Left to right: Shawn Dewane, Denis Bilodeau, Cathy Green. Voting for the 2015 Poseidon/OCWD term sheet. Photo: Surf City Voice
At its July 18 meeting, the OCWD Board of Directors approved a revised term sheet with Poseidon, thus moving closer to a binding contract to buy expensive water from the company’s proposed $1 billion ocean desalination plant for 30 – 35 years regardless of need.
Hundreds of citizens attended the meeting to oppose the project.
According to OCWD’s own website, the full cost of GWRS water is $850 per acre-foot.
But the above snippet pulled from the OCWD website still misleads the reader; because remember, OCWD only buys untreated water from MWD.
Here is a chart I created using OCWD statistics to compare the cost of GWRS with and without subsidies to untreated water.
Chart created by Debbie Cook, based on OCWD statistics.
Kennedy’s report took the same misleading approach when comparing the cost of Poseidon’s water to MWD water.
Kennedy’s July 18 staff report uses the MWD treated rate and subtracts an MWD subsidy from its comparison of MWD and Poseidon water.
The above comparison chart subtracts the $399 million MWD subsidy ($475 AF for 15 years) that Poseidon would receive. Then it compares MWD treated water (which now costs $1,050 AF) to Poseidon’s water, even though the district buys only untreated water (which now costs $740 AF).
Counting the subsidy, Poseidon’s project unit cost would be $2,266 AF, not $1,791 claimed in the chart, and Poseidon’s water would actually cost $1,520 more per AF compared to untreated MWD water) and $1,216 more per AF compared to treated MWD water.
John Earl is the publisher and editor for the Surf City Voice and Poseidon Town. In the late 1980s, he covered local politics for the Huntington Beach News. In 2005, he was a founding member and first president of Residents for Responsible Desal, which he left in 2006 to become editor of the print newspaper, OC Voice.