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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a result of California’s outdated water infrastructure and persistent droughts, some elected leaders are shifting the focus to investing in seawater desalination to help address the state’s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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
This 2-day, 1-night tour offers 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Backers of a new Monterey Bay desalination project think they have found a fix for the environmental problems posed by most seawater intakes: Instead of drawing seawater from the beach, they plan to draw from the one of the world’s deepest marine canyons.
In what local water activist Ron Weitzman promises is a precursor to further litigation, the Water Ratepayers Association of the Monterey Peninsula has filed suit against the state Coastal Commission and Monterey County seeking to halt California American Water’s slant test well program for the proposed desalination plant project.
Carlsbad’s new desalination plant went through years of regulatory review and faced 14 legal challenges from environmental groups before it opened last year. Six months after opening, it’s still facing regulatory hurdles, including one that’ll make the water it produces more expensive.
A desalination plant proposed near San Juan Creek could produce as much as 15 million gallons of drinking water daily and create a reliable source for South County-area reserves in the wake of an earthquake or drought, officials said. … On Thursday, district officials will hold a community meeting to discuss the project and its environmental report.
This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with energy reporter from The Desert Sun, Sammy Roth. He recently researched a piece about efforts to make desalination more commonplace in California.
Citing potentially higher costs that would be passed on to customers, Orange County’s largest provider of water to homes and businesses is intensifying its opposition to a key supplier’s plan to buy desalinated water from a proposed $1 billion Huntington Beach plant.
In response to the recently launched Poseidon desalination plant in Carlsbad, state officials have agreed to dramatically ease water conservation goals in San Diego for almost all residential water users. The adjustments will nearly cut in half required water savings throughout the region, the San Diego County Water Authority announced Thursday.
California American Water’s latest Monterey Peninsula water supply project cost estimates show a larger desalination plant would cost the same as previous estimates, but a smaller desal plant would be more expensive. That would potentially squeeze the cost of a supplemental recycled water project unless it qualifies for grants and low-cost financing.
Poseidon Water’s desalination plant in Carlsbad is poised to begin regular operations within days — decades after water officials first considered harvesting drinking water from the sea and 14 years after they formally took the first steps toward its construction. The opening, to be celebrated with an anticipatory ceremony Monday, will be a milestone for the company, for arid San Diego County and for all of California.
The $1-billion desalination plant coming online next month in Carlsbad will fit right in with years of careful planning and investment in water supply in San Diego County. It will also worsen a peculiar San Diego problem amid a multiyear drought: an oversupply of water.
This 2-day, 1-night tour in the San Diego County included a private tour of the new Carlsbad ocean desalination plant, the largest such facility in the Western hemisphere and designed to increase the San Diego area’s water supply reliability.
On a 15-year project, it seems silly to complain about a month’s delay. Still, for more than a year now, people have been told about a November opening of the $1 billion Poseidon desalination plant in Carlsbad.
A groundwater replenishment project aimed at providing the Monterey Peninsula with potable recycled water continued to forge ahead of California American Water’s desalination project during a state Public Utilities Commission hearing Monday.
California American Water is expected to resume pumping from its stalled Monterey Peninsula desalination project test slant well operation by early November after the Coastal Commission gave its unanimous approval Tuesday.
Along a picture-postcard stretch of coast in Carlsbad near San Diego, fishermen cast their lines into an emerald seawater lagoon. In a few short weeks, the lagoon will also be feeding a steady supply of water into what will be the largest operating desalination facility in North America.
A more thorough, joint environmental review of the oft-delayed Monterey Peninsula desalination project by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the state Public Utilities Commission will likely take about a year to draft and finalize, according to representatives of both agencies.
The fate of a proposed water desalination plant in Huntington Beach remains uncertain after a panel of experts has concluded that it would be too expensive to build it using intake pipes under the sea floor. That was the approach favored by the California Coastal Commission, whose approval is needed to begin construction.
Facing another delay on California American Water’s desalination project, the Monterey Peninsula regional water authority weighed in this week on the major reasons for the delay — the apparent Geoscience conflicts of interest and the stalled test well operation.
California American Water officials have acknowledged using patented slant well technology by Geoscience president Dennis Williams in the Monterey Peninsula desalination project after previously denying it.
A water conservation group argued in court this week that the San Diego County Water Authority needs to do more to account for the potential environmental effects of its upcoming projects, particularly the water desalination plant scheduled to open in Carlsbad.
Santa Barbara City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $55 million to reactivate a mothballed desalination plant that could provide the city with nearly a third of its drinking water.
Healdsburg’s Aaron Mandell wants to build a $30 million desalination plant in the San Joaquin Valley that would use the warmth of the sun to distill former irrigation water and reuse it on thirsty farms. … “I think everybody is trying to stretch the supplies every way they can,” said Jennifer Bowles, executive director of the nonprofit Water Education Foundation in Sacramento.
