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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.

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EIR released for West Basin desalinization plant – California

The West Basin Municipal Water District on Wednesday released the much anticipated Environmental Impact Report for the ocean water desalination plant it has proposed in El Segundo. 

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.

Like the draft report, the final EIR finds that the environmental impacts of the proposed facility are “less than significant” and thus legally compliant. 

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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.”

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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.

It includes removing contaminants – many of which are salt compounds – from industrial wastewater and sewage, among other sources.

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American Water bids for one of the largest municipal utilities in the U.S. – America

Camden-based American Water could acquire one of the largest municipal-owned water utilities in the country after confirming it’s one of 17 companies bidding to buy JEA in Jacksonville, Florida.

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Oil and gas in New Mexico waste water disposal holds the key

Who could argue with anyone wanting to find environmentally sustainable solutions to treating and reusing the produced water associated with oil and gas development? It is a PR-must for the industry powerhouses who have trillion-dollar stakes in the Permian Basin and need to be seen as responsible corporate citizens.

It is also PR straw-to-gold for certain politicians whose playbook depends on vilifying oil and gas while simultaneously playing a cash-and-spend game with the billion-dollar royalty checks.

Fortunately, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has embraced a more independent and transparent position, as reflected in her recent remarks at the Carlsbad Mayor’s Energy Summit. Among other things, she is supporting a new produced water energy consortium – and is committed to developing a scientifically grounded regulatory environment that reflects viable water reuse policies for industry.

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NMSU, consortium partners awarded $100 million grant to tackle nation’s water challenges – New Mexico

New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering is part of a team that was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy five-year, $100 million grant to create the Energy-Water Desalination Hub to address water security issues.

As a member of the National Alliance for Water Innovation team, Pei Xu, the PESCO Endowed Professor and Ward Family Endowed Interdisciplinary Chair in Civil Engineering, is leading NMSU’s effort in the consortium that includes Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory along with 19 founding university partners and 10 founding industry partners.

The grant has a five-year renewal possibility.

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