Letter to the Editor

Why desal is not best

Surfrider Foundation, San Luis Obispo County, chairmanFebruary 3, 2014 

I have noticed the occasional letter to the editor advocating for desalination. Readers can find an interesting review on the topic at http://beach  apedia.org/desalination  , and, after reading that, I think you will understand why desalination is generally a bad idea.

However, there are some good ideas out there for conserving our water supplies. First, make better use of the water that’s already here (gray-water reuse; storm-water retention; and drought-tolerant, ocean-friendly gardens can decrease consumption 40 to 50 percent). Second, our county discharges more than 5 million gallons of reclaimable water into the ocean a day. Reclaimed water can be used on public lands and for agriculture, thereafter helping to recharge (instead of decrease) our groundwater supply. It doesn’t make sense to consider desalination until we do these conservation measures first.

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