Topic: Desalination

Overview

Desalination

Recurrent droughts and uncertainties about future water supplies have led several California communities to look to saltwater for supplemental supplies through a process known as desalination.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Opinion: Desalination is not the panacea

In response to Eberhard Brunner’s recent “Water in the West” op-ed, I’d like to share some facts about the true costs of desalinated water.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Opinion: Some losers in water project

In his Aug. 2 Herald commentary, Grant Leonard claimed that Cal Am’s proposed Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project would be a win-win for both Castroville, a disadvantaged community, and Carmel, which is on the other side of the economic spectrum. Some things challenge that claim.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Monday Top of the Scroll: Poseidon’s desalination plan for Huntington Beach delayed again

The Regional Water Quality Control Board concluded three days of hearings on the project’s next permit by telling Poseidon it must return with a more robust, more detailed mitigation plan to offset the environmental damage the project will cause.

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Aquafornia news Santa Barbara News-Press

City council discusses grant for desalination plant

The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously passed a motion Tuesday to introduce and subsequently adopt an ordinance authorizing a grant funding agreement with the State Department of Water Resources in the amount of $10 million for reactivation of the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Poseidon’s Huntington Beach desalination plant still in choppy waters

As Poseidon Water pursues the final government approvals needed to build one of the country’s biggest seawater desalination plants, the company still cannot definitively say who will buy the 50 million gallons a day of drinking water it wants to produce on the Orange County coast. That’s one of several questions that continue to dog the $1-billion Huntington Beach project…

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Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Santa Barbara council accepts $10 million grant to operate desalination plant

The Santa Barbara City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to accept a $10 million grant — with the understanding that it will run the plant at full capacity for at least 36 out of the next 40 years. Some environmentalists objected to the council’s decision, citing environmental concerns.

Aquafornia news Voice of Orange County

Questions over water official who took money from interests pushing desal project she’s voting on

Regional water board member Kris Murray is on track later this week to vote on a controversial desalination plant sponsored by a company and interest groups she took money from during past political campaigns.

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Aquafornia news Camarillo Acorn

$5M in federal funding granted for city’s desalter

The grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation will be used for the desalter plant that will treat brackish groundwater from the nearby Pleasant Valley Groundwater Basin. The filtered water will account for 40% of the city’s overall water supply once the facility is finished.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Poseidon desalination proposal for Huntington Beach may face new requirements

After hearings this week for one of two remaining major permits needed for the project, several members of the Regional Water Quality Control Board indicated they were dissatisfied with the proposed mitigation for the larvae and other small marine life that would die as a result of the plant’s ocean intake pipes.

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Aquafornia news LAist.com

Thirsty? This costly plant could let you drink the Pacific

Poseidon Resources wants to build a $1.4 billion desalination plant near a power plant that is about to be shut down. They say it could produce 50 million gallons of water per day, enough for about 100,000 Orange County homes. Friday marked the second day of hearings before the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. Its approval is needed for the plant to discharge salty brine left over from the treated water.

Aquafornia news Voice of Orange County

Public argues for, against Huntington Beach desalination plant, decision near

The 20-year battle between seawater desalters and Orange County environmentalists and community activists neared a turning point Thursday, the first in a series of final public hearings around a Huntington Beach desalination plant proposal before local regulators. Hearings and public comments at the state regional water board started Thursday, are continuing today…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Controversial Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach set for hearings this week

Poseidon Water’s seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach, first proposed in 1998, could be getting closer to beginning construction after more than two decades. The Santa Ana Regional Water Board will hold online hearings this week and decide whether to issue Poseidon a permit.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Poseidon’s desalination plant faces day of reckoning

After more than 20 years of developing plans for a Huntington Beach desalination plant and winding its way through a seemingly endless bureaucratic approval process, Poseidon Water comes to a key juncture as the Regional Water Quality Control Board votes on whether to grant a permit after hearings this week.

Aquafornia news PR Newswire

News release: Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board staff recommends approval of permit for Huntington Beach desal project

On Wednesday, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a staff report recommending approval of a tentative order making amendments to and renewing its operating permit first issued in 2006 for the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project.

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Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Polls show public support for 2 Orange County desalination proposals

Public support for proposed desalination plants in Huntington Beach and Dana Point appears strong in two recent polls, although opponents call the surveys biased and say neither poll addresses key obstacles facing these very different projects.

Aquafornia news Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

News release: Metropolitan approves funding of two local supply projects

In separate actions Tuesday, Metropolitan’s Board of Directors voted to provide $115 million to the San Diego County Water Authority and its project partners for water produced by the East County Advanced Water Purification Project in Santee and the Escondido Filtration Reverse Osmosis Facility.

Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

Stanford researchers design a more efficient, affordable desalination process

Taking a new approach to an old problem, Stanford researchers have created a device that could make converting seawater to freshwater profitable and environmentally benign.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am responds to desal opposition in Coastal Commission letter

California American Water officials are defending the company’s proposed desalination project in response to the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s move last month to formally oppose it at the Coastal Commission in favor of a proposed recycled water expansion.

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Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Opinion: Cal Am is blocking the Pure Water Monterey expansion

It seems some are willing to wait forever for a new water supply. After 25 years of failure, they still trust Cal Am to come up with a solution. But the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is clearly done waiting. Last Monday, the district board withdrew its support for Cal Am’s proposed desal plant.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Montecito Water District board approves new rates, supply agreement with Santa Barbara

The Montecito Water District took a major step forward to improve long-term water supply security and reliability during a special meeting on Thursday. The water district Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a 50-year water supply agreement between the MWD and the City of Santa Barbara.

Aquafornia news KGO TV

As potential mega-drought looms, Stanford researchers explore desalination system

Researchers at Stanford are working on a technology that may be needed more than ever over the next decade, especially if new predictions are accurate. … “To us, desalination is kind of the wave of the future,” says Stanford researcher William Tarpeh, Ph.D. Tarpeh and colleagues have been refining a technology that could eventually make widespread desalination cheaper, and safer for the environment.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey Peninsula water district board opposes Cal Am desal project

For the first time, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has formally expressed opposition to the California American Water desalination project, backing the proposed Pure Water Monterey recycled water project expansion instead… At the same time, the district took another step toward potential acquisition of Cal Am’s Monterey water system with the release of a draft environmental impact report on the proposed public buyout effort.

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Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Water district calls on Coastal Commission to deny Cal Am’s desalination permit

To a large extent, the fate of several multi-million dollar water projects on the Monterey Peninsula is in the hands of the California Coastal Commission. The question is whether the commission will grant a development permit for a desalination plant proposed by California American Water…

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Equal representation on a critical water board is denied due to political fighting

Thousands of people in Marina are being blocked from full representation on the board of a regional water agency, a casualty of a larger battle over the water future of the Monterey Peninsula.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Alternative desalination project to be studied for Doheny Beach

With its proposed Doheny desalination plant facing hurdles because of costs and a lack of partner water districts, the South Coast Water District board has agreed to spend $73,000 to study a scaled-down alternative.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey expansion remains afloat

A Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal has narrowly survived another attempt to shelve it indefinitely even as the main recycled water project struggles with operational and cost issues that have further postponed its water delivery date and hampered its capacity.

