Letter: Desalination can help solve the water crisis | VailDaily.com

Letter: Desalination can help solve the water crisis

What’s a solution to the water shortage crisis across the Southwest? In my opinion, desalinating the ocean water and piping it to replenish key reservoirs like Powell and Mead is. Turn the tap on and off as needed. Sound like a cockamamie idea?

Bear in mind that at least a few American cities and over 120 nations around the world desalinate their respective oceans for municipal, industrial and agricultural purposes. The following are a few examples: Carlsbad, California, has a brand new, high-efficiency desalination plant providing high-quality drinking water to 400,000 San Diego County residents. Abroad, Israel has implemented desalination plants along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and is piping water to replenish the Sea of Galilee (proof the concept works). Israel is also selling the water to Jordan in the process. 

What could desalinating ocean water and piping it to Powell and Mead mean for Colorado residents? Southwestern states below us could have less reliance on our water (some of which is birthed in Eagle County) if major reservoirs are regularly replenished with desalinated ocean water. 

There are a lot of discussions today regarding water shortages across the Southwest, but I’m not hearing many solutions. The time has come to stop solely relying on snow melt and rainwater (by way of the Eagle River, Colorado River, Rio Grande and its tributaries) to satisfy our water needs. We must begin to look to other resources like our oceans to solve the water shortage crisis across the Southwest. Desalinating ocean water and piping it over short and long distances to areas in need is a solution.

Todd McDowell

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