Water covered about ¼ part of the earth, but still, it is scarce. How? Well, more than half of the total water bodies are oceans and seas. And all know, water present there is full of salt. The sources of Drinking water are lakes, rivers, groundwater, and wells and still are not sufficient enough. Water is a necessity and nothing can substitute water. Even the beverage you drink contains water. Countries like India, which is undoubtedly enriched with natural drinkable resources of water, face related problems. But have you ever thought about how those countries fulfil the need for water that doesn’t have a single river?
Any guesses? No worries even if you don’t have any. Ocean water is their only source and it’s where they get water from. But the question that arises is, “do they drink salt water?”. No, they process the seawater and remove the salt present in it. Sounds like a difficult daily task but what other options do they have? But again technology becomes their saviour and there are mechanical techniques that are used for the purpose. Making seawater drinkable various processes and methods have opted. In this article, we will tell you how is salt removed from the ocean naturally and in other ways.
Before knowing how this is done, let’s understand the bond of salt with water.
The salt in water mixes very easily but is hard to separate. The reason is that the dissolved salt makes a strong chemical bond that is hard to break. And breaking that bond requires lots of energy and technology.
There are two methods of desalination given below.
The process of removing salt from the saline water by heating is called Thermal Distillation. The heating process turns the water into water vapours that leave behind the salt in it. The water vapour then again turned into the water that is then saltless. This process. The water then obtained is a mineral, salt, and other contaminants free. But this method requires huge energy. The most common and economical Distillation is Multiple Effect Distillation (MED).
Membrane Separation requires less energy than thermal distillation. And the most ordinary membrane separation is Reverse Osmosis. In this method of removing salt from seawater, water is forced through a partially permeable membrane. This helps in removing the ions, unwanted molecules, and larger particles from the seawater to make it drinkable. This process makes the solvent part go on one side and the solute part retains on one side.
Difficulties in Desalination
Isn’t it obvious, that turning a large amount of seawater into potable water may face infinite difficulties? Let’s have a look at those difficulties to know them better.
- High Cost
The high Cost of distillation is the biggest problem faced by the countries having potable water. For distillation, a huge set-up of big machines and plants is needed. This cost is then borne by the common people by paying high water bills.
- High Energy is Needed
Not only the cost is a matter of concern but Energy is too. The huge setup of the plant needed huge energy to work properly. This will again add to the cost of water and the common man will suffer. And where there is a scarcity of resources the cost of distilled water can cause them a fortune.
- Environmental Cost
The process of desalination is being done on Environmental Costs. The process makes the food chain of marine life unbalanced by killing small creatures of the sea.
- Excess Salt
The salt that is removed from the water putting back into the sea can cause great damage to marine life. Because sea creatures are habitual of living in certain levels of saltwater. Excess of it can kill them. And if the salt is not put back to sea then where to keep it then?
- Unsatisfied Water Needs
Water needs are those that can not be satisfied in one go. No matter how much potable water you make, it is never gonna be sufficient. Water is precious but people only value precious things when they can’t acquire them. Even if countries like Saudi Arabia make gallons of potable water daily, they still find water shortages.
What can we do?
Countries, where there is no water body except sea and oceans, face more difficulties than the others. But water is precious and needs to be used cautiously. Here is what can be done to do it.
- Save Water
We all heard this slogan since we were kids but hardly anyone applied it in real life. But it’s now high time we should take this seriously. Water is everything, to be honest, and life is impossible without it. Start to do things regularly that help you save even a single drop.
- Use less Groundwater
The level of groundwater is decreasing with each passing day. Groundwater is the source of water that gives you minerals. But depending totally upon groundwater when you can use the tap water is a mistake.
- Try to do things without Water
Things like washing cars, vehicles, etc, and watering plants daily should be avoided. These activities do not need to be done on a regular basis and a huge amount of water can be saved by this.
A. The rainwater is a little acidic when it falls on the ground. When the water touches the rocks on the floor there happens an erosion. The acid present in water erodes the rocks. The release of ions from it is then taken away by rivers to the sea causing the seawater salty.
Now you know how salt is added and removed from the ocean. Go eco-friendly and save water. If you are from Saudi Arabia start using water wisely even govt. is doing more than enough to provide you with potable water.