For the publisher: Your article on the Metropolitan Water District drought alert raises an interesting question: what if California’s water scarcity was not caused by the drought?
A drought can be defined as “a prolonged period of unusually low rainfall”. What if lack of rain and snow was the new normal? California is expected to find other sources of fresh water, and seawater desalination is probably the best of a limited number of choices.
There are already 12 desalination plants operating in California, and we hope the state already has plans in place for the design, licensing and construction of many more.
Historically, the cost of reverse osmosis desalination has been much more expensive than obtaining water from natural sources, but thanks to wind turbines and solar panels, the price of electricity, which is the major operational cost of the desalination, decreases, while the cost of water from other sources increases.
So, from a cost perspective, the transition to desalinated water may not be too difficult. What is difficult is addressing environmental concerns, such as the entrapment of marine life in inlet filters and the release of brine into the ocean. Adverse effects cannot be completely eliminated, but they can be reduced to an acceptable level.
Tony Hays, San Clemente
For the publisher: The first page of the California section of my print edition shows a young girl washing her hands at school – with running water in the background. While I am happy that the students are learning proper hygiene, I am concerned about our water supply.
With the current drought, all students should learn to rinse briefly to wet their hands, turn off the water, soap and lather for the required amount of time (two “Happy Birthday” songs), then put the water back on. running water to rinse.
It is important. There are 6 million students in public schools in California.
Wendy Velasco, Whittier