Marin County desal vote encourages local opponents: Group likely to seek ballot measure in 2012
#3 Nov 7, 2010
Why am I not allowed to participate in any public (or private!) city forum/meeting/etc. regarding desal and our water situation?
(btw...desal plant is estimated to now cost $100-$120 million BEFORE operations (mostly electricity) and maintenance)
Shock and Awe...The Big Lie re: Desal
September 9-16, 2009
Letters to the Editor
Santa Cruz Weekly
Shock And Awe
I READ with great amazement, shock and awe the statement by Ms. Laura Brown, general manager of Soquel Creek Water District, and Mr. Bill Kocher, Santa Cruz water czar ("Conservation Not Enough," Letters, Sept. 2): "By supplementing groundwater supplies with desalination, the District will be able to limit groundwater pumping to within the sustainable yield and prevent seawater intrusion from contaminating the aquifers [plural]." This is disingenuous at the very best.
Apparently, Ms. Brown and Mr. Kocher should reread Ms. Brown's 1996 Aptos Times article (which can be found online at
wherein Ms. Brown describes how one-third of Soquel Creek's water supply comes from wells in the same aquifer, the Aromas Red Sands, that Pajaro and the Farm Bureau uses around 90 percent of at around 200 percent overdraft to grow around 25 percent of this country's berries annually ... thereby permanently losing 15,000 acre feet of their shared supply to salt water intrusion each year for decades, exported in berries! And earning UC a cool $5 million a year in berry IP royalty payments, UC's fifth-biggest yearly revenue generator.
We would have to build around seven new 24/7 $100 million Santa Cruz desal plants yearly (before operations and maintenance) just to keep even, global warming or not. The late Marc Reisner, author of Cadillac Desert, said 12 years ago here that our situation in Soquel Creek and Pajaro was the worst in the world. By what type of 1984 doublethink can this be considered preventing "seawater intrusion from contaminating the aquifers"? With this Water Weltanschauung, Soquel Creek and Santa Cruz ratepayers better consider the distinct possibility of their being up "the" creek without a paddle or any water either. How tough will that be, and where will Ms. Brown and Mr. Kocher be then retired to?
One statement in the letter is undeniably true, though: "Our local water supplies are not sustainable for the current population"--but only of berry plants, not humans, I'm afraid. For example, after its expansion, UCSC will use annually, in total, less water than does 200 acres of berries: 600 acre feet a year. That's why I call this a Water Berry Ponzi Scheme.
Executive Director, Monterey Bay Conservancy"
#4 Nov 7, 2010
The use of a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant requires new electrical power to run. I find it curious that in a community worried about green house gases from autos, home heating, electrical production and other sources looks to RO technology for a solution to it's water problem.
Why, or did they not look south to the Moss Landing, gas fired power plant for a solution. Multistage flash (MSF) distillation and multiple effect distillation (MED) systems use waste heat from power plants to produce water. The advantage of these systems is that they do not create a new source of green house gases. In fact, they actually increase the efficiency of thermal power plants by converting otherwise wasted heat into water.
This technology has been successfully implemented around the world. MED technology is employed in Jubail, Saudi Arabia where it generates over 800,000 cubic meters (211,200,000 gallons or 648 acre feet) of water per day. This from a power plant similar in size to Moss Landing.
The Santa Cruz Water district produces about 1.57 billion gallons of water per year. The Jubail plant generates from waste heat, 77 billion gallons of water per year.
With the potential for that much water (or even half) from waste heat, a regional solution is the better path then the go it alone, emergency supply solution presented to us.
Oh, perhaps this model is not the model our leaders want. After all, with 70 times the water from waste heat over that generated locally, surely would allow for new development. Something our leaders do not want.
#5 Nov 7, 2010
I agree with Ray...
since the year 2000, at least!
#6 Nov 7, 2010
Not to mention that we live at the base of a coastal range of mountains that gets 50 inches of rain a year. But hey, why catch rain water when you can pull water from the ocean and burn a few megawatts of power and $35M to pull the salt out of it?
#7 Nov 7, 2010
Ever notice how posts critical of Transition SC disappear quickly? I guess they get flagged as inappropriate because they question the sky is falling enviro establishment...
#8 Nov 7, 2010
Don't forget disposal of the brine...
#9 Nov 7, 2010
need a LOT of water for a LOT of babies-overpopulation is cool-but yu need a lot of water.
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