Last month, Kelly Rowe, Certified Hydrogeologist and Orange County Water District (OCWD) Board Member expressed his position on the Poseidon desalination plant at the Regional Water Board meeting. Rowe says the Poseidon Project is not needed, as many other cheaper sources of drinking water are available for Orange County, based on his 40 years of training and experience as a water resources technical professional.
Here is an excerpt from his speech:
“My main goal on the board is to complete the construction of a long-overdue 14-mile long complete coastal network of seawater intrusion barrier protection and replenishment injection wells and supply pipeline: so we can safely pump down the groundwater basin in future droughts without worrying about seawater intrusion damages to our basin. I’ve introduced plans to evaluate impacts by increasing the “usable capacity” of the Orange County basin groundwater bank to 5% or up to 3-million-acre-feet, equivalent to about 10 years of water supplies, without replenishment of any water from the Colorado River of State Water Project. More active management and use of the existing groundwater basin supplies will allow us to delay by decades the need for an ocean water desalination plant. By that time we may have much cheaper technologies than is proposed to be used by Poseidon, a for-profit private company. If needed at that time, OCWD can surely build and operate such a facility much cheaper than the proposed Poseidon project, as a large nonprofit public agency.
I think it is an understatement to describe the Poseidon project as incredibly stupid. It has been unfortunate their pursuit of selling this foolish luxury has been and continues to be a burden to Orange County and the Regional Board. I simply wish they would take their salesmen and go away.”