Use of Produced Water to help reduce the global food shortage.

Annually, the oil and gas industry around the globe produces at least 70 billion barrels of what is known as “Produced Water.” This water is incredibly contaminated and some of the contaminants can cause disease and birth defects—in addition to damaging local and regional ecology.

In many locations the water is contaminated from the "Produced Water" brought up by the oil & gas and mining industries. Some companies are responsibly cleaning up or disposing of their Produced Water, but others are not.

In many locations water is contaminated or non-existent. Converting produced water to clean, safe water creates an entire new stream of “found water.”

Yet, this water can be cleaned and turned into Found Water: water that is pure enough to be used for agriculture, livestock, and human use.

Why go to that effort?  Because increasingly we need every drop of clean water we can wring out from every source possible.  Read previous post on water.

Water = Food 

You see, we don’t just need water to drink, or bathe. We also need it to run power plants for electricity, and to grow food. Most people don’t think about that one: how much water is required to grow food?  Let’s look at the impact, and the amount of water needed to grow food and keep us alive.  

Essentially, every calorie of food requires a litre of water to produce it.  So on average, we require between 2,000 and 3,000 litres of water per person to sustain our daily food requirements. Here are some examples.

To grow or breed ….
•1 pound of chicken meat:  it takes 500 gallons of water (1,893 litres)
•1 hamburger: it takes 4,000 to 18,000 gallons of water  depending on various factors  (15,142 litres to 68137 litres)
•1 cup of coffee: it takes 35 gallons of water   (132 litres)
•1 pound of wheat: 110-250 gallons of water (416 to 946 litres)
Another interesting fact:  Wheat consumes about 790 billion cubic meters of water annually, which constitutes 12 % of the global water use for crop production.
So – we need a lot of water on this planet, just to grow our food.
Food InSecurity is coming – in fact it’s already here
Food Security is getting more and more attention lately. U.S. President Obama has started trying to address the issue and the United Nations has been concerned for some time now. Why? Because …     
We can turn Food Insecurity into Food Security by turning Produced Water into Clean Found Water.

We can turn Food Insecurity into Food Security by turning Produced Water into Clean Found Water.

•We will have 2.5 billion extra mouths to feed by 2050
•Finding the extra water each year will not be an easy task, given that it is more than double what is currently used in irrigation
•We will not be able to produce all the food, feed and fiber required in 2050 unless we improve the way we manage water, and that management of water includes better management of the 70 billion barrels of “Produced Water” from the oil and gas industry.
 
So exactly what is “Produced Water?”  This is water trapped in underground formations and brought to the surface along with the oil or gas. Produced water contains chemical characteristics of the formation and the hydrocarbons present. It may include water from the reservoir, water injected into the formation, and chemicals added during the production and treatment processes. Major constituents of concern are salt, oil and grease, various other natural inorganic and organic compounds, chemical additives used in drilling, and naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM).

In many places, the oil and gas industry is trying to do the responsible thing and dispose of its “produced water” in a manner that will not affect the local groundwater or sources of water. Companies pay an enormous amount of money to transport that water away from local communities or pay to clean it up. Dealing with produced water is one of the most expensive problems the oil and gas industry, along with the mining and manufacturing industries, faces today. Unfortunately, in other places, less responsible companies just dump it and subject the local community’s inhabitants to very hazardous substances.

 Produced water from oil & gas and mining work can be cleaned up and turned into "Found Water" to grow crops.  New technology such as IX Power's OrganiClear can make it easier and more affordable to clean up produced water so it can be re-used to solve the Food Insecurity problem.

Produced water from oil & gas and mining work can be cleaned up and turned into “Found Water” to grow crops. New technology such as IX Power’s OrganiClear can make it easier and more affordable to clean up produced water so it can be re-used to solve the Food Insecurity problem.

