RO: Addressing Water Shortage with Desalination

Statewide drought in California will hopefully be resolved with the world’s largest desalination plant, set to be operational this year. The Carlsbad Desalination Project, near San Diego city, is expected to provide around 7% of the county’s water supply or 50 gallons of freshwater daily.

In support of this million-dollar project, the State Water Resources Control Board reportedly approved an official standard building code for desalination plants last May 6. The state already has its own smaller plants before this venture, however, such as a 1991 construction on Santa Catalina Island that supplies at least 90% of potable water for its local community.

Desalination is a complicated water treatment process that converts saltwater from the oceans to drinking or potable water.

This filtration is possible through many ways, but the most common is through reverse osmosis (RO), a process that made desalination feasible in many nations. As the name suggests, RO basically reverses the natural osmosis procedure that occurs in water solutions, and allows salt to be removed from seawater. What’s even better is that RO systems desalinate saltwater without consuming high amounts of energy, thereby making it a practical solution to address water shortage. With desalination, freshwater sources are spared from running out and seawater is maximized for the stability and benefit of future generations.

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