Twenty-Eight Monterey County Elected Officials Urge Rejection Of Desal Plant

Oct 22, 2019

A group of Monterey County elected officials wants California American Water to abandon its proposed desalination plant. They say Pure Water Monterey’s new recycling operation will produce enough water to replace the proposed desal plant.

Dozens of people who oppose the desal plant gathered in front of Monterey City Hall Monday. 

They want to move water service on the Monterey Peninsula from California American Water, a private company, and make it a public organization. Cal Am is under orders from the State Water Resources Board to cut pumping of its main water source, the Carmel River, by 70 percent. The company plans to do that by constructing a desalination facility, which turns ocean water into drinking water.

At Monday’s event, the 28 officials said a new water recycling plant run by Pure Water Monterey makes desalination unnecessary. And they have written a letter asking the California Coastal Commission to deny a permit needed by Cal Am to drill the wells for desal plant in Marina. One of those signing the letter is Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker.

“No need for the divisive, damaging, expensive, unjust Cal Am project. (Pure Water Monterey) is ready and it can meet the demands of the Peninsula's water supply now and well into the future," Supervisor Parker told the crowd.

Cal Am disagrees, saying Pure Water Monterey cannot produce enough water for future needs and that the desal plant is still necessary.

The Costal Commission is expected to consider the permit that allows for Cal Am’s wells at its November 14th session in Half Moon Bay.

Cal Am is a supporter of KAZU.