Sunday, January 02, 2005

Water agencies are studying plan to tap seawater

In the places whereby, the shortage of Water supply from the mountain & rivers, perhaps the best methode is either producing Water from the Air or for those with area fronting sea, desalination is the best alternative.

However, there should be consideration on have the treatment plant for those Waste Water & Water after treated that returning to the sea, so that not to cause further contamination & killing to the life in the sea.

Water agencies are studying plan to tap seawater

December 29, 2004

Water officials in San Diego and Orange counties have determined there are no insurmountable obstacles that would prevent construction of a desalination facility near the San Onofre nuclear plant.

Encouraged by the conclusions of an early study conducted by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Municipal Water District of Orange County, officials are turning toward getting other stakeholders to support the project.

They include Camp Pendleton, which owns the site; Southern California Edison, which operates the San Onofre plant; and state regulators, who will issue the permits.

The desalination plant could supply southern Orange County, San Diego County and Camp Pendleton with up to 100 million gallons of potable water daily.

Should all parties agree to a more detailed study, it would be at least a decade before water could be produced.

There are significant obstacles to overcome, however.

They range from persuading Camp Pendleton to permit the plant to be sited on the base to the public's perception about the quality of the water and the nearby nuclear power plant.

Additionally, environmentalists are wary of plans to develop desalination projects next to power plants.

Some answers might be forthcoming in about 60 days when a decision will be made on moving forward with a detailed feasibility study.

Water districts are drawn to the San Onofre site because of the decommissioning of the Unit One nuclear reactor, which went online in 1968 and was shuttered in 1992.

The pipes used to draw in seawater to cool the reactor could be used, lowering the cost of building a desalination plant by tens of million of dollars.

Officials at Edison and Camp Pendleton are neutral on the project, but they have expressed some concerns.

For Edison, the project cannot impede the ongoing decommissioning and the power plant's current operations.

Once the Unit One reactor is removed, the site will be used to store nuclear waste until a dump opens at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, said Ray Golden, an Edison spokesman.

Edison, however, is expected to remove the cooling pipes as part of the decommissioning, but the utility is trying to convince state regulators it would be environmentally sound to leave the pipes in place.

The state is conducting an environmental impact report on that matter.

Units two and three, which generate enough power for 2.2 million homes, have permits good through 2022 and an option for a 20-year extension, Golden said.

For Camp Pendleton, the issue is one of compatibility. Any plan that does not further Pendleton's primary mission – to train Marines – is greeted with skepticism, said Edmund Rogers, a civilian who represents the base on the water authority's board of directors.

San Diego Baykeeper, though not yet taking a stand, has reservations about putting a desalination project next to a coastal power plant.

Placing a desalination facility next to a power plant is likely to extend the operating life of the electricity producer, increasing the danger to the environment, said Bruce Reznik, Baykeeper's executive director. Read More.... > News > Metro -- Water agencies are studying plan to tap seawater

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