In the News


Desal Ripples Continue

Hits & Misses

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/3/13

City officials last month rightfully put the brakes on long-discussed plans for a seawater desalination plant, saying it was obvious the lack of community support for a plant -- and the lack of public understanding on the extent of the area's drinking water problem in the event of a drought -- doomed the project. A closer look at the official response to the project by state and federal agencies negotiating with Santa Cruz over fish-habitat protection suggests those agency reactions may have played a bigger-than-previously-revealed role in the city's abrupt U-turn. The agencies stated they, too, felt the city had not adequately studied alternatives to a proposed seawater desalination facility designed to boost water supply, and that the city should explore the cumulative potential of infrastructure improvements and regional coordination. The regulators said they had not taken a position on desal, but when a host of agencies that have some permitting authority over a plant raise a red flag, you can be sure city officials took extra notice.

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