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 Trinipine
Joined: 6/25/2011
Msg: 1
basic engineering Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
so im 29 and from as far as i can remember Africa has been going on droughts, and i have always said how come they cannot use a high power pump and large hose and water the land, they can have greenery, please correct me if im wrong here
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 2
basic engineering
Posted: 8/3/2011 9:54:25 PM
"Basically a good idea, except where would they get the fresh water from? I imagine the amount of water necessary to change a whole landscape of a continent would be more water than would be available."

A nuclear powered desalination plant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination

The trick is getting the fresh water distributed. In Texas, because of a severe drought, they're building a plant that converts sewage into clean drinking water. Build these plants across the continent and the distribution problem is greatly reduced.
 RichenLosAngeles
Joined: 11/14/2010
Msg: 3
basic engineering
Posted: 8/3/2011 10:10:03 PM
Sure, no problem, except where do they get the sewage? Do they have sewers?
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 4
basic engineering
Posted: 8/3/2011 10:37:25 PM
"Sure, no problem, except where do they get the sewage? Do they have sewers?"

They pee and sh1t so they must have sewage. Granted they need to structures to collect the sewage but maybe all these philanthropic organizations can get their acts together and start building up the infrastructure.
 Trinipine
Joined: 6/25/2011
Msg: 5
basic engineering
Posted: 8/4/2011 4:07:19 AM
you can use salt water (ocean water), the way i see it is, it can be pumped into the desert into a large dam with a glass top where the water will come to a boil with the heat, where you can collect the drained condensation which is "salt free"= fresh drinking water.
i did this back when i was 6 years old in class and i still remember this
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 6
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History
basic engineering
Posted: 8/4/2011 4:16:23 AM
All such projects are limited only by will and money. I isn't the IDEA that's missing, it's the desire to do THAT instead of something else.
Frankly, I would like to see America consider building some giant hoses here, so that when we have drought in the middle agricultural areas, and floods around the rim, we could balance things ourselves. But that sort of giant hose project is VASTLY more expensive than you realize, and the first time the hose turned out to end up in the wrong place for where it was needed, the politicians who got it funded would be run out of town on a rail.
 Hibernian1960
Joined: 9/13/2008
Msg: 7
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History
basic engineering
Posted: 8/5/2011 12:49:19 AM
Again, the question is one of engineering.

Water behaves in predictable ways and people have been exploiting these properties since before recorded time, all around the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAWAPA
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 8
basic engineering
Posted: 8/5/2011 12:39:44 PM
"Why not use solar instead? Plenty of sun in Africa.
The issue is the infrastucture itself, trasporting the fresh water. The ground will just soak it up. It'd be a 24/7, 365/year task.
I don't think it's feasible."

I'll leave such details to the engineers and bureaucrats.
 RichenLosAngeles
Joined: 11/14/2010
Msg: 9
basic engineering
Posted: 8/5/2011 2:52:53 PM
Paul, if the powers that be in those regions wanted water, there would be water.
They are focused on control of resources, for personal gain and retention of power.
Helping the masses is low on their priorities.
 FrankNStein902
Joined: 12/26/2009
Msg: 10
basic engineering
Posted: 8/5/2011 3:24:20 PM
so im 29 and from as far as i can remember Africa has been going on droughts, and i have always said how come they cannot use a high power pump and large hose and water the land, they can have greenery, please correct me if im wrong here

For that to happen you will need some mobsters and casinos.





It is very interesting, and I have been following them for a year or so, and they seem to be making progress. This is the type of power source that would be perfect for so many places, as it would not require a large infrastructure of power transmission lines.

Unfortunately that kind of investment provides a low rate of return, due to the operational and maintenance cost associated with that type of project. All it does its give a company the ability to get it hooks into a group of people.

Micro Financing deals with regards to small solar projects with in the communities is the way to go.

Create infrastructure for and managed by the community, so they can benefit from both sides.




Edit For Below

Just out of curiousity, have you even looked up Hyperion to see just what it is that they do, and get a glimpse of what they are workin on?

Yep and while they might make a nice little reactor it is still a reactor.

Why bring the potential of a safety issue when there is already a viable option out there.

Also using solar in this way will quickly advance the technology and in turn increase efficiency and lower cost for the rest of the world.

Win win for everyone.
 RichenLosAngeles
Joined: 11/14/2010
Msg: 11
basic engineering
Posted: 8/5/2011 3:50:20 PM
Paul, if those things were used in Africa, wouldn't they be a high-priority security concern?
Wouldn't the local bad guys want to steal them and hold the residents hostage for that water?
 Hibernian1960
Joined: 9/13/2008
Msg: 12
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History
basic engineering
Posted: 8/6/2011 11:19:53 PM
Returning to the topic, if I may.