So, we need water for many things, and we certainly need it to produce food. Industry creates a lot of produced water.  Let’s clean it up and use it!  How? With new technology such as IX Power’s OrganiClear™ which removes the most dangerous parts (the BTEX:  organic hydrocarbon compounds) without leaving another waste stream behind to deal with. We invite you to read about IX Power’s OrganiClear by clicking here.  But, we also want to know about other technologies that can be used in the fight to clean up produced water. It’s a big problem and we need everyone working on it…!

The next time you eat a meal, stop and think how much water it took to grow it!

 

 

It’s the GREEN Economy Stupid! April 22 is Earth Day

The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding

Take a look at The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding. It makes sense to me that the planet has a finite amount of natural resources and we could run out …

Every year it comes and goes with not nearly enough attention from the mass media.  What am I talking about?  EARTH DAY.  Officially it’s Monday, April 22, although EVERY day SHOULD be Earth Day.  Contrary to deniers of climate change, the planet is changing.  Whether mankind is wholly responsible for this is something that’s been hotly debated.  But, while experts and subsidized deniers do their hot debating about who or what caused it, and whether or not it is a normal cyclical change, it continues to get even hotter, and we still have to deal with droughts, storms, loss of shoreline, loss of species, acidification of the oceans, reduced foodstock from the sea, lack of clean fresh water and more! AUGH!

Ignoring, evading, denying, and mocking the problem is not helping and all this takes precious time and resources away from actually doing something to prepare for the change that IS coming.  

The problem for most Americans is that we live our luxurious lives (compared to that of other nations) in air conditioned offices and homes far, far removed from the processes of farming, water purification, and energy resource extraction.  We don’t have to get our hands dirty.  We are only affected by increased prices.

But, this somewhat blissful shelter from the realities of climate change is not going to continue for long for Americans.  Soon, it will no longer be a problem for “the poor folks in Africa,”  Nope, the problem is going to come home and hit us hard, and not just in the form of an extra dollar per gallon of gas.

i’ve been reading “The Great Disruption – How the Climate Crisis Will Transform the Global Economy” and I would suggest it be read by everyone. Basically, the author talks about how climate change is just one of many factors that is going to affect the way we live on this planet.  It’s the kickstarter that people notice, but there are other factors such as the gobbling up of natural resources in the making of “stuff” that is going to change our idea of a successful and productive life.  Simply, we won’t have the natural resources to keep making stuff; we’re going to have to recycle to get even the basic materials and everyone is going to have to live with less stuff – particularly less “throwaway” stuff.  It’s a good read, but I’ve also added photos here of some of my other favorites.  

Take a look; pick up one of these books. Knowledge is power. Sticking your head in the sand will just irritate your eyes so you can’t see the truth.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

See more books and links to Earth Day websites below, including one where you can get the great bumper sticker that says, “It’s the Green Economy Stupid!”

Hot - Living through the next Fifty Years on Earth

Another insightful book discussing a proactive approach to climate change and dwindling natural resources …

T-Shirts, posters, and my favorite bumper sticker “It’s the GREEN Economy Stupid.” can be found on the home page of http://www.earthday.org

 http://www.earthday.org

http://www.epa.gov/earthday/

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/earth-sciences/

 

Earth - Making Life on a Tough New Planet, Bill McKibben

Earth – Making Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben – more suggested reading!

 

The End of Growth

The End of Growth is another good read.

International Women’s Day is Friday, March 8 – Concerns about Water, Literacy & Violence

Friday, March 8, is International Women’s Day.   It seems to me, unfortunately, that women in the United States do not observe this important date as much as we should.  Maybe it’s because, even with the inequalities that remain in our country, we still have it pretty good — good enough to make us complacent and forgetful even, of how much we have to be grateful for and celebrate.

But as the “lucky ones,” relatively speaking, I think we owe it to our sisters in other parts of the world that don’t have it so well, to observe this day and do something to help those women with less opportunity.

