Israel refills the Sea of Galilee, supplying Jordan on the way


Israel refills the Sea of Galilee, supplying Jordan on the way

January 30, 2023

STORY: Israel is saving its main freshwater reservoir from the effects of climate change.

The Sea of Galilee was being lost to droughts.

So Israel built a chain of desalination plants along its Meditteranean coast.

They turn seawater into freshwater, to refill the lake when water levels get low.

“With this environment of climate changes, you don’t know what to expect next year and the year afterward. We are standing now in the late January and with very little rainfalls during this winter in Israel, arid winter basically with no rainfall. And we are no longer depending on rain basically for water supply because we know to manage the system and take the extra water, the extra water we produce artificially with desalination plants, and bring it to fill the natural lake if needed.”

The new system will also allow Israel to double the amount of water it sells to Jordan. Water was a major component in the 1994 peace treaty between the two nations.

January 30, 2023. Tags: , . Desalination. 1 comment.

Instead of building enough desalination plants, California is trying to solve its water shortage by removing the racism from water

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

January 16, 2023

While the brilliant people of Israel have built enough desalination plants to end their water shortages, and the country pays only 40 cents per cubic meter for as much water as people want, all in a densely populated country which is a desert with perpetual drought, the idiotic people of California have chosen to reject desalination in favor of continued water shortages.

But that doesn’t mean that California doesn’t have a plan for its water.

California is planning to remove all of the racism from its water. This is the text of their plan:



JANUARY 18, 2023





The Racial Equity Action Plan is a compilation of goals, actions, and metrics intended to advance the State Water Board’s efforts to create a future where we equitably preserve, enhance, and restore California’s water resources and drinking water for all Californians, regardless of race, and where race is not a predictor of professional outcomes for Water Boards employees.

On August 18, 2020, State Water Board staff presented an informational item to the State Water Board on a framework for addressing racial equity. The State Water Board acknowledged the historic effects of institutional racism that must be confronted throughout government and directed staff to develop a priority plan of action.

In fall 2020, State Water Board’s Executive Director, Eileen Sobeck, convened a Water Boards Racial Equity Team with the purpose of advancing racial equity both for the communities that the Water Boards serve, and internally within the organization. The Water Boards Racial Equity Team is comprised of Water Boards staff representing all levels of the organization and includes support staff, engineers, scientists, technologists, and executives. The Racial Equity Team has been tasked with three major priorities: 1) establish a foundation of internal and external engagement that values listening and collaboration to drive action; 2) draft a resolution on racial equity to be considered for adoption by the State Water Board and leveraged by the nine Regional Water Boards to adopt their own resolutions; and 3) develop racial equity strategies and action plans to drive efforts for the coming years.

The Water Boards reached a major milestone on November 16, 2021, when the State Water Board adopted the Racial Equity Resolution, “Condemning Racism, Xenophobia, Bigotry, and Racial Injustice and Strengthening Commitment to Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Access, and Anti-Racism” (Resolution No. 2021-0050). The Resolution directs staff to develop a plan of action to advance racial equity within the Water Boards.

In March 2022, the Water Boards Racial Equity Team began working with a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant to articulate a vision and strategic directions that serve as the framework for our action planning.

Throughout spring 2022, Water Boards staff, community partners, tribes, and communities impacted by racial inequities began to identify draft actions to incorporate into a Racial Equity Action Plan. In April 2022, the Water Boards began soliciting requests for government-to-government tribal consultations. And in May 2022, community partners and State Water Board management and staff came together for visioning and strategizing sessions, as well as a series of action planning workshops.

The Water Boards Racial Equity Team compiled draft actions through feedback from members of the public, tribes, and Water Boards staff and leadership and partnered with community organizations to host four public workshops in July 2022 to present the draft action ideas. The Racial Equity Team incorporated feedback received during the July 2022 workshops and Water Boards staff and released the draft for public comment on September 23, 2022.

On October 19, 2022, the Racial Equity Team presented the draft Racial Equity Action Plan at a State Water Board workshop. That version of the draft action plan was posted online for public review and comment on September 23, 2022, and comments were accepted through October 24, 2022. The Water Boards Racial Equity Team incorporated resulting feedback and worked with leadership from State Water Board Divisions and Offices to finalize the draft.

