Coastal Commission Desalination Staff Report

by The Editors on November 9, 2007

Com ReportIt weighs in at 88 pages, but the Costal Commission staff report on the proposed Poseidon Resource desalination plant should be read by everyone who is interested in future of Agua Hedionda Lagoon or ocean life near Warm Waters. The report is very straight forward on why the project is a bad idea:

The proposed project represents a non-allowable use of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, one of 19 coastal estuaries in which permitted uses are limited to very minor incidental public facilities, restorative measures, and nature study. Further, the project would require ongoing dredging of the lagoon, which would adversely affect water quality and habitat. . . .The project would cause significant adverse impacts to marine life and water quality in Agua Hedionda and in nearshore ocean waters. The entrainment caused by the project’s use of an open-water intake within Agua Hedionda would result in a loss of productivity in the lagoon equal to that produced in no less than 37 acres of wetland and open water habitat. The project’s discharge into coastal waters of its waste stream at levels of salinity higher than the natural variability of these waters would cause adverse effects to marine organisms in an area ranging from about eight to over 40 acres of benthic habitat.

The Costal Commission’s November meeting at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel at 1433 Camino Del Rio South begins on November 14, 2007 with the desalination plant discussion scheduled for November 15 (it’s number seven on the agenda).

While the staff report clearly suggests a “No” vote, most political pressure seems to bearing down in the opposite direction. In fact, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institutes auqaman Donald Kent believes the plant will actually be good for the lagoon, according to an editorial in the North County Times.

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