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Water expert: Ducey's proposed desalination plan won't work on its own

Earlier this year, Gov. Doug Ducey proposed a $1 billion desalination project to ease Arizona’s water issues.

Seth Seigel is an author who studied Israel’s use of desalination and other methods to solve its own water issues. He told PBS’s “Arizona Horizon” that desalination is helpful, but not a solution on its own.

“It should be part of an “all of the above” strategy, but if you think of it as a magical solution, as the only solution, it’s not a good idea,” said Seigel.

Siegel says it takes years and money to build and staff a desalination plant. 

“First of all, if you start today, you’re not gonna have it tomorrow, you’re not even gonna have it a year from tomorrow, or five years from tomorrow. It takes a while to build it.” said Siegel.

He says that the largest facility in the Western hemisphere, in Carlsbad, California, took $1 billion to build and $60 million per year to operate, and almost two decades from conception to opening of the plant.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.