In the last several years, California has been experiencing a very serious drought, of which is said to be the worst drought since record keeping has begun. This drought has sparked a lot of conflict between different groups in need of water and now politics are trying to organize where all the water should go. The water that California gets each year is split up into between three main areas: human needs, agriculture, and supporting the environment. The environment usually gets the least amount of water out of three because the main concern is supporting human right to water and providing food for people. These last years, the horrible lack of rainfall and snowpack have changed the way that water is valued drastically because of the growing demand from both urban areas and agriculture and the lack of it. Because human right to water is the highest on the hierarchy, urban areas all around California need a lot of water. The water is then transported to these cities many of which are located in southern California where it is much drier. Los Angeles is a major city that uses a lot of water each year and as it continues to grow in population the need for more water will of course increase more and more. This increasing need of water in a time where there is not enough water has destroyed many rivers like the Colorado River and caused major damage to areas such as the Delta. Because of this, many crops have become mostly dependent on ground water which when over pumped, damages the environment. A fairly new idea that could completely change the situation that California is in is desalination. This process creates fresh water by removing the salt in the water. I think that desalination, when done correctly, is the answer to the water supply problems that California has been facing and could help eliminate any problems like this in the future.
Many environmentalist groups oppose the idea of desalination. This is because they think that desalination will have negative effects in the long run. Some of the concerns that these environmentalist groups hold are the destruction of ecosystems and mass killing of organisms caused by the plant’s intake pipes, how the energy of the plant would be generated, and how the brine possibly being put back into the ocean would cause negative effects. On an environmentalist website, Greenopedia, Katie Francis is the author of an article which discusses desalination and the issue of mixing brine with sea water,
“In addition to the machines themselves, another serious environmental concern is the quality of the water put back into the ocean after the drinkable water is collected. This outflow is called brine because of its extremely high salt content (all of the non-salty water has been removed). Not only does brine have more salt than natural seawater, it also commonly contains leftover chemicals and metals from the treatment process” (Francis).
The chemicals and metals that are supposedly left over in...