A study published yesterday in the journal Science suggests oceans of water are locked in rock about 400 miles below Earth’s surface. It’s not liquid, ice or vapor, but rather hydrogen and oxygen embedded in the molecular structure of mineral rock. Researchers think it may help explain some things about how the planet formed, and how oceans gathered on the planet’s surface, which is great. But for many observers the first question is, how do we get at it? And the answer is a flat no, we don’t get anywhere near this stuff, much less turn it into a usable form, because it’s far too deep in the mantle. It’s 400 miles down, and the deepest humans have ever drilled is less than 10 miles.
Dehydration melting at the top of the lower mantle – Science
Water discovered deep beneath Earth’s surface – USA Today
New evidence of oceans of water deep in the Earth – Phys.Org
Oceans of water locked 400 miles inside Earth – Discovery News
Study Describes Vast Reserves of Water Under Ocean Floors
Image courtesy of Calif. Dept. of Water Resources
If California really tried, it could keep a reserve amounting to as much water all of its cities use in a year — about 14 million acre feet. That’s according to a new analysis conducted by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Pacific Institute. It’s the “trying” that could prove difficult for the drought-ridden state, because it would take an aggressive, across-the-board effort to save water, reuse water, and capture lost stormwater. Widespread use of available but underused efficiency methods would have to be implemented in the state’s massive agricultural industry, which uses about 80% of allocated water, and throughout urban areas, which use about 20%. That will take strong political will, a lot of cooperation, and financial investment. But it’s worth it, because it will make a huge difference, and you can’t just keep throwing new plans for billion-dollar desalination plants at the problem.
Issue Brief: The Untapped Potential of California’s Water Supply: Efficiency, Reuse, and Stormwater – NRDC and Pacific Institute
California Water Security Attainable, Study Suggests – The Desert Sun
Past, Present and Future: California’s Epic Struggle With Water
Serious Water Conservation Requires Layered Approach and Emotional Commitment
California’s State-of-the-State Address: Brown’s Drought Plan in Broad Strokes
Civilization Lost? California’s 500-Year Drought Potential
To the Rescue in California? Solar-Powered Desalination
Over-Salted: The Trouble(s) With Desalination