Aquafornia news The Log

Poseidon Water’s desalination plan: Are there cracks in the armor?

Marine life mitigation, the need for desalinated water in Orange County and the overall merits of Poseidon Water’s plan to build a $1 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach were some of the main talking points of a 10-hour virtual workshop, held on May 15. Highlighting the marathon of a workshop: pointed questions about the merits of Poseidon’s proposal…

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Activists’ plan to filibuster Monterey One Water meeting is scuttled by a leak

Over email, local water activists concocted a secret plan to derail a vote that would potentially kill one water project and bolster the prospects of another. The idea was to stage a “filibuster” of the Monterey One Water board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Regulators express concerns about Huntington Beach desalination project

The Poseidon desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach could be facing rough waters ahead, as several regulatory officials on Friday expressed concerns over the controversial plan.. During a Regional Water Quality Control Board workshop held online, three of the agency’s six board members persistently pressed local officials about the need, consumer cost and environmental harm of the $1 billion project.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Opinion: Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal falls short

The board of Monterey One Water recently voted not to certify a supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) for an expansion of Pure Water Monterey. While the expansion was a technical concept that might provide additional water for the Peninsula, the Board action injected some much-needed clear thinking and foresight into a critical topic for the Monterey Peninsula.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Opinion: How to waste $1 billion in less than a minute

Why would a public agency support an unnecessary and risky billion-dollar desalination plant and let a private utility profit hundreds of millions of dollars at the public’s expense? Here’s the story.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey Peninsula Water District calls for revisiting Pure Water Monterey expansion report

Monterey Peninsula Water Management District officials have requested the Monterey One Water board certify the Pure Water Monterey expansion project supplemental environmental impact report within 30 days and is withholding more than $600,000 representing part of its share of the environmental review.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

DOE launches $9M desalination prize

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of the $9 million American-Made Challenges: Solar Desalination Prize, a competition to accelerate the development of systems that use solar-thermal energy to produce clean water from very-high-salinity water.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey expansion environmental report rejected

A proposed Pure Water Monterey expansion at the center of a contentious debate over the future of the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply hit a huge roadblock on Monday night, leaving its future in serious doubt.

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Aquafornia news CBS 8

2nd crew begins work at Carlsbad desalination plant amid COVID-19 pandemic

A 10-person crew is in the midst of a three-week shelter-in-place shift at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, relieving an initial crew that self-quarantined on site for three weeks to continue producing clean drinking water for county residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Price of reclaimed water still too high for ag

If you’re a Central Valley farmer and haven’t yet been hit up by someone about reusing crummy water for irrigation — just wait. Companies are springing up all over with the latest gizmo they believe will take nasty, salty water, mostly from shallow aquifers on the valley’s west side or oilfield produced water, and make clean “new” irrigation water.

Aquafornia news East County Today

Antioch to receive $27 million settlement from California’s Department of Water Resources

The agreement pays Antioch $27 million, which guarantees that they will be able to utilize its 150-year old water rights and remain in the Delta for the long-term. The $27 million, in addition to $43 million in State grants and loans, completes the financing for the $70m Brackish Water Desalination Plant.

Aquafornia news Bay Area Monitor

The future of water: Onsite desalination for hyperlocal reuse

The basics of the relationship between water and energy are well known, but California’s recent drought revealed something surprising about this connection. When the state mandated a 25 percent drop in water use, the resulting energy savings turned out to be even higher than expected. This prompted the Department of Energy to find ways of making water more energy efficient.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Monday Top of the Scroll: Coronavirus: Carlsbad desal plant workers begin shelter-in-place to keep the water on

As of Friday, 10 workers are quarantined inside the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plan for the next three weeks, monitoring and adjusting gauges and switches, watching for leaks, and doing whatever is needed to safeguard San Diego County’s only significant local source of drinking water. … The “mission critical” employees will work 12-hour shifts, sleep in rented recreational vehicles in the parking lot, and be resupplied with fresh food left for them at the plant’s gate.

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Aquafornia news UC Irvine News

Blog: Driven for desalinization

Fresh water shortages have made desalination a possible solution for supplementing the overall water supply. To address this issue, a team of industry professionals and researchers have formed National Alliance of Water and Innovation to jointly examine the critical technical barriers and research needed to lower the energy cost of desalination and other water processing methods.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

One idea, two cool things: desalinated water and renewable energy

The contraption, reminiscent of Rube Goldberg, would produce two of Southern California’s most precious and essential resources: water and electricity. … The idea, developed by Silicon Valley-based Neal Aronson and his Oceanus Power & Water venture, caught the attention of the Santa Margarita Water District. The agency quickly saw the project’s viability to fill a void.

Aquafornia news WBUR

Driven by climate change, desalination researchers seek solutions to water scarcity

Extracting salt from water seems like an easy fix to a global problem, but the process of desalination can be expensive, and it can also have a huge impact on the environment. That’s why some researchers are looking into how to lower the cost and improve efficiency.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am gets Coastal Commission desal project extension

California American Water has received a 90-day extension of the deadline for the Coastal Commission to consider the company’s desalination project permit application, effectively allowing commission staff about four more months to complete additional analysis.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

California Coastal Commission staff asks Cal Am to postpone desal appeal

Coastal Commission staff has recommended California American Water withdraw and resubmit a coastal development permit application involving the company’s proposed Monterey Peninsula desalination project, which would likely postpone a hearing on the desal permit and a pending appeal until September at the earliest.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Proposed settlement reached in regional desal lawsuit

Eight years after the regional desalination project fell apart, the legal battle over its unraveling appears to be nearing a conclusion. A proposed settlement has been reached among the parties involved… It was presented on Monday in the San Francisco Superior Court overseeing the long-running lawsuit.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: California must include desalination in water portfolio

Understanding why desalination is so critical to California’s water future is a lot like building a personal budget. With a changing climate, growing population and booming economy, we need to include desalination in the water supply equation to help make up an imported water deficit.

Aquafornia news Dana Point Times

Talking desalination dollars

South Coast Water District will gear up to undertake its next milestone for desalination: financing the project. On Thursday, Jan. 9, after press time, General Manager Rick Shintaku requested authorization from SCWD’s Board of Directors to enter into an agreement with Clean Energy Capital to conduct a cost analysis for the proposed desalination project.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Coastal Commission should approve CalAm desalination plant

Nobody likes to look out to the Pacific Ocean and see oil derricks on the horizon. That’s why California wisely banned new offshore oil drilling 50 years ago. But in Monterey County, coastal views are limited by a relic of a bygone era: a giant, industrial sand plant right on the dunes between Highway One and the ocean.

Aquafornia news Popular Mechanics

Water desalination just got a lot better

A mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University has developed a new, micro-thin material to make membrane water desalination even better. Amir Barati Farimani, with fellow researchers Zhonglin Cao and Vincent Liu, has calculated how much better his metal organic framework (MOF) works than the traditional membrane method.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

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

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.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

With the future of the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply—and water utility—on the line, we take a look back at how we got here

There’s a war over the future of water on the Monterey Peninsula and it’s taking place in the board chambers of half a dozen state and local government entities. It’s also taking place on social media and in the press.

