SLO County presses on with Diablo desal plan
March 23, 2016
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to move ahead with plans to pipe water from the Diablo Canyon desalination plant to a South County water system. The board authorized spending $900,000 on project planning and permitting work.
County officials plan to build a pipeline from Diablo Canyon to Avila Beach. That pipeline would connect to an existing pipeline to Lopez Lake.
At most, the project would cost $36.4 million, according to a county staff report. Planners expect it will take two years to complete the project.
If the Diablo Canyon desalination plant is operating at maximum capacity, it could produce as much as 1,300 acre-feet of water for South County residents. County staff plan to negotiate an agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company that would secure the water source for about 30 years.
On Tuesday, board members said South County needs another source of water and more diversification of its supply.
Public speakers were split for and against the project. Some said the desalination project is too expensive, does not secure a long-term water supply and will harm sea life. Others said it is an important step toward diversifying the water supply, and the county needs to do more than just conserve water.