A defense against drought | April 22, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - April 22, 2022

A defense against drought

Water district eyes water-purification plant as key to recycling increasingly scarce water

by Sue Dremann

It's a well-known meteorological principle that when barometric pressure drops, rain storms typically follow. But along the Peninsula in early April, nearly a week of low pressure failed to produce any precipitation. Not a drop fell from the sky — let alone 3 to 4 inches of rain that daily storms should have produced.

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Email Staff Writer Sue Dremann at [email protected]


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2022 at 11:24 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Instead of additional water rationing to those of us who have already taken measures to use less water over the time we have lived here, we should have many types of innovations to increase our water supply. We have more people living in Santa Clara County and a diminishing supply. We can't keep squeezing more people in without serious measures to increase our water supply. Desalination and water purification are necessary.

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2022 at 11:26 am

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

Great Article. Question: How does the purification process eliminate salts from the water? In Australia, they have been using recycled water to irrigate farms for many years. Over time, there has been an accumulation of salts in the soil that has destroyed farm soil quality, making some of it unusable.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 22, 2022 at 11:36 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

Other states already have been doing this for years. Yet, in those states, there are questions about how healthy the water is.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 23, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

Keep those of us here in north SC county on SF Hetch Hetchy water system. This is what we signed up for when we bought here and we’ve paid into SF repairs of Hetch Hetchy, etc.
NO to this recycled water scheme in Pal Alto!!

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 23, 2022 at 4:21 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Totally agree that we can't keep shoving millions (literally) more people into the SF Bay Area while making all the present residents cut back. It's lunacy.

Posted by tmp
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 23, 2022 at 6:00 pm

tmp is a registered user.

Totally agree with the above poster. It is lunacy to keep imagining that we can add more and more people to an area when the water supply will continue to decrease. It is not a "drought" despite what the media and politicians keep calling it. It is the norm now and we will have less and less water over time.

We need growth and population limits and to stop Sacramento from forcing cities to house more people. Living on this planet is going to become difficult and the sooner our government buckles down and faces the real issues the better it will be for everyone. They should be discussing costs of growth and providing quality of life for current residents. If our government was based on quality of life and not just focused on money and adding more people, they would worry more about good schools, quality open space, clean air, other animal species on the planet and enough water for a reasonable population and so much more. But all we get is growth, growth, growth. We can exist without constant growth. Let's stop electing fools pushing a growth mantra and find people who know how to help those who elect them.

Posted by Leslie York
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 26, 2022 at 7:17 pm

Leslie York is a registered user.

Palo Alto should study a small municipal desalination plant.

Desalination is not without issues. It consumes a lot of electricity and there are questions about the impacts on aquatic life and disposition of excess salt.

Prolonged periods of scant rainfall result in drought. You can't conserve your way out of a drought.

Israel makes liberal use of desalination.

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