Reservoirs: 10,000 yr old tech. Desal: new tech.
(First tweeted 3/13/14. Cited here 11/1/14.)

Water, water everywhere…

Westside Santa Cruz desal is dead. It’s time to move on. 72% voted November 6, 2012 (Measure P) to amend the Santa Cruz City Charter with Section 1431 – Voter Approval for Desalination Projects. As it should be, and well done by proponents, citizen activists who seized political opportunity and changed regional infrastructure history.

I got involved with Desal Alternatives in the spring of 2011. A group of us thought it might be useful to develop a simple spreadsheet indicating projected expenses for construction, financing, operation, maintenance, energy use, etc. We were looking for basic numbers, the kind of stuff you’d get thrown out of an elevator pitch without. Quickly, we found blank after blank, with only “trust us, we’re experts” opacity provided by SCWD2 and supporters, and BTW, that never changed.

Last summer, westside desal went down for the count. When the Sentinel chimes in editorially as such, it’s over. Certainly one of the most contentious issues around here in a long while, following the death march has been interesting.

After years of vaguery, up to and including the Draft Environmental Impact Report for desalination’s Kafkaesque dismissals of options like water transfers, reaction to the million dollar homes proximity pumping station revelations was curtain call for the juggernaut gone boondoggle train wreck.

However, I am not opposed to desal as an application. “Water, water everywhere,” and graphene reverse osmosis desalination membranes may potentially reduce operating costs significantly. Regionally, it may become forward policy, at Buena Vista or Moss Landing. If we can pipe sewage from Aptos to the Neary Lagoon treatment plant, we can bring desalinated water, if need be, from Moss Landing.

Liddell Creek

Contact me at 831-466-0500 and

Vote Bob for Supe June 3!

Honesty • Integrity • Enthusiasm