In summary

Desalination is a distraction from the need for California to regulate our water supply to ensure it is equitably distributed.

By Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat, Los Angeles

Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat is a campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Re “California should create more water – much more“; Commentary, Oct. 28, 2021

There’s no question that California needs to better manage our water supply for people and the environment. However, drastic technological “solutions” like desalination, which is energy intensive and harmful to marine wildlife and our climate, are not the answer. 

California is fortunate to have natural water supplies, but it has mismanaged this public good. A majority of our state’s water is diverted to big agriculture, and much of that water goes to growing water-intensive crops, like almonds, for export. 

Urban areas should capture stormwater and recycle grey water for reuse, but such measures address a small fraction of the problem. Unless we limit Big Ag’s incredibly outsized water use, our rivers and streams will continue to suffer from over-drafting for the profit of a few companies.

California needs to regulate Big Ag to ensure our water supply is equitably distributed. Desalination is a harmful distraction from the real issue.

We want to hear from you

Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? You can find our submission guidelines here. Please contact CalMatters with any commentary questions: