Desalination Myths

Common Myths Regarding Desalination

Myth: The desalination facility may harm marine life.
Fact: The Huntington Beach Desalination Facility is environmentally safe. Dr. Scott Jenkins and Dr. Jeffery Graham of Scripps Institution of Oceanography conclude that “the science has demonstrated the effects of the desalination facility on the marine environment are benign, and in principle, no different than the effects of natural evaporation.”
Myth: The desalination facility may cause pollution and noise.
Fact: The Huntington Beach Desalination Facility will be 100% carbon neutral.  It will not produce any air pollution and will be as quiet as a household refrigerator at the facility property line.
Myth: The desalination facility may extend the longevity of the AES Generating Station.
Fact: The Huntington Beach Generating Station has contracts to sell power that will keep it in place until at least the year 2018. The facility will not be going away any time soon. The Huntington Beach Desalination Facility needs less than 35 megawatts to operate at full capacity, which is not nearly enough energy to keep the generating station in business. The desalination facility does not need the generating station to operate in order to produce water. Furthermore, the desalination facility will have separate permits that will allow for it to operate independent of the generating station when the AES plant ceases operation.
Myth: Desalination uses a lot of energy and is more expensive than importing water to make this a viable facility.
Fact: This proposed 100% carbon-neutral desalination facility will take the same amount of energy to produce enough desalinated water for a family’s needs for a year as it does to run a refrigerator for a year. With the cost of imported supplies from Northern California increasing and the reduction in our allotment from the Colorado River, desalinated water is competitively priced with any new high quality water supply.
Myth: The water will not be available to all areas in Orange County.
Fact: Any additional supply of water in Orange County will increase the reliability across the entire County by lessening demands on existing sources. The water from the desalination facility will be available to all of the water agencies throughout the County.
Myth: Poseidon Water is a multinational firm that can waive state and federal environmental laws and regulations.
Fact: Poseidon Water is a U.S. corporation incorporated in the state of Delaware and headquartered in Boston, Massachusettes. The company is subject to all local, state, and federal regulations, laws and approvals required to own, build, operate and maintain the desalination facility.

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