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My Theory On Reviving Deserts

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posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 12:36 AM
Ok I know what the article states; however I will not go on in this into about my claims to have found a way to turn desert sand into farmland and forests. What my theory is for is as a starting point to alleviating severe droughts in parts of the Southwest US, as well as many Coastal Desert or any desert regions across the globe.

We shall use the Sun, the oceans (gulfs, bays, seas, oceans etc..), and a pipeline. Now we know for a fact we can already route pipelines across vast expanses of land, with many international pipelines running through several countries.

Desert regions typically go through much less cloudiness during the year than the more gifted temperate and tropical zones. This much higher exposure to the sun, combined with the vast emptiness of the wasteland gives us the opportunity to harvest the energy of the sun using colonies of massive solar collectors. The energy of these generators will be used to fuel the pumping stations which will allow for the water to flow continuously from source to destination.

We will have a modern or further advanced desalination plant close to our source to begin the process. Now as the water is fed into the pipeline the pumping stations, which are being fueled by our solar collectors, it may also be run through several additional treatment for the removal of pollutants and/or bacteria. Finally it ends at any number of desert cities utilizing the service, alleviating the need for any water restrictions and droughts in effect.

Here is an illustration:

  1. Saltwater is collected from oceanic source and processed into the desal plant. The plant will remove the salt most likely by distillation. The water will then go through additional Treatment in order to remove other impurities, such as minerals, bacteria, and/or pollution.
  2. Water is rushed through the pipeline with the help of pumping stations. In an effort to make the system as simple as possible large solar collector fields will harness the power of the sun and convert it into energy to operate the pumping stations.
  3. Water reaches its source, a once dry and barren community. Gardens, parks, and a plentiful variety of vegetation grow naturally through the participating community. Droughts will be of little worry, and water restrictions may be silly ordnances of the past.

This is about as crude and simple as I can get for the time being. Personally I believe if we spend at least 2-5 years going over the theory in the scientific community with variables and computer simulations and corss refercing it with known research, it will be very possible to research, develop, and begin prelimenary testing on an operating system within a decades time.
Facts needing to be established
How much energy can a certain perimeter of photovoltaic produce when being exposed to a given amount of time? I presume a mathematic equation would look something like this: E(megawatts)=P(1inch²)+T(hours a day exposed to unblocked sun)
How do current oil pipelines work and is the same process can be applied to shipping water?
Can we gather energy at the output line using the water pressure to charge turbines? The purpose of this would be to simply get an extra boost of energy to be dispursed by utilities.

I do not get upset from people questioning my theory or simply opposing the whole idea in general, however:

Please do not Post following replies or similar

You are going to screw up the ecosystem man lets just kill the idea while we have a chance

I am not some anti-environmentalist, but making a broad statement without even citing any examples is a waste of time. Not to mention you could use that processing power to theorize ways to alleviate any possible disadvantages to our environment.

The amount of energy invested into powering pumping stations will make the theory invalid and useless.
(the purpose of spitting ideas out is to figure how to come up with ways to make it work using new theories and scientific laws instead of relying soley on the dictates of old and known science. However there is nothing against using modern and past methods to proove and justify our new theories)

You right wing ultra neo-con liberal athiest conservative evangelist your kidn of people are the reason for so and so problem which is why we always have to foot the bill yada yadda
This is a scientific analysis of a revolutionary theory. Please refrain from brining politics in at all, this is not even the proper forum.

I understand that seems like the requests of a hardass/smartass but with the way threads are hijacked and the frequency of bringing off-topic issues into the discussion so rampant on ATS these days because of the high volume of user traffic I simply felt it should be noted.

Thank you for your interest in my theories and I hope to engage in a wonderful fact-finding mission.

posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 02:13 AM
Desalination would be your biggest problem here, as well as the costs involved in laying the pipelines.