Aquafornia news Daily Pilot

Opinion: Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Plant will receive $585 million in credit assistance

Orange County has long been recognized as a worldwide leader for developing state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive new water supply technology, and we are not resting on our laurels. … This month, it was announced that the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Plant will receive $585 million in credit assistance under the EPA’s WIFIA program.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Bi-national conference tackles border region’s water issues

A bi-national conference at San Diego State University was aimed at analyzing water resources in the Baja California and San Diego border region where challenges include cross-border pollution and water scarcity… Experts at the Reborder 2019 conference discussed ways to improve regional access to “a secure and reliable water supply” through wastewater treatment and desalination.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin approves desalination-plant impact report — while dozens of foes stand against it

West Basin Municipal Water District took the next steps Monday toward building a desalination facility in El Segundo, a project that has drawn fierce opposition from conservation groups — including some who staged a rally before the meeting.

Aquafornia news Palo Alto Online

With new deal, Palo Alto banks on recycled water for drought protection

Seeking to fortify the city against future droughts, the Palo Alto City Council endorsed on Monday a long-term agreement with Santa Clara Valley Water District and Mountain View to build a salt-removal plant in the Baylands and then transfer the treated wastewater south.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin Municipal Water District to weigh proposed desalination plant in El Segundo

A proposed desalination plant in El Segundo could soon be one step closer to reality. The West Basin Municipal Water District will hold a special meeting in Carson on Monday, Nov. 18, where the board will weigh whether to certify an Environmental Impact Report for the proposal. … The board has not yet selected a company to build the proposed plant, which could cost more than $400 million.

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Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Coastal Commission staff wants more study of desal impact

Cal Am Water’s experts may have seriously underestimated the potential impact the company’s proposed desalination plant would have on the existing water supply nearby, the staff of the California Coastal Commission concluded in a report released this week as a supplement to its exhaustive report on the overall project.

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Aquafornia news ABC News Bakersfield

California health: Can desalinated water help Kern County’s water needs?

If California goes into another drought and Kern County needs an extra supply of water, Santa Barbara is open to partnering with communities like Kern County. “We’re able to do exchanges with people, so you could in theory have someone in the Central Valley be a partner in desal,” said Joshua Haggmark, water resource manager for Santa Barbara.

Aquafornia news KSBW TV

Editorial: Desal – No sale

Now is the time to focus on Pure Water Monterey and scrap the desal plans. If 10 years from now the recycled water project doesn’t do the trick, and there’s still a need for a desal plant, we can be optimistic that future advances in technology will make any desal option more environmentally-friendly and less expensive.

Aquafornia news Discover Magazine

Why desalinating water is hard — and why we might need to anyway

In places like San Diego and Dubai, where freshwater is scarce, humans turn to machines that pull the salt out of seawater, transforming it into clean drinking water. … Many researchers are working to improve the technology so it can reach more people — and address climate change without contributing to it.

Aquafornia news Stanford School of Engineering

Q&A: How do we develop new sources of usable water?

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 explains how this very large and potentially transformative project will work, and Stanford’s role in the work.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Montecito thirsting for new water source

After years of negotiations, the Montecito Water District is closing in on a deal to buy 1,430 acre-feet of water from the City of Santa Barbara, every year for the next 50 years. … The city would produce the extra supply at its $72 million desalination plant, at a yearly cost to Montecito of $4.3 million.

Aquafornia news Salinas Californian

Central Coast plan to shift water to wealthier areas meets protest

Activists and local government officials across Monterey County have banded together to fight a proposed desalination plant that could double the cost of water for some residents and endanger an aquifer that serves low-income communities.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The world can make more water from the sea, but at what cost?

Desalinated seawater is the lifeblood of Saudi Arabia, no more so than at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, an international research center that rose from the dry, empty desert a decade ago. … Desalination provides all of the university’s fresh water, nearly five million gallons a day. But that amount is just a tiny fraction of Saudi Arabia’s total production.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Area elected officials back anti-desal project letter

Touting a shift in local politics and a preferable alternative, more than two dozen area elected officials signed on to a letter to the Coastal Commission calling for denial of the California American Water desalination project.

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Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin Municipal Water District presents El Segundo desalination plant to Manhattan Beach leaders for the first time

The final environmental study for a proposed desalination plant in El Segundo will soon be released, the City Council for adjacent Manhattan Beach learned this week, when it received its first formal presentation on the potential project — even though the West Basin Municipal Water District first pitched the plant in 2015.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Court ruling pauses Cal Am desal plant project

A Monterey County Superior Court judge has called a halt to work on the California American Water desalination plant project, at least temporarily, while a California Coastal Commission appeal challenging the project’s source wells is pending.

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Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Opinion: Cal Am looks to the future

While cities on the Monterey Peninsula have been working to address housing needs and the business community is actively looking to create more jobs, there is one component they all need to complete their plans – reliable, drought-proof access to water.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey project nears finish line with ceremony

The project is the first of its kind to tap agricultural run-off among a variety of wastewater sources for conversion into potable, drinking water that would represent about a third of the Monterey Peninsula’s new drinking water supply.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Opinion: Public water now

Over 30 years, Cal Am’s Desal would cost $1.2 billion while the Pure Water Monterey expansion would be only $190 million. But the cost in dollars is not the only comparison that should be made. The environmental cost comparison is also dramatic.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

$100 million desalination project to be led by Berkeley Lab

In an effort to widen the use of a nearly limitless — but expensive — source of water for California and other places worldwide that are prone to shortages, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been selected to lead a $100 million project aimed at bringing down the cost of desalination.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Monterey Peninsula chief water counter says planned desalination plant far outpaces water demand

The Monterey Peninsula has gotten so good at conserving water that there is no need to build a costly desalination plant for decades – even if the region experiences unprecedented growth – according to a report from the top executive at the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District.

Aquafornia news Orange County Breeze

Report on Poseidon desalination plant in Carlsbad shows poor performance and high costs

The San Diego County Water Authority’s 2019 fiscal year report on the Carlsbad ocean desalination plant shows poor performance at the facility. According to the report, Poseidon paid a penalty of almost $2 million for non-delivery of water, reaffirming concerns around affordability and reliability raised by community advocates …

Western Water Gary Pitzer California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Often Short of Water, California’s Southern Central Coast Builds Toward A Drought-Proof Supply
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Water agencies in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo counties look to seawater, recycled water to protect against water shortages

The spillway at Lake Cachuma in central Santa Barbara County. Drought in 2016 plunged its storage to about 8 percent of capacity.The southern part of California’s Central Coast from San Luis Obispo County to Ventura County, home to about 1.5 million people, is blessed with a pleasing Mediterranean climate and a picturesque terrain. Yet while its unique geography abounds in beauty, the area perpetually struggles with drought.

Indeed, while the rest of California breathed a sigh of relief with the return of wet weather after the severe drought of 2012–2016, places such as Santa Barbara still grappled with dry conditions.

