California not yet ready for desalination


  • Sarah Zielinski


Desalination is an expensive source of freshwater, and plans for desalination efforts in California do not adequately address the potential costs or environmental and social impacts, according to a report released on 27 June by the nonprofit Pacific Institute.

Seawater desalination has been implemented successfully in a few parts of the world, such as the Persian Gulf region, and is used on a small scale for commercial and industrial needs in the United States. In California, about 20 large projects have been proposed in the last five years; if all were constructed, they would provide the equivalent of about 6% of the state's 2000 urban water supply.