General Awareness

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

Why Can't We Convert Sea Water To Drinking Water As In Gulf?

General awareness is tested in MBA exams like XAT, CMAT, IIFT , SNAP and NMAT hence, MBA aspirants should read variety of topics.Today, you will read General Awareness topic :

Why Can’t We Convert Sea Water To Drinking Water As In Gulf?
Water is one of the most valuable resources on earth that is required for the very survival of mankind. But it is a very scarce resource and hence, needs to be utilized in a controlled and sensible manner so that not even a fraction of this scarce yet precious resource is wasted. But one must be thrilled to know that the earth consists of about 326 billion trillion gallons of water out of which less than 1% is worth drinking. 
This is the reason why water is considered as a limited natural resource although it is vastly available all across the globe. The main reason of this resource for being scarce is that most of the water available on earth is rooted in the seas and oceans. The water found in the sea is totally salty in nature and the water that has a high salt content can never satisfy thirst. But the water that is found in gulf does not contain salt and hence, this water can easily be purified and converted into drinking water. 
But with the rapid progress in science and technology, conversion of sea water into drinking water has become possible especially with the invention of advanced scientific devices. In fact, the conversion became feasible right from the days of the ancient Greeks. But it was a very costly method since enormous amount of heat was necessary to make the conversion possible if the process had to be undertaken on a large scale. But today, the cost of conversion has been minimized with the introduction of modern equipments because of which more and more people are encouraged to actually convert the salty water from the sea into safe drinking water.
Yet another reason for which conversion of sea water into drinking water cannot easily be done is that the particles of salt damage the filters during the process of filtration once the filters have been used twice or thrice. Replacing such filters by new ones involves a huge cost which again creates ample obstruction in the process of conversion.
But no such problem arises in the case of gulf water as it does not contain any salty particles which would put the filters out of order. So it is a lot easier and simpler to convert gulf water (than sea water) into drinking water. Electrolysis is also a very expensive process of converting sea water into drinking water.
Moreover, sewage and factory wastes are periodically disposed into the sea, thereby polluting the whole water body. Now, during the process of filtration, all these impurities cannot be completely eradicated. A substantial amount of waste still happens to exist in the water even after the filtration process is over. Hence, sea water, even after conversion, does not become suitable for the purpose of drinking. But considering the matter of gulf water, not much of a waste is dumped in gulfs and hence, gulf water, by the process of filtration, becomes absolutely safe for drinking. 
Further, it is not always possible to install desalination plants in each and every place on earth. In such places, converting sea water into drinking water becomes a very expensive process and so, importing drinking water is a much cheaper option particularly in those locations. But such plants are definitely not required for converting gulf water into drinking water since water from the gulf is totally free from salt.
Another very important cause that makes conversion of sea water into drinking water a tuff job is that estimating the total cost of desalination is not simple at all. The cost, terms of dollar may differ from place to place depending on cost of labor and energy, prices of land, mutual agreements as well as degree of salt content in the water. The actual cost may range from $1 to slightly more than $2 to produce one cubic meter or 264 gallons of salt – free water from the sea. But this is just an approximate figure which can vary with the change in prevailing circumstances. But this type of criticality does not arise in case of conversion of gulf water into drinking water. During this type of conversion where gulf water is involved, the cost of conversion more or less remains uniform.
From the above mentioned differences, it becomes very clear why it is easier and simpler to convert gulf water (than sea water) into drinking water. But with the latest technological advancement, sea water can now be easily and conveniently purified at a very nominal cost for the purpose of drinking. 
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