Can Sea Water Desalination Save The World?

  • Published on Oct 16, 2019
  • Today, one out of three people don’t have access to safe drinking water. And that’s the result of many things, but one of them is that 96.5% of that water is found in our oceans. It’s saturated with salt, and undrinkable. Most of the freshwater is locked away in glaciers or deep underground. Less than one percent of it is available to us. So why can’t we just take all that seawater, filter out the salt, and have a nearly unlimited supply of clean, drinkable water?
    » Subscribe to CNBC:
    » Subscribe to CNBC TV:
    » Subscribe to CNBC Classic:
    About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more.
    Connect with CNBC News Online
    Get the latest news:
    Follow CNBC on LinkedIn:
    Follow CNBC News on Facebook:
    Follow CNBC News on Twitter:
    Follow CNBC News on Instagram:
    Can Sea Water Desalination Save The World?

Comments • 4 333

  • Srishti Verma
    Srishti Verma 48 minutes ago

    desalination should taken as an option, firstly we should try to harvest the rainwater, concerning upon the recharge of ground water and moreover build some technology to collect the vapor that get evaporated from the water sources like waterfalls(like Niagara falls mentioned in the video) and also by waste water management we could reduce the situation where the desalination of brine would come into practice and the task would be done more efficiently.

  • NyuuMikuru1
    NyuuMikuru1 Hour ago

    Wormwood flavored water coming soon.

  • Gaming Princess Luna
    Gaming Princess Luna 3 hours ago

    Climate change isn't an issue truth factory shows why co2 is actually good for a green the earth.

  • MrSquareart
    MrSquareart 3 hours ago


  • The Resurrection is coming

    doesnt matter how much brine is produced because all the water we get from the processor will return to the ocean within a year restoring the previous balance

  • Waseem M
    Waseem M 8 hours ago

    Why not practice drinking sea water??

  • Jason Doucette
    Jason Doucette 8 hours ago

    We don't have a clean drinking water problem. We have an over population problem. Nuff said.

  • DeShon T
    DeShon T 11 hours ago

    Atmospheric Water Generators!!... "There are over Three Tuadrillion Gallons of Water In The Atmosphere Everyday!"..

  • Michael Kranyak
    Michael Kranyak 11 hours ago

    A British study a few years ago stated the planet can sustain 5 billion people we are at about 9. This is not going to end well. Wealthy nations will erect walls deport migrants and the Third World will have to make due.

  • David Poulin
    David Poulin 12 hours ago

    just mix the brine at the waste water treatment plant

  • Chris
    Chris 13 hours ago

    You dummies need to just stop having kids or die

  • Odin Thorsdad
    Odin Thorsdad 15 hours ago

    If it rains where you live and you have a few cubic meters of spare space it should be mandatory to have a rainwater tank to wash your clothes and flush your turds away.

  • bernarr parker
    bernarr parker 16 hours ago

    any process that destroys the marine environment is selfish and stupid .

  • A-Disappointed-Sigh
    A-Disappointed-Sigh 18 hours ago

    why not take that brine ... desalinate it again and again... then evaporate it (either to collect the steam for more water or use the power of the sun to evaporate) and then you have two products to sell: a lot of water + seasalt. Everyone needs water but people need salt too.

  • Naw Lawt Jangmaw
    Naw Lawt Jangmaw 18 hours ago

    I think when we have a solution that can produce energy cheap and safe or maybe if we have unlimited amount of it, we'll have solution of it

  • Abhishek Singh
    Abhishek Singh 20 hours ago

    Well ,here comes another simple yet destructive solution... Means if u hv destroyed one resource,no worries, move over to the other.. incredible
    Rather we should be focusing more upon the rainwater harvesting n bringing the climatic cycle back to its normalcy..!!!

  • Joshua Lee
    Joshua Lee 22 hours ago

    Solution : Plant more trees! Nature will provide you with fresh water!

  • Aj Sky
    Aj Sky Day ago

    The alternate title should be : "The dumbest and most inefficient invention yet: Desalination plants"....Let's ask Elon.

  • Aj Sky
    Aj Sky Day ago

    So Kevin Costner was right about Waterworld??? Jeez!

  • Alex Smith
    Alex Smith Day ago

    Why not mix brine with salt water to lower the concentration and then put it back into the ocean more spread out? Like have a long pipe going out with a small outlet every few feet?

  • Wally Wally
    Wally Wally Day ago

    Just make it rain

  • Aisha Hussein
    Aisha Hussein Day ago

    Go vegetarian and plant trees..
    but we will fight over the ideas

  • Suyog Kulkarni
    Suyog Kulkarni Day ago

    plant more trees smart people

  • Dino A
    Dino A Day ago

    I wonder about Camels...while they are literally large in size which in my opinion might demand higher volume yet drink once a week, we humans need more water a day than a fish do!

