Santa Cruz council approves desalination study

The council of the City of Santa Cruz, California, authorized the city manager on 14 September 2010 to execute an agreement with Camp Dresser & McKee worth US$ 4,134,464 for preparation of plans and specifications for the city's proposed seawater reverse-osmosis desalination plant.

The council also decided it would review the plans when they were 30% completed and cancel the contract at that time if it foresaw problems with the design or the environmental impact study.

The city would partner Soquel Creek Water District in the 2.5 MGD (9,460 m³/d) project, sharing some of the water created by the facility and some of the cost. Santa Cruz has budgeted US$ 35 million for its share, though costs have not yet been properly determined.

Opponents of the project have suggested improved conservation and storage, and called the project costly in energy and environmental terms. However, the council vote was unanimous.

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