Less than a decade ago, "desal" proposals in California numbered over 22, but only one major one was built—in Carlsbad, serving the San Diego region. A newly released study by the Pacific Institute explains why.
It may seem understandable for developers to resort to the ballot box after encountering difficulty with a planning commission or city council, but in California it makes sense even for cities like Moreno Valley that are friendly to new development.
In this radio report on the use of the expensive, controversial strategy of desalination to meet California's water needs in an epic drought, KQED's science reporter speaks with the mayor of Carmel, a V.P. of Poseidon Water, and an environmentalist.
The Wall Street Journal examines desalination efforts on the Central and South Coasts, starting with the reactivation of a Santa Barbara plant. Notwithstanding criticisms on costs and environmental damage, eight plants have been built since 2006.