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Blog: New $100m innovation hub to accelerate R&D for a secure water future

The Hub will focus on early-stage research and development for energy-efficient and cost-competitive desalination technologies and for treating nontraditional water sources for various end uses.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Report: Peninsula may not need desal for two more decades

Reaction has been predictably mixed to a new report that concludes the Monterey Peninsula may be able to get by with recycled water instead of desalinated water for the next two decades and perhaps beyond.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Camarillo officials celebrate groundbreaking for desalter plant

The groundbreaking ceremony was decades in the making for the North Pleasant Valley Groundwater Desalter Plant, which aims to convert brackish water from the Calleguas Creek watershed into potable water for the city of Camarillo.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey recycled water project delays continue

Completion and operation of the much-anticipated Pure Water Monterey recycled water project have been delayed again and it is now expected to miss another key water delivery deadline set for the end of this year.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Supreme Court won’t consider Marina’s challenge to Cal Am desalination plant

With every passing week, California American Water clears more hurdles as it sets out to build a desalination plant near Marina. The most recent victory for the proponents of the $329 million project came on Aug. 28 at the California Supreme Court.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Center for Chula Vista students fosters learning about water

Fifth graders now have a space to learn everything about water, from conservation to careers in the water industry. The Hydro Station is an initiative of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), the Otay Water District and Sweetwater Authority. This facility consists of a classroom right next to the Richard A. Reynolds desalination plant, which is estimated to receive about 4,500 students every school year.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Marina Coast sues Monterey County, Cal Am over desal plant approval

Arguing that Monterey County officials improperly ignored new groundwater impact information and a viable, even preferable recycled water alternative, Marina Coast Water District has sued the county and California American Water over the county’s narrow approval of Cal Am’s desalination plant permit.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Opinion: Urgency lost in hyper-wet winter

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.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Opinion: Desalination loses urgency in super-wet winter

Whenever the price of other water goes up, desalinating Pacific waters becomes more enticing. It will become more so if the price of filtering minerals out of salt water drops. But if the price and availability of fresh water remains reasonable, as it surely will be this year, desal stays in the back seat.

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Blog: Moving forward on desalination

Jeff Urban, a staff scientist who specializes in new materials for energy storage and conversion at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, a Department of Energy nanoscience research facility, explains what forward osmosis is and how Berkeley Lab is addressing the challenges.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Scientists cook up new recipes for taking salt out of seawater

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) investigating how to make desalination less expensive have hit on promising design rules for making so-called “thermally responsive” ionic liquids to separate water from salt.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Peninsula mayors water authority downsizes

Seven and a half years after it was formed, the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority is moving forward with a smaller, less expensive version of itself. … The authority has completed the vast majority of its mandate in backing a new water supply for the Peninsula and can now be expected to shift its focus toward dealing with the state water board’s Carmel River pumping cutback order.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Scrutiny grows over whether small, South County Water District can afford desalination plant

The project’s ocean-friendly technology has won praise from the same environmentalists fighting a desalter plant proposed by Poseidon Water for Huntington Beach, one of several things that distinguish the south county plant from the more controversial project to the north. … But the price tag is steep for a district that serves a relatively modest population of 35,000, just over 1% of the county.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Montecito water rate study on desal deal with Santa Barbara gets delayed

A long-awaited Montecito Water District rate study, planned for release this May, will not be finished until later this year, officials said this week. The study can’t proceed until the district finishes negotiating the terms of an agreement for buying into Santa Barbara’s desalination plant.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation awards $5.1 million in research for new ways to desalinate and treat water

The Bureau of Reclamation announced that 30 projects will receive $5.1 million from the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program to develop improved and inexpensive ways to desalinate and treat impaired water.

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Monterey County gives Cal Am the green light

Monterey County supervisors voted Monday to let California American Water start construction on its desalination plant even before the state Coastal Commission makes a decision on the technology involved.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Forbes

Opinion: Megadroughts and desalination — another pressing need for nuclear power

Only 15 out of the thousands of desalination plants operating today worldwide are powered by nuclear. A small one is at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in California, slated to be closed soon. The plant could power several huge desalination plants for decades that could desalinate its own cooling water, removing the most commonly stated problem with the plant.

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Opinion: The future of Monterey County water

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors will decide July 15 if California American Water will be permitted to build its $329 million desal plant. The supervisors will be hearing appeals brought by Public Water Now and the Marina Coast Water District challenging the county Planning Commission’s decision to allow Cal Am to proceed with this seriously flawed venture. There are some major problems with the proposed plant.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

Arizona senators propose drought bill

A bill sponsored by U.S. Sens. Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema would put aside hundreds of millions of dollars for water storage projects, water recycling, and desalination plants. … The bill is also sponsored by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

The fight over Monterey Peninsula’s water future is a debate over who gets to decide

What is at stake is the water supply for the Monterey Peninsula. Consuming water drawn from the Carmel River is no longer feasible, neither ecologically nor legally. But the power to decide on an alternative supply is largely vested in the hands of public officials from outside the region.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey in default on agreement after missing Monday deadline

Pure Water Monterey, the highly touted recycled water project, is in default on a water purchase agreement with California American Water after failing to meet a Monday deadline for delivering potable water even as the project’s costs rise amid the delay.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Mexican waters eyed as source to save California’s Salton Sea

From sea to shining sea may take on a new meaning in California, as state officials are reviewing billion dollar plans to import water from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez to help raise water levels at the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Camarillo Acorn

Council awards bid for long-discussed desalter

The facility would serve two main purposes. In addition to weaning Camarillo customers off imported water from Calleguas Municipal Water District, it would also help filter out the everincreasing amount of salt found in the plumes of water beneath much of the eastern half of the city.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am desal project appeal headed to Coastal Commission next month

Cal Am, two members of the Coastal Commission and two local appellants are challenging the Marina city Planning Commission’s March 7 denial of a coastal development permit for the $329 million desal project, including seven slant source water wells and associated infrastructure

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

Aberdeen is said to buy water plant for more than $1 billion

An affiliate of Aberdeen Standard Investments has agreed to buy the Carlsbad desalination plant in Southern California for more than $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. A transaction could be announced as soon as this week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Aquafornia news KALW

A small city fights plans for a desalination plant

The desalination plant would have seven wells sloping into the ground and sucking up water underneath the dunes, removing the salt, and sending it to cities on the Monterey Peninsula … but not Marina. They wouldn’t get any of the desalinated water because they’re not served by CalAm. Biala and other Marina residents oppose the plant because they think it will cause irreversible damage to their town’s ecosystems.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Huntington Beach desalination plant: How it might have been operating by now

The slower timeline for Huntington Beach resulted in it facing new, stricter regulations and additional delays. The controversial plant still needs two major permits, opponents remain steadfast and a recent water-supply study raised questions about the cost and need for the project.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Public Water Now appeals Monterey County’s Cal Am desal approval

The organization best known for backing a public takeover of Cal Am’s local [Monterey Peninsula] water system filed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s narrow approval of a permit for the 6.4-million-gallon-per-day desal plant north of Marina and associated infrastructure. The appeal argues the desal project proposal fails to properly address several key details, including groundwater rights, and calls for the county to require a supplemental environmental review before considering the proposal.

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Aquafornia news Business Insider

Silicon Valley drinking water crisis is a result of drought, climate

The combination of droughts and floods has given rise to a process known as saltwater intrusion — what San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo refers to as his city’s greatest climate threat. … In coastal regions like San Jose, overpumping allows seawater to seep into the city’s aquifers, exposing local residents to excess sodium in their drinking water. The problem is compounded by sea level rise, which pushes seawater inland toward the city’s filtration system.

