In the past three weeks Redondo Beach, Culver City and the City of Carson have joined official opposition to West Basin Municipal Water District’s proposed ocean desalination project in the South Bay. The three cities join Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, who expressed opposition to the proposed plant as early as last year.
All five cities have voiced concerns over intense energy consumption of the project, the unknown and overriding financial costs, the impact to local marine life and the failure to adequately assess more sustainable alternatives as well as the environmental justice impacts of the proposed plant. Together, these cities comprise nearly 1/3 of West Basin’s customers, making the voice of concern harder to ignore.
Culver City was the first inland city to express their concerns, stating: “The City respectfully encourages West Basin to support the prioritization of different technologies that focus on conservation and the use of recycled water. The city understands that desalination technology could be a viable solution to water supply in the future. However at the present time, the City is particularly concerned with the intense energy consumption of the project, the unknown and overriding financial costs, and the impact to local marine life. It is our opinion that alternative technologies such as water reclamation, recycling, stormwater capture, infiltration, and conservation have not been fully exhausted, are less costly, and environmentally preferable.” Read the full letter here.
The City of Carson was the latest city to sign on and represents the second inland city and first voice of opposition from a customer City comprised primarily of disadvantaged communities. In it’s letter to West Basin, the City of Carson states: “The bottom line is that ocean desalination is not the answer, and we call on West Basin to take a step back and see that the Project’s costs overwhelmingly outweigh any benefit,” adding: “West Basin’s longstanding and seemingly steadfast commitment to ocean-water desalination at all cost and over less expensive and more energy friendly means of increasing our water supply–conservation, recycling, stormwater capture and brackish groundwater desalination–will result in a significant and disproportionate impact on low income and minority populations.”