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For almost two decades, a costly and unneeded desalination plant has been proposed for construction in Huntington Beach. The project, led by Poseidon Water, would negatively affect the coastal ecosystem by killing marine life and polluting the ocean with chemical-laced brine in addition to dramatically raising water rates. Orange County Coastkeeper has led the fight against this unnecessary project through advocacy, community engagement, and awareness campaigns.

With new information on the proposed plant being released every few weeks, we’d like to round up all that’s happened within the first three months of 2019.

Poseidon’s proposed plant is the most expensive option and poses the greatest financial risk to ratepayers of all possible water projects

In February, the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) released a report that assessed Orange County’s water needs through the year 2050. In the document, Poseidon’s desalination plant was listed as the most expensive and greatest financial risk of all potential water projects. One of these other projects is a Doheny Beach desalination plant, a much more sustainable option for desalination in Orange County.

Huntington Beach desalination in the news

News outlets across the region have exposed the problems with this project. Since the MWDOC report, news outlets like The Los Angeles Times, OC Weekly and The Log have reported on the study and Poseidon’s unprofessional attitude with the regional water board. Coastkeeper Chairman Steve Bone also released an opinion piece in Orange County Register offering his view on Poseidon’s plans from a businessman’s perspective. Below you’ll find several perspectives on the problems with the proposed plant:

What’s new with the regional water board?

Originally, a public workshop on the project was set for the Santa Ana Regional Water Board meeting on March 22, 2019. After a lengthy meeting on February 8, the Board decided to delay this decision until a later date. Its current plan is to hold a public workshop on August 2nd and make a decision on the Huntington Beach desalination plant on October 25. Until then, the Regional Board will schedule informational items regarding Poseidon’s proposed plant as necessary.

If you would like to learn more about or get involved in the fight against this desalination project, reach out to our associate director of programs, Ray Hiemstra, for more information. You can also visit our desalination webpage.