Yet Again, the UK Water Companies Say "we Are Running Out of Water" Why Wont They Build Desalination

Because the British Isles have plenty of water, it's just not all in the south-east where a large percentage of the population lives and de-salination plants are actually quite expensive. Far cheaper to build a few pipelines from Scotland/Cumbria etc

1. Why do water companies still uses dams to store treated water and contends with high loss due to evaporation when you can replenish groundwater aquifers?

First, lets dispense with the "treated" water issue. Drinking water is not treated in large quantity prior to being dispensed. Some portion is treated and stored in tanks, often elevated, to act as a buffer for the distribution system and maintain pressure in the lines so adequate service can be maintained. Beyond that, there is no need to treat the water significantly ahead of when it is needed for consumption. The raw water source would be protected from contamination through various actions, such as environmental regulation, limiting uses in a watershed, restricting use of certain chemicals like pesticides, and such, but the final treatment prior to producing drinking water free of bacteria and aquatic organisms would wait until the water is needed to input into the system and its limited associated storage tanks.As far as the choice between above-ground reservoirs or aquifer storage, the answer varies with the specific circumstances of each locality. This is determined on the basis of relative cost and also the availability of the required resources in a locality.The easiest supply source would be a large river with enough flow during low rainfall conditions to provide a secure water quantity or a large natural lake like the Great Lakes of the U. S.. With appropriate environmental regulation to limit source contamination, such a water source would normally be treatable for use. Occasional circumstances may cause a water supply to shut down temporarily to allow a plume of contamination to pass, as occurred in West Virginia when the failure of spill containment controls allowed a quantity of a coal prep plant chemical to enter the river system leading to the Ohio River. This was tracked by the local state environmental regulators in affected states and water supplies were told to shut down intakes during critical periods when contaminated water was flowing past. Fortunately, river systems tend to flush themselves when discrete events like this occur, so the system storage of treated water bridge over the period when new withdrawals are not allowed. Another commentor mentioned the use of distributed water wells (like a Ranney well) that draw water from under the alluvial floors of rivers or large lakes. This provides a filtration of the water through natural sands as a first treatment step rather than having to provide this in a treatment plant and also allows a single well to provide water at a large rate by distributing inflow over a very large total length of lateral radiating screens to reduce frictional intake losses.In humid areas, a constructed lake is often a preferred option provided land is available, because evaporation is not a major concern. Such a lake occurs in a watershed receiving rainfall that roughly balances the evaporation on a yearly average. The unevenness of rainfall vs. evaporation in the short term is balanced by maintaining storage of water from higher rainfall periods as a buffer for periods of low rainrall. Most evaporation occurs through evapotranspiration in the land forming the watershed. Evaporation from the lake is limited by the surface area of the lake, its temperature, exposure to sunlight (overcast days reduce), and the depth to volume ratio (narrow, deep lakes reduce). The lake surface area is small compared to the watershed area that catches the rain that drains into the lake. You generally do need to maintain some flow downstream even during drought conditions to maintain ecological conditions, but you can define some quantity that you can safely retain for use. After use, treated wastewater is put back into the drainage system which then mixes with the non-extracted water and undergoes natural remediation prior to some town downstream extracting it again (in a properly regulated system and in non-extreme conditions). Surface reservoirs commonly include multi-use aspects, including recreation, aesthetics, and flood control as well as water supply. This again in the U.S. is monitored and regulated to provide for this. Problems with surface reservoirs involve pollution washed into them by surface water, direct spills into the lake, contaminated groundwater, and overcommitment of available water resources. Pollution washed into them includes non-point source and point source. Non-point source refers to distributed contamination by agriculture, roadway and parking lot drainage, and residential and commercial land. Agriculture often contributes excessive nitrates, phospates, and other fertilizers plus fecal coliform and organisms like Cryptosporida from livestock feeding on adjacent lands or in feeding operations. Roadway and parking lot drainage include tire, brake pad, oil, and fuel residues, plastics, and roadway salt what wash off the surface. Residential and commercial development include the excessive fertilizers and sometimes biologic and chemical contaminants due to failing septic tanks, small-scale carelessness, and spills. These are variously limited by appropriate regulation, but some poorer areas often do a poor job of this. Point source refers to specific manufacturers or other operators who handle or produce a significant quantity of potential contaminants and can be regulated as individual entities. This includes sewage treatment plants and their effluents. The degree of problems varies by locality and time. Aggravating factors include unusual weather conditions, catastrophic events like fires, spills, or failures, lack of needed resources by a responsible party to properly operate (some sewage treatment systems), and inadequate regulatory response.Aquifer storage in some locations is automatic. They lack sufficient surface water sources for various reasons and rely on municipal water wells for some or all of their supply. This occurs in parts of the Eastern U.S. in the upstream areas of watersheds where surface water flow is insufficient in the absence of storage lakes to meet demand and suitable land is not available for reservoirs. There, evaporation is not the issue requiring underground storage. If groundwater recharge is promoted, it is generally by infiltration basins and preservation of wetlands that allow passive downward percolation of ponded water to the groundwater, though some well injection is also possible.In arid areas, evaporation can be an important consideration. There underground storage may be intentionally used to reduce this. To do this, you need to have favorable geology that provides an aquifer of sufficient hydraulic conductivity (inverse of frictional resistance to flow), available storage volume (pore space not already filled with water), and geochemistry (won't add undesirable contaminants from aquifer minerals or water already there).The hydraulic conductivity must be high enough that water will readily enter and leave the aquifer during pumping to provide an adequate flow rate to be worthwhile with a reasonable number of wells. Many geologic formations will not provide this and you may not have a suitable formation in the location where it is needed. This also affects pumping, infrastructure, and maintenance costs of the aquifer storage option.The second factor is available storage volume. You can only put new water into air-filled voids unless you are adding water to a confined aquifer where you apply sufficient pressure to expand the aquifer (lift the land surface or compress the water). For a water table aquifer, it is obvious that you can't fill the void space above the ground surface. Because of frictional losses during injection, you have to have a mound of water at the wellhead to provide the potential energy from the weight of water there to force the water to spread away from the well. This limits the available volume of air-filled space above the water table available for input of water. You would generally have to use multiple small sources to distribute your recharge rather than a few large wells because of this mound problem. Something more like a leachate field of a septic tank. Or passive infiltration basins. In confined aquifers, which store part of their water by literally compressing it over a large area (storativity is very small), you could store water by pumping under pressure. You would need an appropriate aquifer. You also need to recognize that part of the water you input you will not get back as you would be spreading water beyond the reach of your wells.The third factor is geochemistry. The groundwater itself may contain elevated levels of undesirable minerals (brackish or salty), may have toxic elements like arsenic, or may have undesirable taste or other factors (sulfur or iron). Another commentor mentioned that the water you are injecting will have higher dissolved oxygen than the natural groundwater. This can promote geochemical changes by both chemical and biological reactions with minerals in the aquifer materials themselves to liberate sulfides, iron, and toxic elements. The degree to which this would occur depends on the specific characteristics of the aquifer you are using for storage and the water you are injecting.I have run out of energy to continue this long post. There are other factors I could discuss, but the bottom line is the decision about the type of storage a water supply system would use would depend on the specific characteristics of the locale and of their needs.Why do water companies still uses dams to store treated water and contends with high loss due to evaporation when you can replenish groundwater aquifers?

