Desalination plants? It could help.

Goodgrief

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#1

We hear about California being in dire need of water.

Rubber balls in reservoirs, water cut-backs, etc. But has anyone ever thought of having desalination plants? After all, California borders an ocean.
 

Geoff_the_Beard

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#3
I agree with Vinnie. On top of the difficult process of removing the salt, the then non-salty water still needs all of the other cleaning processes to remove other unwanted chemicals and micro-organisms that water extracted from rivers / reservoirs need. Desalination by clouds and rain is free to the water companies.
 

Tsalagi

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#4
But that's why they need an alternative. It ain't raining there and the snow ain't falling in the winter!

T
 

Goodgrief

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#5
Expensive, yes, but what is the alternative? In the long run, it would pay off. People are already paying more for bottled water than for a gallon of gasoline. Trucking/pipelines for water would cost even more. Did I say the dirty word "pipeline"?

It works for middle-east countries and other places.
 

KingHomie

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#6
by the time they build enough plants to take care of Californian's needs the state will be in debt and the winds will have blown us away,,, not only that, where would they build the first one? then you have a war going on as other areas would want to be the first. Granted the Naval ships do that all day and night,, but,, they couldn't use old ships that are in moth balls for that purpose off shore as the up keep and operation would be astronomical for what they could produce on a daily basis,,

just saying as a California native
 

Geoff_the_Beard

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#7
It is all down to how much people are prepared to pay for water. Some places that don't have rain (such as the Balearic Islands east of Spain) get their water from wells fed by the water table that runs underneath the the non-porous seabed between them and the mainland - I believe the Balearic's water actually comes from the Pyrenees!

California probably doesn't have an option of piping water from a neighborouring State - Arizona is mostly desert, so they permanently have a water supply problem of their own.. As Homie said, most Californians are already very upset by having to pay higher State taxes than most, so though is little chance of them agreeing to raise those taxes even further to fund the building of desalination plants.

As T said, the current problem is likely to continue long term, so some new idea needs to be tried. I just can't see anybody willing to raise the funds to invest in desalination plants.
 

Tsalagi

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#8
And those with big $$$ will continue to cheat and bootleg water for their palatial lawns. Another problem is that they flush millions of gallons of water into San Francisco Bay to decrease the salinization, for the benefit of the smelt fish, so they don't die out.

T
 

Tsalagi

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#9
At three inches long, the delta smelt is one of the smallest fish in California -- but ounce for ounce, no species statewide carries more weight.
Endangered since 1993, the plankton-eating silver minnow is blamed by farmers, lawmakers and water officials up and down the Golden State for locking down billions of gallons of water that otherwise would go to them. That's because, since the smelt's listing as a protected species, biologists have tried saving the fish, in part, by withholding fresh river runoff annually to maintain smelt-friendly temperature and salinity levels.
Farmers and downstate cities -- already suffering the effects of the drought -- claim that water was allocated to them, and withholding it for a fish with no commercial purpose is bad policy.
“California fruits and vegetables are sent all over the world,” said Republican state Assemblyman Travis Allen. “When we are diverting our water to save a few pinky-size fish and leaving hundreds of thousands of acres fallow – there is something wrong with our priorities.”
But major farm organizations are exploring a new option in the increasingly contentious fight, as the fish population continues to plummet despite conservation efforts: Declare the species extinct, and delist it as an endangered species, thus allowing regulators to turn on the pumps that appear lethal to the tiny minnows.
The numbers suggest the delta smelt, indeed, could be wiped out soon anyway.

In a March 2012 trawl survey, wildlife officials found 296 fish. An identical sampling a month later found 143. But in April 2015, officials found a single fish, not enough to propagate the species.
Dr. Peter Moyle, an expert at UC Davis, predicts the smelt will likely be gone for good in about two years.
By then the farm economy will be destroyed.

T

 

Goodgrief

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#10
Aren't smelts available on the East coast? After all, we get most of our produce from California up here. Isn't it ironic that on the East coast, they protect seals who are depleting the cod population? What a tangled wed we weave.
 

Vinnie

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#11
It may also require a change in the way people use water. The West coast of the US is VERY wasteful with water. Too many green lawns and sprinklers.
You could desalinate but the cost wopuld be prohibative.
 

