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Oct 3, 2022

There Are Cheaper, More Sustainable Ways Than Desalination to Meet Our Water Needs

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

Desalination plants discharge brine and wastewater, which can also kill nearby aquatic life if the process is not done properly. And generating the large quantity of energy that the plants consume has its own environmental impacts until it can be done carbon-free, which is still years off in most cases.

Unaffordable Water From Costly Plants

Cost is another major hurdle. In most areas, the cost of ocean desalination is projected to remain considerably higher than the cost of feasible alternatives such as conservation for the next several decades, the timeline that utilities use when planning new investments. My colleagues and I found this in our research comparing water supply alternatives for Huntington Beach, even though we made favorable assumptions about ocean desalination costs.

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