Also, do you have any idea of the amount of water you would need to turn a desert into even a somewhat hospitable environment? Much more than a few plants and pipes could ever provide. Then you've got the factors on the receiving end, like how to spread the water out over the whole area you want to terraform. But since you said that all you want to do is provide water to cities, wouldn't it be easier to just provide salt water for most things, except drinking? I mean, salt water is lovely stuff. Gets you much cleaner than a good shower ever could. So if you were to use fresh water for drinking only, and perhaps for keeping public gardens looking nice, you would have vastly reduced h2o needs. Perhaps this solution would be applicable now, as the waste products produced from the desalting process would be a fraction of what they would have been previously.

But now, who wants to waste the precious resource diesel on a few towns that shouldn't even be there and are surviving anyway? You see, even if this idea was practical, it would never get off the ground because of the expenses and sacrifices involved. You say that there are lots of pipelines all over the world. Perhaps so, but even the most recent large water pipelines were completed at least 35 years ago, even through there are many many communities that would benefit from this commodity nowadays. To complete this project for every city of over 100, 000 (or so) people would just be too much for the govt. to contemplate. Your best bet on this would be the private industry, who are always looking for good PR stunts.

But yeah, those desalination plants really get me. Even the most advanced ones are a hassle and a major economic strain, and can negatively effect the local environment worse than oil operations if not properly handled. Explain in exact terms, like where the pipes would be laid, what types of plants were going to be extracting the fresh water, how long it would take to set up the infrastructure to support a single city, what types of solar cells would be used and how they would be maintained, i.e. the workforce involved, and perhaps it would all become clearer.

posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 05:53 PM

The nation's economic well-being depends on the enormous quantities of oil moved safely, efficiently and at low cost by oil pipelines each day. This national infrastructure represents a $31 billion investment in a 200,000 mile long network of technology that is essential to American interests.

The proposed water pipelines would be a fraction of the oil pipeline network in relation to size and cost. The fact that there is already a interstate oil pipeline infrastructure in place shows that the transportation of water to needy areas from coastal distribution centers is indeed possible.

As a matter of fact, all the oil brought into this country comes from super barges directly unloading into distribution centers and pipelines. The source of the water will come straight from the OCEAN! Therefore we know from these facts that delivering vast volumes of water VIA pipelines will not be a problem at all.

As far as powering the pump stations, well oil pipelines obviously use some form of energy for that. My idea dictates that we can use the harsh open undeveloped space of a desert to build fields of solar collector panels stretching for miles tapping the unclouded sky and sucking up the unforgiving sun should be adequate to not only power the pumping stations, but may very well also be able to redirect extra energy to local power grids as a surplus and to ease local energy prices or even for the desalination plants themselves.

The only issue now comes at the source. We need to advance our desalination plants. Here are some articles I found relating to the subject.

Of the more than 7,500 desalination plants in operation worldwide, 60% are located in the Middle East. The world's largest plant in Saudi Arabia produces 128 MGD of desalted water. In contrast, 12% of the world's capacity is produced in the Americas, with most of the plants located in the Caribbean and Florida. To date, only a limited number of desalination plants have been built along the California coast, primarily because the cost of desalination is generally higher than the costs of other water supply alternatives available in California (e.g., water transfers and groundwater pumping). However, as drought conditions occur and concern over water availability increases, desalination projects are being proposed at numerous locations in the state.

Desalination Technologies
Desalination is a process that removes dissolved minerals (including but not limited to salt) from seawater, brackish water, or treated wastewater. A number of technologies have been developed for desalination, including reverse osmosis (RO), distillation, electro dialysis, and vacuum freezing. Two of these technologies, RO and distillation, are being considered by municipalities, water districts, and private companies for development of seawater desalination in California. These methods are described below.


Obviously Saudi Arabia has decided it is worthwhile to invest in desalination plants, as should any government which must operate in a desert environment.

Everything I have proposed is already functioning technology in use today. Now we must find a way to integrate the various systems so they may work together for our needs. As far as I have read, the only issue is supplying energy to the desalination plants. IF we invest in trying to design plants to use less energy and produce greater output we can have a wonderful thing going for us. We must also at the same time continue humanities' efforts at developing our solar technology further in order to utilize the free energy of our sun.

posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 06:11 PM
The only issue here are the desal plants. The largest one in Saudi Arabia produces over 128 million gallons a day of water.

