Saturday, January 4, 2014
"In the desert, any water will do"
This ancient Arabian proverb is one of the keys to water resource management in the Southwestern U.S. Look for the next ten years to be the start of how we management and utilize brackish water in the Southwest. The good news - we have an ocean of it right under our feet. The even better news - brackish groundwater found in the Southwest has salt levels that make it undrinkable, but it requires about half the energy to desalt as seawater (the water-energy nexus is a big deal - around 12% of our national energy consumption is devoted to pumping, heating, and treating water).
Texas is a great example of energy innovation (an increase in cheap and cleaner natural gas) interfacing as the energy source to power our Brackish Revolution. Keep in mind that our brackish water resources is co-located with states having significant sunshine and wind resources. Our renewable energy systems will have a significant part in harvesting this brackish groundwater.
This is the link to the National Brackish Groundwater Assessment homepage supported by the USGS.