In addition to New Mexico’s nascent efforts at desalinating brackish groundwater to provide municipal and industrial supplies, there’s serious conversation right now in Arizona. I’ve had this story about recent sitting in my “think about this issue” pile for the last week. It’s an account of recent state legislative testimony from Karen Smith of the Arizona Department of Water Resources:
Smith said officials are looking, among other options, at partnerships with states to fund desalination plants in California or Mexico under agreements that would allow Arizona and its partners to draw more water from the Colorado River.
She said officials also are looking at desalinating brackish water in aquifers to help assure long-term water supplies. That becomes more feasible as desalination becomes more affordable, but Smith said she doesn’t want to appear overly optimistic about the ease of developing new sources of water.
What do you think? Does desal make sense? What about energy and waste disposal costs?