Feeling salty? Check out Desalination Plants


           A desalination plant is a system that converts seawater to drinkable water. These plants are very important because as sea levels rise, fresh water can become less available. Some countries and states even rely on desalination plants because they do not have enough freshwater of their own. Israel, a country smaller than New Jersey, gets half of its domestic water from desalination, and actually has more water than it needs. Water is such a precious resource and having a desalination plant can save people’s lives and livelihoods. Israel had an extreme drought a few years ago, where farmers were losing a year’s worth of crops, but because they built desalination plants, they have more than recovered from the drought, and a lucrative business was built. The company that built the most recent desalination plant outside of Tel Aviv just built one in Carlsbad, Southern California, a place notorious for their droughts and fires.

            The reason having desalination plants in dry areas is relevant today, because Cape Town, South Africa is about to completely run out of water, and there is a viable solution on the horizon. The city is rushing to build some temporary desalination plants, so the people can survive until the earth can replenish itself. Technology can do wonders, and desalination plants are further proof of that, but the main issue with building these desalination plants is that it will cost the city big time. The process to turn salt water into drinkable water is a very expensive process, that uses a lot of electricity. The timeline for a solution to this grievous event, running completely out of water, is drawing near. The calculated date that Cape Town’s taps will run dry is April 16th, and that date could end up changing to a sooner time. Cape Town is going to have to build a desalination plant and will apparently be called the Strandfontein plant and cost around $19.8 million dollars. This might be a big expense, but it is well worth the cost, because the alternative is grim. If there is no water in an entire city, how can people possibly continue to live there? People would have to leave Cape Town, and the city would pretty much disappear.  

            Desalination is bound to become a more important necessity in our future on Earth, considering how the Earth is getting warmer as time goes on. Even a small change in temperature can cause a lot of changes to the planet, because the waters get warmer, which causes events like ice melting – which destroys habitats for the polar bears and other creatures – coral bleaching, hurricanes, and other horrible natural disasters. Desalination plants are a great way to start evolving with the changing environment, since humanity would rather just build more tech than make actual changes to how we live, which would solve a lot of problems.





The Astonishing Planet Earth

For my first blog post I wanted to do a documentary review. Environmental science and nature in general has always been a true passion of mine throughout my whole life. The natural world never ceases to amaze me every day. BBC network has created a beautiful art piece called Planet Earth that I’m sure many of you have also seen. It takes them years to make these films due to the unpredictable actors in their films, which consist of animals and plants around the world. Their first documentary series was released in 2006 and took four years to create, traveling to over 64 different countries.

The most current series though, is the main topic for my blog entry. Planet Earth 2 was released in 2017 and took 2,089 days of shooting, about 5.7 years to make. They traveled to over 40 countries to capture the most epic and meaningful clips of the natural world that all eyes should see. Throughout the most recent series David Attenborough, the creator shined a light on how much the earth has been changing in the current years. This was different to the first series. It became apparent to the filmmakers that things have truly changed in the environments although they had seen them no longer than ten years ago. The documentary is split up into episodes due to its length. They categorize the episodes based on the ecosystems. For instance there are different episodes for forest, oceans, desserts, etc.  This is the same between both Planet Earth 1 and 2, but an additional ecosystem was added to this most current ecosystems. This was Cities. They show how certain animals have adapted to our man made ecosystems and how their environment was destroyed but monkeys for example, have been able to learn how to survive in a concrete jungle.

I love that Attenborough added these small changes in his filmmaking to make a huge impact and open the eyes to people who might not be able to see the actual effects of the human impact and climate change due to the anthropocene. I feel our society separates themselves from the natural world and every other creature that shares the planet with us. This makes it easy for humans to not care if their ecosystems are deteriorating because it won’t affect them directly. This is a very close-minded way of living life and this documentary has the ability to educate people of what isn’t right outside their front doors. Many people live in very urban communities with little nature or recourses to be able to immerse themselves in nature. This documentary is available on Netflix, which in this day and age, the mass of people have, this means they now have an opportunity to learn about all of the environments and ecosystems and all of the species within them. It may not be as rewarding as being in these areas, but the quality of this film is unbelievable and actually demonstrates certain thing that one would not be able to experience even if they were right in the forest. For example, one technique these filmmakers use is time-lapse film. This is where they leave a camera recording a plant or mushroom or what have you for a long period of time, months even, and then speed up the film. By doing this one can view the whole lifecycle of an organism in as little as thirty seconds. The creators of this film have an obvious and true passion for what they are doing and are sharing a true gift by letting the public experience this art piece of a documentary.

This documentary like previously mentioned is available on Netflix.com or for more information you can visit http://www.bbcearth.com/planetearth2/