Contacts
 





Keyword Site Search







Desalinization Plant for San Diego




The project is to be built beside a power station on a coastal lagoon in the city of Carlsbad, just north of San Diego and about 90 miles south of Los Angeles. But critics cite major environmental drawbacks -- namely the harm to marine life from intake pipes that suck water into desalination plants and from the highly concentrated brine byproduct that gets discharged back into the ocean.

Teak Warehouse Borgert

The biggest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere, north of San Diego, can begin construction by year's end after a six-year effort to win regulators' approval. The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board voted unanimously to approve permit revisions for the $300 million facility, which will produce 50 million gallons of drinking water daily, enough for 110,000 households. That volume represents about 10 percent of the drinking water needs of San Diego County, home to roughly 3 million people in a region facing freshwater shortages due in part to a prolonged drought. Scott Maloni, a vice president for the privately held project developer, Poseidon Resources, based in Connecticut said the company expects the plant to be operational by the first quarter of 2012. The project is to be built beside a power station on a coastal lagoon in the city of Carlsbad, just north of San Diego and about 90 miles south of Los Angeles.

The Carlsbad project ranks as the hemisphere's biggest, and the first of a new wave of such plants expected in California, where about 20 are in various stages of development. A Poseidon plant of similar size is about a year behind the Carlsbad plant to the north in Huntington Beach.

Environmental activists who have fought the project vowed to appeal this week's decision to state water authorities. Advocates of desalination tout its potential for limiting strain on scarce water supplies, and easing the environmental consequences of diverting freshwater from rivers and streams and pumping it long distances to urban centers.

But critics cite major environmental drawbacks--namely the harm to marine life from intake pipes that suck water into desalination plants and from the highly concentrated brine byproduct that gets discharged back into the ocean.

Under the permit approved this week, Poseidon is required to create 55.4 acres of wetlands in Southern California as a breeding ground for fish and other organisms to offset the marine life killed by the plant's operations. The plant also must keep its brine discharge below toxic levels.

Opponents have challenged Poseidon in three lawsuits. And another agency that already granted approval, the state Coastal Commission, has said it may take a second look in light of information turned up in the water board's latest review.

Poseidon said there was nothing further precluding them from proceeding to build the plant, and they expect the lawsuits to be resolved by then. But a lawyer for opponents said they would seek court orders to block construction while litigation or their appeal to the state water board was still pending. Desalination is common in parts of the Middle East, but large-scale plants are rare in the Western Hemisphere.

Source: ENN News


Search Site by Story Keywords



Related Stories



May 26, 2019, 3:08 pm PDT

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2019 Landscape Communications Inc.