You may have noticed we’ve got a bit of a drought going on in the western states. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are at record lows and unless the Rockies get a late pounding of snow, there is no end in sight. Every week it seems there’s another story of another body being found in the sludge of Lake Mead as the waters receed (if any mobsters are still around, they should be squiirming).
Government has one answer – limit usage. There’s talk in California of outlawing grass lawns, limiting water days and weekly community showers for everybody (I made that last one up). These plans are generally good and well intended, but there is another answer. Find more water.
Desalination plants have been very successful around the world. There are more than 15,000 of them in various parts of the globe, many are in the dry areas of North Africa and the middle east. California has 13 of them, but they want/need at least one more.
Poseidon Water has spent 25 years working with regulators in Southern California to build a plant in Huntington Beach. Because of regulations and road blocks (it’s California, after all) the project has been stopped at nearly every turn. The project has the support of politicians on both side of the aisle (Senator Dianne Feinstein and Governor Gavin Newsome both support it) but the California Costal Commission has the final say. They vote Thursday.
The Poseidon Water project would provide drinking water for most of Orange County and that would give badly needed relief to the Colorado River. Opponents of the project point to plankton that would be destroyed as the salt water passes through the 1 millimeter mesh and is converted to fresh water.
Hey, plankton is important to sea life, no doubt about that but nearby San Diego has a desalination plant that has been in use for decades without any negative effects.
So we can pray for rain in the Rockies, stop watering on Sunday, remove the grass and replace it with rock — and we can also be proactive and find more fresh water. The Poseidon Water project is one answer.
It’s that, or we can keep searching the shrinking shores of Lake Mead and see if Jimmy Hoffa shows up.