Arab Water. Compliant Desalinization Plants? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have read many allusions to the Arab World, Iran, Iraq, etc etc. planning or wanting to strike while we are busy with y2k. I also recall reading that the population in these countries has boomed because for the first time in recent history they have sufficient water due to the desalinization plants they were able to buy with all the petro dollars we have given them for their oil. My question is: How compliant can their water plants be? Are they computer dependent? Do they rely on western technicians to keep them going? How dangerous can they be without water? I would love to hear from some techies who have been there.

-- Bill Solorzano (, July 08, 1998


Word is "They are screwed". Those plants are technical marvels of the 70's and 80's. Run by mainframes.


p.s. - They rely on western technicians to keep most everything running.

-- j (, July 08, 1998.

For a reference, see:

Even the camels might get thirsty.

-- Rocky Knolls (, July 09, 1998.

Yea, but camels can go longer without water! Maybe I can find me a camel somewhere when I get ready to bug out! Do you think anyone will notice me?

-- Barb-Douglas (, July 09, 1998.

Here's a bit of text from the article that Rocky gave the URL for:

"Upon the request of the oil producing countries where the labor force was very scarce, the remote and automatic control systems, especially for MSF plants, were introduced as early as the beginning of the 1980s. In the mid-1980s, one push-button start/stop and one-dial distillate control systems were developed for MSF plants. As you can guess, the stable operation of those huge plants is very delicate. At every stage of process, you have to monitor and control temperature, pressure, flow volume, liquid level, impurity, composition and so on. For this purpose, there are many sensors and embedded systems planted all around the plant and the site. Now it is generally considered that a certain percentage of embedded systems (5-10% ?) could have "date" programs which will collapse on Jan. 1, 2000. Regardless of this assumption, there is "periodical" processing and report functions attached to many embedded systems, which can cripple the entire plant if they malfunction. Manual backup is prepared of course, but it does not cover embedded systems' failures. The same thing can be said about RO plants."

I think the major effect on the western countries from a failure of the desalinization plants could be a reduction in the supply of middle eastern oil and therefore higher prices... possibly a repeat of the oil crisis of the early '70s, though for entirely different reasons.

-- Max Dixon (, July 13, 1998.

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