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Redwood Shores Desalination Plant a Possibility for Saltworks Water Supply
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The developers of the proposed Cargill Saltworks development are looking towards desalination as a potential water supply for its future 30,000 residents. It is one of many options the developer is eyeing to make the project feasible.
The location of the potential desalination plant, however, is yet to be determined, but the DMB-funded consultants have begun looking into the Redwood Shores area north of the San Carlos Airport.
In consultant Hart Howerton's September report, sent to the city monthly, the consultant listed "preliminary investigation of San Carlos Airport Land Use planning for evaluation of requirements for developing the land north of the airport for desalination facilities."
Bill Ekern, the city's community development director, added that the city was not looking into site specific locations, but what characteristics a site would need to hold a desalination plant.
The developer hasn't identified desalination as the definitive water supply in its application, but the city is exploring it as a possibility.
"We're just trying to be as smart as we can," Ekern said. The city is also still exploring the possibility of water transfer from Kern County.
The extensive process is a popular source of water treatment around the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but not common to the Bay Area.
Josh Sonnenfeld of Save the Bay said he was concerned about potential impacts desalination could have on the surrounding natural habitats.
"We don't know what the intake of all that water will do to wildlife," he said. "We can't assume we can just keep taking water from the Bay forever."