Marin voters could decide desalination future

Marin Municipal Water District in California will have to seek the permission of consumers to proceed any further with its investigations into the possibility of desalination, if a ballot later this year is successful.

Environmental lobby group Food & Water Watch (FWW) announced on 3 June 2010 that it had delivered 17,000 signatures to the county registrar’s office supporting what it calls the Marin Responsibility Initiative. This would create a local ordinance halting planning and construction of the 5-15 MGD (19,000-57,000 m³/d) seawater reverse osmosis plant being examined by the water district as one way to solve its future supply deficit.

The number of signatures well exceeded the minimum required to force a ballot.

FFW, which previously produced reports criticising the Carlsbad desalination project, says the San Francisco Bay plant proposed for Marin would pollute the bay, harm wildlife and encourage suburban sprawl.