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Alaska To Export Billions of Gallons of Water

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the corn-in-odessa-stomach-in-paris dept.

Businesses 290

theodp writes "Newsweek reports on a company called True Alaska Bottling that has purchased the rights to transfer 3 billion gallons of water a year from Sitka, Alaska's bountiful reserves. If all goes according to plan, 80 million gallons of Blue Lake water will soon be siphoned into the kind of tankers normally reserved for oil and shipped to a bulk bottling facility near Mumbai. From there it will be dispersed among several drought-plagued cities throughout the Middle East. Think of it as a proof of concept for turning life's most essential molecule into a global commodity." I'm sure the residents of Saratoga Springs and Perrier (not to mention the island nation of Fiji) can think of some prior art.

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News For Nerds (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852192)

How is a story about a company exporting water relevant to slashdot or can be considered nerd news? I don't even see any tech angle here.

And whats up with the quip about prior art? Its not like this is a patent story or anything.

What a waste of front page space.

Re:News For Nerds (0, Flamebait)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#33852222)

One word: Timothy

Re:News For Nerds (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 4 years ago | (#33852276)

Tim-MAHY!

Re:News For Nerds (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852224)

The kind of articles I originally signed up at Slashdot for -- kernel news and programming language debates -- are no longer welcome to the newer demographic who just want shiny luxury tech like iPhones, even if they are not Free and are barely hackable. But a story on bottled water being shipped halfway around the world will no doubt spark a discussion of global warming that draws a large crowd. Even as Reddit and Digg have eclipsed Slashdot in many ways, no doubt Taco can still draw in ad money on stories like this.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852432)

The spice must flow... Clearly some DUNE reference, water salesmen etc. etc. 1. find some cheap water 2. transport it far away using fossil fuel 3. bottle it where it is cheap 4. PROFIT!

Re:News For Nerds (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852554)

The kind of articles I originally signed up at Slashdot for -- kernel news and programming language debates -- are no longer welcome to the newer demographic who just want shiny luxury tech like iPhones, even if they are not Free and are barely hackable. But a story on bottled water being shipped halfway around the world will no doubt spark a discussion of global warming that draws a large crowd. Even as Reddit and Digg have eclipsed Slashdot in many ways, no doubt Taco can still draw in ad money on stories like this.

Well, Slashdot's demographic isn't as knowledgeable or geeky as it was back in the day. At best, it's full of IT people without a significant background in math, science or engineering. That's not CmdrTaco's fault. As far as the stories go, I'd say Slashdot is much better than Digg or Reddit (besides, Digg 4.0 is awful).

Re:News For Nerds (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33852604)

You're right, it's changed since I started reading it (a long time before I signed up to comment!)

It's now rare to have a debate amongst subject-matter experts, and more common to have arguments between the ill-informed.

Or maybe I'm just succumbing to nostalgia. It has changed around here though. Where is the place that is now what slashdot was?

Re:News For Nerds (4, Funny)

Aldenissin (976329) | about 4 years ago | (#33852818)

I agree as well. I started reading Slashdot and loved the comments on the subjects. They are what really helped me to understand things. Now, it is just people trying to be funny or assholes. I contemplated putting down funny a few notches as everything is now rated funny, which means that I could miss things I want to see as well. I may do it anyway.

Re:News For Nerds (0, Offtopic)

orangepeel (114557) | about 4 years ago | (#33852906)

If it's any consolation I don't think it's just Slashdot. A general-topic discussion site I heard about here on Slashdot years and years ago is plastic.com [plastic.com] . It used to be a truly excellent place for really thought-provoking discussions. I think things have slowed down simply due to dwindling participation. Maybe that's at the core of the changes you see in Slashdot -- the prime contributors are finding they've got less and less "free" time to contribute to online discussion forums?

Re:News For Nerds (0, Offtopic)

foobsr (693224) | about 4 years ago | (#33852922)

Where is the place that is now what slashdot was?

There is none. See "What Really Killed K5" [kuro5hin.org] for some analyses.

CC.

Re:News For Nerds (1, Offtopic)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 4 years ago | (#33852932)

It's now rare to have a debate amongst subject-matter experts,

LOL.

and more common to have arguments between the ill-informed.

As it has always been.

 

Re:News For Nerds (1, Offtopic)

jasno (124830) | about 4 years ago | (#33853042)

> Where is the place that is now what slashdot was?

