Home NewsEngineering Environmental Investment and Finance Water Treatment North America Monterey Peninsula is a step closer to solving the region’s decades-long water supply crisis.

Monterey Peninsula is a step closer to solving the region’s decades-long water supply crisis.

Ocean water desalination could provide a new, safe, reliable, drought-proof, and locally controlled water supply for Monterey Peninsula residents and businesses.

Last week, the California Coastal Commission approved a development permit for intake slant wells needed to provide ocean water and brackish groundwater to California American Water’s proposed desalination plant.

“This is a significant victory for the Carmel River, and will support desperately needed new housing, economic development and vitality, as well as help ensure water security for those who live and work on the Monterey Peninsula.”

“With the Commission’s vote and approval, we have received the major regulatory milestone needed to finally solve the long-standing water supply needs of the Monterey Peninsula,” said Kevin Tilden, president of California American Water. “

The desalination plant is one of three major components that California American Water has supported to diversify the area’s water supply and relieve the over-drafted Carmel River Aquifer.

Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and be in service by the end of 2027.

“This project was conceived a decade ago and has been through extensive review and comment by key stakeholders,” Tilden said. “This was a truly collaborative process that incorporated perspectives and interested parties on the Peninsula whether they be our government partners, community organizations, or individual citizens. We listened and, to the extent reasonably possible, addressed their concerns. Subjects of discussion included water supply needs, affordability, public access, community benefits, saltwater intrusion, equity, and a myriad of other important topics.

The plant has an initial 4.8 million-gallons-per-day capacity and will rely on greenhouse gas-free renewable energy sources. It is designed to accommodate a phased increase in capacity to provide for future needs for the Peninsula and region, and possible direct public participation in the project.

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