Know Your H20, Desalination
September 19 2017

Stop Wall Street Water in Southern California

by Mandy Sackett

Huntington Beach and the surrounding coast and ocean is under threat. Poseidon Resources – owned by global developer Brookfield Infrastructure Partners –  is proposing a billion dollar desalination plant that would produce 50 million gallons of water per day. Not only would the water cost twice as much as imported water and four times more than stormwater capture, the outdated methods that Poseidon wants to use would put our marine habitats at risk. Over 20 marine protected areas (MPAs) are in the vicinity of where the plant would be, meaning some of our most precious places – and the wildlife that depends on them – could be damaged or destroyed by this unnecessary and wasteful project.

Fact: Orange County does even not need the water. The County’s most recent water plan, published in April, 2016, indicates the County can meet its water needs through 2040 without the plant. And Orange County has a range of less expensive, more sustainable options for developing new water supplies. That explains why, despite proponents’ cheerleading and over $1.6 million spent lobbying for the project, Poseidon still does not have a buyer for the water.

Additionally, according to the Pacific Institute, water conservation and efficiency improvements − like those called for in the state’s new water plan − could reduce water use by a third.

More from California Desal Facts:

  • Seawater desalination is an energy hog. At a time when California is working to kick our fossil fuel habit and maximize energy efficiency, desalination is a step in the wrong direction.
  • We have better ideas to meet long-term needs. California communities from San Diego to San Jose are moving ahead with affordable, energy efficient and climate resilient water projects.
  • Poseidon puts profits before people. With the return of the rains and proliferation of smart water solutions, companies like Brookfield’s Poseidon are getting desperate to win approval for their billion- dollar desalination proposals. That is why Poseidon has spent millions lobbying for its Huntington Beach proposal. But the facts speak for themselves: seawater desalination should be an option of last resort, and the billion dollar boondoggles Poseidon is selling just don’t make sense for California communities.
  • Poseidon is a known bad actor with chronic toxicity violations at its Carlsbad plant and a long history of attempting to skirt state regs.

You have a chance to stop this billion-dollar boondoggle. The California State Lands Commission will discuss the proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant at its October 19 meeting. The Commission will vote to approve or disapprove of an environmental impact report, including determination that the Huntington Beach facility will comply with California’s 2015 desalination policy.

Surfrider is calling for volunteers to attend the Thursday, Oct. 19 State Lands Commission meeting at the Huntington Beach City Council Chambers (2000 Main St.) to oppose the building of a huge, destructive ocean desalination plant in Huntington Beach. Surfrider staff will be doing a presentation and are hoping chapter activists from throughout Southern California will join us for a rally prior to the hearing, to hold signs and, if desired, to give additional comment during the meeting. The meeting begins at 9am.

Check out Surfrider’s recent presentation to the State Lands Commission:

Sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/MYY2Lz0FJ05rccli2
Please share widely and join the Facebook event to help spread the word!

For more information contact Mandy Sackett at msackett@surfrider.org