We can't tell you, or it will end up like slashdot.

Re:News For Nerds (1, Offtopic)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33853066)

I think it's just a question of scale. Slashdot now has a lot more readers than it had 'back in the day.' A lot of the newer readers are less informed, but a few are not. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of expert readers has been steadily increasing at a fairly constant rate, but the number of non-expert readers has been increasing much faster. You still get debates among experts, but they will have a few posts by the uninformed between each comment and reply.

Re:News For Nerds (-1, Offtopic)

neuroklinik (452842) | about 4 years ago | (#33852960)

the newer demographic who just want shiny luxury tech like iPhones

The idea that iPhone owners aren't and can't be geeks is a red herring.

Despite that, I agree with the overall gist of your comment: the quality of Slashdot posts has declined.

The article summary mentions nothing about patent, so what's with the comment on prior art?!

Re:News For Nerds (1)

Doug77 (1872710) | about 4 years ago | (#33852260)

I think is thouches on the question of what can be owned. Can you own the building blocks of life? That question is similar to the question, can you own ideas (patents). I think both are important and related questions to ask. But the bottom line is nerds need water too. We need to think about if we have secured our future water rights.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#33852288)

You do not own water. You only rent it.

Re:News For Nerds (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#33852338)

Water is a commodity that is covered by several hundred years of law (at least in the US, I'm presuming there are similar arcane water rights laws in other countries). Thus, it can be 'owned' in the sense that certain people have the legal right to do something with it.

The world is going to be in a world of hurt because clean water is essential to society and civilization and clean, fresh water is unequally distributed around the planet. The human race is literally mining it's water - pulling it out faster than the system can replace it (think aquifers, not rivers).

But as I pointed out in my other post, it's hard to move potable water. In fact, it might be easier to run a desalinization plant. To ship in bulk you need either an ice berg (which has been proposed) or a purpose built tanker. So far, at least, the economics of water just haven't risen to the point where putting a whole bunch of money in for a tanker makes sense. Maybe later, but not as of 10/10/10.

How can it not be economical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852670)

If they can do it for oil... and oil that required drilling rigs, and in the case of offshore oil, remotely operated vehicles, supply boats, helicopters, all kinds of crazy expensive subsea equipment, and then refine it, and sell it at gas stations, where a large part of the price is tax... and yet a litre of water costs more to buy than a litre of gasoline.

Sure it's probably cheaper to get it for a few bucks (or cents) a cube from city water, but as that becomes less available, water tanker ships will become the norm.

Water is a human right. It should not be a commodity.

Re:News For Nerds (4, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 years ago | (#33852746)

But as I pointed out in my other post, it's hard to move potable water. In fact, it might be easier to run a desalinization plant. To ship in bulk you need either an ice berg (which has been proposed) or a purpose built tanker. So far, at least, the economics of water just haven't risen to the point where putting a whole bunch of money in for a tanker makes sense. Maybe later, but not as of 10/10/10.

This may come to some surprise to you, but I just read an article where a company plans to ship water using oil tankers!

If all goes according to plan, 80 million gallons of Blue Lake water will soon be siphoned into the kind of tankers normally reserved for oil and shipped to a bulk bottling facility near Mumbai.

Nothing in there about icebergs or custom built tankers. If you want to check out the article, scroll up to the top of this page and follow one of the links.

Re:News For Nerds (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#33852950)

This may come to some surprise to you, but I just read an article where a company plans to ship water using oil tankers!

Ha. Ha. Let's see, just where are those tankers? Nope, don't see them (they have to transit the channel my house overlooks). Didn't see any yesterday when we drove by the place.

That's the point. These clowns have been talking about this for just about a decade without doing anything functional. It's easy to make PowerPoint presentations and show a pretty CG tanker trundling out of Sitka. Harder to get all of the oil out of the old rusty thing you just leased. Moties [wikipedia.org] may like long chain hydrocarbons in their coffee, humans not so much.

Details matter.

Re:News For Nerds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852668)

How is a story about a company exporting water relevant to slashdot or can be considered nerd news? I don't even see any tech angle here.

And whats up with the quip about prior art? Its not like this is a patent story or anything.

What a waste of front page space.

Good questions. No good answers other than "It's Timothy". Makes me nostalgic for Jon Katz.

