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Ear to the Ground

Is Drinking Urine the Answer to California’s Drought?

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Posted on Jun 25, 2014
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Not to worry. Recycled water will not be this color.

It may sound a bit unpalatable, but pee may be a better option for the Golden State than the desalination of ocean water.

The Atlantic’s Citylab:

Desalination is not a new technology, but it’s still expensive. Despite the cost, its uptake is growing as dry places look to secure drought-proof sources of water. A new desalination plant built on reverse-osmosis microfiltering (the same method as the Carlsbad plant) will supply one-third of Beijing’s water by 2019. Desalination is already a major source of water for Australia, Chile, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other drought-prone coastal regions. Smaller solar desalination plants are also gaining appeal in California.

Still, the drought may force a decision sooner rather than later. “This is year one [of the drought] for us. Other parts of California are in year three or four. The real pressure for us is going to come next year if it doesn’t rain.”

Which brings us to the pee-drinking.

Read more

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

 

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