John Earl: The Ideological War Behind Poseidon.




by John Earl, cross-posted from Surf City Voice.

Underlying the long-running battles between proponents and opponents of the proposed Poseidon Resources ocean desalination plant is an ideological war between two roughly defined factions: conservationists and free-marketeers.

The Orange County Water District(OCWD), which manages theSanta Ana River and the Orange County Groundwater Basin (a collection of aquifers containing 60 million acre-feet of water), is ground-zero in that war.

(The OCWD supplies 75 percent of the drinking water for 2.4 million residents of north Orange County)

The conservationists say that conservation is the most cost-effective way to provide a reliable water supply for the public.

They believe that ocean desalination should be a last resort and that with various forms of water conservation, as well as waste-water recycling, there is no need for the Poseidon project.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), which provides imported water for the entire southern California region, will continue to be reliable, they say.

The conservationists have long advocated for quickly refilling the basin (still badly depleted due to the recent six-year drought) through combined pumping reductions and increased water imports.

No better time to do that than now, they say, after the extraordinary 2016-2017 wet season that left the MWD with more water than it can store.

The free-marketeers see conservation as a curse, not a solution to water shortages…

Read more at Surf City Voice.


About Surf City Voice

John Earl is the editor of the Surf City Voice. Frequent contributor Debbie Cook, a former Huntington Beach Mayor, is board president of the Post Carbon Institute.