FTA: "Proponents of privatization say markets are the best way to solve that problem:"

Um no. Who do you think has been polluting the world's fresh water in the first place?

Re:News For Nerds (3, Interesting)

digitig (1056110) | about 4 years ago | (#33852732)

But the article does say "Think of it as a proof of concept for turning life's most essential molecule into a global commodity", a concept that Perrier et al have already pretty comprehensively proven.

Re:News For Nerds (2, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#33852886)

I don't even see any tech angle here.

80 million gallons of Blue Lake water will soon be siphoned into the kind of tankers normally reserved for oil

As far as I know a VLCC has never been repurposed for anything, except maybe as an artificial coral reef. So I guess its a first, at this large scale. An interesting engineering / naval architecture angle, which I guess counts as tech, barely.

Re:News For Nerds (2, Funny)

turkeyfish (950384) | about 4 years ago | (#33853026)

If they are good Nerds, then anything must be considered relevant to Slash Dot. After all, aren't the very things all humans depend on for survival not the same for Nerds? How can they insure the integrity of their data if they are deprived of water? It is not possible for long. Hence, the entire set of observations that pertain to water is germane to a properly functioning application and backup management cycle regime bounded by the the permutations of their run time parameters.

The real questions are not so much about prior are, but rather what are we going to do with the prior art and other more recent developments in the future and if we have enough water to sustain us.

Prior art? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852200)

They're shipping water, not patenting the process of shipping water. Is that all you have to do to get a submission published is say something like "prior art" or "in Soviet Russia, water ships you!"?

Look at the quotes (3, Funny)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 4 years ago | (#33852334)

The submitter mentioned nothing about "prior art", that was all Timothy. I'll admit though, this story is pretty daft. "Water is being shipped to a bottling plant", wow, I think Captain Obvious is the one due some royalties.

Re:Look at the quotes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33853048)

Fair enough, I missed that it was Timothy (Timm-ay) who added it. It's like shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater... way to try and get a reaction. I'm with the other posters here... I think Slashdot has outlived it's usefulness.

Re:Prior art? (2, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 years ago | (#33852854)

Horrible and slanted posting. The problem that has existed for a long time is resource conservation. In older times, people considered metals like gold, silver, and copper as precious resources. With the start of the industrial revolution, it became about crude oil. In the modern era it seems that water is becoming a precious commodity as the world's population begins to grow. The story is that water in a reserve in Alaska is being shipped to the Middle East. There is nothing new about shipping water only that water is considered scarce enough that companies are willing to ship it across the world.

or desalinate? (2, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 years ago | (#33852202)

How can it possibly be cheaper to drive water from Alaska to Bombay, than it would be to fund and build a desalinization plant?

Re:or desalinate? (1)

meow27 (1526173) | about 4 years ago | (#33852226)

desalinization.... good desalinization costs a lot of energy... which india currently does not have enough of.

and it costs almost no money to tap that Alaskan water

in short, its profitable for all parties.

Re:or desalinate? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#33852254)

No, but it expends a goodly amount of fuel oil to ship it...

Re:or desalinate? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#33852298)

They could build a long pipe to bring the water from Alaska to Bombay.

Re:or desalinate? (5, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 4 years ago | (#33852302)

Shipping stuff on giant boats is actually remarkably efficient, per-unit. That's why cheap stuff from China is still cheap. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's cheaper to ship water via tanker than it is to desalinate it.

Re:or desalinate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852894)

It costs about 60 cents per cubic meter to desalinate water.

There is no way it is cheaper to ship.

Not as much as you'd think (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33852322)

Those big engines in ships are the most efficient machines humans have ever built in terms of work done for energy input. They also don't have to work all that hard to move the ship. Inertia goes a long way, you get a ship moving it doesn't require an overwhelming amount of energy to keep it moving. As such shipping goods is pretty cheap. Not free, of course, but not near as much as you might think. You get used to the rates it costs to move somethign by truck or plane because that is the kind of thing you deal with when shipping small goods domestically. That is not at all related to the costs of shipping something on a large cargo ship.

For that matter if oil becomes problematic, the ships can simply be run on nuclear. The US Navy already does this with many ships. It might not be practical to stuff a nuclear plant in a car (I doubt it is even possible to make a working one of that scale) but they easily fit on a ship.

