It's been ten years since the Poseidon Seawater Desalination Plant first came to Surf City with hopes of building its first west coast project. Now, after years of failed votes at city hall, lengthy reviews by the Coastal Commission, and clashes with environmental groups like Surfrider, the company is once again poised to turn water into brine--wait, I have that backwards, right?--in Huntington Beach.
As originally envisioned a decade ago, Poseidon would use both power and water from the AES plant on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway as well as drawing water directly from the ocean. The company now claims it could produce up to 50 million gallons of potable water per day once the facility is up and running.
Critics have questioned both the quality of the water the desal plant would produce as well as the cost to taxpayers. And environmental groups say that the plant's intake pumps will harm marine life, as will the 50 million gallons of briny runoff created each day.