Community News

What They Are Saying About the Proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project

by: Shannon Flaherty
Posted: October 18, 2017

HUNTINGTON BEACH...A broad coalition of nonprofits, businesses, labor unions, trade groups, environmental justice organizations and elected officials, are calling on the State Lands Commission to approve the environmental impact report of the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination project set for a vote on Thursday, October 19th. 

Recently, Senator Dianne Feinstein joined an overwhelming list of elected officials in support of the project, including Senate President pro Tem Kevin De Leon; Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon; State Controller John Chiang; Several members of Congress including Alan Lowenthal and Mimi Walters; every state legislator from Orange County including Senators Tony Mendoza, Janet Nguyen, and Pat Bates and Assemblymembers Tom Daly, Bill Brough, and Sharon Quirk Silva; and former US Senator Barbara Boxer, among others. 

In addition, the project has strong support from several organizations, including the Los Angeles – Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council, California Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Business Council, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Association of Realtors, California Coastal Coalition, California Latino Water Coalition, Orange County Young Democrats, League of United Latin American Citizens, William C. Velasquez Institute, Black Chamber of Orange County, Los Angeles County Business Federation, and  prominent water agencies such as the CA Department of Water Resources, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Orange County Water District, among others.

Here's a sampling of what they are saying about this much-needed project: 

Elected Officials:

 

FORMER US SENATOR BARBARA BOXER:

"It's common sense and California's regulatory agencies need to say yes to the Huntington Beach desalination project. As my kids used to tell me years ago: "It's a no-brainer."" 

 

US SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN:

"I am writing to you to express my support for the proposed 50 million gallon per day Huntington Beach Desalination Project... I hope you and your colleagues will support efforts to diversify California's water supplies and continue to foster the development of seawater desalination by granting approval to this project."

 

STATE SENATE PRESIDENT PRO TEM KEVIN DE LEON:

"New drinking water supplies like the desalination facility should be considered on a regional level to address current drought emergency conditions but also to protect our water resources from the long-term effects of drought and climate change. In addition, the project will create many new, high wage and highly skilled jobs in the region that will help address the state's stubbornly high unemployment rate even as the economy recovers."

 

STATE ASSEMBLY SPEAKER ANTHONY RENDON:

"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."

 

FORMER STATE ASSEMBLY SPEAKER FABIAN NUNEZ:

"Not only do we need to find new sources of locally controlled water, we need to show our residents that we want projects that make sense, like the Huntington Beach desalination facility." 

 

STATE TREASURER JOHN CHIANG:

"I supported the project because I believe it will create jobs and help the local economy."

 

US CONGRESSMAN ALAN LOWENTHAL:

"I support the issuing of a Coastal Development Permit for the Poseidon seawater desalination facility. I understand the need to diversify the state's water resources and the benefits of creating a local, reliable water supply."

 

STATE SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER PATRICIA BATES:

"As a strong supporter of making Southern California more water independent, I hope that the State Lands Commission will approve the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Project. This project makes environmental protection a priority and has gone through extensive review. California should seize the opportunity to add a reliable water source."

 

STATE SENATOR and FORMER SPEAKER TONI ATKINS:

"The Huntington Beach Desalination Project will produce 50 million gallons of water per day – enough drinking water for 300,000 Orange County. It is imperative that the state's increased water conservation efforts are matched by the development of new local drinking water supplies, and that state agencies address permit applications for new water supply projects with a sense of urgency."

 

STATE SENATOR JANET NGUYEN:

"I encourage the State Lands Commission to approve the Poseidon Desalination Plant in Huntington Beach. This important project will provide more than just a new water supply for Orange County, it will also provide environmental protection and sustainability for the Bolsa Chica Wetlands for years to come."

 

STATE SENATOR JOHN MOORLACH:

"Orange County has been working for some time toward greater water reliability and sustainability with investments in recycling, groundwater recharge, conservation, storm water capture and other projects. The addition of seawater desalination to the local water supply portfolio would provide a significant new public benefit that would further enhance local reliability."

