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Desalination by increased rainfall through the modification of existing industrial Cooling methods, plus ground based cloud enhancement techniques.

By Gare Henderson, Ph.D.

Director of applied research and development

Gravitational Systems Engineering, Inc.


Drought is an increasing concern in many important regions around the world.  Over 60% of the US is currently in drought status.  As droughts increase in severity and frequency, many communities are beginning to look at the industrial cooling as an important competitor for regional water supplies. 

Hydrological imbalance is being added to pollution and fuel source depletion as of primary environmental concern.  Due to past best cooling practices many in the environmental community has long sought to manage industrial or commercial use of water supplies, thermal loads, and pollution, especially as applied to the power generation industry.

There is also a rising tide of state and federal regulations which may force both new and existing facilities to consider non-potable water sources for industrial cooling.

As agricultural irrigation evolves worldwide, to manage competition with other regional water stakeholders, industrial cooling comes under greater regional scrutiny.  Industrial concerns can lead in this increasingly important sector. Industrial cooling stakeholders can both minimize competition and become active agents of drought mitigation and remediation.  Industrial cooling can both reduce pressure on regional water supplies, as well as providing a significant source of regional potable water supplies at costs that are fractional when compared to traditional desalination methods.

Many governmental and academic studies of the usage of non-potable water, especially related to the power generation industry, in industrial cooling have concluded that both the technical feasibility and environmental impacts are manageable and largely benign. References to many of this studies are listed at the end of this document.   This paper presents one long term solution that will allow the cooling industry to become a source of hydrological balance, as opposed to being a competitor for increasingly precious potable water resources.

In brief the solution is where ever possible to employ brackish, or greywater, as cooling source water, as well as the modification of cooling methods to optimize especially tower plumes to support cloud formation.

Employing industrial cooling methods to Increase cloud formation from potable or non-potable sources can provide potable water, as rainfall or fog, in distant land locked areas which are impractical to service especially in developing economies.

This paper will describe methods for increasing supplies of non-potable water, even in locations remote from original sources.  Additionally the paper will detail several design features of cooling towers which will optimize tower plumes to assist regional cloud formation.


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