Why did you even mention diesel anyways? I stated we would use solar power which has great potential in the desert. Great fields of these things in an open area. Consider the following:

What's most impressive about the Solar Ark is that it is one of the world's biggest solar energy generation systems, and was designed by imagining a giant ark. It boasts a length of 315 meters, and a height of 37 meters. It is installed with 5,046 solar battery panels, giving it a maximum generation capacity of 630 kW equivalent to the annual power consumption of 200 homes.

Sanyo Solar Ark

Of course that appears small for the moment. However the perimeter of the solar ark is less than half a square mile. I imagine fields of solar collectors going for miles and miles. Given the electrical potential for all of those added up, we can more than generate the necessary energy required for the pumping stations, as well as possibly redirect some of it to our desal plants. Considering that there really is not much vegetation at all, the environmental impacts of such large solar panels should be insignificant.

posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 07:22 PM
Well thought out . . .

The photo-voltaic (solar) bit would be expensive as far as running the de-salinization plants go.

Pipelines and pumps for water work the same as do the oil pipelines so no problems there.

Setting up a generation turbine in an effort to reclaim some lost energy is a bit of a lost cause.
The restriction developed by the recovery turbines would have to be countered by extra generation input at the sending - or pressurization end.

Instead of desalinization plants, why not reservoirs, pumps and pipelines to help control the yearly floodwaters in the S/W part of the US?
As well as being a storage system for fresh water.
The fresh water stored would help to alleviate floods, desalinization would not be required and the only costs would be for pumping.

Earthfill dams are to an extent, not too expensive compared to a massive poured cement structure and are a viable way to store and control water.

The N/W part of the US has an overabundance of fresh water most years.
Pumping that - along with the floodwaters prevalent to the S/W US - to Southern California, Nevada and Arizona reservoirs would help a lot as well as take pressure off the Colorado River water system.

This extra water would help to support the growing population of the US as well as making the desert bloom.

I agree with folks who are thinking - population boom - but it's gonna happen anyway and we may as well be prepared for it.

Even Mexico could benefit from a major revamp of US water control and storage system thinking.

Trade ya water for oil?

Water for Mexico could alleviate a lot of our border problems if they had the water to grow things as well as create new manufacturing facilities both of which would aid the Mexican economy.

posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 07:26 PM
Well Done DYapes!!! First of all, You Have 2 of my 3 WATS votes for JULY! Excellent Idea! The World Needs More People Like You!!!

As for your vision, I think you are onto something here...but people need to understand that this isn't a quick fix insomuch as converting the desert into live-able enviorment with plant life and critters. You will be changing the eco-system...but unlike all the other ways that humans have found to destroy the ecosystem...YOUR Idea will actually make the eco system better.
By "harvesting" 2 natural resources (salt water which is converted to fresh water & the Sun) in order to:

1. Convert Salt water into Fresh Water...for public use.

2. Large Solar Panels will provide energy for public use and the works project...

But Here is the Larger Purpose this project serves... By Flooding parts of the desert, which are underneath these solar panels...which i would expect technological upgrades to the degree where the panel itself would be a large scale... possibly 20 miles wide in diameter. Over A CENTURY or More... this flooding would allow moist soil to settle...where mosses and grasslands would grow wild... now I would suggest that this solar sail would be off the ground maybe 10 feet above the soil...with maybe a foot or more of water flooding... this sail would then provide the shade for the largest teraforming project in human history... you can't expect results right may take a century or more...but it would only be a FIRST STEP.

Another added benefit of this program would give science a mission, and when motivated they could greatly enhance the technology of water purification, solar energy, tera-forming...for future generations. In the future the world could run low on water and we will run out of oil oneday, and wouldn't we one day want to teraform another planet when our populations runs rampant? They won't have the necessary tools in the future unless we the current generation starts to get the ball rolling...and they are the ones that will be faced with the problem. We owe them at least that much.


posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 11:29 PM
First off, thanks alot for the WATS wheretohide.



