Monday, June 01, 2009

Nation's Largest Desalination Project Up for Final Approval

Here's an interesting story out of Southern California.

Desalination's transformation into a viable, mainstream water technology has long hinged on nettlesome fights over permits and politics. But with the largest proposed seawater conversion plant in the United States poised to be approved this week in San Diego, there is another problem: money.

The proposed $300 million plant, which would be built next to a coastal power station in Carlsbad, Calif., has long been viewed as a symbol of desalination's plight in the United States. The project developer, Poseidon Resources Corp., has been winding its way through a maze of state and local agencies for six years, battling community groups, environmental organizations and wary politicians who fear desalinated water will mean added expense and environmental damage.

But that picture could change if the San Diego Regional Water Board votes for final approval. The stakes are high for desalination as many in the industry consider the plant a test case that could trigger a wave of development, especially in thirsty California.

Continue reading...

The question is, of course, what will this mean for coastal wildlife and shallow ocean life in the area?

Further, in 2007 Florida's largest desalination plant was five years old and $40 million over budget. At a time when California is so deeply in debt, are residents to expect the same from this project?

If this development is approved, let's hope project managers do everything in their power to limit -- and avoid all together -- any negative environmental or fiscal impacts to California.

Hat tip: Blogfish

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