Orange County officials nod towards Huntingdon deal

Orange County water officials have moved toward buying water from Posiedon’s proposed giant desalination plant at Huntingdon Beach.

The Orange County Water District, which covers most of northern Orange County, has approved entering negotiations for a 50-year contract to buy water from the planned 250 Ml/d plant scheduled for completion in 2018.

The project awaits a coastal-development permit from state regulators. Poseidon could bring its plan before the California Coastal Commission for review later this year.
Under the proposed deal with Orange County, the price of the desalinated water would be pegged to the price of imported water, plus a premium.

Critics urged the water district to compare the offer with other alternatives. Three district board members called the plan incomplete. Supporters have said it would be worth paying more to have a reliable water source.

“The delta at the Colorado River is today a desert vastly larger than the area of Orange County,” said Vic Leipzig, a former mayor of Huntington Beach. “We must move away from imported water.”