I would like anyone who wants to help me, to draw up some plans and equations and whatnot to figure out how to get an experiment going to porve the worth of this project.

For instance, first I am going to work on a simple scale model here at home just to get a picture of the general overlay. Basically a physical model of my drawing.

Now I need to figure out how much the physical materials for building pipeliens and laying them would cost over such distances. I need help digging up information on an article posted back not too long ago about some new alloys that are much stronger and lighter than steel that are being put to use for construction of wind generators. This material might as well be used for our pipeline, it would reduce transportation costs as well as being an obvious addition to safety and security.

The main reason I pointed out desalination is because in the future all that excess fresh water will not be excess anymore, and there will be a time soon when we will be forced to turn to the oceans anyways. It would be to the advantage of our nation to figure this out sooner than later. Also the advantage of having the source of water closer reduces the physical materials needed.

The way I see it, I basically want to have a professionaly laid out plan and scientific style and submit it to one of those peer reviewed science journals or whatever. Right now I will get to sleep because I have to work in three hours, tomorrow I will do more research to answer my own questions and post the results.


posted on Jul, 3 2006 @ 01:52 PM
deserts are deserts because of the climate

if we changed them, then there would be global repurcussions

some other places may become deserts

so, we shouldn't mess with nature

posted on Jul, 3 2006 @ 07:38 PM

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
deserts are deserts because of the climate

if we changed them, then there would be global repurcussions

some other places may become deserts

so, we shouldn't mess with nature

Isn't Israel a good example of an irrigated desert?

And the Imperial Valley in California as well?

posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 06:47 PM
When I made a call to various representatives of Valero, an energy company I was told they were unable to provide me with information on the materials costs of their extensive network of pipelines. They told me I had to contact an engineering company. When I asked if I could be provided with the name of any engineering firms that they have contracted for their pipelines, I was told I can not be given that information. I suppose they are worried about some kind of competition or trae secrets or something. either way I am having no luck finding an engineering company to contact for the materials cost per mile of pipeline.

If someone can help me get into contact with an engineering firm, then I can get some figures going to put a presentation together and seek out investors. Anyone out here on ATS get me a number at least? Preferably an American company, but I will be open to foreign companies as well.

posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 07:04 PM
These are suberb ideas...

the reason they have not been acted upon ( except in Saudi where there is an abundance of spare capital and lots of thoroughbred horses and golf courses ) is:

1 Capitalism - if corporations could see a way to make money out of this excellent proposal they would already be doing it. There are not enough people living in US desert areas and not enough land pressure to start settlements there. Similarly the people in Saharan Africa can't afford that level of invesment.

2. Global Warming - all the thinking on global warming seem to revolve around the current World population ( around 6,500,000,000 ) without questioning whether this is a viable limit. Are we over populated? Should we be considering population control rather than water management?

3. Geological Time - around 12,000 years ago the Sahara zone was relatively lush with populations of hippopotaums and crocodiles. Lets just wait a bit and everything will be back to how it was...

posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 07:13 PM
Well here is another thing to consider that I will now add if water management is not your thing. Our deserts can be the focal hub of Hydrogen production for a new fuel economy. Using the large fields of solar cells in the clear and unforgiving desert skys to provide free and reneewable energy to facilites that can seperate the hydrogen from the oxygen. These pipelines can then be connected to the already extensive pipeline network of petroleum one by one aas the system integration takes place over the years.

I am so going to talk to the business lawyer my mom watches kids for. I think this plan may just work AND be profitable!!! I will report back on my discussion with him.

posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 07:40 PM
i refer the honourable gentleman to the reply i gave earlier...

1. solar energy is not free : it requires a Considerable start up cost + upkeep and maintainance

if it was really viable then it would already be happening

2. Depopulation is the key... no more energy worries...just take your turn cleaning the streets

3. Don't worry - another 2,000,000,000 years the planet will be untenable anyway!
as the awesome supergroup(!) Steps said "reach for the stars!" - its the only way

posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 08:03 PM
It is possibly useful to redefine some of the desertification issues as related to depletion of soil minerals, abrupt deforestation, overgrazing, and other things.

