Decision soon on Coquina Coast desalter study

Consultancy work on the Coquina Coast seawater desalination project by the City of Palm Coast, Florida, USA, which is lead negotiator for the project, is scheduled for approval at a council meeting on 16 December 2008.

At a workshop on 10 December 2008, Palm Coast city council members discussed a US$ 950,000 contract between the city and consulting firm Malcolm Pirnie for preliminary design work on the project on Florida’s north-east coast.

Palm Coast is a member of the Coquina Coast Alternative Water Supply Project Seawater Desalination Committee, comprised of eleven cities, counties and other municipal entities. The committee is hiring Malcolm Pirnie and its partners, Sinclair Knight Merz and Veolia Water, to evaluate the alternatives of a land or a ship-based facility, and then preparing the preliminary design by February 2010.

As part of an effort to address future water demands in the Coquina Coast region, the committee endorsed an agreement to develop a regional water supply plan. Upon completion of that plan in 2007, it was determined that seawater desalination would be the most feasible alternative water supply project to pursue.

According to Malcolm Pirnie, this multi-year, multi-million dollar project has worldwide implications and could forever change the way future water supplies are developed in the State of Florida and across the USA.

While Palm Coast took the lead on negotiations with the consultants, the St Johns River Water Management District and six other local governments which form the cooperative group also are contributing to design costs. Five non-voting entities have paid out US$ 10,000 to be part of discussions.