Coastal Commission 11-0: Poseidon is 'wrong project, in wrong place, at wrong time'

A grassroots victory for project opponents over $6.5.b Brookfield/Poseidon and allies. How did it happen and what is ocean desal's future in California?


The California Coastal Commission officially shut down the long-running Huntington Beach (Orange County) based Poseidon Water desalination carnival by an 11-0 vote on May 12, 2022.

The Commission’s executive director Jack Ainsworth summed up the reasons for his staff’s recommendation of denial for the $1.4 billion desalination project:

First of all, I think we all agree and recognize that the ongoing historic drought is a crisis in California and that desalinization facilities will be part of California’s future water portfolio. Unfortunately, the desalinization project before you today is the wrong project in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ainsworth detailed the following reasons for ending the Poseidon project (his summation can be viewed in full in the video excerpt below:

  • Predicted sea-level rise surrounding the Poseidon site (including critical infrastructure) “will be flooded by increased or more intensive storms or inundated eventually by sea-level rise or rising groundwater”…

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