Desalination plants have cautionary history

While many countries have looked to desalination plants as the solution to water shortages, not all plants have proved successful.

Seen is the inside of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant on April 16, 2012. The $87 million facility produces 27.5 million gallons of water per day, making it the largest inland desalination plant in the world. In Corpus Christi, a seawater desalination plant has been proposed, which would be one of the first in the state.

While many countries have looked to desalination plants as the solution to water shortages, not all plants have proved successful. In Australia, four large plants built during a national drought are now offline, still costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance — demonstrating that changes in conditions that inspire such megaprojects can result in unforeseen consequences. (Circle of Blue)