The world currently uses 11,000km3 water per year, whereof 70% go into agriculture, producing 17.5Gtdm accreting 8.7Gt Carbon (from 32Gt CO2) and 1Gt Hydrogen (the balance being mainly Oxygen) plus 13Gt ligated moisture (stored water). Hence biomass grows at a Carbon : Water ratio of 1 : 2.5. About 75% hereof are harvested whereof 47% end up in trash of which 57% should be composted. 2/3 of the rest not fit to return into food-chain soil replenishment should be fermented. The remaining balance together with foregoing digestate can be thermo- chemically transformed into energy rich gases that can be upgraded to any desired chemical synthesis stoichiometry.
The world turns over 22Gt Carbon per year whereof 45% are fossil, 18% withering soil degradation and 14% from carbonate-minerals‘ refining. At today’s fossil fuel mix about 1.5 times burnt Carbon weight equals water steam in the flue gas. Hence our addiction to burn fuels and biomass sends 17Gt water and 42Gt CO2 into the atmosphere.
If Carbon burnt today was recycled instead, these emissions could be reduced to a quarter each through an about 75% recovery of Carbon and its associated water. Proper composting keeps 50% of Carbon stored in soil where it enhances water and nutrient storage resulting in more resilient growth and deeper roots of above ground vegetation. Most Carbon burnt today is either for energy or mobility. Transformation of the former has already been largely demonstrated for about 2/3 load coverage by a good mix of wind and solar. The remaining back-up need could be best provided by a most natural storage system using the recycled regenerative Carbon with Water for an on demand Water-Gas Hydrogen supply to a fuel-cell that can return the water back into the loop locally. In contrary any water input into cycles that don’t represent timely and locally closed terrestrial loops deem critical. Because what remains unrecognized is the diversion of terrestrial evaporation of ~57% towards oceanic precipitation, nowadays already 80% of the annually 505,000km3 total rainfall. This represents 0.04% of total water on the planet of which only 2.5% are sweet water. Since in many areas the 30% sweet water stored as ground water is extracted beyond regeneration capacity via terrestrial precipiation, water scarcity steadily increases.
In this context bio-fuels sold and consummated supranationally whether produced by oil seed farming or electrolysis based synthesis nastily violate against command for local water circulation. Apart the former causing about 8.5 times CO2 emissions of what it’s intended to turn regenerative, the latter CO2 resurrection employs 6 times the energy recycling Carbon in the first place would require. Terrestrial surface water in lakes (67%), moisture in top soil (12%) or in the atmosphere (10%) respectively wet lands (8%), rivers (2%) and living botanical and zoological organisms (1%) in total only represent about half the groundwater volume. Hence from an other angle’s view, total precipitation just equals 4% of all livelyhood’s water content. Therefore it’s concerning that glaciers having been being feeding rivers are melting at scary pace hiding the fact that once they’re gone, rivers dry up and with them regional ground water will disappear. And even if the Alps‘ warming could be stopped instantly, regeneration of glaciers would take decades. Also in areas considering themselves geo- and topographically at water surplus we’ve already seen unpredictable seasonal supply shortages and temporary river cargo ceasing to upset logistic supply chains and tourism. Yet security of hydropower supply suffered from such drought periods calling increasingly for non auxiliary water dependent on demand long term energy storage systems.
Normally markets determined by bottle-necks become high priced. Fast moving consumer goods‘ markets have to pay for their (20%) water consumption just 1.6% of their revenues (45% of global GDP). Hence water is currently sold out at an average of ~U$0.25/m3. This is 2.5 times lowest, but just 1.6% of highest „True cost of water“ calculated according to UN-Environment’s Natural Capital Accounting. The cost for globally 0.3% of water being currently desalinated between U$0.5-1.5/m3 (reflecting differences in energy prices) however are not the biggest drivers of true water cost. For areas of water scarcity it is the logistic cost for getting water back to there at all. Often water that previously came from rivers, increasingly exploited upstream at very low priced water tariffs to an extent leaving nothing toady downstream settlements.