Aquafornia news California Water News Daily

San Diego water board updates, renews Carlsbad desalination plant permit

Poseidon Water, owner of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, has received an updated permit from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (SDRWQCB) governing the desalination plant’s discharges into the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, the permit includes structural and operational changes to provide greater protection for marine life and water quality.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Indian Wells board hears brackish water study update

A brackish water study conducted by consulting firm Aqualogic has predicted three potential areas that can be tapped for brackish water extraction in the Indian Wells Valley. … The brackish water project has the potential to help expand local supplies if the water is properly treated and brine removed.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Opinion: Soquel Creek should re-examine water need

We have learned over the last six years that the water need for Santa Cruz to meet its own annual demand is 1.1 billion gallons less than thought in 2014, when the two districts were pursuing the desalination plant.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Marina, Coastal Commission staff disagree over Cal Am right to desal appeal

Coastal Commission staff on Monday reiterated to The Herald that Cal Am can appeal the city’s denial under the state’s Coastal Act because the city charges an appeal fee. They called the city’s own rules “internally inconsistent” and noted the Coastal Act’s regulations supercede local ones.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Some common questions on California water (Part I)

People are interested in California water problems, and they ask reasonable questions. Here is a first installment of short science-based answers to some reasonable questions often heard at public and private discussions of water in California.

With Drought Plan in Place, Colorado River Stakeholders Face Even Tougher Talks Ahead On The River’s Future
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Talks are about to begin on a potentially sweeping agreement that could reimagine how the Colorado River is managed

Lake Mead, behind Hoover Dam, shows the effects of nearly two decades of drought. Even as stakeholders in the Colorado River Basin celebrate the recent completion of an unprecedented drought plan intended to stave off a crashing Lake Mead, there is little time to rest. An even larger hurdle lies ahead as they prepare to hammer out the next set of rules that could vastly reshape the river’s future.

Set to expire in 2026, the current guidelines for water deliveries and shortage sharing, launched in 2007 amid a multiyear drought, were designed to prevent disputes that could provoke conflict.

Aquafornia news The Log

Poseidon’s restoration obligations on deck at Coastal Commission meeting

Poseidon Water might be fighting for its desalination future in Huntington Beach, but the corporation’s representatives will be in front of the California Coastal Commission for an entirely different matter on May 9: the restoration and conversion of a 90.9-acre salt pond to tidal wetlands and 34.6-acrer Otay River floodplain site in San Diego.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Cal Am’s desal permit remains in limbo as Marina weighs what to tell the Coastal Commission

It was the best attended city council meeting that didn’t happen. … But when everyone filed into City Hall, no councilmembers were in sight. Only Assistant City Attorney Deborah Mall appeared. She said Cal Am had withdrawn its appeal at the last minute on April 29 and the council could not proceed with a hearing.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: California must embrace desalination to ensure water supply

In one key respect, California is lagging behind many other parts of the world. Climate change is causing drought and water shortages everywhere, but California has been slow to adopt a solution that over 120 countries are using: desalination.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am withdraws appeal of desal permit denial

Cal Am announced it had been told by city officials its request for the mayor and two council members to recuse themselves due to alleged bias against the desal project would not be honored. The company will now appeal the commission’s denial directly to the Coastal Commission.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am desal plant gets narrow Planning Commission OK

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am desal plant project goes to Monterey County Planning Commission

Considered by many the key to long-running efforts to cut unauthorized pumping from the Carmel River, California American Water’s proposed desalination plant project is headed to the Monterey County Planning Commission next week. On Wednesday, the commission is set to conduct a public hearing on a combined development permit for the proposed 6.4-million-gallon-per-day desal plant.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Madaffer says he’s the new sheriff in the San Diego water world

Since Jim Madaffer became chairman of the board of the San Diego County Water Authority, two long-time staffers have left and talk has begun heating up about a multibillion-dollar tunnel project to give San Diego a second connection to water from the Colorado River. The tunnel plan would be the single largest, most expensive and complex project the Water Authority has ever attempted.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey pipeline cost headed for customers’ water bills

Cal Am is seeking California Public Utilities Commission approval to start raising local customers’ rates by May 11 to pay for the 7-mile pipeline from Seaside to Pacific Grove, which is in operation and is designed to allow pumping of new desalinated and recycled water sources from the Seaside basin to local customers.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

With an impending deadline, Cal Am pushes for desal plant permits amid changing waterscape

When you turn on a faucet on the Monterey Peninsula, you’re consuming water that’s been illegally pumped from Carmel River. Now, after more than two decades of this, scores of public officials, utility executives and citizen advocates are working – and sometimes fighting – to replace the region’s water supply before state-mandated sanctions kick in. California American Water is forging ahead with its plan: a desalination plant near Marina.

Aquafornia news Encinitas Advocate

Olivenhain to start desalinating groundwater with test well

Construction starts this month on a $1.5 million test well to show whether desalinated groundwater could supplement the drinking water supply for 86,000 customers of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. The district serves parts of Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Diego, San Marcos, Solana Beach and neighboring communities, and relies almost entirely on water imported from the Colorado River and Northern California.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Here’s how much the Pure Water project could raise your water bill

San Diego water customers will soon pay $6 to $13 more a month to fund the first part of the city’s new recycled water project, according to a newly released estimate. The city is working on a multibillion-dollar plan to purify enough sewage to provide a third of the city’s drinking water by 2035.

Aquafornia news Western City Magazine

Desalination’s potential for California’s water supply

As a result of California’s outdated water infrastructure and persistent droughts, some elected leaders are shifting the focus to investing in seawater desalination to help address the state’s water crisis. While less than half a dozen desalination plants currently exist in the state, the idea is gaining momentum and greater support at the state level.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Antioch approves $10 million grant for desalination plant

Antioch’s plan to build a long-awaited brackish desalination plant got a major boost this week when the City Council officially accepted a $10 million state grant that will pay toward design and construction. The city’s grant was one of three statewide to be awarded in March 2018 from the Department of Water Resources for desalination projects under Proposition 1…

Aquafornia news The Coast News Group

New recycled water purification system coming to Oceanside

The city is suiting up for construction of a new facility later this year that will purify recycled water to create a new, local source of drinking water for residents by 2022. Pure Water Oceanside is a water purification system that aims to reduce the city’s reliance on imported water, improve groundwater resources, increase local water supply and strengthen the city’s resiliency to drought and climate change in an environmentally sound process.

Aquafornia news KGTV

Oceanside takes control of water destiny, preparing to purify recycled water

The City of Oceanside is taking control of its water destiny, investing in a facility to purify recycled water from homes. “It’s not being used, it’s really a waste. A lot of that water is going out to the ocean and it’s really a precious resource,” said Cari Dale, Water Utilities Director for the city. This Fall they’ll break ground on the Pure Water Oceanside facility, which will sit right next to the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Poseidon optimism grows for desalination plant but several hurdles remain

The Regional Water Quality Control Board … detailed a specific timeline for the board’s permit process — with a final vote penciled in for Oct. 25. Poseidon Vice President Scott Maloni interpreted that as a signal that board geologists, engineers and administrators are confident they can work through outstanding issues.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Sand City seeks increase of its desal plant’s intake wells

The only Monterey Peninsula city with its own desalination plant is looking to install new intake wells to help balance the salinity levels and increase output to the 300-acre-foot-per-year design capacity of the almost 10-year-old Sand City desalination facility. The plant, which is owned by Sand City and is operated by California American Water, is currently running at 200 acre-feet per year.

