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Let’s desalinize for all the water we need

Posted: February 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.

I am in favor of desalinization plants up and down the coast of California. The governor needs to drop this train to nowhere and instead get on board with a new source of water.

That source is the water in our own backyard.

The cities of Santa Barbara, Avalon, Carlsbad and Port Huenme all have or will have plants up and running by this summer. I can’t believe people who advocate water conservation in a state with all the water we could possibly need or want.

We could turn our state into a virtual paradise with this new source.

We also could sell water to neighboring states that need it. We could fill our lakes and streams for boating and fishing.

The farmers could have all the water they need to grow our food.

The city of Santa Clarita could pump water up from a desalinization plant in Ventura for drinking and other use.
Back in the 1960s, President Kennedy said he would like to see our country land a man on the moon, and we did just that.

Desalinized water is not a pipe dream. This can be a reality if enough people get on board.


ricketzz: Posted: February 24, 2014 6:58 a.m.

This will make global warming worse. You are suggesting another bad feedback mechanism. Drought begets desalination begets more warmth begets more drought.

CaptGene: Posted: February 24, 2014 9:44 a.m.

ricketzz, do you support the HSR?

hruthwulf: Posted: February 24, 2014 11:10 a.m.

I agree with the author of the article. Also, please see/read the attached news piece from Bloomberg:

JM: Posted: February 24, 2014 11:46 a.m.

The biggest obstacle to desal water is the power required to do this. You can accomplish is be either evaporating (distilling) which requires heat, or by Reverse Osmosis which requires a lot of electricity because of the pressure required to push the water through the membranes. Good luck getting enough new power plants approved to power the desal plants you would need to make a meaningful dent in the water supply. It works in the middle east because they have extensive waste heat and energy supplies from the oil production.

CastaicClay: Posted: February 24, 2014 11:54 a.m.

Tidal generators to supply the power? Windmills?

philellis: Posted: February 24, 2014 11:57 a.m.

Windmills kill birds and I am sure that tidal generators disrupt marine life.

technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 12:42 p.m.

Israel only recently discovered offshore oil.

Saudi Arabia does derive significant potable water from desalinization.

"The Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) operates 27 desalination stations that produce more than three million cubic meters a day of potable water. These plants provide more than 70 percent of the water used in cities, as well as a sizeable portion of the needs of industry. They are also a major source of electric power generation."

JM: Posted: February 24, 2014 12:56 p.m.

Most of the Saudi sites have their own power station associated with the desal plant so they don't suffer line losses by transmitting power from far away, and they require so much electricity that it makes it worth it to have their own power plants. That also gives you an idea of how much power they draw.

What kills projects like desal is this attitude..."Windmills kill birds and I am sure that tidal generators disrupt marine life" I am sure the prospects of putting in a natural gas fired power plant to power the project would also be a nogo for the environmentalist crowd too. The result you accomplish nothing.

I personally don't have experience with tidal generators but land mass required to power a meaningful desal plant would be overwhelming. Those generators should be close to the plant to increase efficiency and doing that on coastal land is probably a non starter with the NIMBY crowd.

philellis: Posted: February 24, 2014 1:53 p.m.

JM, I agree with you, hence my posting - besides we all know that in Caifornia the Delta Smelt is more important than people.

Anybody know what is going to happen to San Onofre?

technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 1:56 p.m.

There you point out the most significant issue, JM, i.e. the coastal siting requirement of a desalinization plant. Co-location of power generation is most efficient but alternatives are a solvable engineering challenge. But hey, it's all magical on the policy level until a cost/benefit analysis is performed, right?

"Energy is the largest single expense for desalination plants, accounting for as much as half of the costs to make drinking water from the sea, according to a report.

Desalination plants on average use about 15,000 kilowatt- hours of power for every million gallons of fresh water that’s produced, the Pacific Institute said today in a report. In comparison, wastewater reuse draws as much as 8,300 kilowatt- hours of power for the same volume and importing a similar amount of water into Southern California requires as much as 14,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, it said."

technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 2:11 p.m.

"Anybody know what is going to happen to San Onofre"

SCE has decommissioned the plant and is selling off assets.

17trillion: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:03 p.m.

When are you people going to realize that brain dead liberals will never allow anything. San Onofre? It's gone, history, adios! The result, beyond liberal orgasms of delight for killing a reliable energy source, is higher electric rates for everyone. Replacement energy needs to come from somewhere and it aint as cheap as San Onofre. Liberals will never allow desalination plants because they require energy and we don't have it to spare. Solar? Forget it, some turtles might have to walk around it. Wind? Kills birds. Coal? Laughing out loud literally. Natural gas or oil? Nope, kills the planet or some such BS. Water? Forget it, kills a few bait fish. There was even a proposal to breed the GD'ed delta smelt and to replace them but that wasn't good enough either so we flush millions upon millions of gallons of good water into the Pacific. Tidal power? Nope, might kill a few fish.

