Water District Moves Forward On Desalination

Huntington Beach Desalination Project will provide largest source of new water for Orange County

From an Orange County Water District Press Release:

Proposed location of Poseidon Desalination plant in Huntington Beach, CA

Proposed location of Poseidon Desalination plant in Huntington Beach, CA

Today, the Orange County Water District Board of Directors voted 9-1 to enter into formal negotiations with Poseidon Water to secure the single largest source of new water in Orange County – 56,000 acre-feet annually of water from the proposed seawater desalination project in Huntington Beach.

“Today’s vote is a critical step towards a drought proof water supply for Orange County,” said Scott Maloni, Vice President of Poseidon Water. “We look forward to these formal discussions with OCWD and developing a public-private partnership that ensures the benefits of this project are shared throughout Orange County.”

The decision to enter into negotiations with Poseidon for the purchase of the Huntington Beach Desalination Project’s full 56,000 acre feet per year capacity comes after Orange County Water District completed an eighteen month financial due diligence process. The District’s independent financial consultant, Clean Energy Capital, evaluated the proposed Huntington Beach project and issued a final report substantiating Poseidon’s project cost estimates and identifying myriads of additional public-private partnership scenarios that could lower the cost of financing and construction of the project.

Poseidon’s Huntington Beach Desalination Project is awaiting discretionary permit approval from the California Coastal Commission to proceed with construction. A hearing before the Coastal Commission is anticipated later this year and commencement of construction is expected in 2016.

Poseidon’s landmark 50 million-gallon per day seawater desalination project in Carlsbad, CA is scheduled to be in operation early fall 2015.  Once completed, it will be the largest, most technologically advanced, energy efficient and environmentally responsible seawater desalination project in the Western Hemisphere.

Poseidon Water specializes in the development, financing, operation and management of water infrastructure projects in an environmentally sensitive manner, with a focus on seawater desalination and water treatment plants. These projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships in which private enterprise assumes the developmental and financial risks.  For more information on Poseidon Water and the Huntington Beach desalination facility, visit our website at http://HBfreshwater.com or PoseidonWater.com

What Others Are Saying…

“After fifteen years in the works the time is now for Orange County to make the Huntington Beach Desalination Project a reality and I believe that OCWD is the water agency best positioned to do just that.” – Assemblyman Donald Wagner, 68th District, State of California

“The opportunity for OCWD to enter a public-private partnership with Poseidon that would add enough water to meet the demands of 8 percent of Orange County makes far too much sense for the district’s board to do anything other than support negotiations on a water purchase agreement.”  – Orange County Register Editorial, 01/07/15

“The facility will provide a new source of drinking water, tax revenue and jobs for the City of Huntington Beach.” – Jerry Wheeler, President / CEO, Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce

“The project would reduce our dependence on costly imported water.” – Lacy Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Association of California Cities – Orange County

“It is imperative that longs term planning to diversify and bolster our local water supply continue…We support the advancement of the Poseidon project as part of Orange County’s plans for local water supply.” – Mike Balsamo, Chief Executive Officer, Building Industry Association of Orange County

“This project would not only create more than 3,000 construction, maintenance, and operational jobs for a skilled labor workforce but it would also result in local economic growth.” – Ernesto Medrano, Council Representative, LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council

“This particular project would not only provide a reliable water supply but it would also complement the past achievements of OCWD and other local agencies in your relentless pursuit of a diversified water portfolio.” – Ronald L. Davis, Executive Director, CalDesal

“Despite our 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.” – Lou Penrose, Executive Director, Apartment Association of Orange County

So now that you have read the hype, what do you think?

  6 comments for “Water District Moves Forward On Desalination

  1. January 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

    If OCWD and the Huntington City Council don’t reconsider, we can only hope the Coastal Commission puts a halt to this nonsense. This won’t make the drought go away. This won’t make miracles happen. This will, however, be quite costly.

    What ever happened to the “fiscal responsibility” so many OC politicos claim they value so much?

    • Robert Lauten
      January 12, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      It would be environmentalism insanity for the California Coastal Commission to kill this seawater desalination project. Only anticipated, – (“A hearing before the Coastal Commission is anticipated later this year.)
      People need water now! Relying on ground water is dangerous.

  2. Greg Diamond
    January 11, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    What a liberal collection of people quoted here in the Liberal OC.

    This water is projected to cost more than three times what OC pays per acre-foot now and ratepayers would be required to pay for it whether we use it or (in rainy years) not. Look into Australia’s economy-crushing experience with desal.

    Furthermore, if it’s such a great idea, then (as truly liberal OC politician Jan Flory, newly of the OW Water District Board, has suggested) OC can build it on its own, as it did with its Groundwater Recycling System. It could then use cutting-edge rather than outdated technology, and cut out the guaranteed profits of the avaricious, campaign contribution-flinging middleman. OC would probably save an enormous amount (as well as protecting the OC Water District’s AAA credit rating from use by Poseidon’s BBB rating.)

    If the person who wrote this is sincerely interested in more than regurgitating a press release, there’s plenty of public information to be found about it — as well as an excellent early episode of The Simpsons about a monorail.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    January 11, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    It’s a press release. Did you miss the text in red?

    • Greg Diamond
      January 13, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Yes, I saw that it was a press release — one that you chose to print uncritically.

      Just setting the record straight here as to its content, because it wouldn’t happen otherwise.

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    January 14, 2015 at 8:07 am

    we actually asked Joe Shaw to pen a response to this, but Joe’s been busy with a move to Lincoln, Nebraska.

    I hope he can get to it at some point, but we both know Joe will do a better job of this than either you or I.

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