I find the reverberating debate over the Paso Robles water basin frustrating, and even frightening, because absolutely no one seems to want to mention the likely possibility that long-term demand far outstrips the ability of conservation and rainfall to recharge the basin. Supplemental water is a distraction in waterpoor California; the reality of this states No. 1 issue water relegated to some special part of everyones brain for things too horrible to consider.
The groups charged with moving the basin debate forward have limited perspective, and Im concerned about my grandchildrens California. Incremental adjustments will not rescue our state or county from a very dry future. We need far-sighted thinking, so let me be the bad guy and mention one of some rather pricey possible solutions.
We are fortunate to have a powerful supplier of energy in Diablo Canyon. Excess heat could supply an integrated co-generation desalination plant to ensure adequate water capacity for the entire county. Delivery plumbing would be a major cost. Expensive, but realistic, we must have the resolve to get past the political hurdles, give up our watergluttony habits, and accept that the days of cheap water are history.