California city looks to sea for water in drought

May 04, 2014

With California in a drought, the coastal city of Santa Barbara is thinking about firing up a desalination plant that has been in storage for more than two decades.

The city built the plant in the 1990s during the last drought but turned it on for only three months after eliminated the need for extra water.

Desalination involves removing salt from ocean water or groundwater, but it's not a quick drought-relief option. It takes years of planning and overcoming red tape to launch a project.

Water officials estimate the plant will need $20 million in technological upgrades. Any restart would require City Council approval, which won't vote until next spring after reviewing engineering plans and the latest drought conditions.

Many environmentalists think desalination should be a last resort.

Explore further: Desalination plant to be built in Gaza

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Nik_2213
not rated yet May 04, 2014
Aren't they due a really juicy el Nino starting this Autumn ??