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Water Conservation and Recycling – Dangerously Insufficient?

Positive Future News #937 (Feature Photo – Desalination – CCA SA 3.0 Unported, James Greiller)

While it is not making headline news, the collapse (over the last 20 years) of the Colorado River Basin water supply, has come to the forefront. Nearly 40 million Americans rely on the Colorado River Basin for drinking water and support livelihoods. The government has formally announced it’s extremely low levels and material curtailments are underway. Prospects for 2023 are even worse.

If the mountains and precipitation in the Western United States can’t sustain cities and populations, there is only one answer – desalination from the Pacific Ocean. Estimates are that people use about 100 gallons of water a day. This means 40 million people need 4 billion gallons of water every day.

California just declined a $1.4 billion proposal for the Huntington Beach Desalination Plant, that would have produced 50 million gallons of potable water a day. That means it would take 80 Huntington Beach Desalination plants, at a price tag today of $112 billion, to save the 40 million people facing water scarcity. The Huntington Beach Desalination Plant was nixed, because of concerns over the extra salty water that has to be sent back to the ocean. What do you think?

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