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Why desalination won’t save states dependent on Colorado River water


The Colorado River wraps around Horseshoe Bend in the in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page, Arizona.Rhona Wise | Afp | Getty ImagesStates dependent on the drought-stricken Colorado River are increasingly looking toward desalination as a way to fix the river’s deficit and boost water supplies across the western U.S.The search for alternative ways to source water comes as federal officials continue to impose mandatory water cuts for states that draw from the Colorado River, which supplies water and power for more than 40 million people.Desalination (or desalinization) is a complicated process that involves filtering out salt and bacteria content from ocean water to produce safe drinking water to the tap. While there are more than a dozen desalination plants in the U.S., mostly in California, existing plants don’t have the capacity to replace the amount of water the Colorado River is losing.”Ocean water desalination has tremendous allure,” said Robert Glennon, a professor emeritus of law and water policy scholar at the University of A …

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