Basic engineering was very adequately demonstrated in North America during the New Deal. I respectfully suggest we resume such policies and apply them at home as well as abroad.

Regarding solar vs nuclear power: population of Africa is generally involved in agriculture, yes?

Maximum conceivable 24 hour average watts per meter square at tropics, clear skies, is 300 watts, at 100% efficiency, and 50 watts per meter square is more likely based upon actual operating facilities in USA deserts, LUZ International SEGS units, Kramer Junction CA. This is PEAK output, no capacity factor.

1000 Mw is typical output for nuclear power installation, which takes up less space than 20,000 square kilometers.
 chrono1985
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 13
basic engineering
Posted: 8/10/2011 12:33:27 AM
Well a drought stricken area would post a few challenges for terra forming.

Water is the most obvious concern.
Nutrition, plants that evolved to survive drought areas don't far so well if you put a whole lot of them together. Seeding the soil with fresh nutrients will prove even more challenging than seeding it with sufficient water.
Tourism, not just from humans, but also from other species exploring areas their instincts formerly told them to avoid. Imagine having fresh vegetation grow just to have a species that thrives on it come in and eat it all up before it could fully mature.

It would take a long time to transform the deserts into sustainable ecosystems. Not just in engineering but also in natural process of life. Not exactly something you can throw money at to make it happen. Each generation contributing would have to send in their best engineers and wildlife experts to help things along.
 PragmaticDoc
Joined: 8/4/2009
Msg: 14
basic engineering
Posted: 8/10/2011 12:42:29 AM
Bill Gates has enough money to turn Africa in the thickest lushest land we have seen since before, and i hope this is the right time period, the Clovis people. Thousands of people do, why don't you ask? Survey says There would never be a return on a 10 billion dollar investment and that would be to start something like this. Or we can just wait on the climate change that will happen and probably get all of this for free.
 jay.m83
Joined: 5/18/2011
Msg: 15
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Posted: 8/10/2011 10:40:39 AM
Why not use solar instead? Plenty of sun in Africa.


Not enough sun for the population. Attempts have been made, and continue to be made to force feed solar and wind power down the undeveloped worlds throat, and it doesn't meet the energy requirements of the population. It is also very unreliable especially in the tropics. So to answer your question, because it doesn't work well enough. Perhaps in the future it may, but that's like saying we shouldn't maintain roads in the country because we will all be driving flying cars in the future. We just don't know for sure yet.
 Hibernian1960
Joined: 9/13/2008
Msg: 16
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Posted: 8/18/2011 5:21:59 PM
Takes energy to dig well and to pump water. Does Wily Fox think people living indigenously in arid areas have not had this same thought?

Doubtful.
 robin-hood
Joined: 12/2/2008
Msg: 17
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Posted: 8/18/2011 10:02:44 PM


There is a company called Hyperion Power that is working on "nuke" power. They have designed small, well, large enough to power 20,000 households for about 5 years before they need a "refill", for lack of a better word. Part of the beauty of these generators, is that they are relativley small, ( small enough to be carried on a flat b ed truck), the power source is not enough to have people try to steal it for bombs, and they can be configured so that part of the output is not just electrical power, but water de-salinization, so you would get two benefits with one power source.


Paul,
The desalinization is a side benefit where water is required to dissipate the heat, why not just flash off the water at a lower atmospheric pressure. To generate power you need a heat sink of either water or air. I will make the assumption this is steam generation engine, or if a turbine it would require very good source of water and constant operation. Also if nuclear the steam loop needs to be a closed loop. For 20,000 homes I would say the truck is 40-ft tractor trailer.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 18
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Posted: 8/19/2011 4:27:41 PM
It's going to take a lot of engineering and thinking outside of the box to fix this mess of over population, over-consumption, and diminishing resources and returns. We've built up a global boom/bust cycle that's gonna take all the kings, and queens, horses and men to put back together again. Peak water is converging on peak soil, fossil fuels, peak fertilizers, zero nuke waste management plans, and growing global political chaos. Some hard choices will have to be made and much of our remaining resources dedicated to food, water, and fuels wars.

Right now, our neighboring state of Georgia (US) is using over half of it's water withdrawals to cool it's power plants. Georgia is waging water wars against 3 neighboring states right now, and we are still in the "developed world" class (if you don't use wealth distribution as a model of civilization). Georgia wants to reach over the mountains and dip it's stick into the Tennessee River, a dying river that is already so hot, 3 of it's nukes are shut down to 50% capacity due to thermal pollution. In the hottest parts of this warming country, with dried up lakes and hot rivers, even the "nuke salvation" is going to have to rework it's cooling system engineering.

