Drought-Stricken California Breaks Ground on the Largest Seawater Desalination Plant in the Western Hemisphere

California is currently experiencing its worst drought in 500 years.

California is currently experiencing its worst drought in 500 years. Although it’s always been an arid state, there’s reason to believe that California’s current crisis is being made worse by climate change. After announcing that it will not give water to farmers, the state has turned its discussion to the ocean. With more than two-thirds of California still under extreme drought conditions, the state has invested $1 billion in a massive desalination plant that will turn ocean brine into potable water. When finished in early 2016, the plant is expected to provide up to 50 million gallons of fresh drinkable water–enough for 112,000 Californian households–every day.

In its quest to find a way to keep an entire state–including a large agricultural industry–well hydrated, California has taken a page from Israel’s playbook. As a country that is more desert than not, Israel has pioneered water conservation and generation technologies for six decades. In that country, desalination now provides about one-quarter of the country’s water supply, and Israeli engineers are now sharing their knowledge and experience with California.

Israel’s IDE Technologies Ltd. is helping to build the massive new desalination plant, which will use reverse osmosis to make normally deadly ocean water potable for humans and animals. The process works by “taking water from the Pacific Ocean, removing the silt, sand and ‘organics,’ then pressurizing the water through very fine membranes,” says Peter MacLaggan, a developer with Poseidon Resources, which is working on the plant.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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