Forum:California Water Crisis

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You all know about the drought in California and how there is little water left, what I am trying to figure out why the California state government did not build desalination plants to begin with. I know it would run into money and environmental issues but it should be done. It would be easier to deal with the cost of said plants than people moving out of California and trying to find places for them to live. Thoughts? --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 20:19, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Desalination tends to be at least an order of magnitude more expensive per liter than conventional water treatment and typically more energy intensive than pumping water from another state. It's not an easy answer for the most populous state in the nation. Cheap, effective desalinization would end water shortages all over the world, but we don't have it. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:37, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
We could theoretically build reverse osmisis facilities to provide drinking water for everyone, but not enough to farm with. Especially not enough for California to grow food with. Especially not enough for California to grow said food in order to feed it to livestock. And especially not enough to do something stupid like have a lawn in a desert. Really, I don't care what neighborhood associations say, lawns should never be required in areas prone to drought. What about "non native plants"? Because if you need to water your grass for it to survive, it isn't a native plant. Oh and especially not enough if you plan to power your desalination plants via "biomass" or ethanol, i.e., powered by the crops grown using the water you obtain from desalination. CorruptUser (talk) 20:55, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
It's not unheard of to ban watering lawns - and the examples I know of aren't even from a country as droughtstricken as California. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:49, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, in the south and east of England the hosepipe ban is almost an annual occurrence. 86.184.43.115 (talk) 14:22, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Christ I'm turning into a Daily Telegraph reader. Hellllp! 86.184.43.115 (talk) 14:23, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Such bans are also a staple of a good hot summer in Denmark. ScepticWombat (talk) 14:49, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Desalinization plants are unpopular outside of the Middle East. There are actually two reasons for this. The first is because they are incredibly expensive and suck up huge amounts of energy. The second reason is a little more complicated. You see, the only place in the world that has really, truly, and irrevocably exceeded its natural capacity when it comes to water is the Middle East. More to the point, economically it makes very little sense to build a desalination plant during times of a drought which could be temporary. For instance the Australians were suffering a massive drought during the early 2000s and many localities in Australia decided to build desalinization plants. What ended up happening was that by the time the desalinization plants were built and commissioned the drought had ended, and they were seen as a giant waste of money. The same thing actually happened in California, during the early nineties the city of Santa Barbara built a desalinization plant for drought relief, but by the time it was built the drought had ended and it was no longer needed, so the city mothballed it. Now they are considering putting it back into commission, but since it will take several years there are fears that it too will be a giant waste of money since the drought could end by the time it becomes operable. Long story short, unless your country is in a desert that never gets rain (and has no rivers running through it from places that do get rain) desalinization doesn't make a whole lot of economic sense and that is why governments tend look for other options first. Alsto003 (talk) 07:40, 28 April 2015 (UTC) Alex

I have a sneaking suspicion that the California thing is only the start. The whole Colorado River basin is getting iffy and that crosses several states so getting consensus is complex. However, as Climate Change is a liberal myth there is no need to worry, none at all. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 15:11, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Well something should be done,if nothing is then many people will be going thirsty.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 22:27, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Don't worry, the market will fix it - at worst only the poor will go thirsty and that's their own fault for being so poor, right? ScepticWombat (talk) 08:10, 28 April 2015 (UTC)