Desalination As A Last Resort

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Our rivers are running dry faster than we expected. As we look for a solution to the scarcity of water, we are relying on the most abundant resource that is available on Earth — the ocean. To make the salty sea waters usable, scientists have developed desalination plants; a method that uses reverse osmosis and is already being implemented in places like California. However, as with any possible solution, the desalination process has its downfalls. Critics of the desalination project argue that it is more expensive than other potential methods and that the amount of energy required will only aid climate change. Those who support this method would argue that although it is currently expensive, new, cheaper filters will be developed in the…show more content…
S527). As much as it may seem as the golden key to all of our water related problem, it is not. One problem desalination raises is its high cost. Some people argue that we can overlook this because, in the future, scientist’s will develop new, cheaper filters that will allow the process to be more cost efficient. Another argument regards the energy cost of the desalination plant. It is no secret that one of the major downfalls of the desalination project is the energy cost. According to Felicity Barringer’s “In California, What Price is Water?,” the plant being implemented in Carlsbad “will consume 5,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity to produce an acre-foot of water.” While it is a possibility of alleviating our current water crises, the amount of energy and pollution that it would cost to pump and transport the water is too extreme. In 2016 if water is delivered where it belongs, San Diego would be paying $113 million annually (Barringer). Due to its high cost, Fred Pearce would argue against the desalination plant in San Diego. Throughout his book, When the Rivers Run Dry, Fred Pearce comments a lot on the cost of multiple programs used in the world. For example, in his chapter on “Riding the Water Cycle,” Pearce stated “the world embarked on a vast investment program, first in dams and then in irrigation canals to deliver that water to fields. With a typical bill for supplying water from rivers to fields at between $400 and
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