Santa Cruz extends consultant’s role in desalination studies

The Santa Cruz City Council voted on 23 February 2011 to approve a US$ 580,000 contract extension for consultants Kennedy/Jenks to continue engineering studies and conducting public outreach for the Californian city’s proposed seawater reverse-osmosis desalination plant.

The council approved its third contract amendment for Kennedy/Jenks, despite objections from local conservationists. The firm’s scope of work will increase this year to include assessments about energy use, the water intake process and some design elements.

The council hired Camp Dresser & McKee in September 2010 to prepare plans and specifications for the plant, following completion of a pilot plant 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.