Monterey Bay desalination project is approved despite environmental injustice concerns
In the last three decades, California’s population has grown by more than 20 million and the state has become a leading global energy producer. This success has created a huge demand for water: the drought of the 1970s led to a 40% rise in water demands during the next few decades. California now supplies more than 20% of all water in the United States, one of the highest shares in the world. The state also draws on another water source, the Colorado River, which delivers water to California from the American Southwest. These two sources provide about two-thirds of California’s water.
As demand has grown, California’s water supply has not kept up. The state’s water resources are in need of an urgent infrastructure upgrade. One of the largest needs is the delivery of potable water to the western half of the state. The state’s water demands are so high that the available supply is expected to be depleted by 2070.
In the last decade, California has been pouring millions of dollars into its efforts to protect its water. The state’s largest potable water system, the Los Angeles Aqueduct system, was designed and funded by a massive federal aid grant.
California is currently planning to expand the state’s most famous water-shed, which is located over the sea and not accessible by road. The project will double the size of the water-shed by adding an additional 4,600 acres — over three times the size of the present system.
The project will also double the amount of water the aqueduct delivers to the city of Los Angeles. The new system will supply 4.1 billion gallons of water to Los Angeles, which will take on the largest share of the state’s potable water demands. That is over 40% less than the state’s current projected water-demand from the California Department of Water Resources.
The project has drawn