The earth’s surface is covered by water – about 70% to be exact. And of that percentage, at least 96% of that is ocean. One of the concerns we have today is trying to figure out how to turn that saltwater from the seas into clean drinking water. This is turning into a more pressing need every day as we face our dwindling natural resources. And as the population of the world keeps growing, the precarious future of those resources is at the forefront of the minds scientists and government officials alike.
The need for clean and safe drinking water is particularly important after upheavals such as natural disasters, including droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other weather related incidents. It is also a very real need in countries throughout the world that already have a limited supply. The possibility of using technology that will turn saltwater into a viable and clean source for people who don’t have access to it is very real. Unfortunately, it is also very expensive and is associated with consuming high energy levels. The purifying process is called desalination and there are already a few working plants in the United States that have been built for that exact purpose. Many of them are in Texas, which has faced crises in the past due to the droughts that plague the state. The amount of usable product that is made for the general population is very low, but proponents in the industry are planning on raising those numbers in the future.
Desalination gained more attention in recent years as methods have improved. However, it is an intensive process that costs much more money than other water retrieval methods. Scientists and engineers are always on the lookout for ways to improve desalination, while many environmentalists are vying for the government to concentrate more on preserving the current supply and reusing wastewater.
Getting rid of impurities and turning the world’s vast oceans into a clean drinking source isn’t going to happen overnight. However, as technology continues to improve and scientists continue to research how to streamline the process, it could very well be a viable way to make sure that no one on the planet goes thirsty ever again.