Aquafornia news The Coast News Group

Oceanside to receive more than $2.6 million for water infrastructure

The city of Oceanside is receiving more than $2.6 million in federal funding to increase its local water supply and to reduce brine discharge into the ocean. The city will receive $2.623 million in funding from the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART’s Desalination Construction Projects under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), subject to federal appropriations.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Desalination project permit denial by Marina to be appealed

A week after the Marina Planning Commission unanimously rejected a key desalination project permit, California American Water has filed an appeal of the decision to the Marina City Council. On Wednesday, Cal Am filed the appeal to the council, arguing the planning commission erred in its denial of a coastal development permit for parts of the proposed desal project.

Aquafornia news Orange County Weekly

MWDOC study finds better options than Poseidon desalination plant

A recently completed study on the cost effectiveness and financial risk of proposals to meet water supply demands through 2050 concludes that the controversial Poseidon desalination project in Huntington Beach would produce more water than the Orange County basin needs and cost ratepayers far more than alternatives such as recycling and capturing rainwater.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Editorial: Saving for a (non) rainy day

One tunnel or two, neither idea adds a drop of the water to needs of the nearly 40 million people who call California home. The tunnels simply divert existing water supplies while putting in severe jeopardy the largest freshwater estuary west of the Mississippi River, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta that juts into the western edge of Stockton. Clearly, there must be better solutions. Three approaches leap to mind: storage, conservation and desalination.

Aquafornia news The Source Magazine

Opinion: How utilities can adapt cap and trade for water security

To make a real structural shift, utilities must engage a broader group of actors in the process, and that is where cap and trade comes into play, this time for water systems. … A smattering of cap-and-trade schemes already aim to address water pollution in various water bodies. Yet most such trading programmes have focused on water quality. Now their frameworks must be expanded to account for water quantity, encouraging efficiency, reinvestment, and supply diversification.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Oceanside takes step toward water independence with $2.6 million grant

Oceanside announced it will receive a $2.6 million federal grant to build two more of the wells that the city has used for more than 20 years to supply a portion of its drinking water. The wells pump brackish water from what’s called the Mission Basin, an area near the airport, the old swap meet property and the San Luis Rey River. The city filters the water using the same reverse osmosis process used on a much larger scale in Carlsbad to desalinate seawater.

Southern California Water Providers Think Local in Seeking to Expand Supplies
WESTERN WATER SIDEBAR: Los Angeles and San Diego among agencies pursuing more diverse water portfolio beyond imports

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant in Carlsbad last December marked 40 billion gallons of drinking water delivered to San Diego County during its first three years of operation. The desalination plant provides the county with more than 50 million gallons of water each day.Although Santa Monica may be the most aggressive Southern California water provider to wean itself from imported supplies, it is hardly the only one looking to remake its water portfolio.

In Los Angeles, a city of about 4 million people, efforts are underway to dramatically slash purchases of imported water while boosting the amount from recycling, stormwater capture, groundwater cleanup and conservation. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 announced a plan to reduce the city’s purchase of imported water from Metropolitan Water District by one-half by 2025 and to provide one-half of the city’s supply from local sources by 2035. (The city considers its Eastern Sierra supplies as imported water.)

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

California touts desalination, but take it with a grain of salt

The new administration has signaled a shift in water policy by specifically talking about turning salty water potable after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he would support only a single tunnel as part of the project known as WaterFix. … But talking up desalination is much easier than making it a reality. In the four years since California updated its desalination regulations, none of the eight applications for new or expanded facilities has been approved. Meanwhile, the costs for the projects keep rising and the state has few details about its plans.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star News

Opinion: Barbara Boxer: It’s time to provide Californians with a reliable, resilient water supply

As Californians, I believe we must look west to the Pacific Ocean, where seawater desalination offers a proven, climate change-resilient solution. No longer do we need verification from Israel, the Middle East and Australia, where desalination facilities have literally helped save lives and fend off debilitating droughts due of climate change. Now, we can look much closer to home — in San Diego.

Aquafornia news California Institute for Water Resources

Blog: Rising to the challenges of 21st century water management in Los Angeles

In a recent paper, Stephanie Pincetl, director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA, and co-authors argue that investments made over the years to fortify the city’s supply with additional imported water have not solved LA’s water shortages. … The paper asserts that LA could become water self-reliant by strategically investing in local supplies, and offers several concrete strategies for improving LA’s water security. 

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pure Water Soquel project faces environmental civil lawsuit

A leader in a grassroots group pushing for interagency transfers to solve regional water supply shortfalls has filed an environmental lawsuit against Soquel Creek Water District. The civil lawsuit … takes aim at the water district’s Pure Water Soquel project, which its board of directors approved in December. The suit points to alleged shortcomings in Pure Water Soquel’s state-mandated environmental impact report.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

City won’t say how $3b Pure Water project will affect customers’ bills

San Diego is in the midst of spending roughly $3 billion on a massive new water treatment system, but city officials can’t or won’t tell customers how that will affect their water bills. New water recycling plants will eventually purify enough sewage to provide a third of the city’s drinking water. In December, Voice of San Diego asked the city to estimate how much customers’ bills will increase because of the Pure Water project. The city, after weeks of delay, finally declined last week to offer any estimate because “there is no simple calculation” they could perform.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey project hits home stretch

A partnership between Monterey One Water and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, the project is designed to produce up to 3,500 acre-feet of highly treated water per year to the Peninsula for injection into the Seaside basin and later extraction and use by California American Water for its Peninsula customers. … The recycled water project is a key part of the proposed replacement water supply portfolio for the Peninsula to offset the state water board’s Carmel River pumping cutback order.

Aquafornia news UC Davis California Water Blog

Blog: Improving public perception of water reuse

Technology already exists to treat reused water to levels meeting or exceeding health standards. But adequate technical capacity is not sufficient. Water reuse can trigger revulsion, especially when water is reused for drinking or other potable purposes. This note explores outreach and engagement strategies to overcome the “yuck factor” and achieve public support for water reuse.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Despite lawsuit, crucial desal permit proceeds

California American Water’s Monterey Peninsula desalination project is in the midst of another critical phase even as a Carmel River pumping cutback order milestone requiring the start of construction looms later this year. … The city of Marina is on schedule to consider the project’s coastal development permit application covering mostly proposed desal plant feeder slant wells on the CEMEX sand mining plant by mid-March, according to a senior city planning official.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Newsom’s picks for environmental protection and water chiefs will reveal his priorities

Far less settled is how Newsom will fill his administration’s most important positions regarding state water policy. One of Newsom’s key tests confronts him immediate: State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus’ term expires this week.

