On May 8th, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the long-term operation of Poseidon Water’s Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Plant. The Carlsbad facility, the largest, most technologically advanced and energy efficient seawater desalination plant in the Americas, is the first facility to be approved under the State Water Resources Control Board’s seawater desalination regulations.
According to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s press release, “Desalinated water, as regulated by the permit for Poseidon, is an important component of our overall water supply portfolio,” said San Diego Water Board chair Henry Abarbanel.
By Martin Wisckol, Orange County Register
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. Three environmental groups had filed the suit, arguing that the plant’s 2010 Environmental Impact Report needed to be entirely done over because of subsequent changes to the proposal.
Here is the chronological list of lawsuits that have been filed against the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Project. Between 2006 and 2018, six legal challenges – two lawsuits and four administrative permit appeals – were filed against the Huntington Beach desalination project by opponents of seawater desalination.
Tonight the Orange County Water District (“OCWD”) Board of Directors voted to approve an amendment to the 2015 water purchase agreement term sheet with Poseidon Water for the purchase of 56,000-acre feet per year of drinking water from the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project (“Project”). “This is a great step forward for the ratepayers,” said Orange County Taxpayers Association President and CEO Carolyn Cavecche. “The new agreement further shifts financial risk and responsibility to the private sector, protecting ratepayers and keeping Orange County on track for water independence.”
Op-ed published on Sunday, May 26, 2018 in the Orange County Register.
Managing our existing water supplies and planning for future needs requires thoughtful deliberation. Significant fluctuations in the manifestation and intensity of seasonal weather conditions, symptoms of climate change, are becoming the new normal and there is no “one size fits all approach” to dealing with its effects. Consider that, in just this current decade, California has gone from its most severe drought to one of its wettest winters in recorded history, and now back to a below average winter snowpack this year. This unpredictability requires us to take a closer look at our traditional water resources and how we can diversify to reduce dependence on climate-dependent water supplies.
“Desalination must be included in any discussion of future water sources for Orange County."