Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Questionable Economics of Desalination

As climate change destabilizes weather patterns, many foresee shifts in the availability of water. Floods like this year's horrific deluge in Thailand may become more common, while other places like Central Asia may lose access to what little water they currently have, perhaps leading to wars over water. If all this comes to pass, water pipelines may take their place next to oil pipelines- using the same corridors, just running the other way- if the technology behind desalination becomes economic. China is investing a large amount of money here just as they have done in solar panels. Right now it's far from being worth the cost, but if technology ratchets up a few times, who knows? China could have another Next Big Thing on their hands.

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