San Diego Real Estate and Poseidon Resources - Is Desalination in the Cards for San Diego?

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Associates CA BRE# 01048160

San Diego Real Estate and Poseidon Resources - Is Desalination in the Cards for San Diego?

As a major contributor to solving the water shortage availability to residents in San Diego County and an out of the box solution has been proposed and will go before the state coastal commission. A Desalination plant proposed by Poseidon Resources will be the largest plant of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

San Diego, which relies on imported blended water, partly from the Sacramento River Delta and the Colorado River is in serious jeopardy of having it's supply curtailed by a recent court order. See Serious Water Issues Lie Ahead in San Diego and Will Affect Home Values ! The County Coastal Commission staff, who claims to have some serious concerns with natural water supplies and marine life, specifically the Girabaldi fish*, a prevalent species found in the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, the source of the proposed plant water sees too much risk. They argue that the technology suggested by Poseidon risks sea life and the balance of nature that the current Lagoon affords. I

*In 1995, the California State legislature passed AB77. This bill designated the Girabaldi fish as seen in this photo as the state marine fish. 

Without getting into the technical details of what Poseidon is recommending, Poseidon assures us that its planned approach will care for the Lagoon and ensure its future health. From the outset of the discussions to build this plant in Carlsbad, the commission staff members have differed on the best way to turn ocean water into drinking water. Consumers seem to agree with Poseidon and want it to go ahead and build the plant. The local coastal commission has been discussing Desalination for years, and when someone wants to finally take action to curb our water shortfall, I am also for moving forward on this.

Personally, having read the argument posed by Poseidon Resources that they would be the best stewards of the Lagoon, I tend to agree. My feelings are that the benefits so greatly outweigh the risks. More importantly, the concerned consumers of the San Diego water shortfall would get some needed relief in the way of a guaranteed water supply. Having our own water supply would require less in the way of imported water , especially if the court order is not overruled. This is just good common sense and we all need to do our part in convincing the State Coastal Commission to move forward on this. Expeditiously!

 

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I specialize in Single Family Homes and Condominiums throughout the coast and inland areas of San Diego. Some of those communities are  La Jolla, University Town Center, Bay Park, Mission Valley, Pacific Beach, Scripts Ranch, Poway, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE
Hi Diane, Sometime today we will get the answer of what the Coastal Commission does. I sure hope they don't delay this any longer, we need it now and badly. There needs to many more of these and building them along the East Coast should be encouraged as well. We can pipe water just as easy as oil!
Nov 15, 2007 06:00 AM #14
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
There has to be some protection for water, land, animals and sealife.....always....otherwise it gets to the point of ...no return. I too watched a show on the Atlanta situation...there surely has to be good plans in place!
Nov 15, 2007 07:07 AM #15
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
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Hi Sally, from all that I been able to read on this, the plan put forth by Poseidon, does all that and more. It guarantees the life and well being of the man made lagoon. So I think we are in total agreement that this new technology as proposed by Poseidon, will be the thing that will help promote the safe environmental applications of making drinking water from the sea and providing the water resources we need to sustain life here in San Diego. Many people forget that this was a desert with hills that resembled mountains ( actually they are,just not tall ones,hehe)
Nov 15, 2007 07:26 AM #16
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
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All the water that once existed on earth still exits. Some of it evaporates and those molecules of moisture ends up some place else. Living things that consume it, still have it until they become dust when the water evaporates again. Some water is contaminated and not drinkable but still exists in the form of water or moisture. The water shortage problem stems from potable water being accessible where it is needed. If the 2 hydrogen molecules and the one oxygen molecule separate, they eventually (over time) join again to become water. It is truly amazing that but for the transitions of the state of water, the same reused water exists today on the planet that once existed when the earth came to be.
Nov 15, 2007 07:34 AM #17
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

William - excellent. Yes there are tradeoffs, but we have some serious water issues here that are not going to get resolved easily, even if we get lots of rain. I don't think the public really knows how serious it is, and the government seems to not be saying too much. The problem is not just going to go away, and as the population grows the issues will become more problematic. I hope it moves along quickly too.

Jeff

Nov 15, 2007 10:20 AM #18
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE
Hi Jeff, I have been checking on this and no word as yet. It also seems that the Land Commission another bureaucratic hurdle will not comment until December at the earliest. How did life get so complicated that reasonability has just completely flown out the proverbial window?
Nov 15, 2007 10:24 AM #19
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Just as our mountains are formations from volcanoes and their overflow....miracle stuff actually. :)

My graphic say Taro....do you know what taro is?

Nov 15, 2007 04:10 PM #20
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
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Hi Sally,
Taro? Elephant Ears come to mind? Yep just like the mountians that are formed formed by lavo flows. Just another ordinary miracle today. Have you heard that song. I love it and love to say the words.

Nov 15, 2007 05:03 PM #21
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Joan Mirantz
Homequest Real Estate - Concord, NH
Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire
William...I think we all grew up being told of days to come of water shortage and shrinking land...never thought I'd see the day. But, it's here and we need to explore every avenue to help ourselves. The status quo....just won't do anymore!
Nov 16, 2007 11:18 AM #22
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
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Hi Joan, The commission approved the project late last night. There were some 20 conditions and then we find out that the State Lands Commission will not review until Dec. The sad news is that an environmental organization said they will be seeking a legal challenge to the approval and that may tie it up in the courts for a very long time. Why does everyone have to sue so much. What ever happened to the days of working things out that will  best serve the interests of the communities and the people. Life in America seems to be decided by a handful of discontents and the courts. How sad we have lost our rights as a thriving thinking and concerned citizenry. Thank you Joan for your great insights and comments. You are very much appreciated for your clear common sense discipline.
Nov 16, 2007 11:46 AM #23
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Mike and Dawn Lewis
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams - San Diego, CA
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams in San Diego CA

William,

What's the possibility of building a ddesalination plant inland and piping the salt water to it. It would keep the beauty of the ocean areas in tact and still give water to San Diegans.

