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Thread: I have two questions

  1. #1 I have two questions 
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    1. Is it possible to use ocean water to water plants and can still be healthy?

    2. Is it possible to make the ocean water drinkable?

    thanks.


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  3. #2  
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    To question one, YES if the plants are 'salt tolerant' so that limits you to a few species that grow close to the shoreline, for most plants they just die.

    TO Q 2 Seawater is NOT drinkable 'raw' you need to take a few things out first...

    You need to remove the water and leave the salt and almost everything else behind. Saudi Arabia and some other countries get their water from 'de-salination' plants, expensive but they have the dosh from oil revenues...


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    A follow up question: what makes salty water undrinkable? Does the salt extract more water from the body than the salty water adds? Is it impossible to overcome such problems by evolution?

    I guess the answer to the last one is: if it was possible, it would've happened allready (would be a huge advantage to be able to drink salt water). But I still wonder why the salt problems can't be overcome by organisms.
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    Fish through their skin absorb the water but not the salt, that's why fish skin is (mostly) carcinogenic, it has all the trace poison left in it (other than salt) salt is poisonous in large doses, you can drink saltwater, as you can drink motor oil or any liquid, but I believe the body cannot extract the (dissolved) salt from it so it gets passed around the body and absorbed. Much more than that is outside my knowledge so maybe google salt poisoning or something
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    A follow up question: what makes salty water undrinkable? Does the salt extract more water from the body than the salty water adds? Is it impossible to overcome such problems by evolution?

    I guess the answer to the last one is: if it was possible, it would've happened allready (would be a huge advantage to be able to drink salt water). But I still wonder why the salt problems can't be overcome by organisms.
    Why should being able to drink salty water be such an benefit for land animals? Salt water is present an mass but not spread out, your niche would be restricted to the seashores and neighborhood . I live close to the sea (less then 100km) so for animals in my neighborhood the extra cost (energy) of salt detoxification would only obstruct their development, since they will find freshwater more easy then salt water.

    Maybe for birds it would be beneficial, but then again they find freshwater easily enough (and some birds specific go to salt water pools, but then to eat the animals which habitat these waters).

    In summary why pay for two if one is more then sufficient.

    On the other hand there are some fishes who manage with some physiological changes (not familiar with which) to life in fresh and salt water (Like summon and the European eel).
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    dont forget the marine iguanas of the galapagos they have salt glands that concentrate the salt before they sneeze it out. some other sea birds have salt glands too. And inland animals with salt glands are ostrich, red tailed hawks, roadrunners, green iguanas and partridges


    theres also osmosis pumps that are used as part of sea survival equipment
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  8. #7  
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    Interesting. Yes I suppose being able to drink salt water is not such a huge niche, but apart from the shore this would also include some drying lakes in desert areas. Living alone in such a niche would be worth the trouble I guess. Some animals use deserts as safe hiding places, while they feed outside them. If water wouldn't be a problem they could stay safe in the desert longer. But I don't know how common such 'salty deserts' are, maybe those in the US are exceptional.

    But the salt glands sound like a very ingenious adaptation, first time I hear about them. Are these glands near the surface, so they can let the water evaporate and catch the vapour?
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  9. #8  
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    check this out, this machine pumps the water out of the air:

    http://www.time.com/time/2006/techgu...medicine5.html

    well its alittle costly(300k) but it works would save thousans of lives in desert regions.
    to answer the second question (another way to do do it)
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    Interesting. Yes I suppose being able to drink salt water is not such a huge niche, but apart from the shore this would also include some drying lakes in desert areas. Living alone in such a niche would be worth the trouble I guess. Some animals use deserts as safe hiding places, while they feed outside them. If water wouldn't be a problem they could stay safe in the desert longer. But I don't know how common such 'salty deserts' are, maybe those in the US are exceptional.

    But the salt glands sound like a very ingenious adaptation, first time I hear about them. Are these glands near the surface, so they can let the water evaporate and catch the vapour?

    not sure totally i found this for some sea birds

    Salt glands, which are located just above the bird's eye, restore this balance by secreting hypertonic solutions of NaCl via a duct that empties into he nostrils. A system of active transport and counter current exhange, regulated by a series od neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine, and hormones such as corticosterone, the salt glands work in conjunction with the primitive avian kidney to rid the bird's body of toxic salt levels.
    seems some animals use their nostrils to expel it but cant find specifics on the processes think its some form of osmosis
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by miomaz
    check this out, this machine pumps the water out of the air:

    http://www.time.com/time/2006/techgu...medicine5.html

    well its alittle costly(300k) but it works would save thousans of lives in desert regions.
    to answer the second question (another way to do do it)

    justr like the moisture farmers from star wars
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  12. #11 Re: I have two questions 
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    Quote Originally Posted by starlight
    1. Is it possible to use ocean water to water plants and can still be healthy?

    2. Is it possible to make the ocean water drinkable?

    thanks.
    Yes and yes.

    Some arabic countries use desalinatino water.
    It's also the case of war boats. They used distillation, and add "salts" to it.

    There is also a device, commonly used by lonesome navigator, dwelling alone on the oceans, for some kind of record. It's a tube, that you plunge in the water. When the depth is important, the water pass a membran, without salt.
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