With 17 desalination plants proposed along the California coast (see map here), amending the Ocean Plan to address issues with desalination facilities has been identified as a ‘very high priority’ for the State Water Board. The planned Ocean Plan amendment will address salinity, impacts to marine life from intakes, and brine discharge and disposal. It is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2013.
To initiate the desalination process, large amounts of sea water must be drawn into the facility, potentially impacting marine life from the intakes. During the desalination process, salts and minerals are removed from the salt water to produce fresh water, creating a hyper-saline brine that then must be discharged to the ocean. This brine is denser than the receiving water and can settle accumulate on the ocean bottom with the potential to adversely affect marine organisms that are exposed to it.
During the meeting, the results of three studies initiated by State Water Board staff will be presented:
During the meeting, no formal action will be taken by State Water Board members, although Board members and the staff may ask clarifying questions. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions or make comments.
The meeting will be held on August 22, 2012, at 9:00 am at the Joe Serna Jr./EPA Headquarters Building, Coastal Hearing Room, 1001 “I” Street, 2nd floor, in Sacramento.