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Santa Cruz Desal EIR Detached From Reality?
by Paul Gratz
Friday May 3rd, 2013 12:29 PM
On Tuesday, May 7 at 7 PM, the Santa Cruz City Council will hold a special study session about the Regional Seawater Desal Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which is expected to be released next week.
Santa Cruz Desal EIR Detached From Reality? Backers pitch boutique plant, although it is an expandable regional facility.


Santa Cruz -- On Tuesday, May 7 at 7 PM, the Santa Cruz City Council will hold a special study session about the Regional Seawater Desal Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which is expected to be released next week.

Ironically, the long-delayed desal EIR kick-off event will occur on the sixth month anniversary of the overwhelming passage (72%) of Measure P -- the Charter Amendment guaranteeing City residents the right to vote on the construction of the proposed desal plant.

The grass roots ballot measure was initiated last year after the City Council refused to provide the community with a Plan B alternative to a desalinated water future.

So far, the City has approved spending $17M to investigate, pursue and promote desal, including EIR preparation and certification as well as conducting an intensive pro-desal marketing campaign aimed at building public acceptance.

According to Measure P co-author Paul Gratz, “Elected officials seem hell-bent on pitching a pricey ($4M) consultant-driven desal EIR without having a Plan B in place.

Instead, an already skeptical community deserves a comprehensive report that impartially assesses all the impacts of desal, including environmental, economic costs and benefits, university expansion, real estate development, quality of life, natural resource management, and business and neighborhood needs.”

“Voters are smart enough not to get saddled with a staggering $300M in costs to build a problematic desal plant and infrastructure system located along the shore of the environmentally-sensitive Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary,” Gratz added.

The 2-hour session will include public comments and questions from residents and water ratepayers. Also, it will be covered by news organizations, televised live on Community Television (Channel 25), and available online at http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/councilmeetings

Related

Desal: New study highlights energy concerns as publication of critical environmental eval nears
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_23160139/desal-new-study-highlights-energy-concerns-publication-critical

Santa Cruz, Soquel Creek water customers to get desal leaflet in bills
J.M. Brown -- Santa Cruz Sentinel 4/18/13
http://www.scwd2desal.org/In_the_News_04-18-13.php

DeCinzo: The Santa Cruz Pro-Desal Water Czar Comedy Club
http://photos.santacruzsentinel.com/2013/03/13/editorial-cartoons-steven-decinzo/#2

Paul Gratz: Unlocking lessons from Santa Barbara 's desal boondoggle for Santa Cruz voters
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_21715541/paul-gratz-unlocking-lessons-from-santa-barbaras-desal?IADID=Search-www.santacruzsentinel.com-www.santacruzsentinel.com

In California, What Price Water? - New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/business/energy-environment/a-costly-california-desalination-plant-bets-on-future-affordability.html?pagewanted=all