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Like Coleridge’s sailor in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, burgeoning coastal communities in the United States have long lamented the fact that while situated by vast expanses of ocean water, they could not slake their growing thirst with it. Increasing populations, steady demand, and declining. Freshwater sources have amplified the problem across the U.S., particularly in the country’s three most populous states: California, Texas, and Florida. This paper examines efforts in three states to bring desalination plants online to transform saline water into a secure water supply.

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