Poseidon - Wrong Direction for Our Environment

Whenever we look at our regional water supply, we need to look at the big picture, including the impact on our marine environment and the energy use.

Clean Oceans and Clean Water

Erkeneff_wave.jpgOur oceans, waves, and beaches are important to all of us, not just because they play such an important part in our lives, but also because clean oceans and beaches have a big impact on our economy and property values.

We've been making great progress in cleaning up our oceans and beaches. A historic 2002 agreement between our Sanitation District (OCSD)  and our groundwater management agency (OCWD) reduced the amount of partially treated sewage flowing into the ocean off Huntington Beach, and instead led to a new source of purified water to replenish our groundwater basin.

We have been making continual strides in reducing the pollution that flows into the ocean, including using natural wetlands to filter run-off and processing polluted water from the Santa Ana River through our Sanitation District treatment plants.

Local gardeners are learning to have Ocean Friendly gardens, which reduce the fertilizer and pesticides running off from our yards and garden when it rains.

Step by step, our oceans and beaches have been getting cleaner.

Impacts of the Poseidon Factory


Killing Sea Life

One of the problems with the Poseidon Desalination proposal is that it is counting on using open ocean intake pipes to suck tens of millions of gallons of water into its factory every day. Every last fish and marine organism  in that water will be pureed, just as if it were in a blender.

Power plants like the AES plant are already agreed and scheduled replacement of open ocean intakes, and new regulations are being proposed for desalination plants.

A Hyper-Saline Briny Stew Discharged

At the end of the process, the proposed plant will discharge a concentrated brine back into the ocean off our beaches. This dissolves back into the ocean, but the government is currently evaluating new standards to protect our marine environment.

Industrial Uses on the Beachfront

Many local residents question whether valuable beachfront land is the best place for power plants or industrial operations like the proposed desalination factory. Might it be better if AES, which owns the land, relocates its new power plant inland and allows for the best and highest use of this ocean-front property.

 Wasting Energy and Fossil Fuels

Ocean water desalination is very energy intensive. The process uses three times as much energy per gallon of water as our Ground Water Replenishment system, which also uses reverse osmosis. And using energy produces greenhouse gases.

Compared to other choices, like conservation or additional local storage, it's a real energy hog, which is a big reason why the process is so expensive.

When we look at all the environmental impacts, Poseidon represents a big step backwards.

Here's a great animated video from our friends at Surfrider Foundation that emphasizes all the impacts of the cycle of water.

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Showing 2 reactions

commented 2014-04-07 22:27:31 -0700 · Flag
We all have to putt efforts to protect the environment.
commented 2013-12-23 11:50:44 -0800 · Flag
Thank you