“City Manager Martín Bernal will take the first step Tuesday toward starting a fresh dialogue with the public about water supply planning while simultaneously completing an analysis of seawater desalination.
“Bernal will seek the City Council’s blessing on a new public engagement plan to re-evaluate supply challenges, greater conservation and other alternatives, as well as address questions and comments about desal from residents and regulators.”
From the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) Blog, in a post by Nancy Vogel, California Department of Water Resources:
“Despite high costs and other barriers to adoption, the appeal of desalination never vanishes in California. It sharpens during drought or when debates over the Delta intensify, but so far, it has not proven the silver bullet to end California’s water woes.
“The Marin Municipal Water District’s desalination plant proposal has no more legal impediments, but its plan to send bay water to taps is nowhere close to reality.
“This week the State Supreme Court refused to reconsider a 1st District Court of Appeal ruling in May that said the water district complied with the California Environmental Quality Act when it approved an environmental impact report for the desalination project.”
“A desalination plant to deliver cleansed drinking water from San Rafael Bay to homes in Marin County moved a step closer to construction Wednesday when the state Supreme Court rejected a challenge by environmental advocates.
“The San Rafael plant would provide at least 5 million gallons of water per day to residents of the Marin Municipal Water District.”
“Attorneys for both sides are claiming victory after an appeals court ruled that a successful challenge to the failed regional desalination project’s environmental review was no longer relevant.
“In a ruling issued Monday [August 26], the Sixth District Court of Appeal found the Marina Coast Water District’s appeal of a decision by a Monterey County judge that the project’s EIR was inadequate is ‘moot,’ or irrelevant, because both sides agree the project is essentially dead.”
“A Tuesday night presentation on one of the three key desalination projects moving forward on the Monterey Peninsula highlights what all the proposals’ proponents understand: They must pass muster with agriculture concerns in the Salinas Valley.
“A couple of dozen growers and agri-business representatives listened to a presentation Tuesday night at Braga Ranch in Soledad advocating for the People’s Moss Landing Desalination Project, which, along with DeepWater Desal and California American Water Co.’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, is vyi
“Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced that nine entities will share more than $1.1 million in awards in support of laboratory and pilot scale research studies in the field of water desalination and purification. Through required cost shares of up to 75%, Reclamation’s funding will be leveraged to support a total of $3 million in research.
“‘Desalination and other advanced water treatment technologies have the potential to provide new water sources for communities,’ Commissioner Connor said.
“The city’s longtime water director acknowledged Tuesday his department focused for years on championing a solution to Santa Cruz’s vulnerable water supply rather than first ensuring ratepayers understood the threat.
“After top city leaders called for halting development of a seawater desalination project, Bill Kocher, who will retire in September after 27 years, said state and federal mandates for improved stream flow for fish habitat will reduce water supply 25 percent annually.
“The city’s top two officials are expected to formally announce Tuesday their recommendation not to pursue a vote in 2014 on a controversial seawater desalination plant and instead work with the public on other avenues for safeguarding a drought-prone water supply.”
“Orange County’s 11 representatives in the state Legislature have voiced support for the proposed desalination project in Huntington Beach that will be up for consideration at the California Coastal Commission this fall.”
“When the San Diego County Water Authority first hatched a dream of slaking this region’s thirst with desalinated water from the Pacific Ocean, Southern California was reeling from a five-year drought that had choked its water supply by a third.”
“The California Coastal Commission is moving forward with Poseidon Water’s application for a desalination facility in Huntington Beach, but staff is urging the company to be prepared with more information for commissioners at a meeting slated for fall.”