Don’t Build Harmful Desalination Facility on West Coast

Target: California Coastal Commission

Goal: Stop desalination plant from being built on the west coast

Poseidon Resources, a Connecticut company planning to build a desalination plant in California, recently completed its application for a permit from the California Coastal Commission, and hearings for its final permits to build will soon be underway. Desalination is the process of removing salt and other materials from seawater to make fresh water; the process at the proposed desalination facility would involve an obsolete open ocean intake, which would suck in and kill marine life and plankton. The water produced at the facility would also cost significantly more than existing water supplies. Ask the California Coastal Commission to deny the company its Coastal Development Permit, and protect the west coast from a blight that would destroy marine life at a higher cost to consumers.

The Poseidon Huntington Beach Desalination Facility is one of many proposed facilities in California, which imports most of its fresh water from outside sources. Desalination is one proposed method of providing the state with fresh water, but at the cost of destroying the environment. Poseidon, the company that plans to build the plant, would use an outdated open ocean intake, which would suck in and kill untold numbers of fish and plankton. The plant would release hyper-saline brine water and cleaning fluids, which would displace marine life, and use enough electricity to fuel 30,000 homes, an expensive energy expenditure that would also contribute to climate change and rising sea levels.

Desalination is not only harmful to the environment, but would also cost consumers. Water produced at the facility would be more expensive than existing water supplies, costing consumers, who would be bound by contract to buy the water, 4 to 8 times more than existing and alternate water supplies. Alternate methods of conserving existing fresh water supplies would be far more effective as California’s population grows. According to the Sierra Club, 60 percent of fresh water used in California goes toward landscaping, a colossal waste that could be greatly reduced with education and other water-saving measures.

A desalination plant would destroy California’s coast at an enormous cost to water consumers and the environment. Sign the petition below to tell the California Coastal Commissioners to deny Poseidon’s Coastal Development Permit.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear California Coastal Commissioners,

I am writing to urge you to deny a Coastal Development Permit to Poseidon, the company that proposed a desalination facility in Huntington Beach. The facility would have a harmful environmental impact on the California coastline with its obsolete open intake pipe, which would suck in and kill fish and plankton. Its hyper-saline brine and cleaning byproduct releases would pollute and displace marine life. If built, this plant would have literal and environmental costs beyond the ocean ecosystem: water produced there would cost consumers who are forced by contract to buy the water significantly more than existing water supplies, and the plant itself would contribute to climate change by using enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.

There are far better methods of increasing California’s fresh water supply, including conservation: according to the Sierra Club, 60 percent of California’s fresh water goes toward landscaping. This desalination plant is the wrong answer to California’s fresh water problems.

Please take action to preserve California’s coast. Deny Poseidon permission to destroy our marine ecosystem.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ksblues via Flickr

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2 Comments

  1. Vanessa Solis Vanessa Solis says:

    Poseidon is working hard to get this harmful facility built. Science, however, shows that this facility will disrupt the marine ecosystem. Support the Sierra Club and other environmental advocacy groups by signing this petition and theirs here: http://angeles2.sierraclub.org/take_action/blog/2013/05/help_sierra_club_protect_coast.

  2. Sheila Dillon GGma Sheila says:

    Signed and thank you for telling us about this. I hadn’t heard anything – I know even less about the desalination process.

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