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Can desalination help bring drought relief to California?

Poseidon Desalination Plant proposed for Huntington Beach

Courtesy of Poseidon Water

Poseidon Water has proposed a desalination plant in Huntington Beach and wants to use existing open-water intake for collecting and discharging water. The California Coastal Commission staff is recommending approval of the project but with conditions that include using subsurface intakes. (Photo: Artist rendering of Poseidon Water desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach, Calif.)

As parched California enters its fourth year of drought, the state is looking for more sources of water. Among those options is desalination, the process of removing salt from seawater.

The problem though is that some see desalination as an energy-intensive and expensive process that can actually hurt, not help, the environment. To talk more about desalination in a time of drought we're joined by by Heather Cooley, water program co-director for the Pacific Institute. 


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