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Drinking Water Fit for a King

Seawater desalination plant may help Tongan islands.
By Neda Raouf
Staff writer
LONG BEACH All eyes were on the King of Tonga as he lifted a paper cup to his mouth to taste the
drinking water that had been filtered down from salty ocean water using the city's patented desalination
technology.

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Tongan King Visits Long Beach to Review Desalination Project

His home islands, which have no rivers, now must import all of their drinking water. The king of Tonga on Monday toured the Long Beach Water Department's ambitious desalination project, which he said might offer an affordable source of drinking water for a tiny island nation
that now imports all of it.

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Desalting Plant Siting Raises Fears

Locating desalination facilities next to coastal power generators could extend the use of intakes that kill marine life, environmentalists say.

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De-salting the Pacific

Long Beach's Water Department already has come up with an innovative way to make seawater drinkable at a lower cost. Now the challenge is to make the process friendly to sea creatures. Two state grants, approved last week, should help make that possible. The first, for $1 million, will go toward completing a prototype desalination plant near the Haynes Generating Station in East Long Beach. The second, for $2 million, will be used to test a new way to collect seawater without destroying fish eggs and small organisms.