Caltech Logo

(CANCELLED) - Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar

Thursday, March 31, 2016
11:00am to 12:00pm
Add to Cal
Gates-Thomas 135
(CANCELLED) Allen Fuhs, Distinguished Professor (Emeritus), Naval Postgraduate School,
California Drought – Spurned Technology In early 2015, Professor Fuhs was interviewed by LA Times concerning aspects of the California Drought. The article lumped his suggested action ideas with the plans of out-of-touch engineers. This seminar has as an analogy, a lawyer pleading his case. One verdict is that the LA Times was correct to dismiss Professor Fuhs' ideas. The other verdict is that the prioritized and itemized list of actions items – to be presented at the seminar - has sufficient merit to warrant attention in Sacramento. One facet of the plan is that iceberg utilization consumes 1/3 of the energy kWh/(m3 fresh water) compared to desalination. Further, desalination has its other drawbacks. Based solely on energy, the environmental impact should be much less. Many technological barriers do exist for iceberg utilization. Someday a gallon of water will be as necessary as a gallon of oil. If a tiny fraction of the resources devoted to oil were focused on the R&D for iceberg utilization, the barriers might seem less daunting. Prudence suggests that an insignificant fraction of the CA state funding for drought needs to be reoriented to iceberg utilization. Is iceberg utilization a fool's errand? Prevailing common wisdom says yes; modern research & analysis may say otherwise.


For more information, please contact Sonya Lincoln by phone at 626-395-3385 or by email at [email protected].