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Chris Keenan
Chris Keenan

The United States Might Import Water from Mexico

The United States receives many imports from Mexico on a daily basis, including possibly water. Four major American water districts are currently working on a plan that would build two big desalination plants in Playas de Rosarito. The reason? The Colorado River, which tends to often go through periods of drought, has spawned concern from both Mexico and the U.S. Both countries are currently dependent on the Colorado River for water.

The proposed plants would theoretically eliminate the problem. The two desalination plants that are being proposed here would produce 150 million gallons of water per day, which would be enough for 300,000 homes. So, what is the issue with desalination plants?

Firstly, they are an eyesore on the landscape. The plants are huge in their construction and way more noticeable than, say, your average garage door. Aesthetics aside, desalination plants are also responsible for the death of many fish eggs and larvae. They dump millions of gallons of brine back into the ocean, which can also hurt fish, and they need MASSIVE amounts of energy in order to function properly.

Obviously, not everyone supports these plans. Joe Geever is the California policy coordinator for the Surfrider Foundation. According to Geever, “It raises all kinds of red flags.†Further, the two countries are already disagreeing on how the water would be allotted, and negotiations are not going well. Desalination is expensive, so there are other plant proposals that are on the drawing table.

One suggestion has been to set up a plant in Southern California, in Camp Pendleton. Another water company wants to build a plant in Huntington Beach. However, California laws and regulations are very strict. Regulations are not as strict in Mexico, and it is hoped that by 2020 the desalination plants would be built, which would lessen the dependence on the Colorado River.

Mark Watton is the general manager of the Otay Water District, which might purchase 20 million gallons of water per day from Consolidated's Mexico plant. According to Watton, “The Mexicans will ask all of the same questions that we ask here, but it's not endless lawsuits. ... You get a quicker answer.â€

What are your thoughts on the proposed desalination plants? Is there an easier or more environmentally friendly solution?

Join in the discussion in the comments below and/or share the piece.

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