If you’re a Monterey County local, the CPUC is holding public meetings to hear what community members think about the Coastal Water Project, which includes three alternative answers to our water supply problems.
What does local water supply have to do with sea otters, you may ask? Actually, quite a lot.
First of all, one of the proposed projects is situated in Moss Landing, a sea otter watcher’s heaven. The project would utilize the existing power plant’s intakes, and add a few more for good measure. This might seem smart, however the power plant has what’s called a Once Through Cooling System that isn’t great for the marine environent because it sucks stuff up (including small, living organisms like plankton, larvae and small fish) and spits out water that is much higher in temperature than it was when it went in.
Secondly, we’re concerned about the growth inducing impact of water that is produced in an area with no real plan for how to handle it. Considering the recent survey results pointing to a population decline, we need to think long and hard what growth means for our environment and our otters, and how we can do it in a way that minimizes our impact.
I’ll be at the 2:00 meeting today, but there’s a 7:00 pm meeting in Monterey tonight, and a 2:00 pm and a 7:00 pm meeting in Seaside tomorrow. If you have the chance, let the CPUC know that conservation is an important consideration–that means the Regional Project is probably the best plan.
Monterey meetings are at Monterey City Hall Council Chambers, 580 Pacific St. Monterey
Seaside meetings are at the Oldemeyer Center Auditorium, 986 Hilby Ave. Seaside
For more information, visit the Coastal Water Project homepage.
Also, our friends at Surfrider Monterey have been very involved.