KingHomie

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#12
California probably doesn't have an option of piping water from a neighborouring State - Arizona is mostly desert, so they permanently have a water supply problem of their own.. As Homie said, most Californians are already very upset by having to pay higher State taxes than most, so though is little chance of them agreeing to raise those taxes even further to fund the building of desalination plants.


Geoff, California DOES import water from Arizona, via the Colorado River in which there are huge pipe lines and pumping stations with reservoirs that pump millions of gallons of water a day to the S. California area specifically for Los Angeles County, other sub-pipe lines also go to other S. California counties and that has been going on since I was a small boy at which time I can remember seeing the water cascading down the mountains north of Los Angeles along I-5.

Not only that, because So. California was initially a desert area, there is a open canal sending water all the way from the Delta, (Sacramento area). It also helps provide water to the farmers in the central valley. Without all of the water, California would not be growing crops that are shipped all over the U.S. and the rest of the world. California is one of the leading agriculture states in the union.

Now, there are hundreds of farms and orchards that are going to waste as there isn't water to farm them. When we traveled through California this year to go meet Manzy Girl, I was aghast to see how many cotton fields, rice fields, and so many orchards that were left unattended that they are being over come by weeds and dead crops,, how in the world do weeds seem to grow with out much water never ceases to amaze me,, maybe we should let weeds take over our landscaping and keep them trimmed to be attractive to the neighborhood ,,lol [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/I][/B]

Vinnie I hate to burst your bubble, but after an R.V. trip this year covering, All of California north to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, N. Dakota down to eastern S. Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, W. Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and back home to California we saw beautiful GREEN Lawns, trees and farmlands after farmlands that were using water even as it was raining.

You talk about California wasting water?? look around you, it is wasted every place and people need to retrain their way of using it. Here in California, people are starting to re-do their landscaping by installing (at a lot of personal expense), desert type landscape or using other alternatives that do not require a lot of watering every day down to about once or twice a month. also ALL of California is on strict water rationing and fines were imposed @ $500 per incident, per day and they have also established a hot line that your neighbor can call in, anonymously, to report anyone wasting water. So you see, Big Brother has implemented the tools to control us in one fashion or another.

I USE to have the most beautiful landscape in the neighborhood and now with the water restrictions the only thing that is beautiful now are my Roses and a few other evergreen type plants.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/I][/B]
 

Vinnie

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#13
I look around me and see no sprinklers and quite a few water butts.
You are very wasteful of water and until it gets rationed either by being too expensive to use or by restriction through legislation you will have this problem.
 

KingHomie

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#14
Vinnie, I don't know why you have to have so much animosity towards me, if you had really read my post you would see that legislation HAS been made and contrary to your thoughts on the matter, the majority of Californian's and those of yes, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada are very mindful of this unfortunate situation.. perhaps you need to read or re-read the second paragraph of my post above..

with that said I don't see you saying anything positive that could be constructive to the situation, I only hear your negativity towards California -

where are you from and what's being done there?

I forgot to address one thing you said,, rates are going up astronomically for any water used over and above your restriction so don't say nothing is being done
 

Goodgrief

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#15
Let's face it, some states, provinces and countries receive less rain than others. The world's population isn't declining and many choose to move where the climate is milder either way.

Therefore, the demand for water/power/etc, gets higher where the most populated urban areas are.

The local governments are at fault for not keeping up with the demands. At fault also for not pressing higher levels of governments to do something about it. The approximate population of California is 316.5 million people. They drink water, they use water to wash and use the bathroom. Enough people to justify water treatment plants?

Let's talk about water. In 2013, Calgary was flooded. Thousands of people lost their homes. We were under SEVERE water restrictions for 2 months. Why? All of our reservoirs had been contaminated by the flood (that happens when the sewer lines overflow into the mainstream of the reservoirs). The water purification plants couldn't cope until all of the flood waters had receded.

Unless the human population starts decreasing, this will be an ongoing issue. Therefore, plans must be implemented to save humans.

Cost? Eventually, to the consumer, about the same as bottled water would be, which, by the way, is more expensive than gasoline in most parts of North America.

In essence, desalination plants are like refineries. Yes, they cost a lot to build. But everybody needs them.