Opponents of desalination in Santa Cruz CA object to an environmental report for a $129 million desal plant. They say water conservation measures and improved water management could hold water consumption at current levels so the plant would not be needed.
I’m completely in favor of water conservation. However, California is in a drought, climate change is making the water situation worse, and the population is growing. San Diego is currently building a huge desal plant. If California wants to guarantee plentiful water then it will need many more desal plants. That in turn means more power plants, as desal uses considerable amounts of electricity.
There are no easy answers here. However, the NIMBY, slow growth view of desal opponents is no solution.