NY Times: "As Fresh Water Grows Scarcer, It Could Become A Good Investment"

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,410
Because desalination via distillation is relatively cheap via MSRs, all other alternatives being considered. Once MSRs are mainstreamed with a small, modular, mass produced design, the sky is the limit because thorium fuel is so abundant, cheap, ubiquitous, and energy dense. Oh yeah, it can also burn the "nuclear waste" from LWRs down to almost nothing, all while extracting tons of energy/heat in the process. The tiny amount of waste left over is only harmful 2 to 3 hundred years rather than 10s of thousands.
Good stuff. This really demonstrates how many of our problems today are just limited by energy. Said energy is also increasingly readily accessible now since we already have the tech. We gotta ensure that it's equitable and others have ready access to it.
 

Xe4

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,763
From what I understand living in a state where water rights and water law have been important for some time, water is already a valuable commodity. As an investment it's slow growing but extremely stable because it cannot be traded on a day to day basis like anything else.

But yeah as different but related issues like climate change and population growth make water more and more scarce which will likely fund more development even if there's the (smart) requirement that the land must be purchased beforehand. Luckily in the US much of the water holding land in desert areas is already held by the government so theres not going to be a water run. But that also means the government needs to be thinking of smart solutions now to deal with the growing issue before it turns into a full blown crisis like it damn nearly did in Calidornia a year or so back.
 

Skunk

Member
Oct 28, 2017
649
I think we’re all missing a great opportunity here...

Let’s get in in the ground floor and buy this shit up, it’ll be glorious! We’ll make SO much money! I wonder if we can cut the water; like water it down to maximize our margins!
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,410
From what I understand living in a state where water rights and water law have been important for some time, water is already a valuable commodity. As an investment it's slow growing but extremely stable because it cannot be traded on a day to day basis like anything else.

But yeah as different but related issues like climate change and population growth make water more and more scarce which will likely fund more development even if there's the (smart) requirement that the land must be purchased beforehand. Luckily in the US much of the water holding land in desert areas is already held by the government so theres not going to be a water run. But that also means the government needs to be thinking of smart solutions now to deal with the growing issue before it turns into a full blown crisis like it damn nearly did in Calidornia a year or so back.
It's still not fixed though. Any company can still literally just drill a well and take as much water as they need and sell them.
 

Flimmex

Member
May 24, 2019
4
Much like food, this generally continues to be a problem on the horizon that we are wholly dependent on engineering and science to solve.
Not at all. Although scientific and engineering developments can always make life better, a water shortage is for the most part an economic and political problem. There are plenty of solutions already available to get more or use less fresh water.

Take the two biggest exporters of food in the world, the US and the Netherlands, and compare how much water they use for each food item and you'll be shocked. There's simply a massive difference in 'just spraying the entire field with water' and 'giving each plant the water it needs'. Some technologies to reduce water usage are really cheap and effective, but when it's basically free to pump up and spray whatever you need, nobody bothers to invest in that.

And beyond that, it's just a matter of stepping away from the 70s mentality of draining water into rivers and ocean as quickly as possible, and reintroducing wetlands and allowing countrysides to absorb rainwater and we've got all we need. Climate change is not an issue here as it doesn't reduce the amount of rainfall overall, but it often just rains more in a shorter amount of time. Fighting drought and thirst is 'simply' making sure to retain that water. All just political willpower.

If you doubt this, look at China, a country with 20% of the human population but just 4% of fresh-water reserves. They have actually started to take fresh water seriously, and with great effect.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,410
Not at all. Although scientific and engineering developments can always make life better, a water shortage is for the most part an economic and political problem. There are plenty of solutions already available to get more or use less fresh water.

Take the two biggest exporters of food in the world, the US and the Netherlands, and compare how much water they use for each food item and you'll be shocked. There's simply a massive difference in 'just spraying the entire field with water' and 'giving each plant the water it needs'. Some technologies to reduce water usage are really cheap and effective, but when it's basically free to pump up and spray whatever you need, nobody bothers to invest in that.

And beyond that, it's just a matter of stepping away from the 70s mentality of draining water into rivers and ocean as quickly as possible, and reintroducing wetlands and allowing countrysides to absorb rainwater and we've got all we need. Climate change is not an issue here as it doesn't reduce the amount of rainfall overall, but it often just rains more in a shorter amount of time. Fighting drought and thirst is 'simply' making sure to retain that water. All just political willpower.

If you doubt this, look at China, a country with 20% of the human population but just 4% of fresh-water reserves. They have actually started to take fresh water seriously, and with great effect.
While I agree with you that the problem is largely political and economic in nature, better tech will still be able to solve many of these issues and even bypass them. Right now, you need an expensive power generation and transmission system to be able to support a water treatment or desalination plant to service an area. Many rural parts of the world simply cannot afford that kind of capital investment. I can imagine a small municipality being able to install solar panels/wind turbines to power a small water treatment facility and bring potable water for their people. Hell, a single solar panel can already do so much to the most remote areas of our planet just by providing light at night so children can do their homework.

It's the same reasons why mobile internet proliferated almost instantaneously in many developing countries once cheap mobile phones were the norm instead of the traditional landline connection + PC that we saw in the developed world. In that same vein, mobile banking became a thing and it helped billions of people access much-needed financial services previously unavailable to them.

The right technology can absolutely help. It's a wonderful thing and should be encouraged as much as possible.
 
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Steel

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,025
Much like food, this generally continues to be a problem on the horizon that we are wholly dependent on engineering and science to solve.

