In the News

Desalination: With A Grain Of Salt

Land Use Report, KUSP, Gary Patton, Friday, August 17, 2012

This November, voters in the City of Santa Cruz will get to decide if they want to have the final say on whether or not the City should help construct a new, $100 million dollar plus desalination plant. The so-called “Right to Vote on Desal” Initiative will be on the ballot on November 6th, though only within the City itself.

As KUSP listeners probably know, the City’s water service area goes beyond the City limits, encompassing areas in Live Oak, the City of Capitola, Pasatiempo and Branciforte, not to mention agricultural areas on the County’s North Coast. The election in November will not really be on desalination, per se. It will be on whether or not City voters should have the final sign off on a desalination project that could be very expensive, and that could have some very significant environmental impacts. Keeping the debate focused on the “right to vote” question seems very appropriate at this stage. That is actually the question that will face the voters in November.

Nonetheless, many KUSP listeners might like to start reading up on the desalination process itself. If you are in that frame of mind, I’ve placed a link to a recent report on desalination in the transcript of today’s Land Use Report. The report comes from the Pacific Institute, and is called Desalination, With A Grain of Salt. The link is available at

More Information:

Pacific Institute Bulletin

Desalination, With A Grain of Salt

SCWD2 Desalination Project Website

Right To Vote on Desal Coalition

Desal Alternatives Website

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