Sheila Cole, in her Aug. 5 letter to the editor, “Desalination anyone?” wrote in part, “What is interesting to me is that not once have I seen the word “desalination” in this paper or in the New York Times.”
But in the May 25 edition of the San Jose Mercury News, a story by Paul Rogers was headlined, “Nation’s largest ocean desalination plant goes up near San Diego; Future of the California coast?”
The story reported that “the largest ocean desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere” would cost $1 billion and will “provide 50 million gallons of drinking water a day for San Diego County (3.1 million customers) when it opens in 2016.”
“Nobody disputes that the cost of water will go up,” the story continued, “the average customer’s bill, now $71 a month, will rise $5 to $7 to pay for desalination.”
It further reported that, “Fifteen desalination projects are proposed along the coast from Los Angles to San Francisco Bay. Desalination technology is becoming more efficient.”
The above article is the fourth citation (list of links) from a Google search on just the word “desalination.” More articles on desalination in California were also on page 1 of the search results.
Additionally, I have personally written several (some quite lengthy) replies to letters-to-the-editor or Op-Eds on the subjects of water, desalination and drought here in the I-T over the last, I believe, nearly two years. Many of those replies included roughly the same information on the San Diego desalination project, as well as California’s overall plans for desalination.
There seems to be a general lack of knowledge on the subject of desalination in California in the LTEs and Op-Eds in the Index-Tribune and Press Democrat, even with the importance of the projects and volume of news coverage. Admittedly there is more in Southern California’s media than here in the north, with the exception of the Sacramento media’s statewide and legislature coverage.
I’d have to disagree with Cole; the subject of desalination has been a part of an ongoing discussion about water in California, in the Index-Tribune and throughout California media.