 

STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER SHARON QUIRK-SILVA:

"The Huntington Beach Desalination Project will be 100% carbon-neutral and will comply will all state environmental regulations through the pioneering of new technologies intended to minimize potential impact to marine life. I am hopeful that the State Lands Commission will see the work that has been previously done to ensure the Huntington Beach Desalination Plan is cost-effective, environmentally sensitive, and that it will also provide safe and reliable water supplies to Orange County."

 

STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER TRAVIS ALLEN:

"This project offers significant and multiple public benefits to Huntington Beach and all of Orange County and I believe it should continue to be supported by the State Lands Commission through its certification of the SEIR and approval of the amended land lease agreement. There is strong public support in Orange County for the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Project."

 

STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER MATTHEW HARPER:

"The Huntington Beach Desalination Plant will produce 50 million gallons of drinking water per day – decreasing Orange County's dependence on imported water and ensuring we are prepared for future droughts. This project is wonderful news for the City of Huntington Beach, the 74th Assembly District, and Orange County as a whole. I urge the State Lands Commission to do the right thing and approve the Huntington Beach Desalination Plant." 


STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER BILL BROUGH:

The proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant will not only reduce our county's dependence on imported water, but it will bring Orange County thousands of jobs and millions in revenue to Huntington Beach. This project's economic benefits alone speak to the need for its approval."

 

Newspaper Editorials:

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES

"Poseidon hopes to go back before the commission early next year. It has done a good job of addressing environmental and cost issues, and, with certain restrictions, the commission should give it the go-ahead." - 10/19/2015

 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

"New supplies are absolutely essential if the nation's sixth-largest county is to keep pace with its population growth." - 01/07/2015 

"By purchasing the desalinated water Poseidon hopes to start delivering to OCWD by 2019, the district will have "a unique opportunity," according to a January staff report, "to reduce the need for imported water and improve the overall water supply reliability of the area." - 05/14/2015

 

SACRAMENTO BEE

"All things considered, we think it merits approval. Desalination has worked in arid places such as Israel, and why shouldn't all options be on the table?" - 5/10/2017

 

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NEWS GROUP:

"California requires a solid, dependable foundation for meeting its ordinary and extraordinary consumption needs. And many Californians want more: an escape from the cycle of use that makes crisis-era rationing a way of life. Desalination can deliver, without wreaking environmental havoc or splitting the state along familiar partisan lines." - 8/18/2016 

"We cannot depend on once-in-a-decade events, such as El Niño, to replenish groundwater basins, refill reservoirs and bolster snowpack. Alternative sources such as the proposed Huntington Beach Poseidon desalination plant and the Carlsbad plant which will start delivering water to San Diego this fall — that can produce 50 million gallons of drinking water a day — should be approved and embraced." - 10/31/2015

 

Organizations:

 

LOS ANGELES / ORANGE COUNTY BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL REPRESENATIVE ERNESTO MEDRANO:

"This project would not only create more than 2,000 construction, maintenance, and operational jobs for a skilled labor workforce but it would also result in local economic growth."

 

HUNTINGTON BEACH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT and CEO JAMES O'CALLAGHAN:

"This fresh water facility would bring millions in revenue to Huntington Beach - money that could support libraries, police and fire protection, parks and city street improvements."

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS (LULAC) PRESIDENT DAVE RODRIGUEZ:

"We're proud to support a project that can provide a drought-proof and affordable source of drinking water for Orange County."

 

ORANGE COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS CEO DAVE STEFANIDES:

"A review of the public record shows that all environmental impact analysis, including one done by the City of Huntington Beach as well as one done by the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, conclude that this desalination facility can be constructed in a way that would result in impacts that are "less than significant." Therefore, we urge your support."

