As likely seen in various press releases and news articles, the California Coastal Commission voted to deny approval of the Huntington Beach Desalination Project at its hearing earlier this month. Despite the strong support of more than 100 individuals and groups who spoke in favor of the project in-person or via Zoom during the hearing, the Coastal Commission’s denial of the permit creates tremendous uncertainty about policymakers’ ability and willingness to take action to secure California’s water resilience future.
Poseidon Water – the project’s sponsors – shared this public statement following the Coastal Commission’s action:
“This was not the decision we were hoping for today. We thank Gov. Gavin Newsom for his support of this project, correctly pointing out that desalination is an important tool in the toolkit. We believe in the Governor’s vision and his Water Resilience Portfolio, which identified the goal of maintaining and diversifying water supplies.
California continues to face a punishing drought, with no end in sight. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California recently called for the strictest-ever water cuts in the region. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are expected to continue receding in the coming months, potentially triggering water cuts in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico — and ultimately California. Every day, we see new calls for conservation as reservoir levels drop to dangerous lows. We firmly believe that this desalination project would have created a sustainable, drought-tolerant source of water for Orange County, just as it has for San Diego County.
We are grateful for all of the supporters who contacted the California Coastal Commission to voice their strong support for this project,”
- Jessica Jones, Director of Communications