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The future of desalination in Santa Barbara and California (#AT30)

Thursday, September 24, 2015, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Hahn Hall Music Academy of the West 1070 Fairway Road Santa Barbara, CA 93108 Map and directions

California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its history. In the midst of this drought, communities are trying to address their current water needs as well as develop long-term strategies.  Options are wide ranging from converting sewage into clean water to processing ocean water, known as desalination.  Santa Barbara’s approach is to reopen its long-closed desalination plant. The 20-year-old plant is expected to be retrofitted and ready for operation by next September.  While desalination is just one of many ways of dealing with the drought, some are skeptical of its cost and environmental impact. And whether the plant will be necessary if and when the rains return.  Is that the city’s best option? Will the water produced be affordable? Will Ocean life be harmed? 

On September 24, Larry Mantle was joined by a panel of guests and they discussed these questions. 


Sara Aminzadeh, executive director California Coastkeeper Alliance 

Yoram Cohen, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA

Joe Geever, environmental consultant for Surfrider

Bob Harding, resources and system analysis manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Helene Schneider, mayor of  Santa Barbara and candidate for Congress

Robert H. Sulnick, executive director of Orange County Water Independence Sustainability & Efficiency (OC WISE)

This event is part of the AirTalk 30th anniversary tour.