Take Action: Oppose Costly Desalination in Orange County

The proposed Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach would increase the cost of water for Orange County families, harm our ocean and our climate, and we don’t need it! 

Help us oppose it.

To: Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board

Orange County families, local leaders and water experts are urging you to say NO to Poseidon’s proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach.  This billion-dollar boondoggle would be too expensive for Orange County families, too destructive to our ocean, too harmful for our climate, and we don’t need it!

Scientists and water experts agree that desalination should be our last resort in meeting our water needs.

We oppose the Poseidon project because:

Orange County has cheaper, cleaner water options. Local solutions like water recycling, conservation, and cleaning up contaminated groundwater are the best alternatives to wasteful water projects like Poseidon, at a fraction of the cost.

The Poseidon plant is a billion-dollar boondoggle and would increase water bills for Orange County families, hurting low-income families and coastal businesses like hotels and restaurants. 

We need to protect Orange County’s oceans and beaches. The Poseidon plant would kill marine life and discharge polluted brine, creating a “dead zone” offshore of Huntington Beach.

The water is not needed, the 2018 Municipal Water District of Orange County Water Reliability Study ranks Poseidon last as a source of new water.

We need to protect our climate. Desalination is the most energy-intensive way to produce fresh water and would generate more climate pollution. The Poseidon plant’s location is vulnerable to flooding from rising seas and extreme storms, as well as earthquakes and tsunamis.

We urge you to reject the proposed Poseidon desalination plant.


Top 5 Reasons We Oppose Desal In Orange County

In Huntington Beach, Poseidon Water – a private company owned by global investors – is proposing a billion dollar desalination plant. The plant would require local ratepayers to buy 50 million gallons of water per day, whether they need it or not, at a cost twice that of imported water and four times higher than stormwater capture. Over the last 15 years, Poseidon has spent over $1.6 million lobbying for the project. Here are five major problems with Poseidon’s proposal:

1. We Don’t Need the Water

Orange County’s most recent water plan, published April 2016, indicates the County can meet its water needs through 2040 without the plant. Orange County has less expensive, more sustainable options for developing new water supplies.

According to the Pacific Institute, water conservation and efficiency improvements could reduce water use by a third, similar to those called for in the state’s new water plan.

2. It’s a Bad Deal for Consumers

Poseidon wants to Orange County to sign a 50-year ‘take or pay’ contract, committing ratepayers to buying expensive water and guarantees returns for Poseidon.

The billion-dollar plant would increase water bills for hard-working families to line the pockets of Poseidon and its parent company Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.

3. It Will Hurt Local Businesses

Increased water bills put a heavy burden on local businesses, whose annual costs could skyrocket by forcing them to cover the costs.

Many local businesses rely on tourism and high-quality, inexpensive water supply, which would change drastically if the desalination plant is built.

4. Poseidon Will Diminish Our Water Quality

After the desalination process, Boron and Chloride stay dissolved in the water, harming our landscapes and horticulture.

Putting desalinated water in our aquifer will degrade our water supply.

5. Poseidon Has Failed Before

Poseidon’s Carlsbad plant has failed to deliver a fifth of the water promised to San Diego County Water Authority, and racked up more than a dozen water quality violations during its first year of operations.

The proposed Huntington Beach plant does not meet state rules designed to reduce environmental impacts, and Poseidon has resisted the push to modernize and comply.