As fires continue to rage throughout California, consuming thousands of acres of land, destroying homes and businesses the question I have asked before and now am asking again, why haven't we invested in desalination plants throughout parts of the United States near our oceans?
The YuHuan Power Plant in China seen here, will supply process water to the new 1,800 megawatt electrical power stations being built to expand China's electrical grid for the 2008 Olympics. The facility uses 6 sea water reverse osmosis desalination trains. A megawatt is equal to 1 million watts of electricity.
The desalinated water is used for drinking water and for agricultural irrigation in China, in-fact the desalinated water is very low in bacteria and nematodes---it is actually better for irrigation. One would have an abundance of pure water for irrigation in California and other regions, drastically reducing or eliminating the severe drought conditions which costs all of us billions of dollars in federal disaster assistance.
According to the U.S. Desalination Coalition about 11,000 desalination facilities are already operational in 120 countries producing 4 billion gallons of fresh drinking water daily for use. Over 60% of these plants are located in the Middle East and world wide construction is growing at a rate of about 10% annually.
Israel is presently desalinating water at a cost of about .53 cents per cubic meter, Singapore's cost is about .49 cents---increasing water capacity for human consumption and irrigation would seem to be a cost effective solution to our growing demand for fresh water.