The State Water Board will not take action to approve or deny the Racial Equity Action Plan, which was designed to be a living document that is updated periodically through Board and community engagement. California Native American tribes can continue to request government-to-government consultations to provide feedback and guidance on this work on an ongoing basis. Other interested parties may still provide general comments about the Water Boards’ racial equity work by emailing Although this is an action plan for the State Water Board, the Regional Water Boards have strongly supported the State Water Board’s racial equity efforts and may leverage this plan to inform their own racial equity work, as they have the State Water Board’s Racial Equity Resolution.


This is an informational item to present the 2023-2025 Racial Equity Action Plan. The State Water Board will not approve or deny the Racial Equity Action Plan. However, staff will update the Board on its implementation at least annually.


No additional fiscal impact to currently budgeted program resources.


The State Water Board will not take action at this public meeting; there is no Regional

Water Board impact at this time.


The State Water Board will not take action at this public meeting; there is no staff recommendation at this time.

January 16, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Desalination, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors. 9 comments.

Arizona might hire Israel to help build a desalination plant

A recent Washington Post article on an Arizona proposal states:

“But earlier this week the board was suddenly facing a vote on whether to support a $5 billion project led by an Israeli company to build a plant to desalinate ocean water in Mexico and pump it 200 miles across the border.”

I myself am a huge supporter of desalination, and I think it’s a great idea that Arizona is considering hiring the world’s best experts to help them. I can see how the specific route might be a bad idea. I hope that something gets built, and that people can work together to find a route that is acceptable to all parties. This can be a win-win for everyone if they do it right.

This article from 2014 says that Israel was desalinizing water for less than 40 cents per cubic meter.

That’s 264 gallons.

For less than 40 cents.

Of course there’s also the cost of moving it 200 miles. And the U.S. always adds extra red tape and bureaucracy compared to the rest of the world. But even with all of that, my guess is that it would still cost less than 1% of what people in the U.S. currently pay for bottled water. For a few extra dimes per person per day more than the current price of tap water, we could end water shortages forever.

I also support building a nuclear power plant to power all of this. Perhaps Arizona could hire France to offer them advice.

Here’s the complete Washington Post article:

Amid drought, Arizona contemplates a fraught idea: Piping in water from Mexico

Proposal by a private consortium to build Mexican desalination plant comes as surprise to some on state’s water authority

By Joshua Partlow

December 23, 2022

Arizona’s newly expanded water finance board had met only three times. The state authority had no director. Nor had it made a public call for water projects to boost Arizona’s dwindling water supplies from the Colorado River.

But earlier this week the board was suddenly facing a vote on whether to support a $5 billion project led by an Israeli company to build a plant to desalinate ocean water in Mexico and pump it 200 miles across the border — and through a national monument — to ease the state’s water crisis. Arizona and Mexico have been talking for years about removing salt from water in the Sea of Cortez, but this plan was new to many, and the rush for the state’s blessing in the waning days of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration worried some in the state.

“I’m sorry but this reeks of backroom deals,” State Sen. Lisa Otondo (D) told the board during its meeting on Tuesday.

The accelerated debate also reflected the urgency of the water crisis facing the American Southwest. With water levels in key reservoirs approaching dangerously low thresholds — as a historic drought extends into its third decade — many officials want to import water into the Colorado River basin from elsewhere.

“The risk here clearly, in this case, outweighs the rush,” Andy Tobin, a member of the water finance board and a former speaker in the Arizona House of Representatives, said during Tuesday’s meeting. “We’ve got folks who are running out of water.”

IDE Technologies, an Israel-based company that has built desalination plants around the world, claims it can deliver an oasis of up to 1 million acre-feet of water to the drought-parched state — an amount roughly equal to what central and southern Arizona took from the Colorado River this year.

During its presentation to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona, two representatives from the developer, plus a Goldman Sachs official involved in financing for the project, presented their vision for the largest desalination plant in the world. The representatives said the project would be entirely financed by private money but they want Arizona to pledge to buy the water at an unspecified future price.

