Saturday, December 31, 2016

Desalination Foes Privileging Tiny Critters Over People

Desalination Foes Privileging Tiny Critters Over People -
"It's getting increasingly difficult to exaggerate the degree to which some environmental activists and bureaucrats have placed the needs of California's critters above the needs of its growing population. Many of these stories are almost literally unbelievable.
I've reported on the government's decision to largely empty a massive reservoir in the Sierra foothills to save about a dozen hatchery fish, an otherworldly story given it took place at the apex of the drought—and given those non-endangered fish would be eaten by other species before they meandered to the ocean.
Then there were the shutdowns of the water pumps in Tracy because of the fate of a handful of bait fish (Delta smelt).
I still roll my eyes at a proposed project—at an estimated cost of $70,000 to $300,000 per fish—to help salmon swim around Don Pedro dam. 
It's easy enough to identify a salmon.
What explains efforts to halt a major source of water supplies in Orange County over concerns about the fate of some plankton?
Sure enough, concerns about those small and microscopic organisms continue to slow efforts to build a much-needed desalination project on an industrial site in Huntington Beach.
The rains have started again, but Californians are still facing drought conditions.
It's best to plan now to avoid a future crisis.
Turning ocean saltwater into drinking water remains one of the most sensible long-term options to provide at least some of our water needs..."

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