California’s water needs may have to be met using desalination plants in the future, but building and operating them now would be costly and would adversely impact the environment, said a report released by an independent research organization . . .

Costs may vary, but the process requires an enormous amount of energy, the report said. Fluctuations in energy prices may increase costs in the future. The process can harm the environment when chemicals used in extracting heavy salts get dumped into the ocean. Institute officials said more forethought is needed before the projects get under way.

All those people watering their lush green lawns in California, operating under the delusion that there will be some miraculous panacea that will solve California’s centuries-year old water crisis, better think again.  It turns out that in a world that is both oil-scarce and water-scarce, it really costs too much to keep 35 million Californians (estimated to be 50 million in 2025) from dehydrating, drying up and blowing away.

All of which means we’ll just have to get ready for the great reverse dust bowl — thousands of hybrid SUVs clogging the interstate highways with mattresses tied to their roofs, Grandma smoking a pipe in the baggage compartment, kids begging for Evian.  Might even save a few lives if they manage to get out of there before the San Andreas fault blows.

But then again, just think of all those Californians loose in the Midwest.