“We need a long-term commitment that when we deliver water to you, you will buy it,” said Erez Hoter-Ishay, manager of the Arizona Water Project Solution Team, as the IDE-led consortium is called. “Simple as that.”

On Tuesday, the water finance board voted unanimously approve a nonbinding resolution to continue to study the project.

IDE said the plant would be built near Puerto Peñasco, along the Sea of Cortez in the Mexican state of Sonora. The roughly $5 billion first phase would involve building a plant that sucks in seawater and filters it through membranes to remove the salt.

Then it would be pumped through a 200-mile pipeline north, crossing into the United States at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, an international biosphere reserve, before following a highway toward Maricopa County, where it could join canals that serve Phoenix and Tucson. The first phase, a single pipeline, could carry about 300,000 acre-feet of water to Arizona and could be operational by 2027, with future pipes supplying up to 1 million acre-feet, the IDE representatives said. An acre-foot equals 326,000 gallons, or enough to cover an acre of land in a foot of water.

Environmental groups have raised concerns that the plant, which would pump brine back into the Sea of Cortez, could damage marine habitat, and the pipeline could disrupt the sensitive desert in the national monument.

Jennifer Martin, a program manager with the Sierra Club in Arizona, told the board that the state should be focused on conserving water, moving away from water-intensive crops such as alfalfa, and reining in rapid growth, rather than shifting the environmental burden onto Mexico and future generations.

“Sierra Club urges you to put the brakes on this expensive, energy-intensive and environmentally-harmful proposal now and not to rush it through in the waning days of 2022 and the Ducey administration,” she said.

Arizona and Mexico for the past several years have been discussing another possible desalination approach — where Arizona would pay for a plant across the border in exchange for taking a portion of Mexico’s allotment from the Colorado River, said Sarah Porter, director of Arizona State University’s Kyl Center for Water Policy. The cross-border pipeline plan “is a little bit out of left field.”

Porter said she’s not sure there would be a market for buying such a large quantity of water in Arizona, even with the shortages on the Colorado River.

“We don’t need to run out and find another couple hundred thousand or 500,000 acre-feet of water,” she said. “It’s not at all clear that that level of demand will develop.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, some board members said they were surprised to be considering such a major infrastructure project after first hearing about it just a few days earlier. The expanded board was created by legislation earlier this year to administer a $1 billion fund for projects to boost the state’s water supply. State Rep. Reginald Bolding (D), a nonvoting member of the board, questioned how IDE even knew to present its proposal to the board.

“We haven’t hired an executive director or staff. To my knowledge we haven’t put out any calls for proposals,” he said. “How did you know to put in a proposal for this agreement before we even set up the infrastructure of the board?”

Hoter-Ishay said the company has been meeting with officials in Arizona and Mexico for more than three years to develop the project and wants the state’s commitment before starting a federal environmental review.

Earlier this year, Ducey toured an IDE desalination plant during a visit to Israel. State Rep. Russell Bowers, the Republican speaker of Arizona’s House of Representatives, told the water board he’d been aware of the project but had signed a nondisclosure agreement, so he couldn’t discuss it.

C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for Ducey, said the governor has been outspoken about the state’s water crisis and the urgent need to address it.

“Arizona is facing a water emergency. We are in a dire situation,” he said.

Karamargin noted that an IDE desalination plant in Carlsbad, Calif., has been supplying drinking water to residents in San Diego County for years and said the green soccer fields during the World Cup in Qatar came from the same technology.

“It’s not only a game-changing amount of water. It’s a game-changing approach,” he said. “It is very good news indeed that a company that has the track record that IDE apparently has is interested in coming here and taking this on.”

The project would need approvals in both the United States and Mexico. The developer submitted a right-of-way application for the water pipeline to the Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday, beginning what promises to be a lengthy environmental review process.

IDE’s presentation was vague on the cost of their water. Hoter-Ishay cited some estimates from last year that valued an acre-foot of water at $2,200 to $3,300 but stressed this was “of course subject to engineering.” For 300,000 acre-feet of water, that range could mean up to nearly $1 billion per year.

