Seawater desalination protest tide grows

Hermosa Beach has joined a “growing tide of opposition” to the West Basin Municipal Water District’s proposed US$ 300 million ocean water desalination for El Segundo according to local newspaper The Daily Breeze.

The city council has voted unanimously to send a preliminary letter of opposition to the agency, which supplies water to most of the South Bay the newspaper reported.

West Basin has mulling the possibility of building the proposed full-scale plant at the site of a coastal NRG power plant as part of its drive over the next ten years to reduce its dependence on imported water. The plant would turn seawater into potable water at 90 Ml/d to 270 Ml/d.

Once it has approval from West Basin and other regulators t could begin delivering water as early as 2023 the newspaper said.

The city of Manhattan Beach has drafted a letter of opposition to the plant. According to the newspaper the letter urged West Basin to “explore all other alternatives, including additional conservation and expansion of recycled water prior to investing in the proposed project that has unknown and potential (substantial) impacts on the Santa Monica Bay.

“The city strongly opposes the West Basin Desalination plant until efforts to expand and pursue all other local, available water supplies are exhausted.”

West Basin board president Carol W Kwan said in a statement: “We remain committed to further exploring ocean water desalination through research, educating our communities, and the EIR process, which will help us fully understand and address any potential project concerns.” She asserted that West Basin had “not yet made a decision to construct a desalination facility.”