Permits First

  • Posted on 3 May 2021
  • By Randy Kokal
You need a hunting license before you go hunting, a marriage license before you get married and the Poseidon desalination project needs to get their permits before they are allowed to operate.
Poseidon has asserted (with no evidence) that building a state of the art plant to minimize damage they will do to the sea life and the ocean is too expensive. Without any proof, they claim that slant wells, infiltration galleries, subsurface intakes, and removing the salt from their discharge, are too expensive.
The Water Board has not yet ruled whether these assertions actually “hold water”.
If you live between Ventura county and the Mexican border, you probably get water from the MET (Metropolitan Water District, a.k.a. “MWD”) and your water bill will increase to subsidize Poseidon. Poseidon claims if they are required to adhere to the permitting regulations first, they can’t build their plant because banks won’t provide the funding they want, in the time frame they want. If true, that’s good because we don’t need Poseidon’s water.
A 2018 report by the Water District of O.C. concludes our water needs are already met. Plus the O.C. groundwater program and the Carlsbad program are expanding to produce an additional 80 million gallons a day!
Poseidon claims we should let them wait years after the plant has started, to begin mitigation (countering the damage they will do to the ocean).
It would not be wise to take Poseidon’s word …that someday, they will mitigate the damage.  Their Carlsbad plant started in 2015 and six years later, there is no date set to even begin mitigation construction!
Perhaps 20 years ago, before they started promoting this boondoggle, they should have devised an economically feasible way to resolve their environmental/ mitigation issues?
Someday, if Orange County wants a desal plant, it would create a municipal utility.  This is the “secret sauce” that drives down construction and operating costs.  This change alone should save millions of dollars for rate payers.
It would be cheaper to build because a smaller plant would cost less.
It would be cheaper to operate because a municipal utility won’t need to raise rates to pay their investors, directors and shareholders and operate a plant that is too big.
Poseidon is a multibillion dollar, Multinational Corporation and wants to sign a 30 year “river of profits” contract to make your rates go up.
There are regions where corporate desal might be helpful, but Orange County is not one of these places. Please Zombie Poseidon, stop haunting our county and future generations with this pending financial and environmental disaster.

Header image by John Nilsson


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