Aquafornia news Wired

Desalination is booming. But what about all that toxic brine?

The primary byproduct of desal is brine, which facilities pump back out to sea. The stuff sinks to the seafloor and wreaks havoc on ecosystems, cratering oxygen levels and spiking salt content. … Researchers report today that global desal brine production is 50 percent higher than previous estimates, totaling 141.5 million cubic meters a day, compared to 95 million cubic meters of actual freshwater output from the facilities. 

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Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Gavin Newsom appoints Wade Crowfoot to lead Natural Resources Agency

Wade Crowfoot will lead the agency that oversees state parks, the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, among other offices, Newsom announced Friday.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Poseidon prevails in desalination lawsuit

A lawsuit seeking a new environmental report for the controversial Poseidon desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach was rejected by a Sacramento Superior Court judge on Tuesday. Judge Richard Sueyoshi found the supplemental report met legal requirements while noting the 2010 study had never been legally challenged.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Gov. Newsom names Jared Blumenthal as California EPA chief

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has named Jared Blumenfeld, a former Obama administration official and longtime environmental advocate as the new secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Blumenfeld, 49, of San Francisco, will run the agency, known as Cal-EPA, which oversees a broad range of environmental and public health regulations statewide, on topics that include air pollution, water pollution, toxics regulation, pesticides and recycling. 

Aquafornia news Payson Roundup

Opinion: California desalination key to Arizona water solution

Arizona must identify our next bucket of water. Championing desalination along the California coastline is one long-term solution that can help secure Arizona’s economic and water future.

Aquafornia news U.S. News & World Report

A Moonshot for Solving America’s Water Crisis

A government-funded five-year, $100 million effort to develop technologies around water desalination is seen as the best hope in generations for making the technology accessible.

Aquafornia news California Water News Daily

Michael Montgomery selected as new executive officer, SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

Montgomery is known for fostering collaborative relationships among stakeholders and as a leader in protecting and restoring water quality within California and throughout the Southwest and the Pacific Islands. He is currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Water Division in the US Environmental Protection Agency (Region 9).

 

Central Coast Tour 2019
Field Trip - November 6-7

This 2-day, 1-night tour offered participants the opportunity to learn about water issues affecting California’s scenic Central Coast and efforts to solve some of the challenges of a region struggling to be sustainable with limited local supplies that have potential applications statewide.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Marina city, Marina Coast file for CPUC rehearing on desalination approval

In the wake of filing lawsuits in state Supreme Court challenging approval of the California American Water desalination project approval, the Marina Coast Water District and the city of Marina have both filed petitions with the state Public Utilities Commission for rehearing of the desal project application.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Marina Coast, city of Marina sue CPUC over Cal Am desal project

In a widely anticipated move,  the city of Marina and the Marina Coast Water District filed lawsuits last week in state Supreme Court challenging the California Public Utilities Commission’s approval of California American Water’s desalination project.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Poseidon desalination plant scores low in ranking of Orange County water projects

The controversial Poseidon desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach is the least cost-effective option and carries the most fiscal risk of key water projects being pursued in Orange County, according to a newly released draft report.

Aquafornia news City News Service

San Diego County Water Authority stops work on desalination plant at Camp Pendleton

The San Diego County Water Authority Friday announced it will cease work on a seawater desalination plant at Camp Pendleton because of excessive permitting and cost hurdles by the State Lands Commission.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

CPUC gives Cal Am desal project unanimous go-ahead

After six and a half years of review, the state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved a permit for California American Water’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, including a North Marina desalination plant.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Full commission ‘engaged’ in CPUC hearing on Cal Am desalination project

In a sign of how seriously the state Public Utilities Commission is taking the debate over the future of water supply on the Monterey Peninsula, all five commissioners attended a CPUC oral argument hearing on California American Water’s proposed desalination project in San Francisco on Wednesday. Several of those who attended the hearing said three of the five commissioners asked a number of questions of the parties to the desal project proceeding, and all five appeared “engaged and interested” in the issue.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: CPUC’s proposed decision backs Cal Am desalination project

In a major development for California American Water’s long-sought desalination project, the California Public Utilities Commission has issued a proposed decision recommending approval of the proposal known as the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

CPUC ruling orders Cal Am to release confidential regional desalination records

After a protracted legal battle, a California Public Utilities Commission ruling has been issued requiring California American Water to release by this week unredacted [Monterey] county Water Resources Agency invoices for work on the long-defunct regional desalination project at the heart of a $1.9 million settlement agreement between the two.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am desal project recommendation promised by Aug. 13

A California Public Utilities Commission proposed decision on California American Water’s desalination project will be issued by Monday next week (Aug. 13), and will appear on the commission’s Sept. 13 meeting agenda, according to a commission spokeswoman.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Poseidon desalination plant OK’d for preliminary contract terms

Concerns over the cost and environmental impacts of desalinated water were overridden by the desire to fortify water supplies when the Orange County Water District board voted 6-2 Wednesday to approve non-binding contract terms with Poseidon, which has spent 20 years on the desalination plant proposal for Huntington Beach.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Poseidon desalination plant: What to know about its pros and cons for Southern California water

The day of reckoning is drawing near for Huntington Beach’s long-planned desalination plant, which would help quench Orange County’s thirst with sea water and free up imported water for the rest of the Southern California. Twenty years and $50 million into the process, officials with plant purveyor Poseidon are optimistic they will get their final two permits — possibly by year’s end.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Desalination in Las Vegas? Faraway ocean could aid future water needs.

Sin City has never been a place that thinks small. So it should come as no surprise that Las Vegas – about 300 miles from the Pacific Ocean – is pondering seawater desalination to meet its long-term water demand. That doesn’t mean Vegas plans to build a pipeline to the ocean. More likely, it would help pay for a desalination facility in a place like Mexico, then trade that investment for a piece of Mexico’s water rights in the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Arizona considers desalination options for future water supply

Not if, but when. That’s the future of water desalination plants in Arizona, according to the head of the state’s water department. They are controversial and expensive, but Arizona’s current leadership views desalinated water – or “desal” – as key to the state’s long-term water plans. Arizona sits atop an estimated 600 million acre-feet of brackish water.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Formal calls for Pure Water Monterey expansion, Cal Am desal project delay filed with CPUC

Several parties including the Monterey Peninsula mayors regional water authority have called for delaying California American Water’s proposed Marina desalination plant for a year or more to allow pursuit of a proposed Pure Water Monterey recycled water expansion and continued settlement talks in an attempt to avoid litigation.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California desalination projects move forward with new state funding

California water officials have approved $34.4 million in grants to eight desalination projects across the state, including one in the East Bay city of Antioch, as part of an effort to boost the water supply in the wake of the state’s historic, five-year drought.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Giant Rosarito Beach desalination project faces scrutiny

With Tijuana and other rapidly growing coastal cities heavily dependent on the Colorado River, Baja California urgently needs to find new water sources. Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega de Lamadrid’s administration has offered a solution: Build the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere, enough to ensure a supply for decades to come.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Huntington Beach desalination plant challenged in court

A coalition of non-profits is asking a superior court to reverse a state agency’s decision to greenlight a long-proposed, controversial desalination plant in Huntington Beach. … The Poseidon desalination plant has been proposed for the site of the AES power plant on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach for nearly 20 years, and has been continually challenged and fought by environmental groups.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Stinson Beach water district considers desalination

The small Stinson Beach County Water District is looking at desalination as a way to guard water supplies as hoards descend on the beach community in summer, and as drought and climate change loom. The district serves about 730 residences and 2,000 people in and around Stinson Beach, drawing water from four creeks as well as groundwater supplies.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Poseidon desalination plant clears hurdle, sparks outcry

The final round of battles between the people who want to build the Poseidon desalination water plant, and the grass roots environmental groups who oppose it, began Thursday in a crowded city hall chamber in Huntington Beach. … The three-member [State Lands] commission voted late Thursday to approve the project as long as the operators agree to eliminate or reduce carbon emissions.

