Ocean Desal in LA? Not on our watch.

West Basin Municipal Water District had plans to spend half a billion taxpayer dollars on a 20-60 million gallons-per-day ocean desalination project in the South Bay.

We are proud to report the project is dead.

In 2020, coalition member Los Angeles Waterkeeper (LAW) filed a lawsuit challenging the agency's approval of the project under the California Environmental Quality Act, based on the lack of adequate review of potential climate, ocean, and environmental justice impacts of the facility.

While the West Basin board voted to terminate the project in December 2021, the agency did not rescind the prior project approvals or decertify the final Environmental Impact Report. As long as those approvals remained in place, the agency could have revived the expensive and harmful desal project in the future, using the same flawed environmental analysis, and potentially precluded a future legal challenge based on the statute of limitations.

After months of negotiations, West Basin formally abandoned the project this August, and LAW could safely drop its legal challenge.

Location of West Basin’s proposed desalination plant. In the distance is the existing El Segundo NRG power plant. Photo by Brad Jacobson.

We Can Quench LA's Thirst Without Desal.

We don't need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an environmentally disastrous and unnecessary facility.

We can ensure an affordable, reliable water supply for all Angelenos without spending enormous amounts of ratepayer dollars, adding tens of thousands of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, and building yet another industrial blight along the South Bay coast.

The Latest


LAW and West Basin Reach Agreement to Resolve Desal Litigation

West Basin Abandons Desal

Environmentalists Praise Decision to Terminate Ocean Water Desalination Project Off Santa Monica Bay

Lawsuit Filed

LA Waterkeeper Challenges Inadequate Environmental Review for West Basin’s Proposed Desal Plant Under CEQA