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Sodi-ummm?: Forum will look at whether desalination is right for this area

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News Reporter

In the discussion of alternate water sources for the region, there's been a good deal of attention lately on the prospect of connecting to the State Water Project or drilling horizontal water wells in the Santa Ynez Mountains — and not so much directed toward the topic of desalination. That stands to change soon with an Ocean Water Desalination Forum, slated for Dec. 1 at the Ventura County Government Center.

“It felt to me we needed to look at all of our options if we're going to make decisions about new water sources,” said Ventura County District 1 Supervisor Steve Bennett, organizer of the forum. “So this will be a fact-finding meeting to get the information out on desalination … so we'll have a better idea of what the numbers are.”

Bennett said the forum should in no way be seen as an endorsement of desalination, a water alternative typically viewed as expensive and long-term. But because the construction and implementation of desalination plants can take years to achieve, he said its feasibility should be examined now. “If it turns out to be an option we want to do,” he said, “then we should get started talking about it now.”

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