## Pictures of UC Irvine Trees

UC Irvine has over 12,000 trees on the campus. I have been taking interesting pictures of some of them, locating them in convenient areas for walks or exploration, and in identifying them. My results are on my flickr account named dennis.silverman . This can be accessed by searching Google for “flickr Dennis Silverman”. The direct link is tapping here:  dennis.silverman

The central circular park section of the campus is named Aldrich Park. There was already a comprehensive map and identification of these trees by Tony Soeller and Cassandra Squires at http://sites.uci.edu/ucitrees/ I have added to my flickr account my own pictures of some of these trees and their interesting blooms at various seasons of the year.

I have pictured and recorded the identity of campus trees around the mile long Ring Road, centered around the buildings around Aldrich Park. I have also explored trees in sections of the UCI campus around the areas of: the Student Center (including the flagpole and Langson Library); Social Sciences; Engineering; the University Club; Physical Sciences; Biological Sciences and the Ayala Library; and Humanities. I have also added a few trees in University Hills.

Almost all of the tree identification was patiently provided to me by Matt Deines, LEED AP, Senior Planner, Environmental Planning and Sustainability at UCI The mistakes in tree identification are my own. Since I am still an amateur in this, please feel free to aid me by email. Andrew Herndon, Vice President of Community Development of the Irvine Campus Housing Authority, has also been very helpful in identifying trees for me in University Hills.

I also have added some trees and views of walks in Laguna Beach. In walking around the North Lake of Woodbridge Lake across from our UCI Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, I have mostly taken pictures of the interesting ducks, geese, and birds that visit the lake.

In 1995, the UCI campus developed a Green and Gold Plan with a uniform set of trees to be planted in the future based on those that are native California trees, that are drought tolerant, that are very scenic, and that are appropriate for their locations, including easy to maintain. For one thing, this list limits the varieties of trees that one has to learn, but is still large enough to provide many trees, which also bloom at various times through the year.

In driving around Irvine and local communities, I see many of the same trees. These are easiest to spot and identify at the time that they are blooming or seeding or turning fall colors. Many of the local communities use a similar list of trees to select their own trees.

## Climate Change and Continued Climate Change

This year will be the hottest recorded year. It used to be that the average world temperature was 0.7 degree C or 1.36 degree F above pre-industrial times. This year may be 1.0 degree C or 1.8 degree F above pre-industrial times.

The NOAA published in the professional and reviewed Science Magazine that more temperature data with advanced adjustment show that the world’s temperature rise has continued without pause. Skeptics like to take the El Nino year of 1998, with an enormous temperature jump, as a new starting point to show that the temperature was no longer increasing. But in 1999, the temperature returned to normal, and has really been increasing since then. We have pointed this out in this blog.

The pledges of the Paris Conference of 2015 show that the turnover in the worldwide rate of emissions will not turn over until 2030. But emissions will still continue at the highest rate ever. While we are waiting for the rate to drop afterwards, the 2 degree C,or 3.6 degree F warming, may be reached as early as 2032. The 2 degree C level has been considered by Europe as that at which many serious climate effect will cause effects beyond the tolerable level. Clearly, as newer and cleaner power sources come on line, there will still be more warming until the rate of CO2 emissions decline to almost zero.

But Wait! There’s More! Not only do we get the additional warming of the peak rate of CO2 emissions, the CO2 emissions of the last one hundred years are still partly up there, with a lifetime of the order of a hundred years to be absorbed in the ocean, trees, or land. Even if all CO2 emissions ceased in 2030, the effects of lingering CO2 causing warming will continue for the order of a hundred years.

Clearly, this Paris talks, as well as the next International talks of 2020 have to adopt more responsive decreases in CO2 emissions. In the United States, we have to stop backing politicians who are funded by the fossil fuel industry, and who promise to continue to destroy an international agreement, and the goals of the US in decreasing CO2 emissions. We have to stop backing politicians who continue to be climate change deniers and media who are sowers of doubt, when the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists supports the conclusions that are agreed upon worldwide. We have to stop such politicians from cutting climate science funding that will be crucial to effective and economical adaptation to climate change. We have to continue and increase funding for research and development of clean energy sources, and methods of increased energy conservation and efficiency. We also have to devote part of our efforts to methods that apply to underdeveloped countries, as well.

## Imported Sources of California’s Electric Power in 2014, and its CO2 Pollution

We look here at the CO2 cleanliness or pollution of power imported into California. This is reported as two groupings as Southwest or Northwest. The numbers work out nicely as fractions. The 2014 California power output is 296,843 GWh (GigaWatt hours), which we will call 300 (TeraWatt hours, TWh). The in-state generation is 198,973 GWh, which we will call 200 TWh. So 100 TWh, or one-third, is imported power. Of this, 60,609 GWh (20.4% of the total) is Southwest power (61 TWh), and 37,261 GWh (12.6% of the total) is Northwest power (37 TWh).

The 37 TWh of NW imports are mostly Wind (10,151 GWh), or 31% renewables, and Unspecified (25,676 GWh or 26 TWh), or 69%. The unspecified is hydro and newer natural gas plants.

The 61 TWh of SW imports are 29% coal, 17% natural gas, 14% nuclear, 6% renewables (solar, wind, geothermal), 3.5% large hydro, and 31% unspecified. The unspecified is highly efficient combined cycle natural gas plants and some coal.

NW unspecified is hydro plus newer gas plants. It would be helpful to know if these newer plants are the more efficient combined cycle plants. SW unspecified is the more efficient combined cycle natural gas plants and some coal.

The unspecified power for California is the sum of the NW and SW unspecified powers, making up 15% of the California power mix.
We apply the scale of CO2 pollution where natural gas is 1, coal is 1.78, and clean power is 0. I have used this in the previous two articles in this blog.

For the NW, the known sources are clean, giving 0, but adding 0.69 for unspecified.

For the SW, the weighted pollution index is 0.29 x 1.78 + 0.17 x 1 + 0 = 0.52 + 0.17 = 0.69 and adding 0.31 for unspecified.

The utilities total power produced is the relevant factor in CO2 pollution, along with their power mix. The power produced by the five largest California utilities in 2014 are shown below. Also included is their percentage of the total California power production of 296,843 GWh.

SC Edison 82,849 GWh 27.9%
PG&E 82,840 GWh 27.9%
SDG&E 17,670 GWh 5.95%
SMUD 10,319 GWh 3.48%

Their sum is: 221,306 GWh, which is 74.6%. The remainder of utilities must generate 24.4%. So the top two producers generate 56%, and the top five generate 75%.

The sum must include their out-of-state imports, since the total in-state power for 2014 was 198,973 GWh, which is less than the sum above. The in-state total actually includes the out of state power generated by the power plants owned by the California utilities. The installed capacity of the 1,051 in-state plants totals 86.883 GW (GigaWatts).

So do the sum of unspecified sources in the various utilities equal just the sum of the NW and SW unspecified, or cover more?

In trying to understand the Unspecified power, I added that from the five leading power utilities, multiplying their Power Content Label Unspecified percentage by their overall power output. That gave for Unspecified power:

PG&E at 21% = 17 TWh
SCE at 40% = 33 TWh
LADWP at 7% = 2 TWh
SDG&E at 20% = 4 TWh
SMUD at 8% = 1 TWh

Total = 57 TWh.

However, the sum of California Unspecified Power is the sum of

NW 25.7 TWh + SW 18.8 TWh = 44.5 TWh.

Since the sum of the five largest utilities at 57 TWh is only a part of the sum of all untilities, this is quite a discrepancy from my understanding of the California Power Content label explanations.

My guess, is that the State Power Label has the total of all power contracted for in the state, but some state power is sold on the spot market, and this is included with individual utilities under Unspecified Power. Since power produced in the State of California has almost no coal power, the state produced unspecified power is probably a mix of natural gas and renewables, and therefore is fairly clean. I am seeking clarification on this discrepancy.

## Equivalent Volt and Leaf Pollution Mileage in Various California Utility Districts

Electric cars do not run on manufacturers mpg ratings, nor on the mysterious EPA mpg ratings.  They run on electricity provided mostly at night provided by your local utility.  We give here the amount of CO2 produced per kWh from the US average, the California average, and the main California utilities.  For each electric car’s efficiency in getting miles out of a kWh, we translate the amount of CO2 produced in each utility to each mile traveled in an electric car. Then we can divide by the 20 pounds of CO2 produced by a gallon of gas, to get the equivalent mpg of an electric car in terms of the CO2 produced.