  • Camping and Gaming

    Yea its expensive to do reverse osmosis....but what about thermal desalination? They dont even do it lol would cost nowhere near as much and is a natural method. Wouldnt cost as much energy or anything. Like wtf.

  • archer bob
    archer bob Day ago

    Question at 1:22 Answer: Because we polluted it...!

  • john p
    john p Day ago

    plenty of rainwater we are not capturing.

  • Adam Jones
    Adam Jones Day ago

    Around 1.4 billion gallons of fresh water but animals and water on land. How much can we drink?

    • Adam Jones
      Adam Jones Day ago

      Or how much water is available to drink? Also, how can water be so scarce? Can land not be hydrated via sea water? Here in Wales we have salt marsh sheep and lamb's that graze the salt grass. I'd love to see Africa and India mainly come into some sort abundant water source.

  • lionel bonnett
    lionel bonnett Day ago

    Humans need to *-*-reduce human population, upgrade infrastructure , electronic power grid, all factory's reenginered, upgraded recycle all waste materials , for god sakes, give up this suicidal delusional dream of endless profits never paying fare share of taxes ,debt we lerarn /remember karma is debt free =no run on endless sin w/o paying the price!!!!!!!!!

  • Luna Azule
    Luna Azule Day ago

    We need to stop worshiping our own species so much that we destroy earth trying to keep them all happy and healthy. HOW ABOUT SOME SMART BIRTH CONTROL?!?! Drop condoms not food.

  • James Robert Coyle

    With Nuclear heat it could.

  • Daniel Paulson
    Daniel Paulson Day ago

    It will help the sea salt industry.

  • Aaditya Karthik
    Aaditya Karthik Day ago +2

    investments should be made on rainwater harvesting and STP AND ETP

    ATAHUALPA867 Day ago

    We must adapt and do a huge effort not to waste . Toilet and showering worse ways to waste it . We must help ourselves.
    Desalination is not new but up to now is seen as way to save this planet and people of running out of water..
    Thanks CNBC..

  • lomhow1234
    lomhow1234 Day ago

    Time to build more power plants gamers

  • SimpleGamingF2P pc
    SimpleGamingF2P pc Day ago +1

    1/3 people dont have safe drinking water? bruh my whole school has safe drinking water. all my friend has safe drinking water.

  • TAVO
    TAVO 2 days ago

    we need to plant more trees don't ask me how it works but i can tell you where there trees there is fresh water in abundance and if you cut them water disappears.

  • Martin x
    Martin x 2 days ago

    The energy consumption is not a problem. Most people, when asked if they want next year either use disco ball in their appartment, or drink for a next year, they tend to pick the most survival centric issue, wich the drinking really is.

  • Mr Grey man
    Mr Grey man 2 days ago

    it isn't 'can't' it is won't.

  • Zeph
    Zeph 2 days ago

    Yes - IF the ocean's water is kept clean, this is the answer. However, rivers , which constantly flow into the ocean and run around the globe faster than one realizes, have to be kept free of industrial waste, nuclear waste, and other pollutants..

  • rob379
    rob379 2 days ago

    Warmer air holds more water. just sayin’

    • Little Bai
      Little Bai 13 hours ago

      more water vapor traps more heat.

  • DreaD
    DreaD 2 days ago

    Just boil the brine lol not that hard

  • Aurobindo Ghosh
    Aurobindo Ghosh 2 days ago +1

    killing oceanic life and more cheap salt?

  • timbo1955
    timbo1955 2 days ago

    or can white pantys save the world ? who knows

  • Mightymousy Shnikins
    Mightymousy Shnikins 2 days ago +3

    Not if India keeps pouring waste into the Oceans.

    • Mightymousy Shnikins
      Mightymousy Shnikins 7 hours ago

      @SV K All things are not equal by any metric. India and China are far and away the biggest polluters on the planet and it isn't even remotely close. Those two countries pollute more than every other country in the world combined. Even then the margin is ridiculous.

    • SV K
      SV K 8 hours ago

      Come on dude you can't seriously blame just one country for the entire world's climate change,I agree what you say is true but everyone are equally involved in this.

    • Mightymousy Shnikins
      Mightymousy Shnikins 8 hours ago

      @SV K If you have a paper cut on one arm, and a severed artery on the other, which do you treat first? This is the difference between everyone else and India.

