Desalinization may Help Solve Global Water Crisis

by Hannah Punitha on Oct 2 2008 11:39 AM

A geoscientist has said that desalinization, which is removing salt from ocean water to create fresh water, is a practical way to provide more drinkable water for the ever growing population on Earth.

The geoscientist in question is David Kreamer of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who said that desalinization is a practical way to meet the growing human need of water.

According to Kreamer, desalinization is not a novel idea.

U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, for example, have had to generate fresh water to help sustain large crews while at sea for six months or more.

In fact, Kreamer said that such ships are ideal platforms for desalinization.

The U.S. alone has a fairly large mothball fleet, including U.S. Navy inactive ships and the U.S. Merchant Marine reserve fleet.

Kreamer's work examines the practicality of recycling decommissioned U.S. Navy vessels, especially with an eye toward using old aircraft carriers, to become mobile desalinization plants.

When ships meet the end of their service life with the U.S. Navy, they are often quite serviceable.

Kreamer notes that the decommissioning of the John F. Kennedy multipurpose aircraft carrier in August 2007 saved the Navy about 1.2 billion U.S. dollars, yet the vessel itself is still sea worthy and could be a good candidate for work as a desalinization plant.

A change in purpose would save money in other areas as well.

The John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier had a crew of about 5,200, but according to Kreamer, "You wouldn't have as many people working a desalinization plant."

According to Kreamer, voyaging desalinization plans can help reach more people in need.

"They could outrun a hurricane and steam within days to an area of natural or man-made disaster," he said.

It can also harness wind, wave, and solar power to help sustain operations; and meet cost, center of gravity, and environmental concerns.