Monterey Bay desalination project is approved despite environmental injustice concerns – with support from the U.S.
The San Francisco Bay has become an environmental injustice symbol – because of its location, its estuary, its many waterways, and its unique biodiversity.
Now, a San Francisco Bay desalination project is underway in the city’s South Bay, with the prospect of pumping hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water through city streets and into the Pacific Ocean. The San Francisco Bay Project is being financed primarily by the California Coastal Commission, with help from the California Department of Water Resources.
In this report, the South Bay Water Conservation Network (SBWAN) calls attention to two major environmental injustice issues of concern to the Bay Project: the project area’s environmental justice status, and local opposition to the project, including by SBWAN members.
1. Environmental injustice
2. Environmental injustices and inequities
The South Bay Water Conservation Network is an independent citizens organization whose mission is to promote the sustainable use and conservation of the San Francisco Bay. SBWAN’s members are people who live in San Francisco Bay watershed areas.
These people have many of the same concerns about the project as the residents of the area where the project is proposed – but also have many of the same concerns about the project’s local neighbors, and other localities, who oppose the project.
The project will add significantly more than 500 single family homes, for up to 70 families, and up to 1,200 single family homes, for up to 5,000 families. It will add many tons of sediment and debris, and use up most of the city’s potable drinking water supply.
The project area contains 1.5 million people, or about one-third of the city’s population, many of whom are low income workers and many of whom are senior citizens.