    • SV K
      SV K 8 hours ago

      Like no one else doesn't.. geez

  • Panthera
    Panthera 2 days ago

    Some commenters below wrote that rivers are full of fresh waters which are flowing into the seas and oceans. That water needs filtering. River water filtration plants as well then?

  • Panthera
    Panthera 2 days ago

    Read this! I think it is safer to reduce water output and increase salt removal to a maximum. BUT THERE MAY BE A WAY TO USE THE BRINE, HERE IS MAYBE HOW...
    Cannot put out that much brine into oceans. Too dangerous because can ruin ocean life. Brine can be used for pickles, tomatoes, canned soups and beans and ready meals and etc. MYbe possible to sell, because people already use brine fo rmany jarred products. But there is another risk, to increase salt quantity in many areas around the world, and to be more explanatory, in municiplal water supplies.
    Something to think about, with risks anyway.

  • Darth Structure
    Darth Structure 2 days ago

    Wouldn't desalination reduce rising sea levels which another major issue?

    • Epic
      Epic 23 hours ago

      LeGrandFromage Give a competent response.

    • Epic
      Epic 23 hours ago

      Darth Structure The ocean is too big. My opinion.

    • LeGrandFromage
      LeGrandFromage Day ago

      Can’t tell if dumb or trolling

  • Kyle Scott
    Kyle Scott 2 days ago

    The answer!!! Yes.

  • David
    David 2 days ago

    Graphene water filters, newest solar and electrical containment technology could be used along with say Stirling motors on efficient pumps on a pipeline to replenish depleted aquifers

  • sergimay4
    sergimay4 2 days ago

    How about using marine flows to get the energy using turbines, also using the vapor to generate a surplus of energy before it gets back to liquid water?
    And then try getting salt to become another fuel for motors?
    Maybe it’s a reach, but vapor has been into machinery for a while already...

  • jb76489
    jb76489 3 days ago

    What was the waterfall at the beginning?

  • Matt Carrell
    Matt Carrell 3 days ago

    Perhaps the correct solution is to quit multiplying the population and stressing our resources with this forever-growth mentality BS!! Quit propping up unlimited growth and start limiting growth. Overpopulating the planet is not your personal right!

  • riley pierce
    riley pierce 3 days ago

    My mouth tastes like salt now lol

  • Obviousman
    Obviousman 3 days ago

  • appleh8terguy
    appleh8terguy 3 days ago

    ** laughs in Michigan accent**

  • Chippy33365
    Chippy33365 3 days ago

    Why dont they use Brine to produce energy

  • 1MicrosoftCPU
    1MicrosoftCPU 3 days ago +7

    Why don't they dump the brine in the desert and crate a salt desert. The water will evaporate, and no one uses the desert anyways. Then come back and pick up the salt and sell it.

    • 1MicrosoftCPU
      1MicrosoftCPU Hour ago

      4:20 imported water
      I assume they’ll put a giant tarp if they want to pick up the salt

    • pippaknuckle
      pippaknuckle 3 hours ago

      Introducing that much salt to the water table could destroy your water supply. it's not guaranteed to just sit on the surface where you want it to.

    • glasslinger
      glasslinger 14 hours ago

      1MicrosoftCPU, the great salt lake is such a desert. There are several areas on earth where all the water has evaporated leaving huge salt flats.

  • Jon Kay
    Jon Kay 3 days ago

    I was just wondering about the chemical composition of that brine. I wonder if it contained much lithium. Now that fossil fuel transportation has proven to be obsolete, we will need vast amounts of lithium for the batteries. Instead of discharging the salts back where they came from, maybe we should be bringing them onshore to mine.

  • Jon Kay
    Jon Kay 3 days ago

    About fifty years ago I was taking an aquaculture course at Scripps Institute in La Jolla, CA (San Diego area). The teacher was an ardent ecology enthusiast and had the class studying a nearby lagoon that had ""putrefied", which is to say developed a persistent algal bloom due to over abundance of flora that then decayed and robbed the water of oxygen, leaving it uninhabitable to native fauna. Her idea was to introduce a population of fish to harvest the overgrowth and thus restore the lagoon to a healthy balance.

    Towards the end of the class we were out in the field (lagoon) gathering samples. Our class teacher came across something that made her furious. It was a large diameter pipe. This outlet had been unobtrusively built there by local municipal engineers tasked with the project of restoring the lagoon.

    Since the government, by contract, had the right to purchase clear drinking water at an artificially low price, they reasoned that one acceptable solution to the problem was simply to add enough pure drinking water to the putrefied water to dilute it into an acceptable range.

    Our teacher, a veteran of aquaculture from around the globe, had another word for the government solution. She called it "immoral".