At a special Board Meeting on Nov. 18, 2019 the West Basin Board of Directors adopted Resolution No. 11-19-1105 to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Proposed Ocean Water Desalination Project, as well as voting to approve the North Site Local Project. Desalination is coming to a coast near you.
The measure that was approved allowed for authorizing staff to continue evaluating the conditions, and creating a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program.
While this is the beginning of a long process, the salient point is that West Basin will be going ahead with plans for desalination – a process of removing salt from ocean water to create drinking water for the area.
When West Basin decided to get into recycled water in 1992, they were miles ahead of the trend, and the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility is the largest of it’s kind in the country. The famous purple pipes supply about 40 million gallons of useable water every day, making an incalculable difference to the whole region.
While there was a desalination plant built in Santa Barbara, the operation was stalled for decades, and only in 2017 did it come online. It now supplies 30% of the water for the small city, about three million gallons per day.
According to the minutes of the Nov. 18 meeting, “Implementation of the Project shall be contingent upon meeting the following conditions of approval. Construction shall not commence until all conditions are met to the satisfaction of the Board: Securing the relevant permits from responsible and trustee agencies, including but not limited to City of El Segundo, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commissions, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Development of cost estimates consistent with current Engineering News-Record construction cost indices; Development and approval of a financial evaluation and plan; Completion of a cost and benefit analysis of implementing the Project as a drinking water supply in the West Basin service area; and Development and approval of design and project delivery documents.”