Think About It: Water Wonder - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 9, 2018

Think About It: Water Wonder

Desalination has been a not-so-hot topic for many years locally. Australia, Singapore and Israel make the concept work for their countries today. It can work. But turning sea water into potable water is something which sounds simpler than it really is, and it's historically cost far too much for private concerns and governments to make a go of it. And while the concept sounds cool, costs invariably squash uneconomical plans every time.


But a new project is taking shape at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, as reported by Hawaii News Now last month. A $2-million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office will hopefully show that there really is an economically feasible way to get drinking water from the ocean. The technical side of this-  which involves using a different form of osmosis than has been traditionally used- is way beyond my scientifically-challenged brain, but suffice to say, this new idea is progressive and provides a new way of thinking about salt water and large scale ways to extract drinkable and usable H2O from the sea.


Some question this specific technology, but do like the idea of moving forward. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply planned a desalination plant for Kapolei 15 years ago. That didn't come to fruition. But it's now 2018, and perhaps we are closer to tapping natural resources to make sure we have ample fresh water from various places in the decades ahead. Think about it...

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