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California Drought
Santa Barbara working to reactivate mothballed desalination plant
Santa Barbara working to reactivate mothballed desalination plant

California's four-year drought created the statewide mantra: "Conserve, conserve, conserve." But this coastal city can soon add another word to its water-related lexicon: desalinate. Santa Barbara owns a mothballed plant — built more than 20 years ago during another severe drought — that can turn seawater into drinking water. But it was never used beyond a tryout phase before steady rain began falling again. Now, officials are working to press the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Facility back into service as the city's reservoirs continue to diminish. The city plans to spend up to $40 million to modernize and reactivate the plant, which was closed in 1992...

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