Water and Energy

Water is fundamental to life. We need it to drink. We die if we are without it for over 10 days. Much can be said for every other living being on Earth, water is essential.

Imagine that you were in a desert dying of thirst. What would you trade for water? Perhaps the clothes off your back? Or, many equatorial deserts have an excess of sunshine. And sunshine can be converted into electricity. And everyone wants electrical energy. Gather up the solar energy then trade it for scarce water. You won’t die of thirst and life improves.

Recently Jordan and Israel signed an agreement whereby Israel will provide up to 200 million cubic metres of desalinated water in exchange for 600MWe solar energy from Jordan. Based on a recent electricity rate, this amounts to about $915M for the year. Or, as a ratio, this works out to 95 Joules of energy per cubic millimetre of water. So, yes, we are equating energy to water in our survival plans.

Do you get the sense that energy has become essential for everyday life? If so, you’d join many with the same sense. Then, how do we optimize our future as we consume the energy remaining in fossil fuels and there are only a finite number of other sources?
Dead Sea