Stand with Orange County Ratepayers: Oppose Overpriced Desalination

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Consumers Reject Desalination Boondoggles

In the wake of the recent drought, Wall Street water companies are pushing seawater desalination and the privatization of our water supply as the solution to California’s water woes. But we’re not buying what they’re selling. Privatized Desalination is a bad deal for consumers, and we have better options to meet California’s water needs.

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More expensive than imported water

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More expensive than harvesting rainwater

The Fact Is: Privatized Seawater Desal is a Bad Deal for Californians

Fact: Wall Street Water Companies Are Giving Us a Bad Deal.

Decades-long contracts would force Orange County ratepayers to buy water they don’t need.

Fact: Seawater Desalination Is an Energy Hog.

At a time when California is working to kick our fossil fuel habit and maximize energy efficiency, desalination is a step in the wrong direction.

Fact: We Have Bright Ideas to Meet Long-Term Needs.

California communities from San Diego to San Jose are moving ahead with affordable, energy efficient, and climate resilient water projects.

Desalination is California’s Most Expensive Option

As the chart at right from Pacific Institute’s 2016 cost comparison shows, seawater desalination is by far the most expensive water source. It costs twice as much as imported water and nearly four times more than harvesting rainwater. Conservation and efficiency are the most affordable options.

Desalination is Not Energy Efficient

Seawater desalination is also an energy hog, using three times more electricity than water recycling. Meanwhile, investments in efficiency can save energy. At a time when California is working to kick our fossil fuel habit and maximize energy efficiency, desalination is a step in the wrong direction.

Big Water Is Desperate to Push Through Its Pet Projects

From San Diego to San Jose, California communities are moving ahead with affordable, energy efficient, and climate resilient projects. The Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center and Orange County’s state-of-the-art Groundwater Replenishment System are two examples of projects producing twice as much water as the proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant for a fraction of the cost.

With the return of the rains and proliferation of smart water solutions, companies like Brookfield’s Poseidon are getting desperate. That is why Poseidon has spent millions lobbying for its Huntington Beach proposal. But the facts speak for themselves: seawater desalination should be an option of last resort, and the billion dollar boondoggles Poseidon is selling just don’t make sense for California communities.