Orange County Water District and Poseidon Explore Partnership on Huntington Beach Desalination Project

Orange County Water District, which manages underground water basin in central and north Orange County, voted unanimously to explore the feasibility of purchasing up to 50 million gallons of Poseidon desalinated water daily.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA – The Orange County Water District (OCWD) Board of Directors on July 24 voted unanimously (8-0) to approve staff report recommendations to study the feasibility of purchasing up to the full capacity of the drinking water that will be produced by the proposed 50 million gallon per day Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Project. The staff recommendation also included the creation of a Citizens Advisory Committee to provide additional community input to the OCWD Board.

OCWD manages the large groundwater basin that provides reliable, high quality groundwater to 19 municipal and special water districts that serve 2.4 million customers in north and central Orange County. OCWD operates the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) – the world’s largest water purification system for potable reuse. Operational since January 2008, GWRS can produce up to 70 million gallons of high-quality water every day.

“The Orange County Water District’s decision to enter into bi-lateral discussions with Poseidon provides the opportunity to explore a public-private partnership that ensures the most cost effective delivery of the Project and the equitable distribution of its water reliability benefits,” said Scott Maloni, Vice President of Poseidon Water. “We look forward to participating with the District in a robust and inclusive public process.”

Prior to the District’s formal engagement with Poseidon, in May the District Board unanimously resolved that it is the policy of the District to consider and develop a variety of local water resources – including seawater desalination – to ensure sufficient water supplies are always available to the residents and businesses in the service territory. The Board resolution states, “without the development of additional new local water resources the Groundwater Producers will be forced to significantly increase the amount of imported water they require.”

Poseidon Water specializes in developing and financing water infrastructure projects, primarily seawater desalination and water treatment plants. These projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships in which private enterprise assumes the developmental and financial risks.

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