Los Angeles

Should Our Drinking Water Come From the Ocean or the Toilet?

6.17.14 event photo
A Zócalo/Occidental College Event
Moderated by Bob Sipchen, Editor-in-Chief, Sierra Magazine & Adjunct Professor, Occidental College
Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Parking is $8.

California’s historic drought has forced local communities to find new water supplies. But where? Some coastal cities are looking to the ocean, contemplating desalination projects that once were dismissed as too energy-intensive and expensive. Meanwhile, Orange County has looked to the toilet—turning sewage into drinking water in a process called toilet to tap—and other counties, Los Angeles among them, are preparing to follow suit. What are the risks of turning salty or dirty water into potable water? What other ways exist to recycle water in the U.S. and around the world? And, can we ever reuse enough water to supply the needs of big, dry cities like Los Angeles? Orange County Water District president Shawn Dewane, Water Wise president Sarah Woolf, West Basin Municipal Water District public information and conservation manager Ron Wildermuth, and Cadiz Inc. president and CEO Scott Slater visit Zócalo to ask whether Southern Californians will be drinking ocean water or wastewater in the coming years.

Photo courtesy of Scott Hess.

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