Pierce on Southern California Desalination Plant

Gregory Pierce, adjunct professor of urban planning and associate director of research at the Luskin Center for Innovation, wrote an opinion piece for the Press-Telegram about water affordability in Southern California. The West Basin Municipal Water District is considering building a desalination plant whose cost would be shared among residents of the 17 cities it serves. Upon examining an environmental impact report, Pierce found that the project is seeking approval without releasing a rate study that would determine how to allocate the cost. “Before greenlighting a half-billion-dollar (or more) desalination plant, West Basin should be looking at all its options to effectively increase available water supply,” Pierce argued. “I hope they take their responsibility to deliver on California’s Human Right to Water law seriously, and only make a decision when they can fully demonstrate that the desalination project would not make its water unaffordable for the region’s working-class residents.”


 

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