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Water, Water, Where?

You may have noticed that the future of our water supply has been getting more attention lately. What does that have to do with electricity?

Of course, quite a bit of electricity is generated by the flow of water and even more can be into the future. But electricity also plays a major role in whether populations have and will have adequate water at hand. This is the case not only because water pumps need electricity, but also in conversion of sea water to potable water. In this direction, I got to thinking about the nexus of water and power in terms of tidal generation and desalinization. Could a desalinization plant be run by tidal energy? After some minimal research I am not sure, but I think the answer at this point is "not yet."

As it turns out, according to the Department of Energy the U.S. is not a prime area for tidal generation. On the desalinization side, it turns out that modern techniques are apparently quite energy intensive. According to this page from the U.S. Geological Survey, renewable energy sources are becoming more important in powering desalinization plants.

Did you know that Tampa, Florida, now has an operating desalinization plant? The utility has an informative website and some other purported technical specs are available here.


Posted 09-26-2008 1:06 PM by Updyke, Craig

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