Yes, extremely. San Diego uses reverse osmosis, at an estimated project cost of $2 billion. The figure is also dependent on the size of the facility, the technology used, and its output capacity, however it is definitely one of the more costly means to produce potable water. In addition to being quite costly, it is also very energy intensive, and thus water conservation should be heavily used at the household level where such desalination practices are implemented.
Desalination tends to be very expensive. Most of the world’s desalination plants use the distillation, but some plants also use flash evaporation and electrodialysis methods, which are also expensive. The Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant in El Paso, Texas cost $87 million to construct. Costs were estimated to be around $1.65 per thousand gallons.
Despite desalination usually being expensive, New Mexico State University engineers developed a relatively low-cost desalination system a couple of years ago. The system uses gravity and atmospheric pressure to create a vacuum that allows water to evaporate and condense.
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