From my travels, experience, reading and just years of life on the planet, three of the things that strike me as core issues for women today, particularly in countries with emerging economies are:

*  Water (and subsequently health)    

*  Literacy / Education

*  Violence         

International Women's Day March 8 2013 - will these girls have a future as adult women? Will they even survive to become women?

International Women’s Day March 8 2013 – will these girls have a future as adult women? Will they even survive to become women?

Lack of Clean Water – and therefore health

Of the 1.3 billion people living in abject poverty, the majority are women and children. With this poverty, most often comes a lack of access to clean water.  In addition to the physical harm that comes with having to carry heavy loads of water (and its often not even somewhat clean water) long distances, women in poor regions with no access to running water lose a lot of time – time to take care of their children, educate themselves and their children, and time to to spend on a livelihood to improve their lot in life.

But, they also lose their health, which continues the cycle of poverty because they are too sick to work at jobs or raising food.

According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), “37% per cent of the developing world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities, and over 780 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more.  

The majority of people living in poverty are women and children.

The majority of people living in poverty are women and children.

In fact, every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.  

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because  their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.”

 Violence Against Women 

It is when trying to transport water to their villages on unprotected trips down to water sources that women are often subjected to violence via regional conflict. This violence against them often involves sexual brutality and horrendous acts. But, one of the biggest segments in violence against women is domestic violence. Statistics from the United Nations state that in far too many countries 7 in 10 women can expect to be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes. Aside from the obvious results – death or obvious injury – this violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.  

The World Health Organization has concluded that violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.  A World Bank report, which estimates that more women aged 15-44 are killed violently than die of malaria, HIV, cancer, accidents and war combined.

Studies have shown that for both perpetrator and victim, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality, and low education or illiteracy, play a major role in the problem.

Illiteracy

Which brings us to illiteracy.  In my neighborhood, we just celebrated the opening of the new long-awaited Gum Spring Library. On the first day over 6,500 people visited the library – many of those were women and couples with young children. More than 14,500 materials were checked out the first weekend. But, in way too many countries, a library – even the ability to read – is a luxury people will never live to see.  And this lack of literacy fosters not only conditions that lead to violence, but help to keep women, and men, in a cycle of poverty that includes a lack of access to clean water, which makes people sick and keeps them from working to pull themselves out of that poverty.

In spite of the fact that most development agencies identify women’s literacy as the single most important factor in development, one out of every three women in the world cannot read and write. And, in some countries, men would like to keep it that way.  Remember the attack in October by the Taliban on 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai for her attempts to promote girls’ education in Pakistan. 

Lack of water. Violence. Illiteracy.  They are intertwined in keeping women around the globe from achieving their potential and contributing to the betterment of the human race, the environment, and the planet.

On Friday, March 8, please observe International Women’s Day – make a vow to take a step – even just one small one within the next week – for the benefit of a woman somewhere who’s suffering, and for women everywhere. Make a donation, write a Congressman, talk to your daughters or a class at school or church about women’s issue such as domestic violence … if we all did SOMETHING, we could make a difference 

Read more at the following web sites:

Amnesty International   

International Center for Research on Women      

UN Women – the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women     

World Health Organization    

CNN – “interesting story on women by the numbers” 

Y-12 Protestors Should Refocus Efforts on more Insidious Threat – Global Warming & Climate Change

The protestors that cut through the fence and broke into a secure area to deface buildings at the Y-12 National Security Complex, the Oak Ridge, Tennessee facility* that stores and processes uranium, should consider refocusing their efforts on a more insidious threat to the future of the planet.  While all-out nuclear war would indeed be a global disaster, it is less likely to occur than in fact the global disaster which IS apparently full-speed ahead and is not being taken seriously enough.

For much of the planet, Climate Change is going to mean either too much water — or too little.

What the little old nun and her two middle-aged cohorts should focus on is Climate Change.  But, so should we all.

