Our vast aqueducts transport fresh water from mountains, lakes, and rivers until being treated before it reaches homes across the United States. The Eastern side of the United States does not require such complicated water supply systems since rainfall is more frequent and widespread. With no large mountain ranges and the entire Atlantic Ocean on the eastern coast of the continent, water is carried through the air by evaporation relatively well. Because of this, a wider variety of agriculture can grow. There is an increasing demand for water in the west. California relies on the Colorado river but people have recently reported it's drying up. There has been talk of a new aqueduct that can harness more untapped freshwater. Then again, there has also been an emergence of ocean water treatment plants to help increase the supply of fresh water rather than building aqueducts. Apart from usual sewage treatment methods, one other thing that has to be filtered is the salt. One obstacle in the desalinization process is the higher costs it takes with previous attempts.
However, recent advancements in reverse osmosis technology prove to have a relatively low energy cost, making it a more sustainable way to produce freshwater. One other obstacle in creating freshwater is microplastics. Scientists say there are 51 trillion microplastics in the ocean. Microplastics can harm animals and humans alike through ingestion. But a new method has been developed to filter 95% of the original amount of any microplastic in a body of water. Lastly, the process of treating seawater currently risks the safety of animals that go near the suction channel in the ocean. For the priority of animal safety specifically, we have to develop a better way to harness the ocean water that won't trap vulnerable sea creatures. That being said, we are coming closer and closer to effectively filtering ocean water, increasing freshwater supply. In fact, plants have already opened up for this specific purpose.