Survey shows 71% of HB Voters want Desal Plant Built
The proposed Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Facility is supported by 71% of registered voters in the City of Huntington Beach according to a scientific survey conducted this summer – a six point jump since the question was last put to voters in 2004.
While support is on the rise, opposition to the project continues to drop. In 2004 slightly more than one out of four (27%) Huntington Beach voters opposed the project. Today that opposition has plummeted almost in half with just 14% opposing this proposed new drought-proof water supply.
“As imported water costs continue to rise, residents will increasingly look toward new locally-controlled water supplies that offer enhanced reliability,” said Poseidon Vice President Scott Maloni. “The proposed seawater desalination facility in Huntington Beach will provide enough high-quality, reliable water for 300,000 Orange County residents, which is about eight percent of Orange County’s overall water needs.”
Other findings from the survey include:
- More than three out of four voters responded favorably when told the project will make Orange County less reliant on imported water from Northern California.
- 77% of Huntington Beach voters said they’d be more likely to support the project knowing that the City will benefit from approximately $70 million in tax revenue over the lifespan of the project.
- Two out of three (63.4%) voters are more likely to support the project once they know about Poseidon’s voluntary Energy Minimization and Greenhouse Gas Reduction plan, which will make the project net carbon-neutral.
- Three out of four (73.9%) voters consider the pipeline construction a short-term inconvenience that is outweighed by the benefit of a new water supply for the community.
- By about a three to one margin, Huntington Beach voters are more likely to support than oppose a City Council candidate that supports the desalination project (56.2% more likely to support vs. 17.7% more likely to oppose a candidate supportive of the desalination project).
- When told about the project’s potential impacts to fish and other marine life, 71.9% of Huntington Beach voters found the level of impacts to be insignificant and still supported the project.
A total of 402 registered voters from Huntington Beach were surveyed. A survey of this size yields a margin of error of +/- 4.9% with a 95% degree of confidence. Appropriate ratios were obtained such as for gender, age group and party registration. Interviews were conducted in English and the average interview took 22.9 minutes to complete.