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Californians need water, but desalination projects are bogged down

December 4, 2010 |  4:02 pm


Chugging a cool glass of California tap? It could be seawater flowing from that faucet.

Desalination — the process of making salty water drinkable — is now producing a growing share of the national water supply as officials scramble to hydrate booming populations with dwindling fresh supplies.

More than 15,000 plants are churning out tens of billions of drinkable gallons daily in more than 100 countries.

But desalination has been lagging in California, where water woes are especially dire, industry and government officials say. They blame the slow progress on a disorganized local industry, litigious environmentalists and a thorny approvals process.

Read the full story here.

--Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Hydranautics in Oceanside manufactures membranes to be used in reverse osmosis, one of the processes by which saltwater can be converted into drinkable water. Credit: Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times / December 4, 2010