“No one can value the cost of water,” Hoter-Ishay said. “When you don’t have water, you don’t have growth, you don’t have life.”

December 28, 2022. Tags: , , . Desalination. Leave a comment.

Arizona Considers $5.5 Billion Water Desalination Plant, 200-Mile Pipeline From Mexico To Combat Drought

Arizona Considers $5.5 Billion Water Desalination Plant, 200-Mile Pipeline From Mexico To Combat Drought

December 27, 2022

Arizona’s Water Infrastructure Finance Authority has been tasked with reviewing a proposal for a multibillion-dollar project to construct a water desalination plant in Mexico that would pump water through a 200-mile pipeline to the border state as part of an effort to counter its drought-driven water uncertainty.

The Arizona Republic said the state water finance board recently passed a non-binding resolution supporting a potentially massive seawater desalination plant in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez that Israel-based desalination plant operator IDE Technologies would construct.

Through reverse osmosis membranes, the plant would separate salt from seawater and pump the fresh water through a pipeline across the Mexico-US border to a reservoir west of Phoenix. IDE said the new plant could replace declining Colorado River water that flows through the Central Arizona Project’s aqueduct.

IDE claims the new plant could supply 300,000 acre-feet of water or enough for a million households. IDE aims to begin operations at the new plant by the second half of 2027.

The proposal still requires further review and support from the US and Mexico.

Andy Tobin, a member of the water finance board and a former speaker in the Arizona House of Representatives, said, “folks are running out of water,” suggesting “the risk here clearly, in the case, outweighs the rush” to get this project underway to prevent a worsening water crisis.

If Arizona commits to the project, residents in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties would pay higher water costs but at least won’t have a fear of running out of water.

The proposal also includes securing water for Mexico. The project could cost upwards of $5 billion to construct. Plans for a water desalination plant show the drought-stricken state quickly needs a solution to new water sources.

December 28, 2022. Tags: , . Desalination. Leave a comment.

How 1,500 Nuclear-Powered Water Desalination Plants Could Save The World From Desertification

How 1,500 Nuclear-Powered Water Desalination Plants Could Save The World From Desertification

By James Conca

July 14, 2019

About 20% of the world’s population has no access to safe drinking water, and this number will increase as the population continues to grow and global freshwater sources continue to decline. The worst-affected areas are the arid and semiarid regions of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

UNESCO has reported that the freshwater shortfall worldwide will rise to 500 trillion gallons/yr by 2025. They expect water wars to break out in the near-future. The World Economic Forum says that shortage of fresh water may be the primary global threat in the next decade.

But 500 trillion gallons/year only requires about 1,500 seawater desalination plants like the ones being built in California and Saudi Arabia. At a billion dollars a pop, that’s a lot cheaper than war and starvation.

Unfortunately, we presently desalinate only 10 trillion gallons/year worldwide.

As reported in the Tri-City Herald and NYTimes, stock exchange mutual funds have even formed surrounding water scarcity and have done quite well, like the AllianzGI Global Water Fund. This fund has averaged almost 10% since 2010 compared to under 6% for its average peer fund. These companies mainly deliver, test and clean drinking water.

In California, the MegaDrought, that ended in 2017 ran for five years, severely straining water supplies, agricultural needs and wildlife. It clarified the need to build new desalination plants like every other modern arid population in the world. Most of Abu Dhabi’s gas-fired power plants provide electricity to their huge desalination plants that deliver over a billion gallons of drinking water a day, at about 40¢/gallon. And it tastes good, too, I’ve tried it.

California needs 30 large desalination plants to deal with future megadroughts. They did recently build one in Carlsbad, but it’s not nearly enough.

Desalination technologies are capable of treating water from a wide variety of sources, including brackish groundwater, surface water, seawater, and domestic and industrial wastewater. While the wastewater from desalination is itself problematic, MIT has developed a process to turn it into useful products.

