California Town Turns To High-Tech Water Plant In Face Of Drought

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s drought declaration has triggered only local limits such as restrictions on washing cars or watering lawns, but one Pacific Coast tourist town has seized it as an opportunity to build a long-desired desalination plant.

The new project will turn salty water to drinking water for the 6,000-resident town of Cambria — which hugs the cliffs of the central coast, 6 miles south of William Randolph Hearst’s famous castle at San Simeon. It is one of the biggest infrastructure projects undertaken in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought emergency decree last year.

The plant is expected to go online early this month after being finished in just six months, unusually fast in California. Projects of this sort typically take years, and often decades, of environmental reviews, public hearings and lawsuits.

Dozens of other cities and towns over the years have considered desalination plants as the way out of water shortages. Critics, however, say the technology is expensive, energy intensive and produces huge amounts of brine waste that damages the environment. California has 11 other desalination plants, and another 16 proposed.

Citing Brown’s drought declaration, San Luis Obispo County and local Cambria officials announced the water-plant project in May and finished —> Read More Here


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