پژوهشکده مهندسی عمران آبادان » 1395 » آگوست



water crisis

دسته : (WATER آّب) توسط روح الله افشارپور در ۰۶-۰۸-۱۳۹۵

You might have heard that the world is going to face a crisis as a result of climate change in the near future! As you can see in the picture some regions will experience water scarcity like our region Middle East (red parts) and others will experience more rain events and maybe more flood events (blue parts). 



precipitation change as a result of climate change

We are sure that these changes are happening but what should we do? One solution is decreasing the production of greenhouse gasses. But still we will face the problem as we can see signs of water scarcity in our country Iran! 

The situation would be critical in the future and we might think about some advanced technologies like desalination to get drinking water from seawater. There are many people just saying yeah!! We can build some fancy desalination plants in south of Iran and get nice and pure water! But the question is do you even know how much energy consuming and costly it is? Do you know in one liter typical seawater sample 35 grams of salt exists. So if you think of membrane technology you will need lots of energy to provide the pressure for membranes and you will produce lots of salt. As far as I know each person in Iran consumes 170 liters water per day. So if we want to produce that much water from seawater we will end up with about 6 Kg salt for each person per day. It means a family of 5 members equals to 900 Kg of salt per month! Of course membrane concentrates salt as a solution not powder but still you need to dump it to the nature again (not another planet). This huge amount of salts and also other anti scaling chemicals would endanger the environment of Persian gulf. Another issue is that for these kind of plants you need lots of energy and to provide the pressure and obviously you need to burn more fossil fuels since we don’t have that much renewable energy production in Iran and that means creating more greenhouse gasses and making the situation worse by speeding the climate change!

I don’t say that desalination doesn’t work, of course it works but you should think about sustainability  like solar powered desalination plants otherwise you will stuck in a stupid cycle of paying more and more not to solve the problems but to buy everything with cash (which is not a bad idea for developed countries). What we need in Iran is better water resources management, water recycling and support of desalination or other methods.

It’s been a long time that we only talk and wait to first see the dire consequences of a disaster and then think about the solutions, no wonder there would be no easy solution on that time. If every single country acts like this the whole world encounters a catastrophe.So please forget about those stupid ideas like bringing water from Caspian sea, moon other galaxies or whatever. Please forget about building tons of fancy desalination plants. First better water resources management and water recycle, and then other miracles. 

I will write about water recycling and water resource management in the near future…