Cambria Community Services District directors unanimously settled on Tuesday, Sept. 18, on the four water supply alternative projects that will be studied in depth in an environmental report expected to be completed by the spring of 2013.
The Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with Chambers Group to prepare the environmental report.
The four alternatives are: A brackish-water desalination facility on San Simeon Creek; storing water in an off-stream reservoir on San Simeon Creek; using Whale Rock reservoir near Cayucos to store water; and using water recycled at a San Simeon Community Services District facility.
If a non-desalination option is chosen, the district would need to go to Congress to change wording in an authorization to fund a supplemental water facility for Cambria that specifies desalination as the technique to be used.
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The special meeting, the fourth in a series, drew over a dozen members of the public. Attending via Internet hookup were representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers and CDM Smith, a consulting firm.
“We have a reasonable range of alternatives,” director Muril Clift said of the four options.
The Chambers Group study will focus on the environmental impacts, not the economic costs.
“The tech team wants to provide a good product,” district engineer Bob Gresens said of the study. “There will be major questions coming up on funding, especially if the preferred alternative is not de-sal. We would have to go back to Congress to
change the wording. That’s the biggest caveat I have.” —Bert Etling