DESALINATION, YQUE? By Lydia Ponce
When I first heard of desalination, turning ocean water into drinking water-I thought it was a great idea because, heck, we have a whole lot of ocean!
Then, my good friends informed me about the process of desalination… and the serious concern that we defended, protected and honored the Ocean first.
I am an ocean Indigenous woman and both my parents were coastal tribal people. My Mom was Mayo- Yaqui- Yoeme, originally from Sinaloa migrated to Santa Rosalia then to settled in Ensenada, Baja California. My Dad’s familia is from Paita, Peru. I have always lived near the ocean – always, we are generational beach residents. Yes, salty sandy ocean DNA with resilience to match.
Get the full truth here:
Here are few websites to review at your leisure and educational opportunities
Desalination plan was to intake intake 90 million gallons of ocean water, while killing the life force of the ocean. Then a toxic dump 45 million gallons of a chemical brine swirl back into the ocean. Yes, intaking and dumping daily. If this project and permits were to be approved, the California Coast would be dotted with these desalination plants. Up and down our coast, these plants would be built before the cumulative impact was n truly known, scientifically or otherwise. The Pacific Coast currents flow north to south and all other coastal communities would suffer south of each desalination plant.
The Poseidon Project was proposed to be built in Huntington Beach and it served as a potential catalyst – a planned cookie cutter prototype development. The owner corporation BROOKFIELD is located in Canada, so no, profits would whoopingly travel to their bank accounts.
Why did we organize so hard to defeat Poseidon? We have community, family and friends who surf, fish, and play, and pray at the beach. We repped the marine life. Ocean Momma is medicine, she gives us so very much.
I have provided some questions for you so we can share a commitment.
We can share the responsibility of our water, the healthy water that provides for our health.
• Have we reduced our water use?
• Have we learned to reuse water, such as a redirect gray water to gardens and trees?
• When will we treat and heal the water that is poisoned and compromised with PFAS?
What are PFAS?
Yes, we have representation, we have the state water resources board and watershed wide Regional Water Quality Control Boards that represent us but it is difficult to navigate public engagement and public comment when some commissioners are repping the Governor’s will-with water corporations interests and profits. We must exhaust our first steps to conserve water and heal water… before desalination is considered.
I joined the California State Wide Desal Coalition and I merged into this circle of community- three years ago. I learned from people near and far. Many of the coalition members were standing to fight to defend, protect and honor our California Coast and marine relatives for as much as 15- 20 years. Much respect and credit goes to the coalition members that met over the phone and in person or via many emails as this was all before zooms.
We collectively worked with Southern California Tribal People, Tongva, Acjacheman, Chumash and Kumeyay. Society Of Native Nations, (SNN) built bridges. SNN ’s role is to encourage and to support local tribal consultation and tribal consent which is a critical part in the California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) Environmental Justice policy. The CCC engaged in consultation with the local tribes. The SoCal Tribal Relatives did not give their consent. The desalination project was deemed not good for the people, the ocean, marine relatives and the land. It was not a healthy plan for seven generations to come…
Poseidon, the desalination applicant, did not consult with the tribes and that is a requirement set by the CCC EJ Policy. Poseidon’s application was deemed incomplete. In twenty years this project’s applications had so much wrong with it that I offer the link:
California’s battle for water – its not yet a Water War, as it is in other countries. Not all Californians have ethically reduced water use. For example: Golf courses are greener than green. The people of leisure may need to suffer without 9 or 18 holes for recreation. It is not being woke, it is protecting fragile life supporting water for everyone. Golf courses rep the people that cannot be inconvenienced or suffer any discomfort.
CCC staff report:
California Coastal Commission voted unanimously – here’s an articles
• The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously no and the first reason given was the lack of Tribal Consultation and Consent by the applicant Poseidon.
• The SoCal Tribes have spoken, CCC listened, and respected SoCal Tribes decision to not provide consent.
Unintended consequences – people lost job opportunities. Current Employment and careers must be created with the foundation and commitment for transformational and transitional Environmental Healing. No further harm and extraction can support life in the future… beyond 7 generations? I simply do not know.
The denial of Poseidon’s permit is a win for marine life, a fighting chance to have an ocean teeming with life and a slim chance for healing.
We need to reduce our use of water – recycle the water we use – heal the water we have and water that is contaminated.
We need to become water efficient. Water is life.
The CCC met Thursday, Oct. 13th, 2022, and approved the Doheny Desalination Plant. Here is the agenda item:
The CCC report: https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2022/10/Th10a/Th10a-10-2022-report.pdf
CCC approved the DOHENY Desalination Plant with “Special Conditions.” Special Conditions should be renamed and the language should be – “Compromising Future 7 Generations Conditions…”
So, here it is, the political pressure to succumb the future of water as a commodity! The continued commodification, the commitment politricksters are obsessed with their committed relationships to water corporations and water profits.
We have a right to healthy usable and vibrant water. Water is life!
Below: Proposed Doheny Desalinization Plant.
Categories: Lydia Ponce