2. Are some bottled water companies just using tap water in the bottles?

Q: Are some bottled water companies just using tap water in the bottles?Some do.Really it comes down to what you are looking for. When I lived in Nairobi, Kenya, several companies sold purified water, which was basically tap water in bottles but somewhat purer. On the other hand, some bottles of water in France still have the "for public health" labels. If we are talking water snobbery, I prefer Icelandic water, which is quite chewey, but if you want to go for it, you might likewhich apparently goes for USD 100,000 a bottle, though I expect the diamonds and gold probably contributed to the price...Not expensive enough? Just wait until some bright spark start importing water from the moon, or similar

3. Why do bottled water companies say you can't refill their bottles once finished ?

So what is YOUR question? You already have your answer!

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yes they are, in excahnge for a utility extending service to outlying areas they can charge evry home that the service passes by, even if they dont use it1. I'm planning to run across the country in a couple years after training. Would water companies sponsor me?prob unless u suk2. Why are bottled-water companies adding flouride to the bottled water?Companies want to add flouride to bottled water because it is good for your teeth. They do this a marketing effort to provide consumers with "choice" and satisfy their "needs". I am also pretty sure companies will make it obvious that the bottled water you are buying will contain flouride. I would also assume that it would take alot of this "poison" to cause any dramatic impact on a drinker's overall health. And FYI: Federal Law has requirements for the levels of "containments" that is allowed to be inside bottled water. However, there are is no regulation on how much "pharmaceutical residue" can be inside bottled water (same thing for tap water). Much of the technologies that bottled water companies use to clean water will clean out containments and not pharmaceuticals. So when considering How MUCH cleaner and safer bottle water is relative to tap water keep this in mind. As well as how "few chemicals" chemical are actually inside bottled water and your tap water as well.3. Water brand and type of water filtration system do professional bottled water companies use?Reverse Osmosis is a common water filtration system being used nowadays. You can even get a small RO unit for your own house now.4. Are some bottled water companies just using tap water in the bottles?Bottled water companies use R/O filtration multi stage charcoal filtration untra violet an ozone to purify the bottled water they sell. If you compared lab reports from the utility with the lab reports from Independent labs you could obtain from the bottled water company you would find these differences.Water from the utility would contain bacteria like cryptosporidium chlorine flouride and a carcinogen that is created when you kill bacteria with chorine. Levels of these in tap water are regulated. By the EPA and are considered safe. Personally I do not want any of them in my drinking water.Please do not take my word for any of this. Your utility is required to provide you with a typical lab report. Bottled water companies either have a typical report from an Independent lab on thier brand website or will be happy to mail you one. Check it out for yourself5. Why don't bottled water companies charge a bottle deposit? ?plastic water bottles are O U T ! i just bought my grandchildren stainless steel water bottles and they have filtered water at home (most city water systems are not up to snuff). they are non toxic. plastic water bottles have BPA's in they which they are now linking to autism. it's a little more work to keep them clean (a dishwasher will sanitize them) but well worth it. these kinds of bottles last for years and the cost will be alot lower than bottled water.6. So the UK is going to not have enough water in 25 years is this not just down to the privatised water companies not doing their job properly and not investing in infrastructure?Population growth is the obvious elephant in the room. And the problem applies equally to the whole of the Nation's infra structure which is failing to keep up with regional and urban population explosions.The symptoms of failures in the utilities, inter alia, are not being tackled with any real commitment and the many issues created thereby, are not given enough priority to cope with the expanding regional populations, so in that sense, the utilities most certainly are failing the communities. In the UK the safety factor in maintaining utility supplies to match population growth is progressively being eroded. The industries know it; the Government knows it and the electorate know it. But sadly bureaucratic incompetence by successive governments and greed by the utility companies for profit, rule our times and is a legacy of uncontrolled privatisation. So the UK is going to not have enough water in 25 years is this not just down to the privatised water companies not doing their job properly and not investing in infrastructure?
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