Pray those smartest among us can find a viable, affordable solution. Particularly for poor nations that will suffer the most.
Most of the problems with the droughts in India, for example, is that they just dump all of their used water into the ocean without trying to bring it back into the system. Which in turn means there's less fresh water on land. Climate change makes this worse, but when ~95% of your water is one time use you're like guaranteed to have a drought.

The solutions to this exist, and are implemented in richer nations.
 
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GoldenEye 007

Roll Tide, Y'all!
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,339
Texas
Isn't Elliot Carver based on Rupert Murdoch?
Not sure. But the movie came out in 1997, meaning production was happening in at least 1996. And while I was very young, I’d assume there wasn’t as much of a concern about news media at that time versus what we have seen now. Nor am I confident Murdoch was seen as an outright and well known villain. Could be wrong, though. I’m only making assumptions to be honest.
 

DrSlek

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,474
To quote someone I was discussing this with on Facebook:

Yup, here in Phoenix AZ our state government still hasn't put any kind of water restrictions in place, even though there's not even enough reclaimed water to meet the non-potable demands, and the drinking water is effectively poisonous due to how many times it's been chemically recycled. In rural AZ there are communities that have arsenic in their only wells and the government refuses to help them pay to dig new wells. In 20yrs Phoenix will be essentially dry, which will force the businesses here to either invest in privatized water infrastructure to meet their needs, or more likely they'll leave and set up shop elsewhere after receiving years of tax breaks here for "creating jobs" that will no longer exist, leaving the communities high and dry.
 

Ogodei

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,045
North Jackson High
It's really where you should be putting your money for the long-term game. Whether merely a storm we will weather or the disaster that brings us down, it's coming. In the bad case scenarios, it will hollow out the value of everything that isn't involved in climate change mitigation. In the better case scenarios where things just get uncomfortable for a century or so, it's still a winning investment because the shift towards these technologies is inevitable.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,410
It's really where you should be putting your money for the long-term game. Whether merely a storm we will weather or the disaster that brings us down, it's coming. In the bad case scenarios, it will hollow out the value of everything that isn't involved in climate change mitigation. In the better case scenarios where things just get uncomfortable for a century or so, it's still a winning investment because the shift towards these technologies is inevitable.
That, and renewables. Battery technology companies as well.

And if I'm still alive by then, companies that are working on space-based energy productions and related industries (reusable rockets, lunar mining and manufacturing, space elevators, space towers, skyhooks etc).
 

Pata Hikari

Member
Jan 15, 2018
1,493
Because desalination via distillation is relatively cheap via MSRs, all other alternatives being considered. Once MSRs are mainstreamed with a small, modular, mass produced design, the sky is the limit because thorium fuel is so abundant, cheap, ubiquitous, and energy dense. Oh yeah, it can also burn the "nuclear waste" from LWRs down to almost nothing, all while extracting tons of energy/heat in the process. The tiny amount of waste left over is only harmful 2 to 3 hundred years rather than 10s of thousands.
Yes but will this increase profits this quarter?
 

Flimmex

Member
May 24, 2019
4
The right technology can absolutely help. It's a wonderful thing and should be encouraged as much as possible.
Sure, with this bit I agree. New innovations are always good.

Right now, you need an expensive power generation and transmission system to be able to support a water treatment or desalination plant to service an area. Many rural parts of the world simply cannot afford that kind of capital investment. I can imagine a small municipality being able to install solar panels/wind turbines to power a small water treatment facility and bring potable water for their people. Hell, a single solar panel can already do so much to the most remote areas of our planet just by providing light at night so children can do their homework.
And with this bit I disagree. Desalination is pointless and unnecessary. It's political shortsightedness to consider this. We don't need technologies to easier or more cheaply desalinate water, we need to implement solutions to prevent droughts, restore ground water levels, let rainwater be absorbed by the land and reduce massive water waste in agriculture. This is something that can already be done relatively cheap. For the most part it is undoing bad and ineffective water management done in the last few decades.
 

Foffy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,273
I wonder when we're going to see a violent uprising caused by these factors and "warm" suggestions like the article implies. Surely something's gonna break here.

Articles like this are just sociopolitical edging.
 

Slime

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,207
So basically people will breed children for their young blood which the rich will inject into themselves to gain eternal youth and in return the baby farmers will be paid in rations of fresh water
 

DrSlek

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,474
I'm a little confused, why is there arsenic in the wells?

I also had no idea that treating water would eventually turn it poisonous. Holy shit.
The arsenic could be there for a number of reasons. It does occur naturally through certain mineral deposits like granite, but given how polluted Arizona's aquifers are, it's probably a man made problem.
 

coconut milk

Member
Jan 17, 2018
2,318
To quote someone I was discussing this with on Facebook:
what do they mean by chemical recycling?

is it just using chemicals at some point during the water treatment process? Might be corrosion inhibitors. There's shit loads to choose from so I wouldn't be surprised if arsenic in some form is used.

If incorrect dosing rate of the corrosion inhibitors is the cause then that's even more depressing considering I think that was a key issue in the Flint water crisis
 
Nov 27, 2017
6,911
Boston MA
Nestle will own everything in the future
Mad max is real

Kill lawns, no point in having a good lawn and it eats up a ton of water, that’d be my first step to saving water

Idiots that leave the sink on when brush their teeth is the second step, why do that for 2-4 minutes
 

Jakke_Koala

Member
Sep 28, 2018
450
I think we’re all missing a great opportunity here...

Let’s get in in the ground floor and buy this shit up, it’ll be glorious! We’ll make SO much money! I wonder if we can cut the water; like water it down to maximize our margins!
You should mix the water with chlorine. I heard the US government does it that way