This is not a direct response to the record breaking eight year devastating drought that California and the County of San Luis Obispo has been enduring. This is a brief discussion offering a rational and unemotional approach to securing a reliable limitless weather independent source for potable water in our county. We will not attempt to numerate the many long-term necessities for this water-source, nor will we attempt to prove/validate the science/technologies behind each of the components of this plan. Within the confines of this thesis we will just present an overall “big picture” of a “doable” proven plan to cost effectively secure/develop a fresh water-source for our County, our future, and our children.
For starters, we wish to present to our readers that our coalition is very broad based in its membership and supporters. It includes many strong environmental activist, business and farming enterprises, financial and industrial experts, bankers, attorneys, students, employers, employees, scientist, engineers, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, liberals, and conservatives. We have captured the attention/following of many of the local and regional news outlets.
This is not a political/social discussion, but rather it is a presentation of a plan to achieve a common worthy/necessary goal.
In all honesty, this initiative is really just a major expansion of what Mr. Rob Livick and the City of Morro Bay are currently doing. The scope and intent of their initiative is expanded herein to a regional arena and employs larger and several newer techniques/technologies and funding sources. This initiative is also similar in nature to what many modern communities around the world, and here in California, are successfully doing to solve difficult fresh water challenges. The actual technologies used therein have been proven and enhanced to bring their cost-effective threshold levels and environmental sensitivities well into acceptable ranges.
Funding is not an issue. The State of California has allotted $7.3 billion dollars to fund projects like ours. Some world renowned companies’ will self fund the construction and operation if given the long-term commitments that the water supplied will be purchased by the local municipalities/water districts. Most importantly the configuration offered herein greatly reduces the initial and ongoing cost of the construction and ongoing operations.
Concluding our preamble lets briefly summarize our environment:
Broad based extensive interest/support for the project
Proven environmental friendly and cost effective technologies
Several funding options available
Logical, long-term modern scientific approach to fresh water source management
The overall summary of what we are proposing is that we (to be defined who “we” are):
Purchase a feasibility study to clearly define, test, and establish cost projections for our project and to provide alternative sustainable configurations to consider.
Purchase the abandoned Dyenrgy power plant in Morro Bay
o Reconfigure the plant to embrace the extensive use of wind, wave, geothermal, Natural Gas, and solar technologies to provide for the ongoing power requirements
o Reconfigure the plant into an environmental friendly water desalination and water purification facility
Establish a fresh water conduit to deliver fresh water into the San Luis Obispo County’s distribution systems, reservoirs, restoration aquifer ponds, and streams
Establish a joint venture governing board, probably at the County level, with each effected municipality and water district represented therein
Extensively explore the various power alternatives for the plant to obtain the lowest cost and sustainable reliable power sources:
o Natural Gas
Extensively explore the various methods of collecting the raw water sources for the plant:
o Environmental and ecological safe
o Ocean inlets
o Local water treatment plants
Extensively explore the various methods of discharging/deposing of the plant’s byproducts
o Feedback back into the ocean?
o Commercial salt plant?
o Traditional drying fields?
Develop a cross-functional implementation team, with a project plan, accountability/responsibilities, dates, critical path analysis, and effective milestones.