– California looks to the ocean for water during historic drought (Al Jazeera, June 22, 2015):
CARLSBAD, California — Along the sun-dappled shores of the Pacific Ocean, the electronic signs up and down Interstate 5 flash constant reminders to save water during California’s worst drought in history.
It’s a cruel irony for residents of a state that borders water along more than 1,000 miles of coastline.
Desalination, the complicated, costly and environmentally sensitive process of drawing millions of gallons of seawater and taking the salt out to make it potable, has not been widely embraced in a state that is suffering a severe drought.
Until now. In Carlsbad, a giant desalination plant — the largest in the Western Hemisphere — is gearing up to start producing water for San Diego County residents by the end of this year.
The $1 billion project will deliver 50 million gallons of water a day, a sizable amount but still only about what 120,000 households, or 7 to 10 percent of county residents, use, said Scott Maloni, a vice president at Poseidon Water, the plant’s developer.
The company is lobbying hard to open another plant to the north, in Orange County’s Huntington Beach.