The two main types of desalination are:

– thermal desalination (using heat energy to separate the distillate from high salinity water), represented by Multiple Effect Distillation (MED), Multi-Stage Flash distillation (MSF) and Mechanical Vapor Compression (MVC), the latter primarily used to desalinate highly salty waters and industrial wastewater for industrial use, not necessarily for drinking.

– reverse osmosis (RO) membrane separation, which uses a membrane barrier and pumping energy to separate salts from the water. These are common in homes and businesses.

Electrical energy is used for membrane-based systems and thermal energy is used for distillation systems. Some hybrid plants combine both membrane and distillation.

Most desalination plants in the world use fossil fuels to power them, but it’s even better to power them with nuclear energy. The new fleet of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) are ideal as they produce both thermal energy and electrical energy without producing greenhouse gases.

But only 15 out of the thousands of desalination plants operating today worldwide are powered by nuclear. A small one is at the Canyon Diablo Nuclear Plant in California, slated to be closed soon. The plant could power several huge desalination plants for decades that could desalinate its own cooling water, removing the most commonly stated problem with the plant.

In contrast, all nuclear-powered naval vessels routinely use nuclear energy to desalinate seawater.

SMRs, like NuScale’s, allow places with smaller electrical grids and limited infrastructure to add new electrical and water capacity in small increments and allow countries to site them as needed at many distributed locations. NuScale’s small power module is in its last stages of licensing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and will be ready in only a few years.

NuScale’s small power modules are about 60 MW each and up to 12 of them can be put together to make a power plant up to 720 MW – a 12-pack. They use standard 17×17 PWR fuel assemblies, but only at half the height, with an average U235 enrichment of only 3.8%. A single NuScale nuclear power module is 76-feet tall and 15-feet in diameter, and sits in a plant covering 32 acres or only 0.05 square miles.

Refueling of any SMR does not require the nuclear plant to shut down. The small size and large surface area-to-volume ratio of the reactor core, that sits below ground in a super seismic-resistant heat sink, allows natural processes to cool it indefinitely in the case of complete power blackout, with no humans needed to intervene, no AC or DC power, no pumps, and no additional water for cooling.

This reactor cannot melt down.

Studies by Ingersoll and others show how nuclear power and desalination can be coupled, and how much it costs. They coupled a NuScale power plant with eight modules to each of the desalination technologies – Multiple Effect Distillation (MED) and Multi-Stage Flash distillation (MSF) with either high pressure (HP) steam taken before admission into the turbine, medium pressure (MP) steam taken from a controlled extraction of the turbine, and low pressure (LP) steam taken from the exhaust end of the turbine, and reverse osmosis (RO).

They sized the desalination plant to have a production capacity of 50 million gallons per day (190,000 m3/day) of drinking water, typical of a large municipal desalination plant like the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, and that can support a population of 300,000.

The table below summarizes their economic analysis. For drinking water, the NuScale-RO design is the cheapest and produces the most water per energy used, with LP-MED distillation a close second. Since a NuScale power plant will last at least 80 years, the payback­­­ is even better.

There are other technologies that have been, and are ­­being, used as well, including the more economical water reuse. The City of Redlands in California is using a membrane bioreactor technology from GE that recycles over 6 million gallons/day of municipal wastewater.

Whatever technologies are selected, southern California needs to build the equivalent of 30 desalination plants the size of Carlsbad’s to produce over a billion gallons a day, solving most of the water problems of southern California. The Central Valley would need another 30 plants to deal with its agricultural needs as its groundwater is becoming increasingly salty.

Powered by SMRs, these plants would more than pay for themselves by their own revenue, although a small water tax would get them started faster.

California better get moving. It’s been a reasonable two years, but more MegaDroughts are on the way.

January 27, 2022. Tags: , , . Desalination, Nuclear power, Technology. 1 comment.

Attention Natalie Stoclet! Your use of water in the United States does not “affect the water crisis” in Cape Town, South Africa. The real reason that Cape Town has a “water crisis” is because it chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 3, 2020

A writer named Natalie Stoclet recently wrote this article, which is called “I lived a week without using any water – and it showed me just how much we’re affecting the water crisis.”

