23 April 2008

Desalination Sometime

An op/ed about Poseidon Resources's Carlsbad project:
All of the government agencies that have a part in approving the proposed desalination plant have publicly stated that the only answer to California’s statewide water crisis is desalination.

But the big three approval process players — the State Lands Commission, California Coastal Commission and the Water Resources Control Board — are playing pingpong with Poseidon Resources and the city of Carlsbad by approving the permit, then adding conditions to it.

[snip]

It always amazes me when government bureaus claim that they are the main line of defense in protecting the citizens from harm. I think the real mission of most bureaus like these is the self-preservation of their jobs and salaries.

In this case, by claiming they are protecting both the citizens and the ocean, everyone in San Diego County is endangered, both residents and businesses alike, as no home or business can exist without water.
I visited the plant site two years ago. I understand its engineering (a bit), ecology (a bit more) and economics (a lot); see prior post.

Bottom Line: This permit process has been drawn out by ideological opponents to the plant, but SD will not perish without it. It should be approved -- if only to allow Californians to see if it works as promised.

1 comment:

Aqua Blog Maven said...

I think the writer overstates the statement. Desalination is not the "only" answer to California's water problems. I have never heard any official go on record as saying that (- have you?) What they say is that desalination should be part of the overall 'water portfolio'. Part, not the whole.

Also, considering the Poseidon plant, if built, would be the largest in the western hemisphere, supplying water for 300,000 homes. Last count in year 2000, Los Angeles County had 10 million people. It would take a heck of a lot of desalinated plants to slake that thirst - at least as we live our lives now.