As California struggles with a fourth year of extreme drought, every viable option is being considered to help alleviate the problem. One option: desalination, a process that turns ocean water into drinking water. There are more than a dozen desalination projects in the pipeline.
California could use desalination to replenish waterAs California struggles with a fourth year of extreme drought, every viable option is being considered to help alleviate the problem.
As CCTV’s May Lee reports, dipping into the ocean for drought relief comes at a cost.
- It will cost $1 billion for a new desalination plant in Carlsbad, California, about 35 miles north of San Diego. Advocates of the massive project say desperate times, due to the on-going drought, call for desperate measures.
- Set to go online by the end of this year, the Carlsbad plant, headed by private contractor Poseidon Resources, nearly 50 million gallons of water per day, that’s about seven percent of San Diego County’s water needs.
- Australia dealt with something very similar back in 2006 during its devastating drought. It invested more than 12 billion dollars in six desalination plants. But in 2012, four of them were taken off line when the drought ended. That’s the risk in desalination investment.