The Marin Municipal Water District board will decide tonight whether to approve the Bay Area's first desalination plant. The San Francisco Chronicle story contains a hint of civic pride about this being the first of many. Barer mention that it is the smallest.
Though the system has drawn fierce criticism over potentially high costs, energy consumption and impacts on marine life, the Marin Municipal Water District's desalination gambit marks the first of many across the Bay Area and the state.
Up and down the coast, about 20 similar projects are in the works, including a joint test project by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Contra Costa Water District and others. (...)
"If we had a drought like '76-'77 and then another year of drought on top of that, we'd be out of water," Helliker said. "Even if you have a great conservation program, if you don't have enough water to conserve, it doesn't help."
That line of reasoning doesn't wash with opponents like Mark Schlosberg, California director of environmental advocacy group Food and Water Watch. Schlosberg and others accuse the district of overestimating its water deficit and underestimating the costs to taxpayers.