“Hunter Water has lodged a State Significant Infrastructure application for a desalination plant at Belmont which could be used to supplement the Lower Hunter’s water supplies during times of extreme drought,” Mr Gainsford said.
Ocean water desalination, in which salt and other compounds would be removed from water in the Pacific and introduced into the water supply for drinking and other potential uses, could have numerous potential benefits, West Basin said, including “reducing reliance on imported water, improving water security through increased local control of water supplies,” and “improving climate resiliency” by providing a water source that is not dependent on the shifting volume of rain and snow that arrives each year.
Opponents, however, have said that the project poses significant environmental issues. The desalination process is energy-intensive, even more so than carrying imported water hundreds of miles from other parts of the state.
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.
The report, required by state and federal law, does not differ significantly from a draft version released 18 months ago. But its release is a significant step towards West Basin’s goal of constructing a desalination plant on the 33-acre El Segundo Generating Station site currently operated by NRG in El Segundo, just north of the Manhattan Beach border.
U.S. EPA to Provide $585 Million for Climate-Resilient Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Plant – United States
Poseidon Water released the following statement in response to today’s announcement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project to apply for $585 million in credit assistance under the federal government’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).
“We are pleased by the U.S. EPA’s acknowledgment that the Huntington Beach Desalination Project is an environmentally sound, regionally significant project that will produce clean, safe drinking water and high-quality jobs,” said Poseidon Water CEO Carlos Riva.
“WIFIA will make a tangible difference for Orange (News – Alert) County, providing ratepayers with affordable water that is locally controlled and climate resilient. The program is an excellent example of how the federal government can foster Public-Private Partnerships that modernize our nation’s water infrastructure.”
Q&A with research director of $100-million program to develop new sources for usable water – United States
Late last month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $100 million research grant to the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) to lead an Energy-Water Desalination Hub. Meagan Mauter, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is NAWI’s research director.
The five-year project will research and develop cost-competitive and energy-efficient technologies to desalinate nontraditional water sources for diverse end uses from agriculture to municipal drinking water. “Desalination” in this project is much broader than removing salt from seawater.
If American Water, the largest publicly traded water utility in the country, is successful in acquiring JEA’s water utilities, it would be one of its largest municipal deals to date, adding 357,000 water customers and 279,000 sewer customers to the 3.4 million its regulated utility business already serves.
The deal would also mark the first time American Water’s (NYSE: AWK) regulated utility business enters Florida, where its market-based business already runs a desalination plant and offers home warranty services.
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.
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.