Ask the Times

By Times Wires
Published November 14, 2007

What are the costs for desalinating saltwater into drinking water?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the cost to desalinate sea water is $5 per 1,000 gallons. Inland, the cost to desalinate the water is less, but the cost to dispose of the salty concentrate is more. Florida already is desalinating water, with one plant in Hillsborough County. California and Texas are looking into starting programs as well. The Bureau of Reclamation is investigating new water treatment technologies.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. Have a question? E-mail answers@tampabay.com.