Re:Not as much as you'd think (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 4 years ago | (#33852536)

Those big engines in ships are the most efficient machines humans have ever built in terms of work done for energy input.

I know what you mean, but your phrasing is incorrect.
What about electrical motors?
They have just a bit less than 100% efficiency, while your gigantic two-strokes engine top at 52% (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%A4rtsil%C3%A4-Sulzer_RTA96-C).

You might want to compare work done for exergy input.

Re:Not as much as you'd think (2, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | about 4 years ago | (#33852694)

That depends on whether you factor in how efficiently the electricity to run them on is generated.

Re:Not as much as you'd think (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33852708)

To get electricity to those electric motors, you have to have a mechanical device, like this engine, driving a generator somewhere. So the whole system is lower efficiency. Remember that these motors drive the shaft directly. Their mechanical output goes off to assembly that drives the propeller. Means the over all system efficiency is high, so long as their efficiency is high.

In an electric drive system, like say a diesel train, you get less overall efficiency. The engine drives a generator, which then powers motors. Though the electric motors themselves are quite efficient, when you add in the transmission and generation, the system falls below what you'd get if you just drove them directly. In the case of a train you don't because you'd need a gear box of amazing proportions and still might not get enough torque at the low end. However that is not a problem in a ship.

The fact remains that those big engines are basically as efficient as it gets per energy input, and a ship pretty directly transfers that energy to the propeller with not a whole lot of mechanical loss. Hard to find a more efficient system over all.

You cannot take one component of a system and crow on about how efficient it is, that doesn't matter in terms of fuel cost. Fuel cost comes down to the efficiency of the whole system. You compare the energy, in the form of your fuel, that goes in to the work that comes out.

Re:Not as much as you'd think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852880)

If you factor in energy creation, where do you think that oil come from and how do you suggest that we produce it in an efficient manner?

Re:Not as much as you'd think (2, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 years ago | (#33852712)

That would be great if you had a 100% efficient way of creating electricity. Coal still creates around 50% of the power in the USA and is only around 40% efficient. And you've got to factor in transmission losses from the power plant to your 100% efficient electric motor.

Re:or desalinate? (4, Informative)

mark99 (459508) | about 4 years ago | (#33852470)

You get a lot of desalinated water in resorts in the med. You can always tell because you can taste the salt in it - and they told us the water purified for touriests was purified 10 times more than the water for the locals. I think getting it down to the point where you cannot taste it is prohibitively expensive with today technology. So I can see why they would want a whole supertanker full of fresh Alaskan water. Of course it might taste a bit oily...

Re:or desalinate? (2, Informative)

yariv (1107831) | about 4 years ago | (#33852330)

Desalination costs are about 0.5$ per cubic meter (0.0019$ per gallon) with modern technology (price should drop with scale, this is estimated current costs in Israel and Singapore). It should definitely be lower than transportation costs for this distance, but maybe they wish to make money with high priced bottled water? If someone RTFA maybe he can answer this...

They could just filter their own water, but... (1, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 years ago | (#33852364)

Bombay has no shortage of water, but it is so filthy nobody wants to drink it no matter how well it is cleaned up.

Re:or desalinate? (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 4 years ago | (#33852450)

How can it possibly be cheaper to drive water from Alaska to Bombay, than it would be to fund and build a desalinization plant?

Now why do you think this has anything to do with what is cheaper, and not what makes the most profit for American corporations and the most kickbacks or campaign contributions to American politicians?

Of course, a desalination plant would likely be far less polluting too.

Re:or desalinate? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33853030)

Even under the best scenario, this is at best a temporary fix for a permanent problem. Best case scenario, Mumbai is suddenly dependent upon a corporation for what is typically a public service. Around here, it's a public utility that is responsible for providing clean water to household taps.

Re:or desalinate? (4, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | about 4 years ago | (#33852740)

Is this the stuff that Sarah Palin has been drinking? And now they want them drinking it in the Middle East? Just wondrin'.

We've got water problems in the lower 48 (0, Troll)

Nimey (114278) | about 4 years ago | (#33852216)

Should I be surprised that the usual suspects in DC aren't pitching a fit about selling our water to foreigners?

selling is better then buying crap from china! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#33852234)

selling is better then buying crap from china!

Re:selling is better then buying crap from china! (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 4 years ago | (#33852340)

And yet, the water is going to India to be packaged. I would not be surprised to find out that the oil for the bottles is also coming from Alaska. Amazing.

