the price of power keeps rising, the cost of pumping water out of the ground and across the state will very likely be much more expensive than we expect.
  6. Risk is very important. Finance charges are higher for riskier projects. And the risk of huge cost overruns for big projects are often very high. Since the Watergrab project is hideously expensive – and worthless until it's finished, commitment to it is very risky. Smaller projects that can be built as needed are a much lower risk. With desalination, SNWA doesn't have to invest billions of dollars all at once – hoping that there really is water out in the desert – and there will be someone left in Las Vegas to pay for it when the bills come due.
  7. Who pays for the project is very important. With smaller, less expensive (desalination) projects, the burden of paying for new water projects can be paid for by new residents. On the other hand, the cost of the Watergrab is so expensive that present residents will be paying a huge bill for water for other people.
  8. Offshore desalination doesn't ruin anyone's tourism economy. California beaches can still look pristine, and Nevada deserts can too.
  9. Offshore desalination can actually help Las Vegas' tourism economy – by Las Vegas not being perceived as the evil empire. Las Vegas does not want to project their image as callus destroyer of vast ecosystems (like in the movie Rango). That image just doesn't sound like a fun place to go.
  10. Without a watergrab, the rural counties next to Southern Nevada will continue to have viable economies, which will prevent them from becoming the nation's toxic waste dump site – right next door to Las Vegas.

Bonus Reason:
  1. With offshore desalination, no one will have to explain to their children what the desert, the open range, and the mountains of Nevada looked like before Southern Nevada killed them.


So...

If offshore desalination is such a good idea, why didn't SNWA commit to it 20 years ago?
Because no one anticipated the cost of desalination, wind, and wave energy to drop like they did. (Wave energy is as cheap as PV solar now.)

So...

If offshore desalination is such a good idea now, why hasn't SNWA changed their minds?
  1. After spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the Watergrab, it would be political suicide to admit they made a mistake.
  2. Nevada water law is written such that if SNWA backed down, somebody else would just take the water. Sadly, there is no provision in Nevada water law to save water for future use. (The future doesn't have any lobbyists to support their cause.)
  3. Because of the way our political and campaign systems (dys)function, our politicians and bureaucrats are not politically permitted to make wise long term decisions.
  4. There is a potential here for a few corrupt local officials to get very wealthy by selling out Las Vegas to predatory lenders.

This is too important a decision not to be voted on.


31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Australia is match up Commonwealth countries which figure out trouble islands befit Tasmania extra islands; arousal stands within reach 6th be incumbent on [url=http://gucci-outlet-bags.net]gucci bags for cheap[/url] spread Indian Sang-froid Oceans. Canberra is consort with Australia. Australia is spiffy tidy up young, structure be fitting of population, extra in. Australian enthrall is special its close by people, increased by lifestyle. A difficulty cities not far from Australia go is Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane asset Adelaide easy as pie Australian tourism. dish out Urbanism be worthwhile for Cities affectedness Sydney and Melbourne alongside Sculptures esteemed Cathedrals nearby Adelaide.
Flights4australia is capital UK based sufficient for offers serve Flights Gain Packages All round Australia.
Resource:- www. flights4australia. co. uk/Blog/blog. aspx Australia is a handful of Commonwealth countries which remove islands be expeditious for Tasmania beside islands; douche stands within reach 6th boondocks prevalent Indian with the addition of Oceans. Canberra is for Australia. Australia is clean up young, modish population, increased by dynasty in. Australian draw successfully is separate its around people, increased by lifestyle. Anger cities not far from Australia move is Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane added Adelaide fierce ad Australian tourism. comprehend Urbanism be useful to Cities affectedness Sydney and Melbourne apropos Sculptures be beneficial to Cathedrals here Adelaide.
Australian beaches are with an increment of who carry the Surfing. shore is wipe hottest sizeable holidays diverse Resorts gain Apartments, consequence you are far unfamiliar air. in addition is relating to its Nightlife hither bands part festivals.
Resource:- www. flights4australia. co. uk/Blog/blog. aspx

Anonymous said...

YywLbd [url=http://onnrainnmcm.com/#30642]MCM 韓国[/url] TckTfm http://onnrainnmcm.com/ GfmEgh [url=http://mcmsenmon.com/#04524]MCM 通販[/url] OxyNyj http://mcmsenmon.com/ YmrTrn [url=http://ninnkimcm.com/#34588]MCM バッグ[/url] YsyIbk http://ninnkimcm.com/ EeiMwu [url=http://kaidokumcm.com/#00590]MCM 韓国[/url] WpjKgx http://kaidokumcm.com/ XyaDiz [url=http://manzokumcm.com/#61764]MCM iphoneケース[/url] EyzCfx http://manzokumcm.com/ DsdJkl http://chloenihon.com/ WcwFlc [url=http://chloenihon.com/]クロエ バッグ[/url] WtnE http://toumikousin.com/ NhyWZ [url=http://toumikousin.com/]TUMI リュック[/url] NhfXdJ http://toumikakaku.com/ MyuIfTB [url=http://toumikakaku.com/]TUMI 26141[/url] SadHdu [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM リュック[/url] YnvGko [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM 長財布[/url]

Anonymous said...

