NOT “Reasonable Use” – Poseidon/OCWD desal plan is Unconstitutional.

[Greg: John Earl of SoCal Water Wars, from which this is a teaser cross-post, makes an interesting observation about the constitutionality of the Poseidon proposal — one that readers can echo in a comment to the Coastal Commission if you submit it by 5:00 today!]

Poseidon Town:

Desal Water into the Ground is Money Down the Drain,

not “Reasonable Use.”

OCWD’s plans for desal-water distribution further violate California’s constitution on top of building an environmentally harmful project with no established need.

A Little Anthony and the Water Imperialists: This file photo by SoCal Water Wars shows
L-R: The late Phil Anthony, Harry Sidhu (currently mayor of Anaheim), and Steve Sheldon
(former Poseidon consultant.) All three were present at the July 23, 2014 planning meeting.
Anthony noted the absurdity of putting Poseidon’s expensive desal water into the groundwater basin.

Whether it’s a reasonable use of water or not will be the big question underlying the proposed Huntington Beach Poseidon ocean desalination project when it comes before the California Coastal Commission on May 12 for a pivotal but still less than determinative thumbs up or down vote.

The Commission’s staff of experts recommends project denial due to unmitigated environmental effects and “likely significant burdens on environmental justice communities” due to higher water bills.

If the $1.4 billion project is approved, the Orange County Water District (OCWD), the project’s lead agency and manager of the 60 million acre-foot local groundwater basin in north county, would buy 56,000 acre-feet of desalinated water a year for 30-35 years, regardless of need.

[some important paragraphs skipped!]

The Reasonable Use Doctrine guides all the State’s environmental protection laws and policies at all levels of government, per Article 10, Section 2 of the California Constitution.

Recognizing the need for conservation, the Constitution states that “the waste or unreasonable use or unreasonable method of use of water be prevented.”


About Surf City Voice

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