Mike Lewis

Nov 19, 2007 07:52 AM #24
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Mike, How the original agreement was granted was because the power plant that used lagoon water for cooling, will be shut down and the same underground system employed by them will be modified for the intake of sea water and the discharge of 50% which will be twice as salty as the intake. The Land Use Commission is the last to approve and that will be December. The lawsuit from the surfrider environmental group is suing because of the 2 # of fish that will be necessarily killed off. They claim the threat is too high and that the courts show rule against it.

As for you question about building inland and then piping would require land access or re-dredging the lagoon. The Lagoon is man made but the the environmental groups oppose any impact to the wet lands at all and lobbied successfully against it already.

I hope I have explained this to your understanding. It is a bit more complicated than I have expressed here but hopefully this general idea will answer you question. You might call this original proposal a compromise to begin with. But Poseidon Resources developed the needed technology to make it work and overcame the original objections of the environmental groups. Thanks for asking it Mike.

Nov 19, 2007 02:02 PM #25
Rainmaker
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Mike and Dawn Lewis
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams - San Diego, CA
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams in San Diego CA

William,

Thank you for explaining this in detail. You have definitely gained my interest. I will look into it myself and read more about it. Thanks.

Mike Lewis

Nov 20, 2007 11:04 AM #26
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

You are welcome Mike. Let me know , especially if you learn something that is different from what is contained here.

Sincerely,
William

Nov 20, 2007 05:10 PM #27
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Ricky Bruni
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL

Has there been any information about the cost of water once its been processed ?  Here in Alabama we are in our 2nd year of draught (-27" in annual rainfall) and I suspect you have it worse given the population and weather patters...I don't think we will ever be candidates for desalinization but I love the idea of adapting to new technology rather than simply charging more in hopes that consumers will use less. For example, this summer in Birmingham, the water board initiated an amount of water that was deemed acceptable, anything in excess would be surcharged. The thing is that they didn't use their own data to establish a household reduction based on previous use or household size. The extra money they generated (and it was significant) likely won't be reinvested in enhancing the infrastructure or building additional reservoir capacity...just extra money that they will spend on consultants, etc...I hope your city has the sense to think outside the box and not be hamstrung by silly enviromental concerns (did I read there was concern about losing 2 lbs of fish per day?)

Dec 06, 2007 09:15 AM #28
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William Johnson
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Hi Ricki, Not as yet, at least not publicly available. We have had a real drought in Southern California as well and I can empathize with what you are saying. More and more today we hear about local authorities and the way they choose the priorities and the questions that arise.

Yes, and the environmentalists are saying that they disagree with the decision to proceed and will file a lawsuit. So it seems to me that it seems to matter today less about what the citizens want as the special interest groups with an endless supply of willing attorneys will have their way. It is the judges that seem to make so many of the decisions that we citizens don't have any way to overcome or disagree with. Legislation can even be set aside just as easily with the claim that the constitution doesn't provide for this or that.

It is pretty amazing to me that over a billion pages of case law dicta seem to say it was drawn from the Constitution. It with all its amendments are only a few pages long. Go figure.

Dec 06, 2007 04:17 PM #29
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Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
William - The ocean would certainly be an incredible source for water.  The amount of water we' remove would barely make a dent in the vastness of it.  Has Poseidon presented a plan that's cost effective?  Years ago, it seems that the cost of desalinization was prohibitive.  This is a very serious issue for all, thanks for keeping us posted.
Dec 10, 2007 08:13 AM #30
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE
Hi Marlene, It is really an endless supply. The desalination plants would be a great idea where our costs are sky rocketing and the the supply is going to be curtailed by court order. Our city council just did an override of the Mayors Veto of Toilet - to- Tap. Should be interesting how that tastes,lol. The science behind all water is that water is a constant on earth and it is just used and then finds it way back into the eco system. It is a remarkable thought when one thinks that water is a constant amount no matter when it ends up. But I will agree that drinking toilet water with just a recycle treatment is disgusting.
Dec 10, 2007 04:26 PM #31
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Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
William - We use recycled water in our landscaping in public areas.  Do you suppose it would be too costly to try to get the private sector to begin doing the same?
Dec 11, 2007 02:36 AM #32
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Marlene,I am not familiar with the cost. I am not sure how the flow of recycled water gets to a property with out installing separate lines designated as grey water. I will explore this and perhaps write a post discussing the aspects of what is involved and then quantitatively what resources are saved and what the costs would be to achieve it.

One reason I like the desalination process is that after the salt and sediments are removed, it is then blended with supply currently being used. Using recycled water and its process of purification would likely be most costly as a process. Currently the additives and filtration system used for water purchased from the Colorado River may be a different process than filtering sewage water . I am not expert on this  so again, it would be worth the research and then post on the findings.

Thanks for enlivening this discussion with your questions and watch for more on this subject as I seek to become  more informed and then share my findings.

Dec 11, 2007 04:42 AM #33
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