Re:selling is better then buying crap from china! (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 4 years ago | (#33852370)

Plastic is low density. So it makes sense to bottle closer to the target market.

Re:We've got water problems in the lower 48 (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 4 years ago | (#33852350)

You have water problems west of the Mississippi. Those of us in the eastern half of the country are just fine.

Re:We've got water problems in the lower 48 (2, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#33852474)

Much of the issue exist because people insist on maintaining lawns that have no place in deserts.

Re:We've got water problems in the lower 48 (2, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33852480)

I'm a little surprised that there isn't more of a protest from Alaskans over this... though I suppose they're used to "mining" and shipping their natural resources elsewhere. Here in Michigan, which sits in the middle of one of the world's great fresh water reservoirs, the export of water is hotly debated, and regulated under the Great Lakes Compact. In part that's because fresh water (in the form of sailable lakes, fishable rivers, swimmable beaches, etc) is a major part of our tourism economy and what's left of our shipping/industrial economy. In part it's because we know that there are parts of the country (and the world) that are getting thirstier, and we don't want to give up what we have here without a fight. (Though there's a certain segment of the population who'd settle for a profit.) This is just an early skirmish in the Water Wars of the 21st century.

Re:We've got water problems in the lower 48 (5, Insightful)

canadian_right (410687) | about 4 years ago | (#33852510)

And treaties with Canada somewhat restrict what you can do with our water.

Re:We've got water problems in the lower 48 (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33852682)

Yeah, fortunately legislators from the Great Lakes states got those treaties through the Senate before the Honorable Gentlepersons From The Southwest realized what was at stake. Sorry, Arizona, but when it comes to water issues, I'm with Ontario.

Re:We've got water problems in the lower 48 (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#33853038)

"Should I be surprised that the usual suspects in DC aren't pitching a fit about selling our water to foreigners?"

No.

Inconvenient customers can be cut off, and water dependency is even stronger than a military umbilical cord. :)

Mumbai? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852230)

Mumbai and Alaska are almost opposites on this blue marble. Couldn't they find water somewhere in between?

Shipping it from the Nile would be cheaper (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 4 years ago | (#33852232)

Shipping it from the Nile would be cheaper. Here would be the modus operandi:

1: Station a tanker at the mouth of river Nile in Egypt...
2: Fill it with fresh water
3: Ship the water to Mumbai as originally planned...
4: Indians bottle the stuff
5: Ship to the Mid-east
6: Pay no US taxes of any sort
7: Profit!

Now can someone tell me how this would not work?

Re:Shipping it from the Nile would be cheaper (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852258)

because everyone loves the taste of good clean Nile water

Re:Shipping it from the Nile would be cheaper (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | about 4 years ago | (#33852888)

Water from the Nile is actually quite tasty, provided you get it upstream of Cairo.

Re:Shipping it from the Nile would be cheaper (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#33852264)

The Middle East would have to cooperate (for once) for this to work.

Re:Shipping it from the Nile would be cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852274)

Have you seen the water quality of the Nile?

Re:Shipping it from the Nile would be cheaper (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 4 years ago | (#33852376)

Now can someone tell me how this would not work?

The same way that bottling water from Rio Grande would not work.

Re:Shipping it from the Nile would be cheaper (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 4 years ago | (#33852508)

Is that why my shares in a bottling plant in Tijuana keep falling?

Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#33852262)

Kindof a weird way to wake up. I have no idea what this is doing on Slashdot. FWIW, I live in Sitka and this 'concept' has been going on for about 10 years. TAB (True Alaska Bottlers - they make yet another plastic bottle filled with water) has only managed to ship a couple of hundred thousand gallons to nowhere in particular. They've done this to fulfill a contract obligation that states they have to do that. They do have potential buyers, but they don't have any way to routinely ship the product. They also don't have any money. They haven't paid a bunch of taxes, nor done a whole bunch of maintenance work on the city owned facility that their contract requires them to do. Can't do everything right, I suppose.

The big problem that TAB (and everybody else in this business has) is how to ship potable water in bulk. They've talked about converting either a tanker or a general merchant ship to take on the water but haven't been able to find the money. I've heard of standard modal containers outfitted with plastic insets - sounds reasonable as the infrastructure to move them is well developed - but I've yet to see one. It's too warm to freeze the water into an ice cube so that one's out. Ten billion 1 liter plastic bottles would be a bitch to recycle.