Aquafornia news Daily Pilot

Proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant clears a hurdle with State Lands Commission vote

A proposed Huntington Beach seawater desalination plant passed a major regulatory hurdle Thursday when a marathon session at City Hall concluded with an endorsement from the California State Lands Commission.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Will Orange County drink ocean water? Decisions on desalination project could answer that.

A regulatory showdown that could set a precedent for large scale desalination plants throughout the state is expected to take place Thursday in Huntington Beach where a three-member commission will decide whether the hotly contested Poseidon ocean purification plant can move forward.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Feinstein lends support to Huntington Beach desalination project

As supporters and opponents of a proposed Huntington Beach desalination project gear up for a key meeting before the State Lands Commission, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has weighed in.

Aquafornia news Daily Pilot

Poseidon’s environmental plan doesn’t halt criticism of proposed desalination plant

Poseidon Water announced this week that its proposed ocean desalination plant in Huntington Beach would employ an environmental protection and energy efficiency plan. But that didn’t halt criticism of the controversial facility.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Huntington Beach desalination plant one step closer to becoming a reality

A desalination plant planned for Huntington Beach and more than a decade in the making got a small step closer toward opening, this week, after its application with the regional water district was determined to be ready for consideration. The agency also has enough information to make a decision about whether the project complies with the state’s ocean plan.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Could desalinated water from Mexico flow to San Diego?

With Baja California pushing forward on its plan for a massive desalination plant in Rosarito Beach, a ground-breaking proposal to pipe some of that water to the United States has overcome a key hurdle. The U.S. State Department’s approval of a presidential permit marks a step forward for the Otay Water District and its vision for a cross-border pipeline to import the desalinated water from Mexico.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

CPUC may order new desalination project hearings considering smaller plant

State Public Utilities Commission officials are seeking input on whether to conduct new hearings on California American Water’s proposed Monterey Peninsula desalination project to address a number of issues, potentially including an updated project demand forecast and desal plant sizing evaluation that could lead to a smaller initial plant that could be more easily expanded as demand grows in the future.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Salton Sea: Two paths for long-term fixes at California’s shrinking sea (Part 4)

As California officials struggle to decide on long-term fixes for the receding lake, there’s new momentum around an old idea: importing seawater from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, and using the area’s plentiful geothermal power to desalinate that water. A subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which already operates 10 geothermal plants in the area, is developing a seawater desalination proposal and has pitched it to lawmakers in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news Daily Pilot

Debate continues over proposed Huntington desalination plant amid latest environmental report

The long debate over Poseidon Water’s proposed ocean desalination plant in Huntington Beach continued this week as the California State Lands Commission released a draft of a supplemental environmental impact report analyzing planned additions to the facility that are meant to reduce potential harm to marine life and increase the plant’s efficiency.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Barbara Boxer will lobby for an environmentally controversial desalination plant in Huntington Beach

A Boston-based water development company is paying former Sen. Barbara Boxer to push for approval of a proposed seawater desalination plant that has been mired for years in environmental controversy. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

USGS finds vast salty groundwater reserves in California

A new nationwide study has unearthed the huge hidden potential of tapping into salty aquifers as a way to relieve the growing pressure on freshwater supplies across the United States. Digging into data from the country’s 60 major aquifers, the U.S. Geological Survey reports that the amount of brackish — or slightly salty — groundwater is more than 35 times the amount of fresh groundwater used in the United States each year.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am sticks to 6-month desalination project permitting window

A California American Water official argued the company’s desalination project can secure key permits and approvals within six months of certification of the final project environmental review document and start construction shortly afterward, despite a series of delays involving the draft report and the prospect of seeking a critical permit from the city of Marina.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Latest Cal Am desal project delay impact uncertain, sanctuary official says hope is to stay on schedule

A Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary representative said the latest delay involving California American Water’s proposed Monterey Peninsula desalination project — a 30-day extension of the public comment period on the project’s draft combined state and federal environmental review document — could push back finalization of the report by a month.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Desalination of aquifers offers drought-weary California new hope

California’s historic drought may be winding down. But water officials across the Golden State are increasingly exploring a hidden but promising way to add to the state’s water supply: removing salt from the billions of gallons of brackish — or distastefully salty — water that lies deep below the Earth’s surface.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Huntington Beach desalination plant is among Trump priorities, leaked document shows

A document purportedly leaked from the Trump administration indicates that the proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach is among 50 infrastructure projects nationwide that the president has designated as a priority.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Southern California eyes desalinated water from Mexico

The U.S. imports vehicles, equipment, fresh produce and other goods from Mexico. That list may soon include water too, now that a San Diego County water district is looking south for help to diversify its supply. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Should Los Angeles County have a huge desalination plant? A battle looms in the South Bay

On a a picturesque summer afternoon, West Basin Municipal Water District officials chose to woo regulators with a stroll by the beach in El Segundo, stopping to admire an unadulterated strip of California coastline. … A few hours later, environmental advocates held a town hall two miles away in Manhattan Beach. 

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Huntington Beach residents seek wider review of desalination plant

Huntington Beach residents urged a state agency to require a more comprehensive environmental impact report before the proposed Poseidon desalination plant could receive a new lease on state land.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach will test California’s environmental rules

Poseidon Water hopes to help quench Orange County’s thirst, but first the company’s proposed desalination project must slake a thirst of its own. That’s why Poseidon has long eyed a coastal power plant that has, for more than a half-century, sucked up seawater to cool its massive generators. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Why one decision could decide future of desalination in California

A protracted conflict over whether and how to protect fish from dying at desalination plants is clouding prospects for what would be California’s second large plant of this type – and for the future of desalination along the entire California coastline. For years, a proposed Poseidon Resources desalination plant in Huntington Beach in Orange County has been kept in limbo.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Approval of desalination project now not expected until March 2018

A new ruling issued by a state Public Utilities Commission member has indicated the full commission likely wouldn’t consider approval of California American Water’s Monterey Peninsula desalination project until March 2018, four months after company officials had hoped, and suggested that consideration could be delayed even further.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am saves nearly $9 million thanks to change in pipeline route

California American Water’s Monterey Peninsula desalination project will cost nearly $9 million less due to a shift in the delivery pipeline route requested by Monterey city officials years ago.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Desalination: Why tapping seawater has slowed to a trickle in California

Once thought to be the wave of the future, turning seawater into drinking water is proving to be a tough sell in California.

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