Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink? Lately it’s been said that we’re just one drought away from rationing our water supply to extend us through another year. New construction of homes have been approved locally behind Magic Mountain and in nearby Tejon Ranch. As you’ve read, many ask, “Where are we going to get the water to supply these new homeowners that will now put an extra burden on a diminishing commodity?”
Our biggest resource of water is just off the coast of California. It’s called the Pacific Ocean! In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia relies upon 75 percent desalinated water for supplying fresh water to their country. They have limited natural resources to rely upon to quench their thirst for water.
It’s different here in California. We depend on water supplies from the Colorado River, about 55 to 65 percent, and from the Owens Valley aqueduct system, about 25 percent. The remainder of water resources supplying our thirsty city comes from our local aquifers. Even now those resources that are being used are on the verge of drying up.
Instead of draining precious water resources from Northern California and Colorado, which has impacted their supply and our own local water resources (Mono Lake, Owens Lake, etc.), why don’t we build a desalination water supply system up and down our coast? This system would help stop relying on outside resources and put good use of our money toward this infrastructure instead of just paying for this one-time consumed resource and provide a constant supply of fresh water to our ever-growing population.
We could also use and sell the salt byproduct from this process to help offset the costs. There are approximately nine successful plants up and running in California. The largest one is in Oceanside. This idea was proposed in the early 1950s and 1960s as my father was involved in designing and implementing this valuable process, but before it could ever be built this project was cancelled.
We need to have future-minded thinkers involved to expedite this system before all our dams, lakes and rivers dry up. Have you seen the water levels at Pyramid, Castaic, Piru and at Hoover and the Glen Canyon Dam lately? Even the Northern California lakes are at their lowest levels. Even now the reservoirs are filling up, not with water but sludge from the recent fires. These water supply storage facilities need the silt to be dredged out to help them store the water that all of us up and down the state need.
We have the technology today to build these plants to supplement our growing needs for today and future populations.
In conclusion, I propose that we stop taxing Colorado and California’s fresh water supply chain and start looking forward for a water supply system for the future, instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul.