By Kristina Pritchett

During a workshop to discuss the Value for Money Analysis, South Coast Water District directors agreed they had some “homework” ahead of them regarding the Doheny Desalination Project.

During the workshop, GHD—an engineering firm hired to assist the district with the project—and Charles Snyder from Professional Infrastructure Consulting Services told the board about the risks that could be associated with the project, the differences between a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and a Design-Build-Operate (DBO) facility, and the price tag.

Many of the risks of either a DBO or PPP overlap, including: offshore geotechnical risks, local regulations and/or community concerns, aquifer flow and water quality, electricity and consumables consumptions, electricity price and access to waste disposal options. The district could also be exposed to inflation and power cost escalation rates, debt servicing, water volume and quality, and risk of law change.

One main difference is that the PPP transfers some risk from the district to the partnering company.

Director Dennis Erdman said the district needs to really look at what size plant would be most effective for the district and that they needed to “be careful” about how the project could affect their relationship with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Most of the directors agreed they need to be aggressive about reaching out to potential partners.

The district will present their South Coast Water District Water Reliability Study in the next couple of months.

To see the Powerpoint presentation from the meeting, click here.

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