In the News

The Cost of Desalination

By Danny Wool,
Santa, 3/8/11

At a meeting of the city of Santa Cruz Water Commission, the price for a new desalination plant was given as $99 million—and that was just the largest of several major water projects that the commission voted on for the next three years. The total cost of all the projects is $120 million.

The plan was approved unanimously, but not without some public comments. It was pointed out that the cost of the plant has increased by 40 percent since it was first proposed eight years ago. “The conceptual level was based on 2002 estimates. A lot has changed since that time,” explained Santa Cruz Water Department Deputy Director Linette Almond. She added that the price tag now includes land purchases and the construction of infrastructure to transport water to the Department’s partner, the Soquel Creek Water District.

The other expensive project voted on was the completion of a new tank at the Bay Street Reservoir, with an estimated price tag of $14 million. That project is already underway, but has suffered from delays impeding its completion.

The water district serves about 90,000 people. In order to complete the project, the cost per consumer over the next three years will be over $300 per year. Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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