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Proposed Poseidon Huntington Beach desalination plant is subject to sea level rise

What are the King Tides?

King tides are some of the highest tides of the year. They occur for 2-4 days and arrive every November, December and January.

In fact, the December king tides will arrive on California’s shores next week giving us Orange County residents a glimpse of what their shorelines could look like in the near future.

What is the importance of the King Tides in Orange County?

King tides show us what the new normal of our shorelines will look like in 20 – 30 years due to sea level rise. During this year’s November King Tides, Orange County coastal cities experienced sea level rise reaching thresholds, lapping at doorways and leaving some portions of the Pacific Coast Highway closed to traffic. Imagine this is an everyday occurrence.

Why Does Sea Level Rise Make Huntington Beach a Bad Location for a Desalination Plant?

In Huntington Beach, the site of the proposed Poseidon desalination plant is located on a floodplain and highly subject to sea level rise. This means Poseidon wants to place the billion-dollar project where projected sea level rise makes it even more expensive and risky.

Huntington Beach is the second most vulnerable city to sea level rise in California.

If the Poseidon desalination plant is built on the Huntington Beach floodplains, the project will require structural protective barriers such as seawalls, groins, breakwaters and other coastal armoring structures, triggering an additional suite of costs and impacts to our state and coast.

When is the Best Time to See the King Tides?

The best time to see the King Tides is at high tide. Below are the times when the King Tides will be at its highest.


  • December 13, 2016
  • December 14, 2016


  • Jan 10, 2017
  • Jan 11, 2017
  • Jan 12, 2017

Where Can I See the Impacts of Sea Level Rise for the Proposed Poseidon Desalination Plant?

Along Pacific Coast Highway in Sunset Beach and the Newport Peninsula —Newport Blvd.— you can see the site for the proposed plant. It will most likely be filled flooded as the images show.

What You Can Do to Help

King tides help us visualize how sea level rise will impact our lives. The future of Orange County depends on the decisions we make today.

Orange County can utilize better, more economical and environmental options before turning to desalination. Sea level rise is just one of the many reasons the Huntington Beach project is poorly located.

Voice your opinion, share pictures of the site being flooded, use the #SayNOtoPoseidon on social media and share this and other information you find on why the Huntington Beach desalination plant is wrong for Orange County.