Key Issues in Seawater Desalination in California: Marine Impacts

Published: December 2013

Authors: Heather Cooley, Newsha Ajami, and Matthew Heberger

Pages: 32



As competition for freshwater resources heightens across the globe, the prospect of using technology to turn unusable seawater into an unending resource is a tempting fix. While seawater desalination is one potential solution to the need for alternative sources of freshwater, more research is needed to understand the impacts of desalination on marine life. This report examines effects on the marine environment associated with the construction and long-term operation of seawater desalination plants.

This report is part of a series launched in 2012 identifying the key outstanding issues for desalination in the state: cost and financing; energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions; and marine impacts.


In this Series