Sunday, March 14, 2004

A Wave of Desalination Proposals

California has begun a campaign to build desalination plants to supplement natural water supplies. The plants could provide more than 1.5 million Californians with drinking water by 2030.

But will it be enough? A recent study shows that the 10 fastest growing cities are all in the desert Southwest. The four California cities on this list alone grew by 86,000 in just the last two years.

In addition, desalination plants are expensive and require as much energy as a steel plant, although there is new technology. The new system uses a gravity induced vacuum and solar energy instead of electricity or fossil fuels to desalinate water--a possible new source of fresh water driven by renewable sources.

As with energy, renewable energy is increasing it's capability to rescue us from natural resource shortages. And again, it is a race against time to make the transition as smooth as possible.


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