Tag Archive for 'desalination project'

Water Wars: The ‘Why’ of Desalination for Santa Cruz County

Photo retrieved from: www.tpgonlinedaily.com

“To Desal or not to Desal, that is the question. The Santa Cruz Water Department and the Soquel Creek Water District believe that is the most rational option to ensure an adequate, consistent water supply for the future. They have formed a partnership known as scwd2 to pursue a regional seawater desalination program. A pilot plant at UCSC’s Long Marine lab facility has already addressed the technical issues of seawater intake, brine disposal, and quality of the water produced.

The results of all this testing can be found on the scwd2 website, www.scwd2desal.org along with an explanation of why desalination is considered the best long-term choice for additional supply.

Why is more water needed?

California is subject to droughts. In the late 70’s Santa Cruz County suffered a three-year drought, but there have been documented periods of little rain lasting five years and longer. Without a new and reliable water supply, such protracted dry spells would seriously affect our local economy, environment, and quality of life.

Our tourist economy — which includes hotels and restaurants — would suffer, agricultural income would be hurt, hospitals and schools would be first priority while residents would see their lawns and gardens dry up and shower-sharing would become a necessity, not just recreational.”

Read more: Capitola Soquel Times

 

Desalination: Little Oversight of California Water Boards

Indide Doheny Beach pilot desal plant. Retrieved from: DC Bureau

“Dana Point, California –When it comes to pushing for energy-intensive ocean desalination projects along the coast of California, the motivation of some water board members is being questioned.

“The wife of the pro-desalination chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a consultant to the Orange County water district, and she helped permit the Doheny Beach pilot desalination plant. She is also vocal in encouraging CalDesal, a nonprofit pro-desalination lobbying group supported by public water agencies.

“I think there’s a problem there,” says Debbie Cook, a former Huntington Beach City Council member who has been looking for conflicts of interest among the region’s often overlooked water boards.

“Kevin Hunt, district manager, says the fact Foley’s wife, Mary Jane, is paid by the district does not violate any law or regulation because Foley is not a board member, but rather an appointed representative to the regional water board.

“Reached during a tour of the Doheny Beach desalination pilot project, Foley denies that his wife’s involvement with desalination poses any conflict. “She believes in desal,” Foley, a retired Army colonel, says. “That’s the fundamental problem.”

“Asked about his own position on desalination, Foley says he is in complete support.

“But we have a difficult time with a lot of opposition that’s not really sustainable,” Foley says. “It will fade as we develop more need. Unfortunately, we have an abundance of water right now. In the long run we’re going to need desalination. We’ve probably pushed conservation as far as we can, quite frankly. Any more money poured into it is not going to return that much.”

Read more: DC Bureau

Santa Cruz Water Officials Peg Desal Cost At $99 million

Photo retrieved from: www.knowyourh2o.com

 

“The Santa Cruz Water Department laid out a list of major construction projects to upgrade and maintain the system over the next three years estimated to cost more than $120 million, including $99 million for a desalination plant.

Water officials presented a three-year capital improvement program to the Water Commission on Monday night.

Commissioners unanimously approved the plan. Commissioner Brent Fouse was absent. The recommendations now go to the City Council.

The nearly $99 million for design, engineering and construction of a desalination plant is about 40 percent more than estimated when the city began discussing transforming seawater eight years ago.

The high cost of desalination sparked concern from a couple of residents in the audience.

“I didn’t dream it would be that much,” said Rick Longinotti, a vocal desal critic. “I wonder why it’s gone up so much. This is the first time I’ve seen an estimation of what it will cost for the construction of a desalination plant.”

Linette Almond, deputy water director, explained the spike in price, saying the additional costs include purchasing land and building infrastructure to deliver water to Soquel Creek Water District — the city’s partner in building the plant. The two agencies would share the cost.”

Read more: Santa Cruz Sentinel