California is in a water crisis, yet usage is way up. Officials are focused on the wrong problem, advocates say – California

California is facing a crisis. Not only are its reservoirs already at critically low levels due to unrelenting drought, residents and businesses across the state are also using more water now than they have in seven years, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts to encourage just the opposite.

Newsom has pleaded with residents and businesses to reduce their water consumption by 15%. But in March, urban water usage was up by 19% compared to March 2020, the year the current drought began. It was the highest March water consumption since 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board reported earlier this week.

Part of the problem is that the urgency of the crisis isn’t breaking through to Californians. The messaging around water conservation varies across different authorities and jurisdictions, so people don’t have a clear idea of what applies to whom. And they certainly don’t have a tangible grasp on how much a 15% reduction is with respect to their own usage.


California Coastal Commission Rejects $1.4B Desalination Project – California

After a marathon, nearly 10-hour public hearing, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously on May 12 to deny a permit to Poseidon Water for the construction of a new desalination plant in Huntington Beach, Calif.

The vote brings to an end an odyssey that began more than two decades ago for Poseidon Water, which had attempted to meet the requirements of California’s coastal protection and other environmental laws to be able to build a desalination plant capable of producing 50 million gallons a day of drinking water in Orange County.

Poseidon built a similar plant that went online in Carlsbad, Calif., in 2013. D.J. Moore, an attorney for Poseidon, told the commissioners, “The need for this project is critical and without question.”


California Regulator Rejects Plan For Desalination Plant – California

California regulators on Thursday denied approval for a $1.4 billion plant to remove salt from sea water, a project criticized on environmental grounds but backed by California Governor Gavin Newsom as a necessary tool to counter a sustained drought.

The California Coastal Commission voted 11-0 to reject the proposal by Poseidon Water, a company controlled by the infrastructure arm of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, to build the desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

The plant was designed to convert enough Pacific Ocean water into drinking water for 400,000 people, but using a process that staff experts at the commission said would harm marine life and nearby bird habitat while producing water that would be prohibitively expensive for low-income consumers.


Developer wants to build $1.4 billion seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach – California

A developer wants to build a $1.4 billion desalination plant to turn seawater into drinking water off the shore of Huntington State Beach.

The California Coastal Commission is expected to vote Thursday on the Poseidon Water plant, which would be built near Pacific Coast Highway and Magnolia.

“The site in Huntington Beach is a perfect site for sea water desalination,” said Jessica Jones, director of communications at Poseidon Water, a U.S. seawater desalination developer.


Newsom’s pragmatism on desalination, Diablo Canyon nuclear plant makes sense – California

The editorial board operates independently from the U-T newsroom but holds itself to similar ethical standards. We base our editorials and endorsements on reporting, interviews and rigorous debate, and strive for accuracy, fairness and civility in our section. Disagree? Let us know. A strong case can be made that modern environmentalism was born in California.

In 1864, Yosemite Valley and a nearby grove of sequoias became the nation’s first publicly protected wilderness area. Exactly 100 years later, after many other environmental landmarks, the state issued the world’s first tailpipe-emission standards. This history is and should be a source of immense pride.

But sometimes that environmentalism must be tempered with a touch of pragmatism. This essentially is the argument that Gov. Gavin Newsom has made of late about opposition to desalination and nuclear power.


Coastal Panel Staff Advises Against Huntington Beach Desalination Plant – California

A proposed California desalination plant that would produce 50 million gallons of drinking water per day failed a crucial regulatory hurdle on Monday, possibly dooming a project that had been promoted as a partial solution for sustained drought.

The staff of the California Coastal Commission recommended denying approval of the Huntington Beach plant proposed by Poseidon Water, controlled by the infrastructure arm of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management.

The commission’s staff said the project was more susceptible to sea-level rise than was understood when it was first proposed more than two decades ago.


California should use desalination to replace Colorado River water – California

After reading the Deseret Magazine article concerning the drying up of our desert areas, it was painfully obvious that in the allocation of use of Colorado River water, California came out looking like a water thief in using 52% of the water while contributing little or nothing to the system.

The state of California has one of the greatest sources of water on the planet Earth in the Pacific Ocean. Plans should be made for California to develop a desalination system to replace that 52% of Colorado River water and give it back to the Colorado River states.

Arab cities such as Dubai have desalination systems that they use where they have little or no rainfall. Dubai is a thriving and very modern city. California should do the same.


Cost of Poseidon desalination water gets renewed scrutiny – California

Poseidon Water’s controversial proposal for a Huntington Beach desalination plant might cost water customers more than previously thought, a factor that could create a new obstacle to construction of the $1.4 billion project.

Word that the principal customer for the water, the Orange County Water District, was reexamining costs came from district General Manager Mike Markus on Thursday, March 31, at an OC Forum panel discussion on solutions to water shortages.

It’s one of several recent signs of emerging challenges for Poseidon, which needs a permit from the state Coastal Commission before it can negotiate a final contract with the water district and build a plant to turn ocean water into tap water.


Santa Barbara to Get Only 5 Percent of State Water – California

Ray Stokes has never been one for hair-on-fire histrionics. After serving 26 years as the resident Wizard of Oz running the Central Coast Water Authority  Stokes knows a thing or two about droughts. The one California now finds itself caught in might be the worst.

“It’s very drastic,” stated the usually understated Stokes. Stokes was referring to last week’s decision by the State Water Resources Control Board to limit deliveries to no more than 5 percent of entitled allotments.

That means the Central Coast Water Agency (CCWA) will be allowed to take only 2,275 acre-feet this year.


Santa Barbara County’s water supplies ‘grim,’ but recycled, desalinated water may be salvation – California

As the drought drags on and climate change is expected to make wet years fewer and farther between, the prognosis for Santa Barbara County’s water supply future is “grim,” as one county supervisor put it.

But there may be hope for a better outcome if the use of recycled water expands, residents become more conscientious about conserving water and either of two desalination projects move from a wishful dreaming state to reality.

The Board of Supervisors declared a drought emergency last July; two local jurisdictions — Solvang and Carpinteria — have declared Stage 2 drought conditions and enacted mandatory water conservation measures.