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By Kristina Pritchett

The South Coast Water District Board of Directors approved a task order to conduct workshop number five of the Doheny Ocean Desalination Project.

The directors approved of the task order, totaling $35,105, in a four to one vote with Director Dennis Erdman against it.

According to a staff report, workshop five will focus on answering questions previously raised by the board, present the results of a Value for Money Analysis on two Project Delivery Methods—district owned vs. a private sector owned P3 approach—and summarize the pros and cons of various aspects of the project.

Erdman told the directors he believed  they should hold off until other study results come in first.

“We continue to rack up costs on Doheny Desalination, we don’t have the results of the reliability study, which will help us place this project in a priority list that makes sense for the district financially, timing-wise and water resource-wise,” Erdman said. “I’m just wondering if it wouldn’t be prudent to take a breather to get the reliability study done and then come back and look at where Doheny Desal fits.”

Board President Wayne Rayfield said he would rather see the things done at the same time rather than sequentially.

As of press time, the workshop has not been scheduled yet.

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