Wednesday November 16, 2022

Monterey Herald

Both sides of the debate over the need for a desalination plant of the size California American Water Co. is proposing are bracing for what could be the most important state decision affecting the Monterey Peninsula water supply in years.

At 9 a.m. Thursday, Cal Am’s desal project will go before the California Coastal Commission seeking a development permit for the desal project. It will be a complex, and some claim, convoluted back-and-forth between Cal Am and its many detractors.

Tom Luster, the Coastal Commission’s senior environmental scientist, in a 157-page staff report is recommending approval of the project with conditions. The project would entail a desal facility, a well field, water transmission pipelines and a pump station.

There are many moving parts and as many different entities arguing over studies, data and future demographics of the Monterey Peninsula. Perhaps the most pressing debate the Commission will need to contend with is whether or not there will be enough supply to meet future demand.

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