In the world of a brain dead liberal, there is nothing less important than mankind and this is why California has become the stinkhole that it is despite, by some estimates, 15 billion barrels of oil in the Monterey shale field up north. 2 million jobs? Forget it, it's better that the slaves living inland from the coasts pay more for energy. My dad lives in Dana Point and he pays less than a thousand a year for electricity. Not that he's a brain dead liberal, but you get the point. They don't care about the great unwashed who pay thousands a year for electricity. They don't care about water because they don't need it nearly as much. They don't care about prosperity because they've got theirs. They do care about enslaving millions so they can depend on a government check though.

This state is ruled by brain dead liberals on the coasts and those dependent on the government. They say they care about the middle class, but they don't and they never will. If I had the power, I could fix this state in one day and within 5 years return California to it's prior greatness. We have so much but instead we are simply the west coast version on Illinois and New York. Just wait until the public sector pensions go bankrupt. Then we can say hurray once again to our leaders who sadly, don't count one conservative among them.

I hate this state!

philellis: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:23 p.m.

17, it's not their money, why should they care?

chefgirl358: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:35 p.m.

I'm highly skeptical of the plants actually coming to fruition that the lte talks about. We have this thing in CA called the Coastal Commission and yeah, pretty much nothing is allowed, anywhere, ever.

Orange County tried and failed to get a de-sal plant put in last year, because the Coastal Commission freaked the f out.

17trillion: Posted: February 24, 2014 4:01 p.m.

The absurd thing, I know it's absurd to point out the absurdity of liberals, is that they really freaked out in the 60's because of an oil spill in Santa Barbara which pretty much ended oil recovery in CA. The irony is that 20 tons of oil seeps every single day NATURALLY every single day off the coast of SB and this has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years.

Brain dead liberals! And they say we're anti-science?!?!?!

BrianBaker: Posted: February 24, 2014 4:34 p.m.

17trill, the libs know what they're talking about. We don't need ANY of those forms of energy.

Dilithium crystals, dude! Dilithium crystals!

Beam me up, Scotty...

ricketzz: Posted: February 25, 2014 6:27 a.m.

Oil seeps don't kill birds. We have as many platforms visible as Galveston or Corpus; the oil business is alive and well and all around us.

Energy intensive attempts to preserve a wasteful lifestyle are never graceful, especially when they make the underlying cause worse.

The Coliseum might make a good passive water distillery, anybody got any blue tarps?

17trillion: Posted: February 25, 2014 8:37 a.m.

I don't give a sh*t about a few birds Ricketzz. I care about people! That I suppose is the difference between a conservative and a liberal.

technologist: Posted: February 25, 2014 8:56 a.m.

It isn't about birds, 17t. It's about control and conformity to a lifestyle dictated by central planners.

invisiblesalmon: Posted: February 25, 2014 8:35 p.m.

17: Have you ever actually met a liberal? Because I've never met anyone who fits your cartoonish description of a "liberal". Most of the people I know who are liberal or left-leaning are in favor of nuclear power, and the only people I've ever heard complain about solar and wind power are conservative. Yes, it's important to do environmental surveys first. If that tidal wave generator lowers the population of a species of fish too much, it could affect the whole ecosystem, which could potentially affect the lives of people like fishermen who rely on natural resources. When it comes to energy policy, most conservatives tend to be pretty irresponsible and short-sighted. Building a desalinization plant would just cost a lot of money and waste a ton of energy. It would be so much more efficient to just make policies that conserve water more.

ricketzz: Posted: February 26, 2014 6:56 a.m.

Or perhaps even build a pipeline from the Pacific Northwest to convey water south.

When species start going extinct as fast as they are today, for the reasons they are going extinct today, it will be impossible for man to choose his time. Endangered species are chosen for protection as a means to tell us that we are next if we don't change our ways.

17trillion: Posted: February 26, 2014 8:16 a.m.

"17: Have you ever actually met a liberal?"

Your post was respectful so I'll hold on my usual snide and sarcastic responses. In my way of thinking, this state is dominated by liberals. There are no conservatives in power anywhere in this state. Furthermore, I've never met a conservative that was against solar and wind. I never advocated building desal plants but I do advocate recapturing the billions of gallons we flush into the Pacific to save a stinking bait fish that could be bred and relocated.

ricketzz: Posted: February 27, 2014 8:38 a.m.

17T: The fish die when the Delta flows backwards into the estuaries. There is no water for either us or the fish.

boneshark: Posted: March 5, 2014 9:22 a.m.

@17trillion: "I've never met a conservative that was against solar and wind." WOW...every conservative I know (and I know plenty) are against wind and solar power with the exception one (that guy put solar panels on his house). But he did it strictly for economic reasons because he could care less about the environment. So when you say, "I've never met a conservative that was against solar and wind," something tells me that you've never met a real conservative either.

ricketzz: Posted: March 7, 2014 6:07 a.m.

Real conservatives live "off the grid".

technologist: Posted: March 8, 2014 2:30 p.m.

Ted Kaczynski lived off the grid and opposed industry, modern technology and energy companies. Would anyone describe him as a "real conservative"?

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