On May 10, 2017, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Los Angeles) announced his support for the Huntington Beach Desalination Project. Rendon joins Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León as well as his predecessor Speaker Emeritus and Senator Toni Atkins in calling for California Coastal Commission approval of the much-need Orange County facility.
In a letter written to the Coastal Commission, Rendon wrote, “This project can produce up to 50 million gallons of water per day – enough drinking water for 300,000 Orange County Residents. The proposed project was designed to develop a drinking water supply that is reliable even through severe drought periods.”
Rendon joins senior public officials in support of the project including former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Speaker Emeritus Fabian Núñez, and several members of Congress including Alan Lowenthal, Mimi Walters, and Lou Correa, as well as Democratic and Republican state legislators from Orange County and throughout the state.
“The Huntington Beach Desalination Project is also poised to offer significant local economic benefits through the creation of more than 3,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs,” said Rendon.
In addition to overwhelming support from elected leaders throughout the state, the project and desalination have been endorsed by newspapers throughout California including the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News, Riverside Press-Enterprise, Long Beach Press Telegram, Pasadena Star News, and Torrance Daily Breeze, among others.
The Huntington Beach also has support from water resource management agencies at every level of state government including the CA Department of Water Resources, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Orange County Water District, which has a term sheet agreement to purchase the Huntington Beach Project’s 50 MGD capacity once built.
Joining the supporting ranks are labor unions, chambers of commerce, scientists, cities, farm bureaus, as well as the Orange County Young Democrats, Orange County Young Republicans, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI). Last week, WCVI released a statewide poll through Tulchin Research that found 90 percent of Californians support desalination and want the state to approve more projects.
The proposed Huntington Beach Project will be the first large-scale desalination facility in the world to include advanced technology 1mm (1/25th inch, approximately the thickness of a credit card) slot width seawater intake screens and have a through-screen water velocity of less than 0.5 feet per second in an open-ocean setting. The plant will also include state-of-the-art diffuser technology that will ensure that the salinity level in the plant’s seawater discharge meets the State Water Board’s stringent new receiving water quality requirements.
These technologies will ensure the protection of marine life.
In addition, the Huntington Beach plant will be the first large-scale water treatment plant in California to be 100% carbon neutral. Poseidon Water, the plant’s developer, has also proposed a plan to offer funding to restore and maintain the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, providing much needed funding for the restoration and maintenance of one of California’s last remaining large-scale wetlands.
The project will produce 56,000 acre feet per year (50 million gallons per day) of locally controlled, drought-proof drinking water that will reduce Orange County’s need to import water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The Huntington Beach Project is the single largest source of new, local drinking water supply available to the region and is identified in County water planning documents as a planned future water supply.
The next step in the approval process will be at the California State Lands Commission in August, followed by a hearing at the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, and finally, the California Coastal Commission.
Download the full press release pdf.
“Desalination must be included in any discussion of future water sources for Orange County."