 

CALDESAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PAUL KELLEY:

"The proposed Huntington Beach Desalination facility will be the most technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive large scale desal project in the world. This project makes sense on every level and should be immediately approved so construction can finally begin on this much-needed, drought-proof water supply."

 

ORANGE COUNTY BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT BOBBY McDONALD:

"In so far as the proposed plant has been in the permitting process for the past 17 years it is equally reasonable to expedite State Lands' approval of the SEIR and requested lease extension." 

 

ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS COUNCIL PRESIDENT and CEO LUCY DUNN:

"There isn't a silver bullet to address all of Southern California's water needs. In addition to concerted water conservation efforts, we must also capitalize on a variety of water sources, such as the Poseidon Huntington Beach Desalination Plant. This project is vital to diversifying our approach, which is the surest way to address the region's growing water needs."

 

ORANGE COUNTY TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT and CEO CAROLYN CAVECCHE:

"The builder will spend tens of millions of dollars locally to build a water facility for the benefit of Orange County residents. Private investors will put up the money protecting Orange County's taxpayers. It's a win-win situation." 

 

WILLIAM C. VELAZQUEZ INSTITUTE PRESIDENT ANTONIO GONZALEZ:

"Investments in climate change adaptation infrastructure like the Huntington Beach desalination plant are critical for ensuring continuity in Orange County's quality of life. For WCVI this is especially important as Latinos in OC will soon be the majority. Latinos enthusiastically support desalination." 

ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA CITIES – ORANGE COUNTY CEO LACY KELLY:

"The project would reduce our dependence on costly imported water..." 



BUILIDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF ORANGE COUNTY CEO MIKE BALSAMO:

"We have been encouraged by the ongoing dialogue between OCWD and Poseidon and believe Orange County would be well-served if the parties took this meaningful next step in the process." 

 

APARTMENT ASSOCIATION OF ORANGE COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LOU PENROSE:

"Despite our and regional achievements in water conservation and other measures that have maximized our existing water supply sources, new water will one day be needed to support new economic growth..." 

 

Water Resource Agencies: 

ORANGE COUNTY WATER DISTRICT GENERAL MANAGER MICHAEL MARKUS:

"It is the District's mission to provide the cities and retail water districts it serves with a reliable, adequate, high-quality water supply at the lowest reasonable cost in an environmentally responsible manner. The Huntington Beach Desalination Project provides the District and Orange County with a unique opportunity to add a large quantity of locally controlled, drought-proof water to our supply portfolio."
 

METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GENERAL MANAGER JEFFREY KIGHTLINGER:

"New projects such as the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Project help increase local supplies and reduce Southern California's reliance on imported water supplies.

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES DIRECTOR GRANT DAVIS:

"In the future, most new water will come from a combination of sources including conservation, recycling and desalination. Diversified regional water portfolios will relieve pressures on foundational supplies and make communities more resilient against drought, flood and climate change and prepare those communities for continued growth. Desalination is an important piece of California's overall strategy to meet current and future water supply demands." 

 

FORMER CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RERSOURCES DIRECTOR MARK COWAN:

"The Huntington Beach project can be especially important to the South Coast region ...The Huntington Beach Project would advance state water reliability needs." 

 

MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT OF ORANGE COUNTY GENERAL MANAGER ROBERT HUNTER:

"(1) is there a need for additional supply documented in the adopted 2016 MWDOC Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) and (2) is the proposed project included in the UWMP. The answer to both these questions is yes."

 

The proposed Huntington Beach Project will be the first large-scale desalination facility in the world to include 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. 

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. 

Poseidon's proposed Huntington Beach plant was recently recognized by Cal Desal – a non-profit statewide organization composed of water industry leaders – as "the most technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive large scale desal project in the world." The plant faces the key upcoming vote by the State Lands Commission on October 19th.

 

Huntington Beach News 18582 Beach Blvd. #236 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Ph. (657) 845-7475  Email: hbnews@hbquik.com

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