Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seawater Greenhouse

With peak water at our doorstep and changing rainfall patterns from climate change and an ever growing population, we are going to need to be more creative with our water usage and watershed stewardship. One part of the puzzle is to find more water, obviously. This concept is remarkably simple and incredibly inspiring! The system uses sea water to cool and humidify the air and sunlight distills the water for use!

As long as the plastic can be recycled using renewable energy or durable bioplastics are used, this could really help us re green our coastal desert or semi-arid regions!

For more info visit http://www.seawatergreenhouse.com

Update: This article talks about how this concept is being combined with CSP (concentrated solar power).

"Both technologies work extremely well in hot, dry desert locations – CSP produces a lot of waste heat and we'd be able to use that to evaporate more seawater from the greenhouse," he said. "And CSP needs a supply of clean, demineralised water in order for the [electricity generating] turbines to function and to keep the mirrors at peak output. It just so happens the seawater greenhouse produces large quantities of this."

"the greenhouse produces more than five times the fresh water needed to water the plants inside so, in addition to producing water to clean the CSP mirrors, some of it can be released into the local environment. This can create a local microclimate just outside the greenhouses for hardier plants such as jatropha, an energy crop that can be turned into biofuel."

My opinion is that this tech is too expensive - money and resources. ~$110 million for 60 acres. Maybe they just need to see Geoff Lawton's greening the desert video to see how this can be done with permaculture using nature as the technology and relying on rainfall and swales instead.


tara said...

I was driving along the freeway through heavy rain yesterday looking at the vast expanse of empty lots and rooftops and remembered hearing a fact about rainwater catchment; how the average sq footage of an average house collecting one inch of rainfall could collect over 600 gallons of rainwater; how a person could survive on four inches of rainwater a year - about how much Las Vegas receives.

I wonder how long until these kinds of solutions will need to be implemented; how long until we can't coast on wishes and ignorance.

Hope the garden is going well. Ours should be in by spring.

Zachary Stowasser said...

yeah! rainwater harvesting! get brad lancasters books - harvestingrainwater.com - he's from arizona. I'm almost done with the books, I have volume 1 & 2.

Also, if we re-use our waste water (grey water) we need even less fresh water... brad has this info in his books but the expert is Art Ludwig (now lives in santa barbara), and he'll be giving a talk in a few days here on grey water, I'm helping to make the food for the event !

the solutions are there, its just a matter of people deciding to do them.

My garden(s) are doing well. one has a problem with a gopher but not too serious. Learning. :) Trying out various ways to improve soils - mulch/covercrop/double dig - leaning on the easy cover crop, then chop 'n drop and cover with mulch to improve soil. for veggies I think best way is to build raised beds and bring in top soil.

I'm actually more motivated right now to move somewhere wet and build a food forest! ahh, but could I handle the weather.. the cold and rain right now is a welcome change, water is a serious issue and we haven't received much, CA is officially in a drought :\

Zachary Stowasser said...

Oh, but there always is a tropical area - but are they going to be safe for americans in the future??... hmm. Hawaii is beautiful but over populated. South America is amazing but potentially dangerous. Any other ideas anyone?

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Hi Zachary!
Thanks for stopping by our blog and leaving a comment, some useful info and links. I like your blog and Permaculture SLO website and shall have a good look at both. I plan to post again on the Black / Honey Locust thing as there have been some really good comments, and I'm not sure that people glancing through get to read them. I'm glad you laughed at the guy being advised not to plant BL by the Buddhist with the keen sense of hearing: I like my permaculture a whole lot less hippy than that!