Carmel River Mouth
One of the worst aspects of the, now defunct, Regional Desalination Project was the unfair pricing scheme that would have forced Cal-Am ratepayers to pick up the tab for nearly the entire cost of desalting 1,700, or more, acre feet of water per year for the Marina Coast Water District. At the time, Marina Coast representatives vociferously defended this blatant rip-off by repeatedly insisting that Marina Coast didn’t need the water and was, essentially, only involved in the project as a favor to the Monterey Peninsula.
As Marina Coast’s ridiculously overpaid General Manager, Jim Heitzman, told the Monterey County Weekly in 2010; “We don’t want that water. It has no benefit to our district.” And the Regional Project’s many backers, both local and at the PUC, sternly defended those claims.
Yet, strangely, now that the Regional Project has collapsed, Marina Coast is considering building a 3,000 acre feet per year desal plant of its own because … well … they need the water. Marina Coast board member, Dan Burns, has even admitted to the Weekly that “Marina Coast was looking at a desalination facility before we got involved (with the Regional Project).”
You might think it would be pretty embarrassing for Marina Coast and the Regional Project’s many defenders, to have to admit that the attempt to charge Peninsula ratepayers for that water was, in fact, a scam. But don’t worry, it’s pretty clear that they have no sense of shame.