State Public Utilities Commission judge Gary Weatherford has ordered California American Water and contractor Geoscience Support Services president Dennis Williams to disclose details of their agreements involving the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.
In order to sort out an apparent conflict of interest and its fallout, the state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday extended the public review period for California American Water’s latest desalination project’s draft environmental impact report by nearly three months.
California American Water and a group of experts will be asked to prove regional agricultural irrigation pumping caused most, if not all, of the decrease in north Marina groundwater levels that halted pumping of the Monterey Peninsula desalination project’s test slant well last month.
A glistening spectacle on the west Fresno County prairie could be a rock star in California’s next drought. It’s a mirrored solar array longer than a football field, collecting heat to boil salt and other impurities out of irrigation drainage. … The technology is among Valley water stories that The Bee will tell this month in a weekly series.
For the expected 1,500-plus people attending the International Desalination Assn. World Congress, the highlight will be a Sept. 4 tour of the $1-billion desalination plant under construction in Carlsbad.
As environmental review for its Monterey Peninsula desalination project approaches a critical stage, California American Water is already moving ahead with hiring contractors for key aspects of the project.
With drought impacts in full effect, some water agencies are looking at desalination as way to improve water supplies. Now the state Water Resources Control Board has passed an amendment to its codes requiring new or expanded seawater desalination plants to use the best available technology to protect all forms of marine life.
For the second time in less than a month, Monterey Peninsula business leaders are seeking a legal and technical analysis of California American Water’s desalination project in an effort to sniff out any issues that could potentially further delay or derail the proposal.
Could the technology used in Israel that successfully turned the country’s water shortage into a surplus be implemented in California to ease the state’s drought? KQED Public Media reporter Daniel Potter joins Alison Stewart via Skype from San Francisco to discuss.
For nearly 25 years, the desal plant has sat unused. That’s about to change. As nearby beachgoers swam, sailed and paddle boarded on an overcast morning last week, Santa Barbara officials showed off those tanks and pumps, describing their plan to turn seawater into drinking water.
Desalination promises a world with no limits. … That promise is driving the $1 billion desalination plant that Poseidon Water is set to open in Carlsbad this November. And it has brought Poseidon within one permit of building a plant in Huntington Beach.
As an unprecedented drought tightens its grip on California, completion is near for the $1 billion Carlsbad Desalination Project that is expected to supply 7 to 10 percent of San Diego County’s drinking water by the end of this year.
Every time drought strikes California, the people of this state cannot help noticing the substantial reservoir of untapped water lapping at their shores — 187 quintillion gallons of it, more or less, shimmering so invitingly in the sun.
A mothballed desalination plant sits like a time capsule near Santa Barbara’s main tourist beach, a relic of California’s last drought to end all droughts. … The dilemma is the focus of the latest installment of this newspaper’s ongoing series “A State of Drought.”
California American Water submitted a draft petition to the state water board last month aimed at delaying the deadline for reducing its river water pumping by four years from the end of 2016 to 2020. It promised to meet a series of milestones including completion of a desalination plant capable of providing a replacement water source for the Peninsula by the new deadline.
Anyone who has stepped outside in the past year has undoubtedly seen the effects of our state’s historic drought conditions. … Southern California communities have rallied behind desalinated ocean water as a reliable, safe and environmentally friendly solution to long-term water shortages.
A state Public Utilities Commission judge will allow public debate over the proposed regional desalination project settlement agreement between California American Water and Monterey County later this month, delaying the commission’s scheduled review on Thursday.
After resisting disclosure, Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority president Jason Burnett released a draft proposal late Tuesday aimed at delaying a state-ordered cutback in pumping from the Carmel River by four years.
Former Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook has filed a complaint with the state’s political watchdog, alleging that a water district board member has a conflict of interest and should not be allowed to vote on a proposed desalination plant on the city’s oceanfront.
A split Marina Coast Water District board decided to resume its previous quest for a desalination plant, with a goal of providing a new potable water supply within two years to new development in Fort Ord, including Monterey Downs.
The Orange County Water District, which manages the groundwater basin in north and central county, gave a much-needed boost this week to a proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach by agreeing to purchase its water.
California’s drought declaration has triggered only local limits such as restrictions on washing cars or watering lawns for most communities, but one Pacific Coast tourist town has seized it as an opportunity to build a long-desired desalination plant.
The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking proposals within two funding opportunity announcements to improve water treatment technologies aimed at increasing water management flexibility through new usable water supplies in the United States. The first is for research, laboratory studies and the second is for pilot projects. Reclamation will make a total of up to $1.4 million available for the funding opportunities.
This week, water leaders from Australia are meeting our Californian counterparts in West Sacramento to discuss the lessons from our long drought. … We applied a number of techniques including conservation, water trading, stormwater collection and on-site gray water reuse, but one of our more tangible successes has been a $10 billion seawater desalination program with the construction of six major plants in all five mainland state capitals.
