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Another Desal Option on the Horizon

Brooke Holmquist

MOSS LANDING, Calif.- The desalination drama on the Monterey peninsula now has another group making a pitch to get desal to come its way.

No one can deny the regional desal project and its partners are in a sticky situation. Questions about conflict of interest has a former board member of the Monterey County Water Resource Agency being investigated by the district attorney.

Peninsula city council members have called for a back up plan in case the whole project falls apart. Enter, this ad in the Sunday paper. A full page front and back ad for that back up plan.

It comes from The People's Moss Landing Water Desal Project, a handful of locals led by Nader Agha.

With all this bickering managing partner and property owner, Agha, says he's got the land, he's got the facilities, let's get this thing done.

It's on the 200-acre Moss Landing Commercial Park along Hwy 1 and Dolan Road, right across the street from the power plant.

"We have 100% of all the support infrastructure for a desal plant the only thing left is to bring the desal plant from New Mexico and assemble it over here on the sight."

You may be asking if it's that easy, why isn't it done yet?

"I have been baffled by it myself for years," said Agha.

Agha admits there has been a lot of work to do. The site was a desal plant in the 50's, so there have been major upgrades since he bought the property and brought up the idea six years ago. Then the permitting stalled at the coastal commission.

Agha said because the facilities are already set to go, The People's Moss Landing desal project would cost significantly less for ratepayers.

"We know how to do it, we know how to get the price down, we know how to do it for less than anybody else, and we know how to do it in a limited time. We could have this up and running in 8 months after the last permit we obtain."

But the next and probably hardest hurdle? Getting a public agency to sign on.

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