The Monterey Peninsula as seen from the Marina dunes
As everyone knows, the desalination plant proposed as our Regional Water Project is expensive. Very expensive.
The PUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates called its estimated $400 million cost “extraordinarily high for a desalination plant of this size.” That was an understatement. Water from the Marina desal plant is expected to be vastly more expensive than water from other desal plants around the US and world. And no real explanation has ever been offered for the excessive cost – which will only grow more excessive as legal fees mount.
So we were interested to read today that Israel is proposing to build a similarly priced desalination plant ($423 million, compared to our $400 million). While our plant isn’t scheduled to come on line until 2016, the Israelis figure they can get their plant finished in less than half the time (by 2013).
So how much water will this hastily constructed Israeli plant desalt each year?
How about 100 million cubic meters? That works out to better than 81,071 acre feet per year, or more than 7.7 times the 10,500 acre feet per year our Regional Desal Plant hopes to produce.
Yes. In the real world, people get more than 7 times as much water per dollar of desal investment.
Put another way, the Israelis will be paying about 2.4 shekels per cubic meter (which works out to about $839.12 per acre foot), compared to the $6,000 per acre foot (or more) that the Regional Desal Project’s water is expected to cost the Cal-Am ratepayers.
But who cares? We can’t afford to complain. If we don’t unquestioningly accept whatever self-serving deals the Marina Coast Water District and their buddies work out in private, the State Water Resources Control Board will cut off our water!!! Everyone knows that …
Click here to read the Reuters story on Israeli desal plant.