So I don't see this one working out at all. But we've got lots of water. 100+ inches per year falling into steep rugged terrain that just says 'dam me!'.

Re:Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852352)

TAB (True Alaska Bottlers - they make yet another plastic bottle filled with water) has only managed to ship a couple of hundred thousand gallons to nowhere in particular.

It sounds to me like their biggest problem is that the name TAB that they have chosen for themselves is already in use as the name of a beverage that nobody wants to drink.

Re:Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (4, Funny)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 4 years ago | (#33852366)

The big problem that TAB (and everybody else in this business has) is how to ship potable water in bulk.

I don't see the problem. Just dehydrate it so that it takes up less volume, thus drastically improving efficiency!

Re:Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (1)

tkjtkj (577219) | about 4 years ago | (#33852778)

hahaha good one ... "Just add water!" Viola' !!

Re:Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | about 4 years ago | (#33852382)

I used to live in Sitka as well... Interesting about TAB... so they're basically saying, of their taxes, etc, "just put it on our tab"? *ba da dum bam* Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all night.

Re:Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852406)

They also don't have any money. They haven't paid a bunch of taxes, nor done a whole bunch of maintenance work on the city owned facility that their contract requires them to do.

Ah, the smell of TR00 INDEPENDENT AMERICAN CAPITALISM - tax avoidance and misuse of public resources. They don't happen to also sponsor political candidates who yell about the evils of "socialism", do they? ;)

Re:Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (1)

MrExpatEgghead (1632517) | about 4 years ago | (#33852658)

Oooo! We had the same crap stuff here in the Middle East. All those unused oil tankers. Sure.... The next big thing was a pipeline. All politicos pipedreams

Re:Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (2, Informative)

hcdejong (561314) | about 4 years ago | (#33852982)

I've heard of standard modal containers outfitted with plastic insets - sounds reasonable as the infrastructure to move them is well developed - but I've yet to see one.

'Containers' that consist of a cylindrical steel tank with a container-shaped frame around them are common enough. Plastic insets are also available from e.g. SAI [saifreight.com] .
That would leave you with 25-ton units which have to be unloaded one at a time, but would fit in standardized distribution channels. A tanker would be cheaper and faster to load and unload, but requires dedicated infrastructure.

Re:Huh, wut? WTF it's raining anyway.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33853020)

I live in a island in the Mediterranean Sea and several years ago we had to bring water from the mainland in tankers because of drought. At the harbour they set up a pumping station to take it to the main distribution pipes.

This operation will be probably orders of magnitude bigger, but I do not think it will be that difficult. In fact, probably the most dificult thing will be distributing the water once it has been downloaded in India.

trading with the oil rich but water poor nations (4, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | about 4 years ago | (#33852268)

we should trade them barrel for barrel, = a barrel of water for a barrel of oil.

Re:trading with the oil rich but water poor nation (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#33852326)

Yeah, well, you better clean those barrels between each trip.

Re:trading with the oil rich but water poor nation (2, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33852594)

Not a problem. They said on Fox News that oil and water don't mix, so there wouldn't be any trouble with one contaminating the other.

Re:trading with the oil rich but water poor nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852698)

> Not a problem. They said on Fox News that oil and water don't mix

I think BP have disproved that theory already.

Re:trading with the oil rich but water poor nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852716)

whoooosh!

You're selling out cheap (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33852388)

we should trade them barrel for barrel, = a barrel of water for a barrel of oil.

We're creating more and more substitutes for energy from oil. Substitutes for water? None. Sure they can build desalination plants but all we need to do is make the water to ship to them just cheap enough where desalination makes no sense but yet maximize our profits.

That's what they do with oil prices - they try to manipulate the market price so it's just high enough to max out their profits but low enough that we keep coming back.

Do unto others as they do onto to you.

Re:trading with the oil rich but water poor nation (1)

Bartab (233395) | about 4 years ago | (#33852526)

You understand that a barrel of water costs more than a barrel of oil, right?

Re:trading with the oil rich but water poor nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852654)

sauce?

back in the day... (-1, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 4 years ago | (#33852336)

I remember way back when, if your area ran out of water, you left! How silly our ancestors were hundreds of years ago! They just makes too much sense. But seriously, giving American water to the middle east? That's messed up! I say screw em! They should take some of that oil money and use it to drill for water or make plants to take the salt out of ocean water. But noooo, let's just buy it from the US.

