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Earth Science

Scientists Discover Huge Freshwater Reserves Beneath the Ocean 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the water-dissolving-and-water-removing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have discovered huge freshwater reserves beneath the seabed on continental shelves off the coast of Australia, North America, China and South Africa. 'The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we've extracted from the Earth's sub-surface in the past century since 1900. Fresh water on our planet is increasingly under stress and strain so the discovery of significant new stores off the coast is very exciting. It means that more options can be considered to help reduce the impact of droughts and continental water shortages' says Dr Vincent Post of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) and the School of the Environment at Flinders University."
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Scientists Discover Huge Freshwater Reserves Beneath the Ocean

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  • by Soluzar (1957050) on Monday December 09, 2013 @07:07AM (#45638057) Homepage
    If you can figure out how to get to the rest of that universe, and survive there you're smarter than most people at NASA. The Earth is all we get, for now. Lets try to to not ruin it before we have alternatives.
  • by FunkDup (995643) on Monday December 09, 2013 @07:36AM (#45638171)
    Firstly, most of those desalination plants are already built, and second, I really doubt that getting to this water is simply a matter of "a few more pipes". Deep water oil rigs can cost Billions, plus you have to buy the rest of the infrastructure. The Sydney desalination plant "only" cost $1.08 Billion.
  • by Vitriol+Angst (458300) on Monday December 09, 2013 @10:02AM (#45638801)

    Yeah, I worry about the same thing. Pumping up water from that depth has to be a bit of a challenge and use energy (though there are temperature gradients they could borrow to assist). Still, you also have the problem that after you remove a lot of fresh water -- that creates a new chamber that sea water could flood and contaminate.

    And what happens when you cause a landslide or underwater quake if you displace a LOT OF water? We've had sink-holes and land drop from removal of groundwater -- if the chamber is 100 times larger and the pressure 1000 times more, well, how bad does it get before the problem shows up?

    I'm not paranoid of the future, but our system currently is unable to change course if a profit is involved. We as a society in the USA can no longer expect that if something were to cause massive damage -- you for instance "fracking" natural gas MIGHT poison fresh water and cause small earthquakes (and well, it does in fact do that) -- but you wouldn't have the news really report it and you wouldn't have the FDA shut them down because someone would just secure a nice consulting job for when they left government service and Congress would get some campaign donations and do nothing and the media wouldn't report that because they'd get some advertising dollars featuring Deer sipping from ponds over a pump.

    Did I mention a broken system that cannot correct errors? I'm waiting for someone to pay me to blog happy things about Deer sipping from ponds over a pump -- I've seen them myself and people who don't like Frakking / Deep See fresh water are Hippie Commie tree huggers who hurt our economy!

Center meeting at 4pm in 2C-543.