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October 8, 2012

Desalination no Remedy for California Water Woes

Producing drinking water from seawater has been technologically achievable for several decades. Until recently, however, application of seawater desalination ("desal") on a large scale has been primarily limited to arid regions of the world that have a cheap supply of energy, such as in the Middle East. Desalination plants can take water from the ocean or drill down and grab the less salty, brackish water from seaside aquifers. It is a worldwide phenomenon that has been embraced in thirsty California, with its cycles of drought and growing population. But many projects have been stymied by skyrocketing costs and legal challenges.

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