Speaking of regional games, I read that SDCWA may be taking over the contracts -- or even the whole operation -- at Poseidon's desalination plant. This may happen because SDCWA is suing MWD and MWD may turn around and refuse to subsidize the desalination. Without subsidies, the desal plant make no sense. Or does it? Apparently SDCWA is interested in taking it over, perhaps to get a source of "new water" that is NOT from MWD. SDCWA is obsessed by "water security" issues the same way that Singapore is, and they are willing to pay 2-3x the price of MWD water to get their own water. (I've lost count of how much money SDCWA has thrown at IID for its purchase of IID ag water...)
So Poseidon may be able to make some money after all, not because desalination is environmentally friendly, cheap (see this and this), or needed, but because SDCWA is paranoid and willing to spend ratepayers money on new supply instead of fixing its relationship with MWD.* The desal plant will provide about 8 percent of SDCWA's water needs, btw.
Oh, and don't forget how these managers are going to bury the costs of their boondoggle projects. They will use the old average cost trick. Here's how it works:
- Say that your current water supply costs $3/unit and the new supply costs $5/unit.
- The new supply will provide 5 percent of your total.
- Instead of charging the most water-greedy customers (the last 5 percent) $5/unit, you charge ALL customers (0.95*$3.00 + 0.05 * $5.00) $3.10/unit.
- Heavy (often wealthy) water customers are happy to pay a little more, everyone else doesn't notice (and what would they do if they did? We have a SHORTAGE you know!). Manager keep their jobs -- without asking people to use less. Demand continues to grow -- making the NEXT supply crisis even worse.
* Not that I put much hope in MWD wanting to fix that relationship