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Is the Cost of a Huntington Beach Desalination Plant Too High? As Vote Looms, Some Officials Say Yes

Water officials throughout drought-prone Southern California are eager to bolster supplies and diversify sources, but some say desalination in Huntington Beach isn’t the way to do it.

Concerns of those skeptics, particularly cost, will be front and center Wednesday, July 18, when new contract terms are considered for Poseidon Water’s proposal. Officials may want greater water security, but not necessarily at any price.

Santa Clara Valley Water a Step Closer to Building $1 Billion Dam at Pacheco Pass Reservoir

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is moving forward with plans to build a new Pacheco Pass reservoir in Santa Clara County, which the district describes as a “game-changer” to ease the impact of future droughts in the Bay Area.

If $485 million in state funds are approved this month, supporters they could raise the rest of the $969 million project budget from federal grants and increased water rates to build the largest reservoir constructed in the Bay Area in the past 20 years.

Officials Hope Oroville Dam Spillways Will Be In Use Nov. 1

Progress has been made at the Oroville Dam after several issues and infrastructure problems, the emergency and main spillways may be ready to use by Nov. 1.

The Department of Water Resources hopes to have them ready to use, if needed, by Nov. 1.

Interior Secretary Zinke to Visit California as GOP Steps Up Fight Over State’s Water

With little clout in Sacramento, Republicans are trying to use their power in Washington to reshape California’s water policies.

Less than two weeks after state regulators announced sweeping new water allocation limits, the GOP-controlled House is expected this week to pass spending legislation that would block federal funding for that allocation plan. It also includes measures that would bar legal challenges to major water infrastructure projects in the state.

L.A. County Votes to Put New Property Tax Before Voters to Clean Storm Water

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to place a property tax before voters in November to raise money for projects to capture and clean storm water.

The measure would allow the county to levy a tax of 2.5 cents per square foot of “impermeable space” on private property. Government buildings, public schools and nonprofit organizations would be exempt.

Stonepeak, Brookfield Weigh Desalination-Plant Sale

The owners of Carlsbad Desalination Plant in California have hired an adviser ahead of a potential sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, named after a former mayor, is owned by Orion Water Partners LLC, which is a joint venture comprising Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and Poseidon Water, an affiliate of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP. The plant could fetch more than $1 billion, including the assumption of debt, said the people, who asked not to be named. Representatives for Stonepeak and Brookfield declined to comment.

OPINION: We Must Take Action On The Nation’s Coming Water Supply Crisis

Most Americans take water for granted. It’s a resource that people assume will always be accessible, available, and consumable. For most people in this country, whether they’re at a public drinking fountain, a restaurant or at home, water is a commodity considered to be at our constant beck and call – but for how much longer? America’s water supply is in crisis and, if we don’t act now, we face an imperiled future. The news this week that California is facing record-shattering heat waves, and already on the verge of yet another drought, illustrates this point powerfully.

OPINION: 10 Signs Of California Water Progress

The extreme weather swings California has experienced recently, from a historic drought to record-breaking rain and snow, may become increasingly commonplace. A study from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests we will see more of this weather “whiplash” in the years to come. Fortunately, California has been busy preparing for an uncertain future. That means making the most of every drop of rain or snow that falls, stretching our supplies through increased efficiency, capturing rainwater and recycling water rather than dumping it. Below are 10 examples of water progress that suggest California is well on its way to water resilience.