More and more Israelis are drinking seawater from desalination plants. Why does the Israeli government use citizens like its lab rats?
Desalination is a process that turns seawater into drinking water. On the outset, it sounds fantastic. A sustainable idea that could help us face the current water crisis plaguing the world. In fact, desalination is currently hailed as the best and only solution to the water crisis.
Supporters insist it will reduce the pressure on other regular sources of water. They say the technology will help establish a long-term and dependable water supply. However, potentially, desalination could be more of a problem than a solution. Here are some of the possible risks experts have listed out.
High Cost of Desalination
Desalination is an expensive process. When compared to traditionally sourced water, desalinated water is 3 times more expensive. For starters, it requires several water and electricity subsidies to just break even.
Infrastructure setup and long-term maintenance also incur long-term costs. For example, the California American Water Company increased rates before producing even a single drop of water.
It Could Make Global Warming Worse
Desalination depends on an extreme amount of energy to actually take place. The process involves using intense pressure to pass sea water through the tiny filter like membranes. So, as you might be able to imagine, that requires plenty of energy.
Estimates indicate that desalination plants require about ten times more energy. That is when compared to the energy used to extract water from traditional sources.
Some corporations have planned to establish desalination plants near power plants. This is in order to source vast amounts of energy from them. Such a move will only cause global warming to intensify.
Creating facilities such as this will also cause the population to migrate close by. This will only cause other problems such as increased air pollution.
Finally, there is the risk posed to human health. Yes. It can be dangerous to drink seawater. This is something that many health experts have expressed concern over.
Ocean water possesses contaminants that we don’t find in the filtered or mineral water. These chemicals typically include algal toxins, boron, and endocrine disrupters. What’s even worse is that these contaminants become concentrated after desalination.
The Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences published a condemning study late last year
This study determined various serious health problems resulting from the consumption desalinated water.
They based their observations on studying the effects of desalinated water on rats. The study identified the changes that occur in rat organs such as the kidney, brains and the liver.
Researchers made their observations after consumption of desalinated water during the pre-natal stage. They also aimed to observe behavioral changes. The study examined, three types of water. Bottled water, filtered desalinated water, and tap desalinated water.
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