California

Poseidon’s Huntington Beach desalination plant still in choppy waters – California

As Poseidon Water pursues the final government approvals needed to build one of the country’s biggest seawater desalination plants.

The company still cannot definitively say who will buy the 50 million gallons a day of drinking water it wants to produce on the Orange County coast.

That’s one of several questions that continue to dog the $1-billion Huntington Beach project as Poseidon tries to seal an iron-clad deal more than two decades after it first proposed the ocean desalter.

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Santa Barbara Council Accepts $10 Million Matching Grant to Operate Desalination Plant – California

The Santa Barbara City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to accept a $10 million grant — with the understanding that it will run the plant at full capacity for at least 36 out of the next 40 years.

Some environmentalists objected to the council’s decision, citing environmental concerns.

The city was awarded a $10 million matching grant in 2018 from the California Department of Water Resources for the reactivation of the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant, 525 E. Yanonali St.

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Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board Staff Recommends Approval of Permit for Huntington Beach Desal Project – California

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (“Regional Board”) issued a Staff Report recommending approval of a Tentative Order making amendments to and renewing its operating permit rst issued in 2006 for the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project (“Project”).

The Regional Board is scheduled to consider its staff-prepared permit and recommendation beginning on Thursday, July 30, 2020.

The Regional Board staff’s proposed permit amendment and renewal considered all requirements of the California Ocean Plan’s new seawater desalination policy and nds that there is an identied need for the 50 million gallons per day of desalinated water the Huntington Beach Desalination Project will provide.

(LINK).

Controversial Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach set for hearings this week – California

Poseidon Water’s seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach, first proposed in 1998, could be getting closer to beginning construction after more than two decades.

The Santa Ana Regional Water Board will hold online hearings this week and decide whether to issue Poseidon a permit.

The hearings begin at 9 a.m. Thursday and are scheduled to continue Friday, as well as Aug. 7 if needed, with a vote scheduled at the end of the hearings. The hearings can be viewed at cal-span.org.

(LINK).

Governor says Baja used water as a piggy bank. Critics worry about his bigger plan – California

Baja California’s new governor, Jaime Bonilla, says he is battling to clean up widespread corruption that for years ate away at the state’s water agency.

Even Bonilla’s critics acknowledge the corruption and the failing water system, which results in frequent sewage spills that foul Tijuana and San Diego beaches.

But those critics also allege the high-profile investigation, which has already led to 30 criminal complaints, is aimed at Bonilla’s political enemies. And they worry that it could be used to build up his own nest of public funds.

(LINK).

Huntington Beach Desalination Plant to Preserve, Enhance and Restore Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve – California

In conjunction with the operation of its proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a final draft permit on June 30th that requires Poseidon Water to assume responsibility for the preservation, enhancement and restoration of the Ecological Reserve (Bolsa Chica) wetlands. The Regional Board is scheduled to vote on the Permit July 30th.

This preservation action – helping maintain a functioning ocean inlet – is the lifeblood of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve wetlands, which is the largest saltwater marsh between Monterey Bay and the Tijuana River Estuary and home to two state-designated Marine Life Protection Areas.

Additional enhancement and restoration plans implemented by Poseidon will expand the footprint and function of the historic wetlands.

(LINK).

Montecito water district agrees to connect with Santa Barbara for 50-year supply line – California

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After years of crunching the numbers and looking at options for reliable water supplies, the Montectio Water District is connecting to nearby Santa Barbara as part of its “drought-proof” plan.

The Santa Barbara City Council will hear the details Tuesday.

It involves a multi-phased agreement to insure an adequate supply of water for Montecito which, like other South Coast communities, saw its storage and delivery options dry up a few years ago after a prolonged period of little or now rain.

(LINK).

Montecito Water District Board Approves New Rates, Supply Agreement with Santa Barbara – California

The Montecito Water District took a major step forward to improve long-term water supply security and reliability during a special meeting on Thursday.

The water district Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a 50-year water supply agreement between the MWD and the City of Santa Barbara. 

The Santa Barbara City Council will consider approval of the final water supply agreement next week and in July, according to MWD consultant Clean Energy Capital.

(LINK).

Montecito Water District Signs Up for a 50-Year Supply from Santa Barbara- California

In a historic move, the Montecito Water District board voted unanimously on Thursday to “drought-proof” the wealthy enclave by importing a large supply of Santa Barbara water every year for the next 50 years, rain or no rain. The initial annual cost will be $4.6 million.

The vote comes on the heels of the severe drought of 2012 to 2018, in which Montecito, a community of one-acre lots, big estates, and luxury hotels and golf courses, faced heavy fines for over-watering.

Montecitans cut their water use by as much as 50 percent, but between 5 and 10 percent of property owners, including the San Ysidro Ranch and the Biltmore, chose to pay the fines instead.

(LINK).

Monterey Peninsula water district board opposes Cal Am desal project – California

For the first time, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has formally expressed opposition to the California American Water desalination project, backing the proposed Pure Water Monterey recycled water project expansion instead as a replacement and not just a backup.

At the same time, the water district took another step toward a potential acquisition of Cal Am’s Monterey water system with the release of a draft environmental impact report on the proposed public buyout effort.

In a split vote, the water district board on Monday approved a letter to Coastal Commission executive director John Ainsworth calling for the commission to deny Cal Am’s desal permit bid, arguing that the Pure Water Monterey expansion is a “feasible alternative” to desal that could produce enough water to meet the Carmel River pumping cutback order based on the district’s own analysis at lower cost and less environmental impact.

(LINK).

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