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By Kristina Pritchett

Members of the South Coast Water District say the next workshop regarding the Doheny Beach Desalination Project could take place in May.

During the district’s engineering and operations committee meeting on Jan. 16, Director Bill Green asked why the next meeting wouldn’t be until then.

Andy Brunhart, general manager of the district, said they need to complete a Value for Money analysis as well as a reliability study before the workshop happens.

Green said they should consider having multiple meetings because there would be a lot of information given.

In November, the district approved a task order, totaling $35,105, to hold the fifth workshop. The workshop is scheduled to answer questions previously raised by the board, present results of a Value for Money Analysis on two project delivery methods and summarize the pros and cons of various aspects of the project.

At the meeting, Mark Donovan from GHD, an engineering firm working with the district on the project, gave updates regarding the project’s other task orders including the public outreach aspect.

Director Rick Erkeneff said the outreach is really crucial to the people in the community about what will happen if the project goes forward.

The district discussed a geophysical survey from which Donovan said results were promising.

“It shows there could be a potential for more than two slant wells on this side of the creek,” Donovan said. “There are a slew of maybes that are on the table now that we didn’t know before.”

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. at the district administrative office in Laguna Beach.

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