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Posted Sun Mar 21 2010: from Times Online:
Solution to a thirsty world: sea water without the salt
In the coastal town of Al Khaluf, Oman's minister for water turned on a desalination plant that will provide the area with 100 cubic metres of fresh, clean water every day -- enough for 80,000 people.... In less than 20 years, 5.3 billion people -- two-thirds of the world's population in 2025, according to UN estimates -- will face a shortage of water. London could be among those places.... Modern Water, based in Guildford, Surrey, claims its technique differs from most desalination procedures. [Most] rely on high pressure, needing huge amounts of electricity, to push salt water through an enormous filter. The company's patented "manipulated osmosis" technology uses a chemical reaction to separate the salt from the water -- a process that uses far less energy. "It reduces energy consumption by as much as 30 percent," said McDougall.
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Byron says: "Perhaps we could use the extra salt to osmosis away the flooding in other regions."

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'Doc Jim says:
Seventy percent of "huge amounts" is still "very large amounts of energy" for desalination. Thankfully, we have the coal!
I wonder where we'll put the salt? Oh, the ocean, of course -- that's where it came from anyway. Effects on that area? Oh, just a "temporary" increase in ambient salinity. Surely that won't affect the local ecosystem.

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