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Huntington Beach desalination plant challenged in court

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Waterbaby

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http://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/19/huntington-beach-desalination-plant-challenged-in-court/

Huntington Beach desalination plant challenged in court

Lauren Williams | lawilliams@scng.com | Orange County Register
PUBLISHED: November 19, 2017 at 5:03 pm | UPDATED: November 19, 2017 at 5:17 pm

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.

In a lawsuit filed in Sacramento Friday, Nov. 17, the three coastal advocacy groups allege an inadequate environmental review was conducted on the impacts of building a desalination plant and that the State Lands Commission failed to examine the plant’s impacts on the ocean in its entirety.

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. Its opponents contend that the intake and outfall pipes could suck in tiny marine life and have advocated for subsurface wells that the builder deemed infeasible.

The plant would churn out some 50 million gallons each day of desalted ocean water for use to Orange County residents. It would cost nearly $1 billion in private and public funding to build out the infrastructure to get the water to residents and businesses.

The latest legal challenge, by California Coastkeeper Alliance, California Coastal Protection Network and Orange County Coastkeeper, is the sixth one the Huntington Beach plant has faced.

A representative building the plant was critical of two of the three non-profits, saying they are not invested in Orange County.

“The lawsuit challenging the State Lands Commission’s approval of the Huntington Beach desalination project is a desperate and frivolous ploy by out-of-town special interest groups to deny Orange County a locally controlled, drought-proof drinking water supply,” said Scott Maloni, vice president of project management with Poseidon Water, who is overseeing the building of the desalination plant.

“We are confident the state Attorney General’s office will successfully defend the State Lands Commission’s approval of the Huntington Beach project,” he said.

On Aug. 31 the three-member State Lands Commission voted to renewed Poseidon’s existing lease on the intake and outfall pipes that run under the state beach into the ocean. The move was one of the last three regulatory hurdles the plant faced before construction could begin. Maloni said the latest legal challenge would not slow the plant’s construction.


Proponents of the plant have advocated for its construction, saying the 50 million gallons each day from the plant would be a source of locally produced clean water during California’s droughts and the construction of the plant would create jobs for local workers.

Opponents have long contended the water created by the plant is expensive for ratepayers, microscopic marine life could be affected and other drought-proof measures could be taken before the state turns to desalting ocean water.

Water taken from the county’s underground aquifer costs about $400 per acre foot, while water imported from the Colorado River and Northern California costs about $1,000 per acre foot. Desalinated water costs about $2,100 an acre foot, which could mean a $3 to $6 increase each month for ratepayers.

Advocates for the desalination plant have said that as water becomes increasingly scarce the price of imported water will approach the price of desalted water.
 

Waterbaby

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These ecowackos need to have their water turned off, and be sued out of existence!

What you propose affects all the innocent people who would use the water as well as all of us who benefit if CA relies less on Colorado River water as they continue to grow and grow. The issue is with these groups who continue to file lawsuits to stop projects that benefit us all. They have perfected this in CA and use any excuse in the book to do so - while they grow rich convincing people they are doing it for the snail or any other list of creatures large and small. So no, I don't want their water cut off. They do need to find a method to resolve what to do environmentally with the residue of desalinization, and the power required to perform the function is costly - natural gas would be helpful in that regard - but as long as Brown and company rule CA, I am not holding out hope for sanity. I love California - I loathe what liberals have done to her.
 

Bill Sampson

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There is a desalinization plant in the Carlsbad area, and it appears to be very successful. Before the plant was finished, the water was already sold to private concerns. I have heard they want to expand the plant, but I am not sure. The way California is growing, with little respect to water supply, this seems like the best way to go.
 
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fisheye

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There is a desalinization plant in the Carlsbad area, and it appears to be very successful. Before the plant was finished, the water was already sold to private concerns. I have heard they want to expand the plant, but I am not sure. The way California is growing, with little respect to water supply, this seems like the best way to go.
Having spent 30 years in So Orange County, before moving to Colorado in the early 90's, I was able to see the effects of the San Onofre power plant on the local marine life as it came on-line. Over a 15 year period the plant ran I noticed an increase in the size of the kelp beds in area around the returning water outfalls. Also a decrease in the abundance of the clam beds along the cobblestone beaches of San Onofre, also a decrease in the surf fish that relied on the clams (spotfin croaker, and other specie). The plant has been shut down for the past 10 or more years so it may be the adverse effects have been reversed?
The proper design of the intake pipes of the desalinization plant could go along way to the concerns of plankton degradation . But it looks like they are going to use the existing lines of the power plant in the operation of the water plant? I think these desalinization plants are very necessary to the future of Ca, development, and would like to see them go forward once a viable method of the waste disposal is developed. So much of the coastal resources have been over utilized in the past without restriction it has caused those organizations claiming to protect the coast to go overboard in their zeal so as to become deadlocked to compromise. I think Israel, leads the world as far as desalinization goes, and obtain 60% of there freshwater from it.
 
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Bill Sampson

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There was another article in the paper about the addition of 21,500 homes around the Magic Mountain area. The water has to come from somewhere, although the developers don't care. I agree with fisheye about the disposal situation.
 

bubba

Well-Known Member
For ultimate survival, desalination is key, especially in areas like California with high populations with low or unpredictable fresh water sources.

Opposition is futile. The solution is pretty easy, but you must believe and have faith in science.

Carlsbad is a game changer and it only gets better. San Jose is an excellent spot for multi use ocean water, use the return cooling water for desalination plant.

Call it what you want, things are changing.
 
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