Shower… more expensive than an ounce of Silver

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A human is 60% water, so the news about less water on the planet inevitably means trouble. As the earth gets hotter, many wealthy countries now struggle with a poverty problem; a simple but brutal drought.

The 15 hottest years ever recorded are all in the naughties. This, together with decrease in water, brings empty and dry terrains – an environment only cactus plants can cope with.

California, Australia and Italy now rarely see rain and, instead, are ploughed by wildfires local authorities struggle to fight. At the same time, lack of water means higher maintenance of agriculture and simple necessities, like shower and cooking.

Source: NASA

Only if you believe in raindance can you bring cloud onto clear skies. Unlike other problems such as electricity, education, technology, development (you name it), this one, completely leaves us in the hands of Gods. The only way we can bring more freshwater in is through desalination – a process even the driest islands turn their back on.

I visited a saltern together with a startup a few days back to explore the possibility of turning the expensive desalitation process into a cheaper option. The saltern, located in some of the driest areas of the planet, makes salt but never implemented a desalination process for water, because of its astronomic cost.

IMG_20170518_133630 (1).jpg
A single tomatoe needs 12 litres to grow while an avocado tree needs at least 1200 mm rainfall a year

A litre of desalinased water costs on average $0.2 to produce – 10 times the cost of regular, fresh water. If we heat that water, the cost grows to $0.32 a litre, adding onto the total bill.

For example, a normal shower lasts for an average of 8 minutes, using 62 litres of hot water. That would bring the cost up to nearly $20 per shower, more than an ounce of silver.

So, if we want to continue cooking, washing and cleaning our clothes, we better make it rain again.

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