John Moore: Water supplies need to be diversified

The CPUC has made its decision in favor of the Cal Am 6500 acre foot per year desal. project. Critics favored an addition to the 3500 acre feet. Pure Water Monterey project, the first of its kind to mix and treat human effluent, stormwater, food industry processing water, and impaired toxic agriculture waste.
The Orange County Water District( OCWD) has recycled human effluent into potable water for years, It is now at the final stages of authorizing the construction of a 56,000 acre foot desalination project at Huntington Beach. It rejected the use of impaired sources to add to its water supply. Why? Because recycled water projects rely on a high mix with nonimpaired water (like the Carmel River and desal) to meet health safety standards. In drought years, the OCWD is running low on nonimpaired water to mix with the effluent, hence the need for ocean desalinization. It is insurance for their water supply.
OCWD recycles effluent only, and mixes it in three large basins, the PWM project intends to inject its treated mix into our only basin, the Seaside basin. One of OCWD’s basins is now contaminated. If the Seaside basin becomes contaminated from time to time, or, permanently, there is no back-up to provide the nonimpaired water (at least fifty-fifty) necessary for the PWM project to meet the health tests of its permit.
Like investing, our water supply requires diversification, particularly for a first time ever project like the PWM project.
John M. Moore
Pacific Grove


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