But How Does It Taste?

This must seem silly to folks who don’t have access to potable water at all, but those folks probably aren’t reading my blog. Here in the first world, we care about how our water tastes, and the folks in San Diego, California, are trying to figure out how to best market desalinated seawater, so they did a real, peer-reviewed taste test:

Consumers were able to discern between desalinated seawater and imported water, preferring imported water when forced to make a choice. However, the investigators did not believe that the difference in consumer perception was significant enough to warrant special blending facilities to mitigate the relatively minor aesthetic quality differences between imported water supplies and desalinated seawater.


  1. It’s not San Diego’s desalination plant. It’s a regional plant San Diego will be sharing in. What my home town does with the water it gets is entirely up to San Diego, and I expect we’ll be mixing the de-salted water in with local supplies and water from the Colorado. Probably store it in local reservoirs and cisterns before distribution.

  2. market it as minearl water and charge extra. Seriously, at what point does it become better to build dual systems, one for potable water and one for other uses (washing, toilets, etc.

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