Community Unity: taking a stand against desal

From ActCoastal

By Amanda Winchell | Published 2016/03/29

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This blog represents the views of the authors, and does not necessarily reflect the positions of ActCoastal and its partner organizations.

What happens when you get involved and have a voice? Potentially great things for your community – as they did Tuesday evening in Hermosa Beach.

It was here on March 22, with the gathering and support of community members and organizations, that the Hermosa Beach City Council unanimously approved its letter of opposition to the West Basin Ocean Water Desalination Project. With this, Hermosa Beach joins the ranks of Manhattan Beach in taking a stance against the project.

“It is great to see the early support from the cities of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach protecting our coastline from industrial facilities,” says Bruce Reznik, Los Angeles Waterkeeper Executive Director. “We agree that West Basin has other options that are less costly, energy intensive and better for our coastal communities.”

The West Basin desal plant is not the only new proposed project in Southern California as there is also another proposed plant for Huntington Beach. By feeding off Californian’s drought-induced fears, desal projects have marketed themselves as being the only solution.

Thankfully, California has better options that are already in operation and underway. One such option is water reclamation, which is significantly lower in cost and energy expenditure, and serves as a high quality water source.

The Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in West Basin is already doing this and currently working to expand its production.

“Expanding the amount of Hyperion’s wastewater that is captured, treated and reclaimed beyond what is already envisioned is the more sustainable and cost-effective option,” says Craig W. Cadwallader, Chair of Surfrider Foundation South Bay Chapter. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dramatically reduce the wastewater currently being dumped into the Santa Monica Bay, where millions of people swim, dive and surf, on a regular basis.”

California throws away 4.3 million acre-feet of water every year. This means of the 5 million acre-feet of wastewater California produces annually, only 13 percent is reused. This already existing resource won’t result in harmful environmental impacts and should be better utilized.

So in addition to congratulating the cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach for standing up to a wasteful and destructive project, say “Yes” to the sustainable practice of water reclamation and “No” to a wasteful desalination plant in your backyard.

For additional information see:

Easy Reader News article covering the meeting

R4RD - Residents for Responsible Desalination (will be holding an informative town hall meeting 7pm on May 3rd at Eader School in Huntington Beach

Beachapedia desalination info-article