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California is running out of water. They just voted down a desalination plant

(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

It’s no secret that California is experiencing a water crisis. At this point, Lake Mead has been drained so low that they’re finding the bodies of dead mobsters from the 40s at the bottom of it. The laughably named Los Angeles River is little more than a damp culvert. And if the drought doesn’t end soon, there simply won’t be enough potable water to support the current population. In a move to help alleviate the situation, back in 2017, the State Lands Commission unanimously voted to approve a one billion dollar project for Poseidon Water to construct a large desalination plant at Huntington Beach. It would provide huge volumes of purified water to boost the state’s dwindling supplies. This week, after enduring protests from activists, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to cancel the project. So I guess it’s going to be sand baths for all my friends. (CBS News)

The California Coastal Commission Thursday unanimously rejected a controversial plan to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

Several hundred people attended the hearing, which took place in Costa Mesa, and voiced their support and opposition to the project in front of the 12 voting members of the commission, who all voted to deny a coastal development permit for the Poseidon Water desalination facility.

“This victory for sustainable water would not have been possible without the continued advocacy of Orange County residents and water warriors across the state,” Garry Brown, founder and president of the nonprofit environmental group Orange County Coastkeeper, said after the vote.

The objections to the desalination plant were brought by a collection of “environmental justice” advocates and other climate activists. And they apparently still carry enough political clout in the Golden State to change policy on a dime, even while everyone is being told they can’t water their lawns anymore or flush their toilets too often.

So what were the specific objections of the protesters? They listed four primary concerns:

  • Cost to consumers
  • Potential loss of sea life
  • Pollution
  • The amount of energy that will be needed to run the plant

The cost to consumers is almost laughable when you look at the way California flushes away tax dollars on endless bizarre, woke policies and taxes everything at rates that make gasoline more expensive than Napa Valley wine. Fresh water is expensive if you live in a desert. It’s a good thing wages are so high across the state. Oh, wait…

I tried to find some information on the loss of fish life near desalination plant water intake pipes, but couldn’t locate any. They do tend to put screens over them, though, and use other methods to try to frighten away most of the sea life. I don’t think anything else will be going extinct because there’s an intake pipe sucking in some seawater.

And pollution? What pollution? The byproduct of the operation is sea salt. If you’re willing to do a little processing, you can sell that and recoup part of the costs. I will fully agree that the amount of electricity required to operate the plant will be an issue since the state is running out of electricity even faster than it’s running out of water.

Here’s the real kicker to the story. Poseidon Water is already operating a desalination plant in Carlsbad. That plan produces more than 10% of all of the fresh water used in the San Diego area. And I don’t see any stories about endangered fish corpses swamping the beaches or mountains of salt blocking the ocean views of the tourists.

It’s as if Californians are simply too far gone to take “yes” for an answer. They need water. Without it they will die. Somebody comes along with an actual solution that would help alleviate the situation, and they still have to make new protest signs and shut it down. It’s hard to have much sympathy for them, honestly