California district probes impact of possible giant desalination plant

California’s West Basin Municipal Water District board of directors has voted to begin an environmental impact report as part of its research towards the construction of a seawater desalination facility in the South Bay.

In its impact report, West Basin said it will evaluate all environmental impacts associated with building and operating a 100 Ml/d and a 300 Ml/d ocean water desalination facility. 
Engineering projects with potentially significant impacts to the environment are required to quantify them under the California Environmental Quality Act. The West Basin impact report will quantify impacts attributed to the intake, discharge, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and include a determination of how much mitigation would be required for the facility to neutralize its impact.
“It is important that West Basin evaluate a responsible ocean-water desalination programme, should it be needed in the future,” said West Basin Board President Gloria D Gray.
West Basin said it had contributed to the regulatory measures that have helped shape California’s desalination policies such as the recently finalized desalination permitting process adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board on intakes, discharges and mitigation.