Coalition supports water purchase agreement between OCWD, Poseidon desalination plant
A coalition of businesses, labor unions, community groups, non-profit organizations, and individuals united to support all forms of new water for Orange County, Calif., recently praised the draft term sheet established between the Orange County Water District and Poseidon Resources.
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA, March 19, 2015 -- A diverse coalition of businesses, labor unions, community groups, non-profit organizations, and individuals united to support all forms of new water for Orange County, Calif., recently praised the draft term sheet established between the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Poseidon Resources (Surfside) LLC (Poseidon).
Under the terms of the draft agreement released this week, OCWD would purchase 50 million gallons of water each day from Poseidon's planned desalination facility in Huntington Beach. The coalition -- Orange County Water Independence, Sustainability and Efficiency Coalition (OC WISE) -- is calling on OCWD to approve the terms of the agreement as soon as possible.
"OCWD has predicted a substantial short fall of water resources by 2035. The Huntington Beach Desalination project provides Orange County with water independence by reducing the amount of water it needs to import today regardless of water demand projections," said OC WISE executive director Robert Sulnick. "Our strong coalition believes that the affordable water supplied by the Poseidon project would substantially alleviate the county's projected water needs well into the future."
The OCWD term sheet significantly mitigates risk to the district from financing and building the distributions system, and OCWD has no obligation to purchase water unless Poseidon delivers water, meeting contractual specifications for quantity, quality, reliability, and price. Poseidon would be responsible for permitting, financing, designing, constructing, and operating the desalination plant -- and the projected monthly water bill increases would be less than $1 per month, per resident, in 2015 dollars.
"I compliment the District staff for negotiating and excellent agreement," said Jerry Wheeler, president/CEO of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce and OC WISE executive committee member. "The very modest increase in monthly ratepayer costs is a significant bargain over the life of the project. In exchange, OCWD further reduces its reliance on imported water that continues to be challenged by drought, environmental restrictions, agricultural needs, competition, and aging infrastructure. Thanks to the project, Orange County residents and businesses will have a reliable, affordable, local water resource for decades to come."
The OCWD is expected to vote on the term sheet at their April 30, 2015 scheduled meeting.