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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Coastal Commission OC. Poseidon desalination bid rejected for

A long-running controversial bid to convert sea water to beneficial tap water for central and northern Orange County died late Thursday, May 12, when the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved Poseidon Water, the company behind the proposal. Rejected a permit application from. ,

Proponents of a 50-million-gallon-day-desalination plant to be built near the shore in Huntington Beach argued that it would be a drought-proof source of potable water at a time when water is expected to become a scarce resource.

But commissioners who voted against Poseidon called the $1.4 billion project too harmful to the ocean, too costly for water customers, and too dangerous for the surrounding community. He also said it is unclear whether Poseidon’s water – enough for 400,000 people – will ever be needed in central and northern Orange County, even if global warming makes drought conditions the norm. Some argued that wastewater recycling and other sources – including other potential desalination projects – would be able to meet future water needs.

The unanimous vote, taken by 11 members of the 12-member board during a public hearing at the Costa Mesa hotel, also defied Governor Gavin Newsom, who has supported the project for years and recently publicly stated that the state’s Developed Poseidon’s project as a water source because “we need more tools in the damn tool kit.” The four seats in the commission are appointed by the governor.

For Poseidon, the ruling effectively ends a 21-year, $100 million effort.

“It was not the decision we were expecting today,” Poseidon said in a statement shortly after the vote. “We thank Governor Gavin Newsom for his support of this project, correctly pointing out that desalination is an important tool in the toolkit. We believe in the governor’s vision and his water resilience portfolio, which has transformed water supply. Identified the goal of sustaining and diversifying.

Critics and some commissioners described Poseidon’s bid in less flashy terms, saying the company did not do enough to address questions about the environment and cost. The company has repeatedly stated that the project will increase water bills in central and northern counties by $3 to $6 per month, but the company did not provide a recent cost analysis and Coastal Commission employees said the price “More likely.”

About 300 members of the public participated, either personally or remotely, to comment for or against the project. Some members of labor unions and others noted that the construction would add about 2,000 jobs over a five-year period and create a long-term source of water.

“We could spend a few more dollars on our water bill,” said resident Ken Williams, who said he represents labor unions in Orange County. “What we can’t afford is the taps running dry.”

But many other members of the public questioned the project’s environmental damage and its long-term impact on everything from tourism to surfing.

“I know I don’t want to be surfing in toxic saltwater for the rest of my life,” said Casey Faulkner, a member of the Surfrider Foundation in Huntington Beach.

Others who have worked against the project for years expressed surprise that a water project with strong supporters in Sacramento and elsewhere was rejected during the worst drought in recent history.

“It was never a great idea for Huntington Beach, but shady money kept the project going for more than 20 years—all without permission from the client or construction,” said Ray Hemstra with Orange County Coastkeeper. One of several environmental groups opposing the project.

“This victory for sustainable water would not have been possible without the continued advocacy of Orange County residents and water warriors throughout the state.”

The denial raises questions about how the county will handle its future water needs.

Although the 2.5 million people living in the central and northern Orange County area who could use Poseidon’s water would continue to be supplied by wastewater recycling and a larger aquifer, other water sources would be less reliable in the future.

Poseidon suggested in his statement on Thursday that the problem is urgent.

“California is facing a terrible drought that seems to have no end. … Every day, we see new calls for conservation as reservoir levels drop to alarming levels. We strongly believe that this desalination The project would have created a sustainable, drought-tolerant source of water for Orange County, as it has for San Diego County.

Opponents of the project agreed, with many stating that they also support desalination projects in general, even though they oppose the specific bid from Poseidon.

The commission’s board members also spoke in favor of desalination, describing it as a long-term answer, even though they voted against Poseidon’s proposal.

“I believe that desalination … should be an important part of a state’s water portfolio. I have seen what good desalination can do, and how effective it can be, if done properly,” Commission member Megan Harmon said.

Another desalination project can be used locally. Water districts in southern Orange County have proposed a plant near Doheny Beach. It would be financed by bonds issued by water agencies, and would be smaller and less environmentally degrading than the project offered by Poseidon.

The Doheny project is expected to come up before the Coastal Commission later this year.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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