Good News for desalination!
"Poseidon Prevails in desalination lawsuit"
A lawsuit seeking a new environmental report and more delay for the Huntington Beach desalination facility was rejected by a Sacramento Superior Court judge last week.
When the State Lands Commission approved the project in 2017 they determined that Poseidon only needed to complete supplemental report addressing changes to the project. The project is championed by many as a drought-proof source of local drinking water supply.
"We're pleased with the thoughtful validation of the California Superior Court and we look forward to obtaining the (remaining) permits and approvals necessary to build the plant," said Scott Maloni, Poseidon vice president.
State Water Board holds public meetings/workshops on Ocean Plan
The State board staff has held three informational workshops to hear from stakeholders their views on the Ocean plan. They also released their draft list of "projects" or "tasks" that will be brought before the State Board in the summer to decide on what the staff is to work on over the next few years.
CalDesal and it's members have participated in the workshops and though it's not entirely clear what the staff intentions are on the desalination element of the Ocean Plan we communicated our primary message that the desalination element of the Ocean Plan has implementation and interpretation issues that could be clarified and streamlined without going through a full on "Ocean Plan Amendment" process. In the past three years of the current desalination element of the Ocean Plan there hasn't been any permits issued, the MOU to coordinate permitting between state agencies hasn't been signed or implemented, the process is lengthy and changing rules over a long period of time would be un-productive for those currently in the permitting process and a number of other reasons why we feel a lengthy "amendment" process would be un-necessary and un-productive.
The staff will take input on their list of tasks till February and then develop a staff report for the State Board. When they present the "projects list" or "task list", there will be a formal comment period over the summer, before they board acts on this item in the fall. This will be part of our ongoing participation in this issue.
Reminder: The DWR WATER DESALINATION GRANT PROGRAM
As you may know on of the main items CalDesal worked on is to get the state to release the $100 Million set aside for Desalination in the Proposition 1 Water Bond measure passed in 2014.
As you know they awarded some applicants money in this grant program and there is now an ongoing application process. See the link for more information.
In Other News: Federal Government DOE Desalination Innovation Hub
Here is what DOE FOA says as information and purpose:
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), invests in cutting-edge research, development, and demonstration activities focused on sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency. Through EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) public-private R&D consortia, manufacturers, small businesses, universities, national laboratories, and state and local governments are brought together to pursue coordinated early-stage R&D in high-priority areas essential to energy in manufacturing. Federal funding is the catalyst to bring stakeholders into shared spaces and to address process and technological challenges that present a significant degree of scientific or technical uncertainty.
The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to establish an Energy Innovation Hub (referred to hereafter as the Energy-Water Desalination Hub, or the Hub) to address water security issues in the U.S. For the purpose of this FOA, "desalination" more broadly includes technologies that primarily remove salts. The Hub is a critical component of the Department of Energy's (DOE) broader Water Security Grand Challenge which will use a coordinated suite of prizes, competitions, early stage research and development (R&D), and other programs to help address the nation's water security needs.
An exciting announcement and CalDesal is hoping to be part of who ever gets this grant by supplying practical applications and locations to test some of this innovation.