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« Paper: 'Water Management - Sacrificing Normative Practice Subverting the Traditions of Water Apportionment - Whose Justice? Which Rationality?’ | Main | Elaine J. Hanford's Bulletin Boards: 1) Geosciences; 2) Enviro-Sciences - 6 April 2015 »

Sunday, 05 April 2015

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Rob Heusdens

What could be done in southwest Iran near the Persian Gulf is build a downdraft tower (gigantic >1km) tower, spray seawater at the top, harvest wind energy at the bottom, using corrosion-free materials. This energy then could be used then to pump seawater to those inland seas or small lakes, and near that location, additional downdraft towers can be built. The same can be done from the location near Caspian Sea into the direction of southeast, into the driest region of Iran.

The towers would also provide for local cooling.

Then, additionally, in the locations upwind from the dry region where we want to increase rainfall, we could built the Updraft solar tower over a body of salt water, which will increase humidity.
Fresh water can also be harvested in the updraft tower itself, and the updraft tower will generate electricy day and night (although at lower power, but water will retain some heat so electricity generation continues in night too).

The downdraft tower also generate day and night, summer and winter, but most power when the air is hot.

dariush

Note: this comment was made in Turkish and I was asked to translate it. Since I don't know Turkish I passed it through Google Translate and here is what came out. I cannot vouch for its accuracy. The original Turkish comment is below the translation.

Hi, i write in turkish ... this is a brilliant project. In addition, high-quality land can be brought around the lake with an iron railway car drawn from the azerbaijan and golestan illusions. Olive trees grow easily in these areas. High energy can be obtained from solar energy panels around the lake. Some of this water is converted to fresh water. Fishing and harbor cities and shipping. I think Iran is developing well. Please translate.

hi, i write in turkish ... bu parlak bir projedir. ayrıca , azerbayjan ve golestan illerinden çekilen bir demir yolu vagonlarla , göl çevresine kaliteli toprak getirilebilir. bu alanlarda zeytin ağaçları rahatlıkla büyürler. göl çevresine güneş enerji panellerle yüksek enerji elde edilebilir. bu suyun bir kısmı tatlı suya dönüştürülür. balıkçılık ve liman kentleri ve gemi taşımacılığı olabilir. bence iran iyi yönde gelişir. please translate .

David Bell

I always thought that Saudi Arabia should take all their wastewater and pipe it into the middle of the desert. After many years I think this nutrient rich fresh water would cause the desert to flourish. Oh, my dad always wanted to connect the Salton Sea with the Gulf of California. Not sure why.

Gerry

Your idea is good, it's terra forming
it can be done


Alexander Karl

Very interesting idea! If you look at the smaller lake basin in the southern region (chaz-e mudab), you see at Google Earth that there is already a huge salt basin without any human activity like Lake Mead. A typical salt plain. By filling this basin up with salt water you can go to maximum height of 373m above sea level, otherwise there would be too much impact to the city and agricultural zones near the mountains. 373m high means you get a sea with the size of 3300km² (you can calculate it with Google Earth Pro).
This is already very big and would be a huge benefit for the local bird population and fishing industry; and maybe rainfall!

This area is a basin between mountains, so I guess there is a big clay layer between the superficial water and the usable groundwater. The sea is also only 6m deep at maximum, so there is not much pressure down.
A big issue is the salination of the sea through evaporation and the low depth. I guess evaporation is about +/-1750mm/m²/year (like the Salton Sea). That means you need to deliver 183m³ water per second to stay at the same water level. BUT, there should be a huge inflow through rainfall, aquifiers and seasonal rivers. So I guess 100m³/s water replacing should be more than enough.

Technical implementation:
We want to prevent the sea from oversalting, so we need a significant water outflow to hold the salt level. By using a Dutch drainage system you can collect the saltier water (yellow color), While the fresh seawater is directed by a canal to the left/right side of the sea.
That’s easy to reach, because after the sea is filled up after ~5 years we use it as a gigantic storage power plant. 16h/day water gets pumped uphill to replace evaporated water and fill up the sea, 8h/day it goes downhill and generate energy.

To fill the sea up in 5 years we need an upflow of 200m³/s. 3 pipelines with a diameter of 4m a continuus pressure of 6-7bar should be right for this. The pipeline is 180km long, so I estimate the costs (compared to other projects) are around 3 - 4 billion dollars.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10196548/Chaz%20e%20Mudab%20Sea.jpg

Energy costs – pumping up:
0,3kW for 1m³/100m high.
0,025 kW for 1km, same height.
Pumping up 1m³ of water to the sea level (375m) costs about 5,6kW! Counting only the evaporation loss, you need 5771GW /Year. According to a typical power plant that’s a 650MW thermal energy plant.

BUT: There is a device called Groasis Waterboxx (look at youtube videos). With this device its very easy to plant endemic trees even in the Kuwait desert. So planting trees in a big area around our “sea project” helps the economy and gives us a lot of more water inflow after some years.

Fazit: Filling up this sea would stop a lot of bad dust problems they surely have, it would generate maybe a hundred thousand new jobs in fishing and recreation. For the nature the salt marshes are perfect.

(sorry for my bad english)

Abarmard

Dear Mahmoud, One can't conclude that because there were water in that area, that there were more rainfall. It could've easily been that there were more water in that area because there were rainfall, and as rain stopped, the water dried. Therefore, the water being there, was not related in creating those clouds, but that the other way around.
However, I believe that it's worth more investigating this dream. Many Iranians dream of having more water in those dry landscapes. However, I personally don't see it ever happening. One is the cost, two is the unknown effect, and three is losing the land mass. I do however believe that the best method in doing this kinds of project is to start it by creating a smaller lake in the southern region. Investigate the outcome, have the option to reverse the project, if needed, then move forward.

David Zetland

Egads! Why do engineers always make the most grandiose proposals?

Mahmoud Shahbodaghi

Thank you Prof. Campana for your attention, and your reply.

It is believed that there used to be salt water seas in these deserts before, and that they dried up. Humans saw them. When the seas were here, there is scant evidence that there was much more rainfall, and for centuries after that, landscape was still much greener. It is hard to believe that lions & elephants once roamed these lands. So, if there were more rainfall when the seas were here, that is one reason to push on with this idea a bit farther.
Just wish I could do a simulation of future conditions.

THanks again.
Mahmoud

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