In the News


Thank you, Santa Cruz

By Rick Longinotti, Special to the Sentinel, 11/24/13

We at Desal Alternatives are grateful that our community is ready to find solutions other than desalination of seawater to secure our future water supply, and we want to express our thanks.

Thanks to Santa Cruz voters (73 percent) for passing the ballot measure giving voters the final say over whether to build a desalination plant.

Thanks to Mayor Hilary Bryant and City Manager Martin Bernal for putting the brakes on desalination and re-engaging the public to craft a new vision for the city's water supply.

Thanks to J.M. Brown for reporting extensively in the Sentinel on the cost, energy use and environmental impacts of desalination.

Thanks to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife for prodding our Water Department to revise its assumptions, resulting in a new and more hopeful assessment of the city's drought risk -- even while leaving more water in the streams for fish habitat.

Thanks to John Ricker, county water resources director, for working diligently on a plan for our local water agencies to collaborate, which would get Soquel Creek Water District 90 percent of the way to its groundwater-pumping reduction goal.

Thanks to the Sentinel editorial board for opining that the city should concede that desal is dead and that money and effort must go to alternatives -- a timely reality-check.

Thanks to all of you from all over this county and beyond for persisting in questioning the wisdom of an expensive and energy-hungry technological fix like desal and for nudging the city toward simpler and more sustainable alternatives.

It's not over yet! Next Tuesday evening, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m., the Santa Cruz City Council will determine whether to keep spending money on the desal project. Come to the meeting if you can. Or send the council a message at

Rick Longinotti is chair of Santa Cruz Desal Alternatives.

© 2008-2013 scwd2 Desalination Program, All rights reserved.