Wednesday October 12, 2022

Monterey Herald

California American Water has shifted its plans for a desalination plant on the shores of Marina, announcing it will now seek to build the project in multiple phases.

“Phasing the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project strikes the right balance to meet the critical need for sufficient and reliable drought-proof water supply to meet demands in the near term while allowing for additional supply as it becomes needed over the next 30 years,” said Josh Stratton, a Cal Am spokesman, in an email. “In addition, as we heard from the community, phasing the project with the possibility of expanding the project to accommodate future regional water supply needs through public participation is important. This is a win-win for the region that provides an opportunity to help the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project be part of future water supply solutions for our customers and nearby communities.”

The first phase of the desalination facility would produce 4.8 million gallons per day, with plans to later expand to the originally planned 6.4 million gallons per day. Rather than seven slant wells stretching under the seashore at the Marina Cemex site, the new plan calls for four slant wells to intake saline water. Cal Am said reducing the size of the initial project will help control construction costs but should not impact the construction timeline in a significant way.

When asked for a timeline of the phases after the initial desal plant is completed, Stratton said the “subsequent phases can be added when additional water sources are needed.”

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