In the News

Letter to the Editor

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 4/26/11

Desalination backers ratchet up the fear

Throughout the April 17 desalination debate, ex-mayor Mike Rotkin and the Santa Cruz Water Department's Toby Goddard used inaccuracies and fear-mongering to attack the more factual and respectful Desal Alternatives representatives, Jan Bentley and Rick Longinetti.

No sizeable, publicly owned ocean desal plant is successfully operating in the U.S. The majority of desal plants treat only brackish water and are privately owned. Those plants built for potable water seldom operate at their stated cost and capacity, if at all.

When the statewide water emergency was rescinded last month, the desal industry lost its "drought alarm" for persuading voters and ratepayers to approve projects. The experimental desal plant proposed for $100 million to $120 million by the city will be a major test of influence and power for its well-connected backers.

Instead of demonizing those supporting alternatives, why doesn't the city collaborate with the community in advancing sustainable water solutions?

Timmi Pereira, Santa Cruz

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