We mandated corn moonshine for cars that only ended up causing more consumption, more oil imports, more land converted from food to fuels, higher food prices, and lower gas mileage for the wasted corporate welfare checks. The ethanol colonies are dutifully draining the aquifers to convert food and water to fuels.

Dyer has an even more dire prediction.
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/52355351-82/grain-bubble-percent-climate.html.csp
There are all kinds of bubbles. We had the financial bubble that burst in 2008, causing economic devastation that we are still paying for. There is the Chinese real estate bubble, the biggest in history, which may take the whole world economy down with it when it bursts. But nothing compares with the food bubble.

Back in 2008, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published a report on world food supply predicting that the price surge of that year would quickly revert to normal: “Barring any underlying climate change or water constraints that could lead to permanent reductions in yield, normal higher output can be expected in the very short term.” And barring age, disease and accidents, we will all live forever.

Between April 2010 and April 2011 the average world price of grain soared by 71 percent: not a very big deal for people in rich countries who spend less than 10 percent of their incomes on food, but a catastrophe for poor people who already spend more than half their money just to keep their families fed. And that is before “climate change and water constraints” get really serious. But they will.

Let’s ignore the effects of climate change, because it’s too early in the game to be certain that any given drought, flood or heat wave has been caused by rising temperatures. Besides, there are a few countries (notably the United States) where climate change is still seen as controversial by a significant number of people. So let’s just talk about what happens to the world food supply when the irrigation water runs out.

The first great food price crisis was in the early 1970s, when consumption was outrunning production due to rapid population growth: The world’s population almost doubled between 1945 and 1975. Grain prices were even higher in real terms than they are now, and there was near-starvation in some areas. But the problem was quickly solved by the famous “Green Revolution,” which hugely increased yields of rice, wheat and maize (corn).

The only drawback was that the Green Revolution wasn’t really all that green. Higher-yielding strains of familiar crops played a part in the solution, certainly, but so did a vastly increased use of fertilizer: Global fertilizer use tripled between 1960 and 1975. And above all, there was an enormous expansion of the world’s irrigated area. It has more than tripled since 1950.

Only 10 percent of the world’s cropland is irrigated even now, but that irrigated land provides about 40 percent of the world’s food, so it is absolutely vital. Yet they didn’t discover any new rivers after 1950. Almost all of the new irrigated land — two-thirds of the total — uses water that is pumped up from deep underground aquifers.

Obviously, the aquifers won’t all go dry at once. Some are bigger than others, and some have been pumped much longer or more heavily than others. But most of them are going to go dry at some point or other in the next 30 years.

The irrigated area in the United States has probably passed its peak already. In key agricultural states, it is already long past: 1978 in Texas, 1997 in California. In China and India irrigation may be at its peak right now. A World Bank study reported in 2005 that the grain supply for 175 million Indians is produced by over-pumping water, and some 130 million Chinese similarly depend in a dwindling supply of underground water for their grain.

It gets worse. In the Middle East, Israel banned all irrigation of wheat in 2000 in order to conserve the remaining underground water for people. It now imports 98 percent of its grain. More recently Saudi Arabia, which was self-sufficient in wheat production only five years ago, decided to shut grain-growing down completely before the major aquifer under the country runs dry. Next year, it will import 100 percent of its grain.

Saudi Arabia will be able to go on importing grain even when the price is twice what it is now, and so will Israel. But there are a great many countries that will lose their ability to feed their own people once the irrigation bubble bursts — and will not be able to afford to import food at the vastly inflated prices that ensue.

Never mind what climate change will eventually do to the world food supply (although we will mind very much when it finally hits). The crisis is coming sooner than that, and it is quite unavoidable. We are living way beyond our means.

Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 19
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basic engineering
Posted: 8/19/2011 4:30:54 PM
double post...internet problem..
 Hibernian1960
Joined: 9/13/2008
Msg: 20
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Posted: 8/19/2011 11:31:45 PM
Ask them. They likely thought of it before you did.

Probably water table is too deep if you ask me. You want to run economy on human muscle energy? FINE, start walking everywhere, knit your own socks, kill your own meat, knock yourself out.

After all, you wouldn't ask these people to do something YOU wouldn't, wouldja?
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 21
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Posted: 8/22/2011 4:12:43 PM
Wiley...Pretty sure people know how to dig holes everywhere. The problem is the holes have to be deeper and deeper, require power to pump from deeper depths, and when done, are more likely than not to exceed aquifer ability to recharge in short order.

