Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Scratch one whole ocean! Maybe?

I have really only one question, please someone tell me why we are drilling offshore when we don’t have a technology to stop disasters like BP, and its close relative Ixtoc 1?

Apparently we are destroying the oceans one well at a time, Ixtoc 1 was a disaster from a Mexican rig that eventually dumped 140 million gallons off the Yucatan Peninsula. It took nearly 10 months beginning in the summer of 1979 to plug that leak. Now 140 million gallons may not seem like a lot in an ocean, perhaps like a glass of coke in a swimming pool. But these continuing well disasters are polluting our oceans and our food chain. In fact it is contaminating potential drinking water, which is being desalinated off the California coast and the entire mid east for beginners.

Desalination is a process that removes dissolved minerals (including but not limited to salt) from seawater, brackish water, or treated wastewater. A number of technologies have been developed for desalination, including reverse osmosis (RO), distillation, electro dialysis, and vacuum freezing. So why is seawater such an attractive water resource?

Here are a few reasons why...Seawater provides an unlimited, reliable water supply for coastal populations worldwide; brackish water is a plentiful, relatively drought-proof water resource for inland populations and reduces dependency on imported water. And, of all the Earth's water, 97 percent is salt water, only 1 percent is fresh water available for humans to drink, and 2 percent is frozen. Of the more than 7,500 desalination plants in operation worldwide, 60% are located in the Middle East. The world's largest plant in Saudi Arabia produces 128 MGD of desalted water. In contrast, 12% of the world's capacity is produced in the Americas, with most of the plants located in the Caribbean and Florida.

You got it, the Gulf coast! And that is where Florida lays dead ahead waiting for the BP oil slick to destroy its desalination plants.

So far, the Gulf oil Spill has leaked about 43 million gallons, according to government estimates. But it could be much higher, and now stopping this leak could possibly take months if ever. These oil disasters could end our ability to obtain a needed food source, and needed drinking water, it poses a threat to all life forms.

It really is time to rethink off shore drilling.