In the wake of the drought, California has made tremendous progress on climate-smart water solutions. But even as communities are forging ahead with recapture and reuse projects, we are seeing a gold rush of corporate water projects designed to profit off drought fears. Poseidon’s Orange County desalination plant is a prime example.
This Wall Street water company and its lobbyists are using every trick in the book to sell their unnecessary and irresponsible project. That is because the billion-dollar boondoggle can’t stand on its own merits.
Here in California, we reject the “all-of-the-above” energy agenda that Big Oil and Gas companies are pushing. And we don’t need an “all-of-the-above” water plan either. Just like energy sources, there are some water supplies that are simply better for people and the planet.
At the top of that list is water conservation and efficiency. Every drop saved is a drop earned, and appliance upgrades and garden makeovers can pay for themselves in the form of lower utility bills. Next is collecting the rain that falls on roads and roofs, often referred to as stormwater capture. It is affordable, and helps limit pollution washing off pavement into rivers. Recycling also helps to reduce runoff, and it’s typically cheaper than imported water.
When compared with these smart solutions, seawater desalination just can’t measure up. Gallon for gallon, it is the most expensive and energy-guzzling water source we have. It takes three times more energy than recycling and costs four times more than stormwater harvest. Desalination also hurts ocean wildlife in two ways: by sucking up tons of baby fish and plankton, and spitting out super salty chemical-laced brine.
Rather than modernizing its outdated design to meet statewide standards and reduce harm to sea life, Poseidon is spending millions to plead their case with the help of paid lobbyists like Barbara Boxer and Fabian Nunez. But no amount of spin can change the facts of the matter: desalination is a bad deal, and we have better options to meet water needs.
Orange County has the nation’s largest water recycling facility, which produces twice the amount of water as Poseidon’s proposed desalination plant for a fraction of the cost. It is currently being expanded for the third time, and a proposed recycling plant in Carson would bring even more drought-proof water to the County.
Recharge basins along the Santa Ana River allow stormwater to sink into the ground slowly to refill aquifers. With …read more
Source:: East Bay – Science