Point Of View: Desalination

Recently, Governor Brown ordered California's 400 water agencies to reduce their consumption of water by 25 percent, or face stringent fines.

For several years we have had way below average rainfall throughout the state, way below average snowfall in our mountains and consequently our lakes and reservoirs are at all-time low levels.

I'd like to hear your Point of View. Send me an email at POV@fox11.com.

The sources of water that Californians rely on are disappearing.

Something had to be to be done.

Governor Brown finally took some action, even though he should have been instituting measures much earlier to address our water shortages.

According to a NASA study, California's catastrophic drought could last another 30 years. So we need to prepare now for the future.

In my opinion, we must start building desalination plants to guarantee a more consistent supply of water.

In California, there are only a few salt water treatment facilities currently in operation. But things are beginning to change.

Santa Barbara is bringing their plant out of mothballs. Monterrey and Huntington Beach all have plants in various phases of development.

Later this year, San Diego County will have an operational desalination facility that will generate enough water to supply approximately 115,000 households.

Unfortunately, this facility took years to complete because of endless California regulations. This red tape has kept other desalination projects from getting off the ground as well.

To their credit, the developers of the San Diego project spent over ten years getting through the permitting process.

They managed to successfully deal with a number of overlapping government agencies including the Coastal Commission, local and state water boards, and a myriad of regional and state air boards.

I'd like to call on Governor Brown to do two things:

First, Governor Brown, get behind streamlining the government approval process so that new desalination plants do not take years and years to build. Help cut the red tape.

Second, Governor Brown, forget about your High-Speed Rail and its $60B price tag, and allocate some of that money to cities up and down our coastline to build desalination plants.

California is blessed with 840 miles of coastline and an unlimited supply of saltwater. We could build many plants that would assure Californians a permanent supply of water into the future.

Opponents may say desalination is too expensive.

It's not cheap, I realize that. But how much is water worth if our supply starts to run out?

Priceless? I would say so.

Governor Brown, please make California's need for water a higher priority than your so-called bullet train.

Thanks for listening.

What do you think? We want to hear from you about this P.O.V. segment. Share your thoughts in the comments section below or email me directly at POV@fox11.com.

Kevin T. Hale,
Vice President and General Manager
KTTV-TV, FOX 11 News

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.

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