Sacramento

Huntington Beach desalination plant eyes approval, but foes turn out in force – California

With Poseidon Water’s plans for a Huntington Beach desalination plant approaching the homestretch, critics were as adamant as ever at a Friday workshop, where dozens complained the proposal is environmentally flawed, unneeded and would jack up water rates.

The meeting of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board was called to review a draft permit and solicit public comment in advance of a scheduled April 3 vote on the final permit.

Approval rides on whether the board determines the drought-proof project will “use the best available site, design, technology and mitigation measures feasible to minimize the intake and mortality of all forms of marine life.”

(LINK).

SCWD Examines Drilling Plan for Desal Plant – California

An engineering firm advising the South Coast Water District on its proposed Doheny desalination project was summoned Thursday, Nov. 14, to explain how officials might mitigate the risks of using a relatively-new drilling method to siphon seawater from beneath the ocean floor.

Brian Villalobos, principal geohyrdrologist for GEOSCIENCE Support Services, told the SCWD Board of Directors that drilling slant wells, rather than vertical or horizontal wells, off Doheny State Beach is ideal because of the dynamic hydrological and environmental conditions. Villalobos said alternatives to the proposed project would have a greater impact on San Juan Creek’s lagoon and stream flow.

“We felt these weren’t acceptable because of all the problems they would create, and they’re not really solving problems,” Villalobos said.

(link).

Monterey Bay Desalination Plant Debated by Coastal Commission – California

The Monterey Peninsula is running out of water.

The fog-shrouded, cypress-dotted land formation jutting into the Pacific Ocean forming the southern reach of the Monterey Bay is drying up as underground water aquifers become increasingly depleted.

The lack of water inhibits economic growth, prevents the development of housing – including the affordable variety – and restricts commercial opportunity.

(LINK).

California Supreme Court Rejects Environmental Challenges to Monterey Water Project – America

The $330-Million Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project (MPWSP) took a step forward, as the California Supreme Court recently denied challenges to the sufficiency of the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The long-awaited desalination plant located off the coast of Monterey is being developed by California American Water Company (CalAm) and is intended to replace the Monterey Peninsula community’s existing Carmel River and Seaside Groundwater Basin supplies.

These supplies have been constrained for decades by legal decisions and habitat concerns, with desalinated seawater. 

(LINK).

Desalination: Poseidon still trying to plant its trident into Huntington Beach – California

Southern California was hit with enough rain in 2019 for many experts and observers to declare an end to the region’s most recent drought – which could be bad news for Poseidon Water’s plans to build a desalination plant near land’s edge in Huntington Beach.

It is hard to drum up a lot of noise for water security when we’re not in a drought. The current state of Southern California’s water security – or insecurity – certainly isn’t giving Poseidon any ammunition to make its case for a $1 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

Southern California’s droughts, of course, are cyclical, so the day will come again when Poseidon will be able to play its water insecurity card. A lack of a drought today, just the same, isn’t going to derail Poseidon’s quest to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

(LINK).

Gage: Setting the Record Straight on Seawater Desalination – California

A recent news release posted on the Voice of OC website was clouded by mischaracterizations of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which provides an important source of drinking water for San Diego County and reduces our region’s reliance on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta.

The plant is the result of a historic public-private partnership between the San Diego County Water Authority and Poseidon Water to ensure supply reliability for more than 3 million residents across the region.

It helped to ensure that the Water Authority had sufficient water to meet demand during the last drought, and we are confident it will help us weather the next drought … and the one after that.

(LINK).

Feds award $100 million to Lawrence Berkeley-led consortium to tap tech for water desalination – California

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory won a five-year, $100 million award to serve as a Department of Energy hub to look at “water security” issues, including energy-efficient and cost-effective desalination technologies.

The money, some of which still must be appropriated by Congress, also includes research into treating nontraditional water sources for a variety of uses.

The award to the National Alliance for Water Innovation led by the Energy Department’s Berkeley Lab and including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, 19 universities and 10 companies

(LINK).

California Focus: Desalination loses more urgency in hyper-wet winter – California

Desalination began to lose its urgency among Californians and their public officials two years ago, after the drought-busting winter of 2016-17, when heavy rain and snow ended dry conditions in most of the state.

The idea of drawing potable water from the sea became even less of a priority this year, when an autumn of record-level fires gave way to one of the state’s wettest winters on record.

(LINK).

MegaDroughts And Desalination — Another Pressing Need For Nuclear Power – California

About 20% of the world’s population has no access to safe drinking water, and this number will increase as the population continues to grow and global freshwater sources continue to decline. The worst-affected areas are the arid and semiarid regions of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

UNESCO has reported that the freshwater shortfall worldwide will rise to 500 trillion gallons/yr by 2025. They expect water wars to break out in the near-future. The World Economic Forum says that shortage of fresh water may be the primary global threat in the next decade.

But 500 trillion gallons/year only requires about 1,500 seawater desalination plants like the ones being built in California and Saudi Arabia. At a billion dollars a pop, that’s a lot cheaper than war and starvation.

(LINK).

As Water Scarcity Increases, Desalination Plants Are on the Rise – California

Some 30 miles north of San Diego, along the Pacific Coast, sits the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, the largest effort to turn salt water into fresh water in North America.

Each day 100 million gallons of seawater are pushed through semi-permeable membranes to create 50 million gallons of water that is piped to municipal users. Carlsbad, which became fully operational in 2015, creates about 10 percent of the fresh water the 3.1 million people in the region use, at about twice the cost of the other main source of water.

Expensive, yes, but vital for the fact that it is local and reliable. “Drought is a recurring condition here in California,” said Jeremy Crutchfield, water resources manager at the San Diego County Water Authority. “We just came out of a five-year drought in 2017. The plant has reduced our reliance on imported supplies, which is challenging at times here in California. So it’s a component for reliability.”

(LINK).

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