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The True Cost of Water

Discussion in 'We Are Water Project!' started by Jill Heinerth, May 3, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    3,952
    2,727
    113
    I simply don't agree.

    Do you think the solution to fossil fuels running out is for everyone to drive less? To sell your house in the subburbs and buy a space in the basement of where you work and live there so you just walk upstairs to go to work?

    Or is the solution to replace fossil fuels with an alternative? Just like we did when we retired walking for a horse, then a horse for a boat with oars, then a boat with sails then a boat with steam driven motors, then a train that ran on wood, to a train that ran on coal, then a train that ran on diesel, then an airplane that ran on gasoline, to one that ran on jet fuel...

    or should we have simply moved everything closer together and just walked everywhere, made out own soap and lit your house with a candle?

    Technology solves all problems, conservation of resources only drags out the problem. You move forward not stand in place waiting for everything to run out

    The world runs on the laws of finite resources, mankind runs on the laws of abundance. The idea isn't to stop progressing and enjoying life, but to over-come problems with new ideas, new technologies that replace resources that have become scarce.
     
    gcarter likes this.
  2. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    5,889
    740
    113
    With the acid rain issue and other water concerns creating an issue with 25% of Norway's water ways, I would say you have a very BIG problem. Yet at the same time you are far ahead of the USA for creating a cleaner more sustainable environment, mostly due to a lower population. It still means you have room for improvement. After all with the fish stocks being depleted that means you will eventually loose a valuable source of food, wild salmon. Something we are losing rapidly here in the USA. We are about to learn the circle of life, since our salmon feed so many other creatures and plants.

    You are greatly effected by water in Norway, and not just for drinking...link below.

    "What does all of this spell for Norway? Significantly increased costs of electricity (and hopefully water as well) for one. The NVE reported that just last week the prices of electricity increased by 11%. :shocked2: In addition to higher cost of electricity, Norway has had to shut down of several gas processing plants, and may potentially begin imposing power rationing on large national electricity users.[SUP]"
    [/SUP]
    Water-Energy-Climate Nexus in Norway: Power Disruptions and Low Hydro Reserves | River Network

    Are you willing to pay a premium for those new technologies? Is it right that politics and money get in the way of such technologies? (Thinking oil companies here, as money speaks volumes in our government.)
     
  3. Tigerman

    Tigerman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
    7,223
    1,879
    113
    We dont have undrinkable water in 25% of our waterways, just because the fish dont like to live in them (if that number is correct to begin with).

    Yes, almost all of our electricity is hydroelectric, which means a dry summer push the price up, however the major problem is that the electricity companies are allowed to drain the magazines in the summer and sell the electricity abroad, just to make sure they are low in the winter when we need the electricity ourselves, thus keeping the prices up :(
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    3,952
    2,727
    113
    The average person in the 1700s spent almost 300 hours a year cutting trees, splitting wood, stacking wood, fetching wood from the wood pile to heat their home. The average person now spends about 3 minutes a year fiddling with his homes thermostat to do the same thing with natural gas.

    You see 300 hours of freed productivity as worth nothing?

    Back to water - the earth is a closed system, matter is neither created nor destroyed.

    [​IMG]

    If you drink a glass or water those molecules do not disappear from this planet. If you spill a glass of water on the ground, those molecules do not disappear, they make their way down to the aquifer below or evaporate back to the atmosphere above.
     
  5. mike_dippert

    mike_dippert Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Indiana
    30
    5
    8
    "Using all the [resources] you want" is wasteful and costly no matter how the resource is procured, or it's available quantities. In this case, lets assume the desalination plant is operating at 100% efficiency and is entirely solar powered. If the population starts using water w/ reckless abandon, consumption will increase. The plant will be working harder, and maintenance costs will go up. It's capacity may need to be increased to handle the higher demand. Not only will the expansion itself cost money, but a higher capacity plant means even more maintenance. Technology costs money. Sometimes the technology means more income, but chances are a more expensive water bill is going to hurt the locals a whole lot more than the hotels and resorts that house the 10,000 tourists on the island at any given time.
     
  6. Gilldiver

    Gilldiver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northeast US
    1,770
    138
    63
    The way most people use fresh water is a waste. For example, the use of fresh water for toilet flushing is a major waste in any area where fresh water is scarce. Instead, grey waters, treated/partially treated (level 1 or 2) waters, or even salt water is fine for flushing the toilet.

    But you would need two water service systems to make this work and most don't want to/can't spend the money for two systems. Gibraltar has such a system but only due to the Brit/Spanish fighting over the sovereignty of the rock and subsequent cutting off of Utilities by the Spanish every time they have a fit.
     
  7. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    3,952
    2,727
    113
    My answer to that is really simple -- So What? That's how resources are supposed to be distributed.

    Here is 100 dollars, now what would you like to do with it? Would you like to spend 3 dollars of it on water because you're a super water conservator? Great you have that choice. Or instead would you like to spend $10 on water because you're not interested in conserving it? The choice should be up to you, that's the way its supposed to work.

    Do you go to the grocery store and see the person putting 10 oranges in his cart and ask him if he would mind only buying 4, so that the price would go down and you could buy yours cheaper?
     
  8. mike_dippert

    mike_dippert Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Indiana
    30
    5
    8
    By higher bill, I meant cost per volume.
    The wasters create my previously mentioned scenario or more expensive water. The conservationists are then paying more money per volume unit. Unless of course a tiered billing system is put in place, so that higher volumes are increasingly more costly per unit (i.e. First 1000 gallons is $.01/gal, the next 1000 gallons are $.03/gallon, an so on...). That would be fair to the locals who care, and the resorts and businesses can/will just pass their increased costs on to the tourists who already have enough money to vacation there for a week.
     
    Mike likes this.
  9. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    3,614
    2,611
    113
    I think there needs to be a mixed approach. First, you are right. This is a closed system. No water escapes. There is the same amount of water in our system as there was 200, 2000 and 20,000 years ago. It's just not right here right now. But it will come back. It has to, there's no place for it to hide for long.

    I remember as a small kid when our two 20' deep lakes were so dry we could walk across them. 10 years later they were so high we had to drive through 2' of water to get to our house. Today they aren't dry enough to walk across, but they are very very low. The water will come back.

    Does that mean that we don't need to conserve? Nope. It also doesn't mean that we shouldn't look toward technology to provide more water or find alternatives instead of using water for everything. A few weeks in a 3rd world country really showed me how not to leave the faucet running while I brushed my teeth. (Truthfully, I used bottled water to brush). I'm certain a mix of both ideas has merit. Conservation and technology are the answers to our current shortage until the cycle progresses to a point where water is once again abundant.
     
    Mike likes this.
  10. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    3,952
    2,727
    113
    We live on a planet who's surface is 71% covered in water.

    Only 3% of it is fresh water.

    50% of the worlds population is huddled within 1.5 miles of that 3% fresh water.

    Clearly the problem is we are all coveting the same limited resource of close, fresh water.

    As the population rises and the demand on that limited resource continues to grow, conservation is a losing battle with no winning end game in sight. The solution is not conservation, this is only delaying the inevitable and destroying quality of life during the process.

    Clearly the real solution is utilizing that other 97% of the untapped water on the planet and making it economical to transport it beyond the 1.5 miles of 50% of the populations huddling up next to the 3% of fresh water.

    Which brings me back to Bermuda - upgrade your damn desalination plant, you're surrounded by water! They even built the plant to operate at double it's current capacity and aren't utilizing it.
     

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