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Saltwater Pipeline

If you build it, they will come.
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

Saltwater is the most abundant substance on the surface of the earth, and we'd do well to use more of it.

Freshwater is becoming more and more expensive over time, and substituting saltwater for freshwater whenever possible may lead to a significant savings.

For one, swimming pools. When it becomes cheaper to fill a pool with saltwater rather than fresh water, why not just do it? Sure, the filtering technology would have to be different, and one would have to scrape the salt crystals off the pool bottom, but the added bouyancy would make for a more interesting swimming experience anyway.

For two, salicornia greenhouses. You can grow it for humans or livestock, whatever floats your boat.

Or, a more minor use, as cooking. Why use salt and water when you can use filtered, perhaps irradiated seawater for cheaper?

They can even build waterparks based on this.

The excess salt can either be shipped east for use as road salt, or added to the bonneville salt flats, or returned to the sea.

All we need to do is build a giant pipeline system to pump seawater to dry western states, Utah, Arizona, etc, and let human ingenuity take it's course.

Madai, Jun 25 2004


       I like the pool idea. I'm not too sure about the rest. If I take a bath to get clean I don't want saltwater.   

       However, in hot, sunny places every house could have a desalination distillery on the roof to provide sweet water.
kbecker, Jun 25 2004

       I'm not sure if people want saltwater in their pools. I lived in a neighborhood right by the Gulf of Mexico for many years, and everyone had swimming pools. That may be accounted for by a need for cleanliness though.
evilmathgenius, Jun 25 2004

       I think a lot of people will go for sea like swimming pools.
harderthanjesus, Jun 25 2004

       Saltwater pools are nothing new. But it seems to me that these pools would get saltier and saltier over time, like the Dead Sea. Eventually you would become so buoyant you could walk right across the top.
bungston, Jun 25 2004

       If you can build a giant pipeline to bring saltwater from the coast, you can bring a giant pipeline to bring fresh water from the mountains. Though it might be useful in California.   

       (I belong to a club that uses saltwater in its pools, ostensibly to get members used to swimming in the sea.)
DrCurry, Jun 25 2004

       It's true that we could pump freshwater around just as easily, if not easier, however, increased freshwater consumption has negative impacts on nature. By increasing our usage of saltwater, we reduce our freshwater dependance.   

       Also, because of all the evaporation, humans would be unwittingly moistening the region, reducing the drought's impacts.   

       As far as pools go, worse case scenario, 1/4 of an inch of water would evaporate per day. There are 231 cubic inches per gallon.   

       A 16 X 32 ft pool may loose up to 80 gallons per day, and since salt is 3.5% of seawater by weight, and 8 pound of water are in a gallon, this means you will have the inconvenience of scraping up to 30 pounds of salt from your pool floor on dry days. Which is about 3 shovel scoops.   

       I imagine people will let a layer of salt build up. at the rate of one inch every 4 months, it won't get too bad.
Madai, Jun 25 2004

       The salt won't build up on the bottom until you have a saturated brine, and swimming in saturated brine draws moisture right out of your skin, even faster than you can sweat it out. It leaves your hair dry and crispy, and your eyes sore and scratchy.   

       A salt-water swimming pool is not any worse than swimming in the ocean. A brine pool is just not fun.
Freefall, Jun 25 2004

       If you allow shrimp to colonize your brine pool, perhaps they would nibble away at your body when you swam, leaving you that nibble-fresh clean feeling. Except for the salt crust, that is.
bungston, Jun 25 2004

       "But mom, I scraped the pool barnacles last week."
"Quiet or you won't get any seaweed ice cream tonight."
Worldgineer, Jun 25 2004

       Hi Madai,   

       Great minds think alike! ;-)   

       Great Satan.
Great Satan, Jun 25 2004

       scout, there is no simple answer to that.   

       they are trying to add salt to the bonnevill flats, however. If it turns out to be a bad idea we can always use the pipes to pump saltwater BACK to the ocean.   

       As far the brining up of the pool, if people prefer to go with a less briney option, they can purify the pool on a quicker basis with freeze desalinization. Instead of saltwater to makeup the difference, add ice. Ice is desalinated, and will slow the evaporation.
Madai, Jun 25 2004

       (picturing ice machine constantly dropping ice into pool) Yeah, that'll be cheaper.
"But mom, I just scraped salt out of the ice machine last week."
Worldgineer, Jun 25 2004

       Nice idea. But saltwater tends to corrode pipes & pump components much much faster than freshwater.
sophocles, May 18 2005

       Cruise ships already use salt water in their pools. I undersand using unprocessed water for any use besides drinking. I'm conserned about how this water may effect plumbing; will it corrode pipes or will there be a buildup of settliments? the water may still need be filtered/processed for any other contaminates.
the great unknown, Jan 29 2007


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