Testimony concluded on Friday in the regional desalination project trial in San Francisco Superior Court, with a preliminary ruling not expected until February. … In a separate suit, Cal Am is seeking to relocate a Sacramento County Superior Court challenge filed by Marina Coast seeking to halt the company’s slant test well project for its current desal proposal, asking a judge to move the case to Monterey County.
Opening arguments in the case pitting three former regional partners — the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, California American Water and the Marina Coast Water District — are set for Tuesday before Judge Curtis Karnow in San Francisco Superior Court.
At the State Building and Construction Trades Council, we agree with the San Diego County Water Authority – the Carlsbad desalination plant can’t come online fast enough. There is no denying that California is in desperate need of a reliable, drought-proof water supply.
Officials with the Cambria Community Services District plan to flip the switch Nov. 15 on a $9 million desalination plant that will provide the community with a desperately needed new supply of drinking water.
The Coastal Commission will consider California American Water’s proposed slant test well project at its meeting Wednesday, and it’s hard to imagine that the commission will go against its own staff recommendation, which is to allow Cal Am to proceed.
California American Water has reached a deal with Cemex to allow drilling of slant test wells, and possibly production wells, for its proposed Monterey Peninsula desalination project at the north Marina sand mining plant.
Coastal Commission staff has recommended upholding California American Water’s appeal of its desalination slant test well project with conditions, arguing Marina city officials failed to provide any support for denying the project permit.
Along this patch of the Pacific Ocean, welders and pipefitters nearly outnumber the surfers and sunbathers. … They are building the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will convert as much as 56 million gallons of seawater each day into drinking water for San Diego County residents.
Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. That line is all that remains in my brain from an early exposure to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the endless poem that has been cruelly inflicted upon generations of American schoolchildren.
Even ideas are being conserved as Santa Cruz continues its hunt for alternative water supply solutions. … The so-called ideas convention was hosted by the city’s 14-member Water Supply Advisory Committee.
California’s drought has created mandated water conservation efforts, but some communities in Southern California, from Huntington Beach to Los Angeles, are doing something extra: trying to become water independent.
San Diego’s water supplies could be seriously tested if a punishing four-year drought extends through another winter. But there is relief on the horizon. It’s not coming from rain clouds; relief is coming from the West Coast’s first seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad.
We talked the other day about the most exciting project now going on in California, public or private. That would be Poseiden Water’s Carlsbad desalination plant north of San Diego, scheduled to begin operating next year.
This issue examines desalination and the role it could play in the future of water supply. In addition to an explanation of the basics of the technology, the article looks at costs, environmental impacts and groundwater application. Pilot desalination projects are featured, including a much-touted Carlsbad, Calif., facility that promises to substantially boost that region’s water supply.
This printed issue of Western Water looks at the energy requirements associated with water use and the means by which state and local agencies are working to increase their knowledge and improve the management of both resources.
This printed issue of Western Water features a roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.
This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.
Salt. In a small amount, it’s a gift from nature. But any doctor will tell you, if you take in too much salt, you’ll start to have health problems. The same negative effect is happening to land in the Central Valley. The problem scientists call “salinity” poses a growing threat to our food supply, our drinking water quality and our way of life. The problem of salt buildup and potential – but costly – solutions are highlighted in this 2008 public television documentary narrated by comedian Paul Rodriguez.
A 20-minute version of the 2008 public television documentary Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the problem of salt build up in the Central Valley potential – but costly – solutions. Narrated by comedian Paul Rodriquez.
20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.
Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick.
A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.
As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta always has been at the mercy of river flows and brackish tides.
Before human intervention, salty ocean water from the San Francisco Bay flooded the vast Delta marshes during dry summers when mountain runoff ebbed. Then, during winter, heavy runoff from the mountains repelled sea water intrusion.
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.
Desalination removes salt and other dissolved minerals from water and is one method to reclaim water for other uses. This can occur along the coast and in the interior at spots that draw from ancient salt water deep under the surface.
It seems not a matter of if but when seawater desalination will fulfill the promise of providing parts of California with a reliable, drought-proof source of water. With a continuing drought and uncertain water deliveries, the state is in the grip of a full-on water crisis, and there are many people who see desalination as a way to provide some relief to areas struggling to maintain an adequate water supply.
“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
For time immemorial, the seas of the Earth have been seen as an enticing but unreachable source of fresh water. Separating the salt from ocean water was always a cost prohibitive process, primarily reserved to wealthy Middle Eastern nations and small-scale operations such as ocean-bound vessels and small islands. Otherwise, through the evolution of modern civilization, man has depended upon lakes, rivers and groundwater – a supply that comprises less than 3 percent of the planet’s total water.