Have you heard the news? Poseidon Water, a desalination technologies company, plans to open a new desalination plant in Huntington Beach. But what is desalination, anyway? Desalination is the process of taking saltwater, removing the salt from it, and turning it into potable freshwater. This process is meant to make drinkable water more bountiful and more accessible. That all sounds well and good, right? Unfortunately, if everything was well and good, there wouldn’t be a controversy about this development.
As members of the Huntington Beach community, it’s good for us to stay informed. Let’s learn more about desalination, why the practice is so heavily debated, and the effects it can have on our local environment.
With many things in this world, it’s “give or take”. After all, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. In a sense, this is one of the main concerns regarding desalination. While the process does create freshwater for the community, it requires energy to accomplish this. Oftentimes, that energy comes from none other than fossil fuels. The reputation of fossil fuels precedes itself. We don’t have to explain the negative impact of burning coal and oil to you, so you can imagine for yourself why people might not find increased smog and global warming as a fair trade-off for freshwater.
Poseidon Water claims they will achieve the plant’s energy needs without resorting to fossil fuels, going as far as to claim they will investigate their opportunities to use one-hundred-percent clean energy. Despite this, nothing has been set in stone, and there is still concern that this claim is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
Even if the Poseidon desalination plant does obtain its goal to only use clean energy, there is another dilemma to consider–something that is intrinsic to the desalination process–brine. Brine is the byproduct of turning saltwater into freshwater. You might assume that brine is primarily composed of sodium, and that much is true. However, sometimes, other nasty ingredients slip into the mix, such as cleaning chemicals or even little flakes of metal from corroding machinery.
So, where does this brine go? For many desalination plants, the answer is right back into the ocean. This might not seem like the worst thing at a glance, but for sea creatures, it could be a death sentence. That sodium-dense brine sinks straight to the bottom of the sea most of the time, where it misbalances already-fragile ecosystems. Species find themselves unable to filter oxygen from the water. What they get instead is salt. A whole lot of it.
Sometimes, it can be discouraging reading all the headlines about environmental damages. Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to be gloom and doom. Whatever happens regarding the Huntington Beach desalination plant location, there are changes we can make in our everyday lives to help mitigate our impact on the environment. We’ve heard them all before—remember the “reuse, reduce, and recycle” number? That’s a saying we take to heart here at Junk Smiths.
As a professional junk removal service provider, we are the last line that junk has to cross before it gets disposed of. In other words, we have a big responsibility to protect the environment as much as possible. It’s why we recycle as many of the items we collect as we can. In addition to that, we also donate lightly used belongings to drop-offs such as the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
What other people and corporate entities do to the environment isn’t always in our control. Let’s vow—the two of us—to do what we can to counteract all those scary headlines together!