Re:back in the day... (1, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33852362)

So trade is bad?

Re:back in the day... (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 4 years ago | (#33852488)

I remember way back when, if your area ran out of water, you left! How silly our ancestors were hundreds of years ago! They just makes too much sense.

Which became one of the main reasons human beings killed each other. Why do you want to go back to the bad old days? I mean, are you honestly contending that the few hundred million people who live in places without a reliable source of clean water should move? Where would they move to?

Re:back in the day... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 4 years ago | (#33852622)

You really think the bad old days aren't coming back?

Just because we've gotten as good at spinning 20 plates as we used to spin 1 plate, doesn't mean we can keep this up forever.

When it comes, it's going to be really ugly.

I'm really hoping this happens after I'm dead.

Re:back in the day... (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33852492)

(India is not in the Middle East. At least not the part where the oil is.)

Re:back in the day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852868)

The bottling plant is in India, from there the water is shipped to the Middle East. You don't even need to RTFA, it's in the summary.

Re:back in the day... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33853056)

The summary says no such thing. They're bottling it in India for dispersal in the Middle East.

hahah (0)

nomadic (141991) | about 4 years ago | (#33852384)

Think of it as a proof of concept for turning life's most essential molecule into a global commodity

Hahaha...good one. Oh wait, were you serious? "turning"? Water has been a global commodity for a very long time.

You don't turn water into gold w/o gov't monopoly (1)

proclivity76 (755220) | about 4 years ago | (#33852396)

I smell a legislative rat.

Who needs ice caps, anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852576)

And you all said melting glaciers would be a bad thing. Gotta put that global warming to good use!

Monetary comparison. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852672)

So, take all the costs involved with this operation. Costs to move it, ship it, from start to finish, as well bottling and distribution, bottle production, and future costs when those plastic bottles end up in a land fill. Now, take tthe cost of all that, and ask whether that amount of money could be used to improve, or develop, moisture vaporating technology for that area.

What is painstakingly aware, is that we, 1st world countries, or even 2nd worlds with more money than they know what to do with, would rather throw money and oil at a problem, rather than develop or invest in R&D and solve the problem logically.

Does shipping Billions of Gallons of water, half way around the world make sense to anyone here?

What if the tanker crashes? (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 4 years ago | (#33852722)

Rampant fresh-water polution in the ocean - an ecological disaster!

( :-P )

3 billions WHAT? (0, Offtopic)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about 4 years ago | (#33852748)

True nerds use the metric system. Shame on you, Slashdot!

O.T.E.C., generate Fresh water/electricity (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | about 4 years ago | (#33852770)

Anybody know why this tech [sarasvatiproject.com] isn't getting used in the Middle East?

Seems it would solve several problems at once, generate water for drinking/irrigation and electrical energy at the same time.

Underwater pipelines? (1)

jasno (124830) | about 4 years ago | (#33852848)

Living in Southern California I've often thought of ways to steal other regions' water. It seems the nation could benefit from some sort of massive water redistribution infrastructure. One way to do it cheaply without negotiating right-of-ways would be an undersea pipeline system of flexible, armored piping.

Also - why use a tanker ship? Couldn't you construct a giant bag of water and just drag it with a tug-like vessel?

Great, more landfill (4, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 4 years ago | (#33852902)

It's not like they're shipping the water to the existing municipal water infrastructure... they're sending it to a bottling plant, which, besides being costly for consumers and inefficient, means more plastic waste pollution.

Idea tried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33852954)

There was a company World Water Ways in Norway which went bankruptcy this year.
Their Idea was to transport fresh water in an extremely big balloon hanging after some powerful ships.

NAFTA !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33853016)

Under NAFTA, bulk water shipments are explicitly stated to be exempt until the country allows exports. So US has explicitly given permission to allow its water to be exported, under NAFTA. If parts of Mexico or Canada (unlikely for Canada) starts to run out of water, US is now obliged to "share" (export at same price as locally available) water with them.

Few years ago some Canadian company wanted to do bulk water exports from Canada to middle east. They were squashed by the government for that because of that NAFTA clause.

And somewhere, Rebecca Mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33853058)

is laughing.

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