Tampa Bay Florida Area Drinks Oil-Fired Water

There isn't much choice, as groundwater reserves are insufficient. But really...is bottled water any worse than this?

Four years behind schedule and nearly $80 million over the original budget, the nation's largest sea water desalination facility finally supplies much-needed drinking water to 2.4 million people in the Tampa Bay region.
We say "oil-fired" because the desalination is highly electricity intensive and oil burning turbines are Florida's dominant source of electricity.
To remove salt, water must be piped at high pressures through membranes with holes 1/1,000 the width of a human hair. Creating that pressure requires a vast amount of energy, ...
More Florida communities want in on desalination as the population continues to grow, much of it from immigration.

Wondering where the oil comes from for Florida's electrical power generation? Try Venezuela. Viva Orimulsion! Long live sulfer scrubbers!

Patented under the name Orimulsion, the fuel comes from Venezuela's vast Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt and can be burned in power plants as an alternative to coal or to the international standby, Heavy Fuel Oil No. 6, after a plant has been modified. The most expensive part of the modification is adding scrubbers to smokestacks to remove Orimulsion's relatively high concentration of sulphur, which causes acid rain, from emissions.
When the carbon cap and trade program is finally enacted, how much you want to bet Florida politicians demand free credits to cover their lawn watering and real estate boom habits?

Can't put too much pressure on Hugo either. Florida would get pretty thirsty.

Via::Herald Tribune, More parched communities ponder desalination solution AND New York Times, Venezuela Pushing 'Liquid Coal' Image credit::RoPlant, Tampa Bay Florida Reverse Osmosis Plant

Tags: Desalination | Drought | Florida