Too many people, using too much too fast. Simple supply and demand. Israel and Saudi Arabia have quit drawing aquifer waters for food, relying on the waters of others to grow their foods, and concentrating on just getting a drink of water. Only the wealthiest nations will be able to go the suicidal route of desalinization for awhile. That in itself is a negative feedback loop that wipes out much of future food production for short term hope.
http://www.earthtalktoday.tv/earthtalk-voices/water-scarcity-spreading.html
 Hibernian1960
Joined: 9/13/2008
Msg: 22
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Posted: 8/22/2011 11:55:54 PM
"Suicidal" desalination? Really? Funny, this is pretty much what happens when water evaporates, condenses, falls as rain. What is harmful here?

NOTHING.

Only Mother Nature distributes said rain capriciously. Desalination is properly viewed as extension of irrigation, a time-honored practice conducive to SURVIVAL, hence opposed by environmentalist cult.

Digging wells by hand, poor backward types native to these areas, hmmm, why they need Westerners to suggest this? Must be ignorant savages...not knowing of technology at least 3000 years old. Maybe they are all ECOLOGISTS?
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 23
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Posted: 8/23/2011 5:05:55 PM
Rain falls in previously predictable and sustainable ways for the most part for the most of human history. The agricultural history of humans in the last 10,000 years is scattered with the abandoned abodes and rock sculptures of gods to overuse, depletion, and abandonment after the fact. From Easter Island, Greece, the Annasazi, and thousands of others, we see the arrogance of living beyond our means and deploying heroic measures in the end, only to fall prey to our limits.

Environmentalism is not a cult. It is a way of being for all generations who share a piece of earth, for every generation to honor those before and to come by not trashing the place in our short visit. Consumerism is a cult however, believeing that there cannot posssibly be consequences for depletion, waste, and boom/bust cycles. The current embodiment of that cult of planet eaters resides in the neo-republican/far right/tea baggers/corporate stooges movement that has disdain for science and reality.

No arguing with these cultists. Only ammo handed out to the reality based community will avert a global lemming-like jump into oblivion. The "desalinization" solution for not even being able to live within the abundance of naturally occuring rainwater blessings, underscores the worship of the same thinking that got us into this mess, by trashing out half the remaining planet to miraculously get us out of this mess. Seems like we could focus on restoration instead of increasing sacrifice zones.
http://www.ucowr.org/updates/132/3.pdf
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/agvision/docs/Soil_Salinization.pdf
 Hibernian1960
Joined: 9/13/2008
Msg: 24
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Posted: 8/23/2011 10:30:49 PM
Still sounds like a cult. If it sounds like a cult, looks like a cult, acts like a cult, it is probably in fact- a cult.

"YOU are in deep trouble and WE have the ONLY answer. YOU must GIVE UP(sacrifice) your current way of life and adopt ours, for WE and WE ALONE are virtuous, miserable sinner", repeat ad nauseam. Drearily familiar.

Tell me buster, how does a plant determine the source of its water, whether cloud or other? Surely being filthy, er, "a man of the soil", you can enlighten us, revealing the mystic communion you have with the homicidal b*tch Mother Nature. It sounds like wells are sinful too, want to explain that one? "Artesian springs are blessed, but cursed be the hand that diggeth and waiteth not for the holy rain," something like that?

OBVIOUSLY, cutting trees is okay if you are a beaver, but off limits if you happen to be a human, and building dams? Again, beavers only, attempting to control the holy floods is courting eternal DAMnation, right?

For an engineering thread this has wandered way the hell off point, but if engineering is a sinful activity, baby, I don't want to be right...
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 25
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Posted: 8/24/2011 2:12:26 AM
Engineering by it's nature does not involve any sense of morality or long term thinking. It's pretty much all about an immediate result, going from point A to point B. Screw point C, D, E, and F!...boy did we F up.

Engineering "solutions" often lead to real life consequences that must be rectified with yet more engineering, ad infinitum. Roundup Ready GMOs were supposed to save the world, but ended up making people ill, killing, breeding superweeds, and driving up food and health costs. Likewise, desalinization is hugely energy intensive, requires much chemical manipulation, has disposal issues that require sacrifice/dead zones, promotes, by it's expense, an irrigation regime thatin turn promotes soil salinity, and does little to address the basic issues of waste, consumption and overpopulation that got us into the situation where we became desperatate enough to have to drink seawater.

History is littered with engineering morality failures. Address points C, D, F and beyond, then get back to us on how noble your efforts are.
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