Here’s what we have to look forward to with Climate Change:  longer droughts, bigger floods, the loss of coastline and cities that are on the coast, acidification of the oceans and the eventual death of many species of sea creatures including those we depend upon as a food source, hotter temperatures, more storms – stronger hurricanes and tornadoes, worse pest problems, more disease – including the regeneration of some diseases like the bubonic plague, more and bigger wildfires, more air pollution, less food for everyone, mass extinctions,  and in general, less water where it’s needed – more where it’s not.

The problem with the Climate Change problem, what makes it so dangerous, is that it’s sneaky.  Scientist tried to tell us it was coming, but we – the United States’ “we” here – didn’t take it seriously because we didn’t see it in our daily lives … I mean who cares about the Polar bears?!   As long as we can still get a good steak at Longhorn, let the bears swim, for crying out loud. (being facetious here)  Americans continue to be Americans – good people, but historically, until the crisis is staring us in the face, we’re pretty complacent on the whole. WE Americans can be summed up as Winston Churchill said: You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.

Aah, but this summer has seen the crisis brought to our own backyards.  This Summer has provided THE HOTTEST JULY EVER in the United States.   And, we ALL felt it.

Has this GLOBAL WARMING been caused by mankind or is it a naturally occurring cycle?  WHO CARES?!

Wildfires

Wildfires did a lot of damage to the U.S. in 2012. The coming years will see even more so get used to it.

it doesn’t really matter now because global warming has caused a climate change that many scientists such as those at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believe cannot be stopped.  We can still “mitigate” global warming if we act fast, but the ball is rolling downhill.  Mitigation can put a few bumps on the hill to slow climate change and keep the situation from being QUITE SO BAD, but it’s still going to happen.

Let’s take a moment here to define some terms that we’re using in this, and future blog posts at IX Power.

Global Warming is:  Not the same thing as Climate Change! (They frequently are used interchangeably, but that is incorrect.) Global warming is the human-instigated rise in temperatures caused by too much carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Climate Change is: the EFFECTS that Global Warming has on the earth.  Climate Change is the effects on the earth’s natural processes and the impacts that are the result – stronger storms, worse droughts, melting polar ice, etc.

Mitigation is the set of actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions that generate global warming.

Adaptation is the actions that we can take to reduce the impacts of climate change – rising sea levels, strong storms, worse droughts, etc.

Mitigation is important – yes, we should continue to do things to reduce greenhouse gases – but the horse is out of the barn.  Scientists, including those at the IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believe that even if we took really drastic measures to reduce global warming today, we are still going to have climate change and its impacts.  But, of course, since no one is taking drastic measures, we are most likely on our way to a slow hell.  We need to now focus at least as much effort on ADAPTING to climate change, as we should to mitigating global warming. Actually, we must do more, since not enough is being done to mitigate global warming.  

ADAPTATION – getting ready for the next 40 years so that fewer people, animals and ecosystems have to die, should be the concern of not just the Y-12 protestors, but all of us.  And I mean ALL.  Just because you are wealthy, or your corporation is big and healthy, does not mean you shouldn’t care.  EVERYONE is going to be impacted.  

Stay tuned to this blog – we’ll be talking more – not just about MITIGATING GLOBAL WARMING, but ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE as well …

*  According to the Y-12 web site: The Y‑12 National Security Complex is one of four production facilities in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nuclear Security Enterprise. Their unique emphasis is the processing and storage of uranium and development of technologies associated with those activities.

Somebody Ought To Do Something About That: Medical Radioisotopes

When we first organized IX Power last summer, we agreed that too often people would say “somebody ought to do something about that” and that WE would be the company that WOULD do something.

As part of that initiative I am starting a new series here on the IX Power blog called, appropriately enough, Somebody Ought To Do Something About That.

The IX Power Staff isn’t capable of doing everything we find interesting, even in the safe power and clean water spaces on which we’re focused. So, my hope is one of our readers will pick up on things identified in this series and provide some perspective. Perhaps YOU can even “do something about it.” Continue reading