dvorak as costner in waterworld

The article compares it to the Stillsuit from Dune, but I think it’s closer at this stage to the device Kevin Costner pisses into in Waterworld.

In Frank Herbert’s epic ecological novel Dune (1965), set on the fictitious desert planet Arrakis in another star system, water is so precious that even perspiration and breath moisture are captured and purified for drinking.

On real-life voyages to the Moon and Mars, science fact may end up imitating science fiction. Indeed, scientists and engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) are putting the finishing touches on systems for capturing exhaled carbon dioxide and urine and turning them into breathable oxygen and drinking water.

I wonder if there are any terrestrial applications for the technology?

  1. tallwookie says:

    They need to pair it with that device that creates potable water from the humidity in the air… Also – you could take some nasty icky water (like the stuff that was all over the place during katrina/new-orelans) and turn it into drinkable water…

  2. DeLeMa says:

    You mean like on a REALLY large scale ?? Hmmm…that would be an interesting concept to play with !

  3. RBG says:

    Finally, something useful to do with diarrhea.


  4. Awake says:

    The effluent from water treatment plants in the USA is purified beyond potable water standards, and then pumped straight out into the ocean. This only because people would never want anything to do with treated water, no matter how clean.
    How’s that for waste?

  5. GregA says:


    That, and every water treatment plant I have ever visited files ‘incident’ reports every time it rains. I guess there are a few cities where they have successfully seperated the storm sewers from the sanitary sewers, but my understanding is mostly they are works in progress…

  6. RTaylor says:

    I remember years ago reading that someone calculated that every breath of air we breath contains molecules that was once in Napoleons lungs. I’m sure that every glass of water has molecules that’s been in somethings urinary track at one time.

  7. Awake says:

    #5 – (GregA)

    I don’t know of any city that has separate storm and sanitary sewers. They both end up in the same pipe. What does happen is that when it rains hard, the input to the water treatment plant gets overloaded and can’t accept all the incoming water, so it diverts excess input water directly to the bay/ocean without treatment. When this happens, the proportion of ‘sanitary’ water to rainwater is very small, so the ‘sanitary’ stuff is very diluted.

    Organic pollution, such as ‘sanitary’ output, is fairly easily cleaned up by the ocean on it’s own. But stuff like car oil and paint does not so easily get naturally cleaned up, and tends to pile up in storm drains between rains when people improperly dispose of that kind of thing. A light rain takes that to the treatment plant, and it is cleaned up with little problem, but a serious rain makes these pollutants end up in the ocean, where natural processes do not do such a good job. When you see “Drains to Bay” markings on storm sewers, it’s not because that is a default fact, but because it is likely to happen during a storm.

  8. tallwookie says:

    lol #5, good point

  9. Tim Bonham says:

    I believe there is a similar reverse osmosis filtration device available for use in lifeboat survival kits. It is intended to filter enough salt out of seawater to make it minimally drinkable. The manufacturer doesn’t say if it would work to make urine drinkable.

    It sells for $1,800. Here’s one seller: http://www.nitro-pak.com/product_info.php?cPath=40_150_302&products_id=1096

  10. ChrisMac says:

    i bet it turns it into drinkable as opposed to the other.. if your desperate

  11. RBG says:

    12. I once read of an interesting idea to force riverside cities to have their sewage outlets upsteam from their water intake.


  12. ECA says:

    Its not to hard…
    there are alot of ways to do it.

    The Creator of garfield has his studio designed to clean the water and reuse it, thru aquaculture…

    another is to use a saliation plant effect… Most water based materials, can be bioled/steamed out and catch the steam, and Dump the hard materials left over.
    As long as its not contaminated by some materials, Its only water. Sence its in Deep space, you use the heater to HEAT the waste water to recycle, catch the water evaporate, and away you go.

  13. bill says:



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