Barnum asks for board direction on desalinated water vote

By Karen Brainard

As one of 24 member agencies of the San Diego County Water Authority (CWA), Ramona Municipal Water District may have to purchase desalinated water even though the water would not be distributed to Ramona.

According to RMWD General Manager David Barnum, who is the district’s representative on the CWA board, desalinated water will be more expensive.

On Oct. 25, the CWA board is scheduled to vote on a draft water purchase agreement with Poseidon Resources that has a desalination project in Carlsbad to provide a source of potable water. CWA has been diversifying the region’s water supply portfolio by investing in other sources for water to reduce its reliance on imported water from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District, he said.

The water authority estimates that desalinated water would provide 8 to 10 percent of the total regional supply by 2020.

Barnum gave the RMWD board information about the desalination project at its Aug. 28 meeting and said he will need direction from the board by October on how he should vote.

Although every agency has the option to vote on the purchase agreement, the majority wins, Barnum said, and “we would all share in the supply and cost.“

RMWD would not receive any desalinated water, he explained, because Ramona’s location is too far north of the distribution pipeline.

Barnum noted: “RMWD water quality will not change.”

The Carlsbad plant is estimated to begin operations in 2016. Preliminary pricing for desalinated water is almost twice the cost of current treated water. Barnum said it is unknown how the purchase agreement would affect RMWD rates.

The water authority has been working to increase its regional supply for emergency situtations and because it claims the MWD is overcharging.

In other Aug. 28 meeting topics, the board thanked Sunset Marine for donating services worth $532 to repair a 16-foot aluminum boat with an outboard motor that is used for Lake Ramona inspections.

Related posts:

  1. Water board to consider buying desalinated water
  2. David Barnum is Ramona water board’s choice as general manager
  3. Barnum takes seat as CWA director
  4. CWA to discuss water, future rates at RMWD
  5. Water district vote worth less, says regional agency

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Sep 5 2012. Filed under Archive, News, Ramona. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Barnum asks for board direction on desalinated water vote”

  1. merle moshiri

    I have personally written to all members of the Ramona Water Board, concerns with the Poseidon/SDCWA WPA and as of today, not heard a word of reply of one of them In a nut shell__a. There is no spending cap on the project. At what point does the project become financially infeasible? When costs of the project have risen from $270Million 4 years ago to nearly $1 Billion I would be giving serious thought to a cap on costs of construction and "imporvements"
    b. The sky rocketing costs of energy to run the plant and pump the water. Is there a long term energy contract to protect rate payers from increased energy costs?
    Merle Moshiri Huntington Beach, CA

  2. merle moshiri

    You have options and DO NOT have to sign this contract. Conservation, retention, recycling, reclamation are options open to you and at far less risk and expense. You are signing onto 30 years of rising costs with no cap with a company that has no track record of successfully completing an ocean desal plant. Don't be an expensive experiment.
    merle Moshiri

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