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Is desalination the answer to California's ongoing drought?




Poseidon Water said it intends to resubmit its application for a coastal development permit later this year for a desalination plant in Huntington Beach. The company pulled its application for a coastal development permit during a hearing in November 2013. Several California Coastal Commissioners questioned whether adequate studies had been done into the use of subsurface intake pipes.
Poseidon Water said it intends to resubmit its application for a coastal development permit later this year for a desalination plant in Huntington Beach. The company pulled its application for a coastal development permit during a hearing in November 2013. Several California Coastal Commissioners questioned whether adequate studies had been done into the use of subsurface intake pipes.
Poseidon Water

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Governor Jerry Brown's unprecedented action of declaring mandatory water restrictions is intended to achieve a 25 percent reduction in urban water use. But with extended dry weather expected to be part of California's future, that likely won't be enough to keep California's water supply secure.

One idea that always gets floated when the water gets low is desalination, that is taking sea water, removing the salt from it and making it safe for drinking. It sounds appealing, but many worry about the steep cost and environmental impact. 

Daniel Potter has been reporting about this for KQED public radio in San Francisco and he joined the show to talk more about it.