Stoclet describes the “water crisis” with these words:

663 million people in the developing world don’t have immediate access to water, yet the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day.

Stoclet then explains her attempt to address this problem:

There are many simple ways to conserve, from turning off the tap while brushing your teeth to taking shorter showers.

I went a week without water to try and see how much we really use and found the hardest part was the mental challenge.

That is not logical. The water that Stoclet avoided using during that week did not somehow get magically transported to the countries where those 663 million people live. Her week of conservation did absolutely nothing whatsoever to help any of those people.

Stoclet also wrote:

663 million people in the developing world don’t have immediate access to water. Millions of those may have to walk up to six hours to find it. This is a task often reserved for young children and this often means that they don’t even have time to pursue an education.

You think about cities like Cape Town, which just barely avoided the crisis of running out of water.

The reason that Cape Town has a shortage of water has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Stoclet’s use of water.

The real reason that Cape Town has a shortage of water is because it chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

Israel itself is a very densely populated country, in the desert, with perpetual drought.

If any country should have a shortage of water, it’s Israel.

But according to this article from, this is what desalination has done for Israel:

Over and Drought: Why the End of Israel’s Water Shortage Is a Secret

Remember all the years of being told to conserve ‘every drop?’ Well, times have changed: Today, Israel has so much affordable water, it can offer to export it. So why is this achievement being kept so secret?

There is now a surplus of water in Israel, thanks largely to the opening of several new desalination plants

Those desalination plants did not appear by magic. Instead, Israel chose to build them.

Cape Town, by comparison, chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

And Stoclet’s act of going a week without water will do absolutely nothing whatsoever to help the people of Cape Town.

According to the same article from, the cost of desalination in Israel is only 40 cents per cubic meter. That works out to less than 1/5 penny per gallon.

Stoclet wrote the following:

You think about cities like Cape Town, which just barely avoided the crisis of running out of water… Yet at the same time, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day.

Israel desalinizes that same amount of water – 300 gallons – for less than 60 cents.

And yet, Stoclet’s article has no mention whatsoever of desalination as a way to solve the “water crisis” that 663 million people are experiencing.

Instead, Stoclet mistakenly thinks that her own water consumption somehow “affects the water crisis.”

The 663 million people suffering from the “water crisis” don’t need Stoclet or anyone else to reduce their own use of water. Instead, what those 663 million people need is desalination.

Stoclet also wrote:

It has been made easy for us to treat water as a limitless resource

While it’s true that the earth has a finite amount of water, it’s also true that that water is infinitely recyclable. The water that we drink today is the same water that the dinosaurs drank 100 million years ago. And as long as we build enough enough desalination plants, and the people who use that water are willing to pay 1/5 penny for each and every gallon that they use, then we can indeed treat water as if it is a “limitless resource.”

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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March 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Desalination, Economics, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Even in 2015, the New York Times is still pretending that desalination does not exist


April 6, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Desalination, Environmentalism, Media bias, Overpopulation, Politics, Technology. 5 comments.

Why has California chosen water shortages over desalination?

Israel has made the choice to turn its water shortages into surpluses by building lots of desalination plants. Desalination costs less than 40 cents per cubic meter, which is less than 1/6 penny per gallon. It’s so cheap that in addition to using desalinized water for residential uses, Israel also uses it for agriculture.

Meanwhile, California has chosen to have water shortages instead of building enough desalination plants.

Why did California make this choice?

February 1, 2014. Tags: , , , , , . Desalination, Technology. 4 comments.

The world’s supply of resources is getting bigger, not smaller

According to the laws of physics, the total quantity of mass and energy is fixed. Therefore, we cannot “create” new mass or energy, and we cannot “use up” the mass and energy that we already have.

But there is something else that we can do – we can invent, build, and use technology to increase our standard of living. For example, petroleum was worthless until someone with a brain invented a way to use it, at which point the petroleum became a valuable resource. Likewise, today we take rocks that used to be worthless, and turn them into computer chips that are worth trillions of dollars.

July 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Desalination, Economics, Environmentalism, Nuclear power, Overpopulation, Politics, Science, Technology. 11 comments.