Author: Thomas

California’s water crisis is turning the image of desalination in the eyes of environmentalists

California's water crisis is turning the image of desalination in the eyes of environmentalists

They used to call California ocean desalination a disaster. But water crisis brings new look

The water crisis gripping Southern California is turning the image of California desalination in the eyes of some environmentalists. The state’s water resources are depleting at a pace that would bankrupt the state within a decade, said Michael Rains, the deputy director of the nonpartisan Water Resources and Environment Research Center at CSU.

“It’s very clear that California is not going to be able to meet the California drought. And it’s not going to be able to meet future droughts,” he said.

California has no quick-fix to water. And it’s not going to see a quick-fix with desalination.

Instead, the state’s long-term future will depend on its continued investment in new sources of water, like desalting water from the sea.

Water comes from the ocean — if you want it, there’s a tanker ship heading your way — in the form of a raindrop, a sea wave or a single droplet. And it all needs to get to a desalination plant for processing and reuse.

But desalination has been an eyesore on California’s coastal cities, which are often the biggest recipients of water from the sea. Many environmentalists say it’s time for the state to go in a different direction.

“There’s a very simple and elegant solution to California’s water crisis. We should invest in new sources,” said Chris Rufo, the Los Angeles director of the environmental group Heal the Bay and one of the state’s largest donors to the fight against ocean desalination. “It’s an old industry, but a new industry,” added Rufo, who is also a former executive of the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

The Ocean-Front Research Center (ORRC) at UC Santa Cruz is testing a new method for extracting desalinated water from the ocean. The method uses small submersibles that can swim along and collect water from different depths. The idea came from the research center’s founder, Thomas Alberich, who is now running for a seat on the Santa Cruz City Council.

“The idea is to bring this process from the ocean floor down to the surface, and then to collect it and pump it back to

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