Desal Nation, part 2: California style

The team finds itself in the unusual position of praising a local (San Francisco) television station for its coverage. Taking a break from petty crime, murders, fires, and traffic accidents, San Francisco’s ABC affiliate, KGO, offers A Look at the Desalination Process, an informative video update on the state-of-the-art of desalination efforts in water-challenged California. Of particular interest are the numerous small desal plants that pepper the coast (see map at left grabbed from the video) that have been deployed to test the concept. They work, but they are currently delivering a meaningless minuscule percentage of the water requirements for the communities they serve. The KGO reporter does not gush about the potential; desalinated ocean water is and will be very expensive and otherwise problematic (think lots of dead and otherwise threatened coastal and sea life) for the foreseeable future.

We have dutifully added a link to the KGO video to our ever-growing page of desalination resources: Getting Serious with Desalination. Included in that compendium is a narrated slide show called A Tour of Tampa Bay’s Desalination Plant, written and narrated by a journalist who specializes in water issues, Cynthia Barnett.


One Response

  1. There is an option. Offshore desal, it uses half the electricity, has almost zero envirnmental impact, costs half as much as land based desal, and does not take up coastal property. Proof of concept was tested in Montery Bay and it works. It can be scaled from very small to very large.

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