Oct
19
2010

Water, Water Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink – Until Now

WaterWater
WaterWaterCourtesy Leigha Horton
Ever been on a beach (and I’m talking a real beach that rests alongside an ocean, not some piddly lakeshore)…AHEM, as I was saying - ever been on a beach when someone nearby sighs aloud, “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink?”

I have, and have always found the thought astounding. How is it that our world can have so much water and somehow not figure out how to make it drinkable via efficient means, and at the same time saddle up a populace with something as advanced as the iPhone?

And just so you know, over 70% of the Earth is water, and of that 70%, over 96% of it is salt water from our oceans. Salt water that is totally unsuitable for drinking. (Who’s thirsty? MEEEEE!)

Now don’t get me wrong, desalination methods exist in the world – they’re just not very efficient yet, using boatloads of energy for very little final, useable product.

Until now.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, High-Tech Cures for Water Shortages, NanoH20, Inc. is harnessing the power of reverse osmosis using nanoparticles. Turns out these nanoparticles “attract water and reject salts and other particles that can clog other membranes, reducing the energy needed to push water through the membrane.” That’s pretty awesome. California, with its entire west coast on the Pacific Ocean, could stop fighting with Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada over rights to the Colorado River water.

And since NanoH20 is based in southern California, which presently gets most of its drinking water piped in from the dwindling Colorado River, I trust them in taking this whole useable-water-thing seriously.

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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Shana's picture
Shana says:

This is exciting, but is it safe? Has it been tested for long-term health impacts?

posted on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:17pm
Leigha's picture
Leigha says:

That's an excellent question, Shana - and one that every person should ask before they start gulping down their 32oz stainless steel container's-worth of nano-filtered water. Truly.

I do not know the answer - but I DO know that this particular invention has not been around long enough to have been tested for long-term health *or* environmental impact.

But someone *should* be asking, and companies should be responsible for answering, these questions. One step closer toward a more informed citizenry!

posted on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 5:06pm

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