Mini Desalination Plants Could Cure California’s Droughts

Filtering Water in Your Backyard; How Mini Desalination Plants Could Cure California’s Droughts.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Filtering Water in Your Backyard; How Mini Desalination Plants Could Cure California’s Droughts. Source: Unsplash.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Filtering water in your backyard; How mini desalination plants could cure California’s droughts.

As climate change and its toll continues to rear its ugly head, California and the American West at large are bearing the brunt of its blows. With the worst drought they’ve faced in 1,200 years, these dry conditions are what’s contributing to the ravaging wildfires they’ve been dealing with in the past few years. So, how do we get fresh water into a place that is literally a desert? The shoreline of California is no stranger to water, however creating large-scale desalination plants is costly, as well as time-consuming to construct. Time, unfortunately, simply is not available if this crisis continues. Enter small-scale mini-desalination plants.

Peter Fiske is the director of the National Alliance for Water Innovation and Water Energy Resilience Research Institute. He says that we need to be thinking about a more decentralized, distributed plan for how we address water in the American West. Some areas like Nevada and Arizona don’t have a coastline, but what they and California share are brackish water sources. There are nearly 800 times as many brackish water sources compared to fresh groundwater, and brackish water is significantly easier to push through reverse-osmosis membranes. Larger-scale desalination plants rely heavily on fossil fuels or nuclear energy in order to power their facilities. However, mini-desalination plants have already been shown to be capable of being powered by solar energy. 

The clock is ticking for California and the American West at large, and many individuals have already made the decision to leave for a better life in an area not ravaged by wildfires, the resulting smoke, and the destruction they leave behind. However, for those who have hope for the Sunshine State, mini-desalination plants could truly be the cure for the disease that is driving these forces into play. 

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