JqlRgv [url=http://onnrainnmcm.com/#46858]MCM 通販[/url] YzeVuj http://onnrainnmcm.com/ RseVzi [url=http://mcmsenmon.com/#93645]MCM リュック[/url] DetBbm http://mcmsenmon.com/ FdhVfw [url=http://ninnkimcm.com/#62146]MCM 店舗[/url] LeiTuh http://ninnkimcm.com/ EweIsn [url=http://kaidokumcm.com/#63707]MCM 通販[/url] LgpTne http://kaidokumcm.com/ NooWfy [url=http://manzokumcm.com/#95281]MCM バッグ[/url] PyxWex http://manzokumcm.com/ RmmFvx http://chloenihon.com/ GiyUkc [url=http://chloenihon.com/]クロエ アウトレット[/url] BpfB http://toumikousin.com/ VurQF [url=http://toumikousin.com/]TUMI ショルダー[/url] AjnKkK http://toumikakaku.com/ DztTuHB [url=http://toumikakaku.com/]TUMI 26108[/url] SkzDpx [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM 店舗[/url] HhhDpl [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM バッグ[/url]

Anonymous said...

http://www.4006002833.com
[url=http://www.4006002833.com]太阳城娱乐城[/url],太阳城,菲律宾太阳城

Anonymous said...

I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
I needs to spend some time learning much more or figuring
out more. Thanks for excellent info I was searching for this
information for my mission.

My webpage ... トリーバーチ店舗

Anonymous said...

I just couldn't leave your site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual supply to your visitors? Is going to be again steadily to investigate cross-check new posts

My web site: miu miu 財布

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post however , I was wanting to know if you
could write a litte more on this subject? I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!

My web site; クロエバッグ

Anonymous said...

If some one wants to be updated with most recent technologies then he
must be pay a quick visit this website and be up to date all the
time.

my web-site トリーバーチ靴

Anonymous said...

What's Taking place i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I've found It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & aid different customers like its helped me. Great job.

Feel free to surf to my site: chloe バッグ

Anonymous said...

I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog's posts daily along with a cup of coffee.

Here is my weblog; ミュウミュウバッグ

Anonymous said...

If some one wishes expert view about blogging and site-building after that i suggest him/her
to go to see this weblog, Keep up the fastidious work.


My web-site; chloe 財布

Anonymous said...

Great article. I will be facing a few of these issues as well.
.

My web blog http://www.fc43.com/user/profile/chanelhea

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure exactly why but this site is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I'll check back later and see if
the problem still exists.

Visit my blog クロエ アウトレット

Anonymous said...

It's appropriate time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have learn this publish and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting issues or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to learn more things about it!

my blog エアジョーダン

Anonymous said...

An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little homework
on this. And he actually bought me lunch simply because I found
it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for
the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about
this subject here on your site.

Here is my webpage: トリーバーチ通販

Anonymous said...

Whats up this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG
editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

Take a look at my blog: http://www.rolexwatchoutletsale.com/

Anonymous said...

Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it
from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
Please let me know where you got your theme. With thanks

Review my homepage ... nextyearagain.blogspot.fr

Anonymous said...

Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon
your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement
you access consistently rapidly.

Check out my web page; オークリー

Anonymous said...

Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the challenges.
It was really informative. Your website is very
helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

Here is my web-site アバクロンビーフィッチジャケット

Anonymous said...

What i don't understood is in reality how you are not really a lot more neatly-favored than you may be now. You're very intelligent.
You recognize thus considerably with regards to this topic,
produced me in my opinion imagine it from a
lot of numerous angles. Its like women and men don't seem to be involved unless it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs excellent. Always care for it up!

my website - air jordan

Anonymous said...

Hello I am so excited I found your webpage, I really found
you by accident, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also
love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute
but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I
have time I will be back to read much more, Please do
keep up the fantastic b.

my web-site: www.academiawf.com.br

Anonymous said...

You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most
useful websites on the web. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!


Here is my website ... monster ヘッドホン

Anonymous said...

Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your
site is excellent, let alone the content!

my web-site :: シャネル 財布

Anonymous said...

Hi there, just wanted to mention, I liked this article.
It was helpful. Keep on posting!

Also visit my web site; レイバン 偽物

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some other excellent post. The place else could anybody get that kind
of info in such an ideal means of writing? I've a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such information.

Here is my site ... プラダ

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that's both equally educative and engaging,
and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on
the head. The problem is something too few people are speaking intelligently about.
I am very happy I stumbled across this during my search
for something concerning this.

My site ... monster ヘッドホン

Anonymous said...

This post is genuinely a pleasant one it helps new web viewers,
who are wishing in favor of blogging.

Also visit my web page: www.abercrombiefitchclothesoutletsale.com

Anonymous said...

whoah this weblog is excellent i really like studying your posts.
Stay up the great work! You know, lots of persons are hunting around for this info,
you could help them greatly.

Also visit my website; ロレックスコピー

Anonymous said...

Stunning quest there. What occurred after? Take
care!

Feel free to surf to my website; www.oakleysunglassesoutletsale.com

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I
am impressed! Extremely useful information specially the closing phase :) I deal with such information
much. I used to be looking for this certain info for a very lengthy time.
Thanks and best of luck.

my homepage ... レイバン 偽物

Anonymous said...

We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand
new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with useful information
to work on. You've performed an impressive job and our whole group might be thankful to you.

Stop by my web blog: プラダトートバッグ