Is it plausible to experiment with re-mineralizing a boundary of land where the desert begins and ends, and watch for results? Surely increased rainfall may be a solution as well as irrigation through desalinization. If plants can survive with less water in re-mineralized soils, then a prospect to reverse desertification may be in order.

Thoughtful of additional important points, it looks like you have some excellent ideas. Mineralization may be one of the most important variables in current agriculture, as we today are consuming increasingly empty calories nutritionally due to corporate farming practices that have become almost forced. The fact that research may prove it also reverse desertification is highly interesting. There are deeper reasons for this indicating future research.

posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 08:08 PM
I think several square miles in harshly unforgiving desert environment would be a great source of energy. Many citizens and companies are beginning to take advantage of modern technology for a variety of uses, and I believe this can be a great one. A big issue with hydrogen production is the fact that we must use energy to produce electricity to power the machines and systems that will perform the process. Guess what.... where do you think the energy for refining and transporting oil comes from? Not to mention pumping it from the ground?

I propose rather than using fossil fuels, we use solar energy which can be harnessed free of political issues by our beloved sun. The current level of our technology and capitalist agendas should not drive it into your mind to give up all hope. I will be contacting more people including university professors, engineering firms, banks, and much more for the further development of this experiment.

posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 06:22 PM
Why can't we build huge dehumidifiers and put them in the humid areas of the world, purify it and send it to those who need it.

You would have an endless supply of water, no?

posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 09:22 PM
I think for oen that is a littleless realistic. A household humidifier uses a decent amoutn of energy and that does not get much square mileage at all. On top of that it does not take into account any already proven systems that are known to work, in this case the pipelines, and the solar technoogy. Howwould you even ship that stuff? That has a negative affect on an already thriving environment.

Pipelines will take water from the largest source on Earth, our oceans, and help moderate size population centers thrive without any worries. As mentioned it could also become the stepping stone for the scientific trial research and development of terrforming technologies. America would have the greatest technological advantage over the rest of the world if we could do that, AND utilize the solar fields to power the systems that will extract the hydrogen from the water.

Man this idea has the potential to change alot. And I already have an appointment with a lawyer for figuring out how to legally proceed with this project. I am also setting up plans for crash course appoinments with students and professors at my local University to help me gain a better understanding of the technology involved.

I will be constantly reporting back on this over the life of this project and update with anything and everything new. Wish me luck all

posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 09:14 AM
Its been a long time since I've heard the stories but I recall that in the past certain religious groups ..Amish or Mennonites have sent missionarys to places like Austraulia and made the deserts produce where as before there was very little potential...This very similar to what the Israelis have done.

The knowlege of how this is done is what you are looking for. THis cannot be done like overnight ..or in the time of a sound bite. It takes alot of dedication and careful planning but I believe it has merit.

One of the significant differences in people like the Mennonites or Amish is that they tend to live there..not like many buisnesses make a quick profit and move on.
In otherwords their system is more twords long term stability ..not profit taking.
This is a concept to keep in mind when planning something like this and involving large buisnesses or corporations.


posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 02:35 AM
You're definitely not alone for desalination has caught everyone's attention. Consider if you will the massive constuction going on in the Arabian Gulf that of which is tourism extensive. Accordingly, such places as Shanghai are finding that it is simply faster to get water from the plentiful ocean rather than wrestle with the rest of their nation for water. Hydroponics, telecommuting, lower emission vehicles, and just plain increased efficiency are things that by sheer necessity is rapidily gaining momentum and mostly in competetive Asia. Solar power is the future especially the kind coming out next year whereby the computer controlled parabolic dishes follows the sun for efficiency enough to make it as cheap to build as all the other forms of electricity.

[edit on 26-7-2006 by risitar]

posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 04:44 AM
damn, I sure was naïve when I made this thread huh? Now I have 3 kids...

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