Recently, the Thousand Oaks City Council approved spending $30,000, to go to a feasibility study for a regional water desalter that would be located in Camarillo. This, according to an article in the 4-7 T.O. Acorn. Other study contributors are the City of Camarillo, Calleguas Municipal Water District and Camrosa Water District in Camarillo, along with Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency, which gave $150,000.
One reason that makes a possible desalter attractive, is the high cost and variable availability of imported water from the Sacramento Delta, that Calleguas sells to Thousand Oaks and Camrosa. The other main reason for the desalter is to treat the salinity and brackishness of groundwater in the Camarillo area, so that it could be used for either drinking water or for agricultural use.
Since Camarillo is downhill from Thousand Oaks, I was still confused as to why T.O. was contributing to the study, since it would be so expensive to pump the desal water up the Conejo Grade to the city. However, the T.O. Acorn article said, “The partners will share the water from the desalter proportionate to their investment.” Hmmm…
As for the “reverse-osmosis concentrate,” according to an article in www.desalination.biz, it would go to the Calleguas Salinity Management Pipeline (or Brine Line, as it has been called), that is now being built, and be pumped into the Pacific Ocean.
Here is a link to the T.O. Acorn article by Michelle Knight: http://www.toacorn.com/news/2011-04-07/Front_Page/TO_Camarillo_may_join_forces_to_build_desalter.html As a board member of Triunfo Sanitation District that owns Oak Park Water Service, I think it is commendable that Calleguas and local cities and agencies are looking for ways to cut down on imported water use and make local water usable for residents.
Photo taken in January, 2011, of pipes at the Calleguas’ Las Posas Wellfield in Moorpark.