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 Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, named for a former mayor, is owned by Orion Water Partners LLC, the joint venture between Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners affiliate Poseidon.
Citing long-running efforts to secure a new Monterey Peninsula water supply and the state-imposed deadline for reducing unauthorized water usage, the county Planning Commission approved California American Water’s desalination plant north of Marina on Wednesday.
By a 6-4 vote, the commission backed a use permit for the proposed 6.4 million gallon per day desal plant. The plant is designed to provide about 40 percent of the Peninsula’s planned new water supply to offset the state’s Carmel River pumping cutback order set to take full effect at the end of 2021, as well as reduce pumping from the Seaside basin. The commission’s approval can be appealed to the Board of Supervisors.
With eight months left until the end of the year, the City of Santa Barbara is 8 percent shy of its goal to have half the power used by its municipal buildings come from renewable energy sources by 2020.
Since the Santa Barbara City Council committed to the goal in 2017, the city started installing three small scale solar arrays, two at fire stations and the last at the Eastside Branch Library, which began going up only this past week, said Alelia Parenteau, Energy Program supervisor at city Public Works.
The measure would allow the Department of Budget and Finance to issue up to $100 million in special purpose revenue bonds to assist Trevi Systems Inc. and Kona Coast Water in bringing operational two or more plants to desalinate water using 100 percent renewable solar energy and supply it to customers on Hawaii Island, and potentially other islands as well.
Developed by a research team at MIT, the proprietary system incorporates what are described as “well-known and standard chemical processes.” These include a nano-filtration process to initially remove unwanted compounds from the brine, followed by one or more stages of electrodialysis.