If you go to buy an electric car, however, you just find one EPA mpg posting.  Combined is for the mix of city and highway driving.  For the 2016 models, they are:

Nissan Leaf:  30 kWh battery, 112 mpg combined;  24 kWh battery, 114 mpg

Tesla Model X 90 D:  92 mpg combined

Chevy Volt:  Electricity 106 mpg combined; Regular Gas, 42 mpg combined

Ford Fusion:  Electric plus gas 88 mpg;  Gas 38 mpg.

We start with the CO2 produced for 1000 kWh by burning natural gas at 34% efficiency in a typical natural gas plant.  Natural gas produces 399 pounds of CO2 for 1000 kWh if burned at 100% efficiency.  If burned at 1/3 efficiency, we need to burn 3 times the natural gas producing three times the 399 pounds CO2, or about 1200 lbs CO2 for 1000 kWh.  More precisely, it is 1.17 lbs CO2 per kWh.

In the previous article on California utilities, the standard scale 1 was for CO2 pollution from natural gas at 34% efficiency.  The Total for each utility just has to be scaled up by 1.17 lbs CO2 per kWh to give the lbs CO2 per kWh of that utility.  We will give a table of those values.

Over 72,000 Nissan Leafs have been sold in the US.  In 2014, 30,000 were sold in the US.

The Nissan Leaf has a 24 kWh battery with an 84 mile range.  That gives 0.286 kWh per mile or 28.6 kWh per 100 miles.  The reverse is 3.50 miles per kWh.  There is also a 30 kWh battery with a 107 mile range.  That gives 0.280 kWh per mile or 28.0 kWh per 100 miles.  The reverse is 3.57 miles per kWh.  We use this slightly more efficient model in the table.

In the table we keep separate the unspecified power until the mpg columns, where we just add in the undetermined power as if it were natural gas power.  We round off to the nearest 5 mpg, considering the large undetermined power in some utilities.

 Utility Lbs CO2/kWh Volt Lbs CO2/mile Volt mpg Leaf Lbs CO2/mile Leaf  mpg US 1.13 0.39 50 0.31 65 CA 0.67+0.18 0.23+0.06 70 0.19+.05 85 SCE 0.32+0.47 0.111+0.163 75 0.090+0.132 90 PG&E 0.28+0.25 0.10+0.09 105 0.078+0.07 135 LADWP 1.09+0.08 0.38+0.03 50 0.305+0.022 60 SDG&E 0.56+0.23 0.20+0.08 70 0.157+0.064 90 SMUD 0.48+0.09 0.167+0.03 100 0.134+0.025 125 SFPUC 0.00 0.00 Clean Clean Clean Silicon Valley 0.74-0.06 0.26-0.02 85 0.207-0.017 105

## Equivalent Volt and Tesla Pollution Mileage in Various California Utility Districts

Electric cars do not run on manufacturers mpg ratings, nor on the mysterious EPA mpg ratings.  They run on electricity provided mostly at night provided by your local utility.  We give here the amount of CO2 produced per kWh from the US average, the California average, and the main California utilities.  For each electric car’s efficiency in getting miles out of a kWh, we translate the amount of CO2 produced in each utility to each mile traveled in an electric car. Then we can divide by the 20 pounds of CO2 produced by a gallon of gas, to get the equivalent mpg of an electric car in terms of the CO2 produced.

We start with the CO2 produced for 1000 kWh by burning natural gas at 34% efficiency in a typical natural gas plant.  Natural gas produces 399 pounds of CO2 for 1000 kWh if burned at 100% efficiency.  If burned at 1/3 efficiency, we need to burn 3 times the natural gas producing three times the 399 pounds CO2, or about 1200 lbs CO2 for 1000 kWh.  More precisely, it is 1.17 lbs CO2 per kWh.

In the previous article on California utilities, the standard scale 1 was for CO2 pollution from natural gas at 34% efficiency.  The Total for each utility just has to be scaled up by 1.17 lbs CO2 per kWh to give the lbs CO2 per kWh of that utility.  We will give a table of those values.

We will look at the Chevy Volt in its electric range, and the fully electric Tesla Model-S as examples, since they are the most popular electric cars.  The Chevy Volt 2016 2nd Generation has a 18.4 kWh battery with electric range of 53 miles.  That makes 2.9 miles per kWh.  The reverse of this is 34.7 kWh per 100 miles, or 0.35 kWh per mile. This is a lot less than the 4 miles per kWh I used in my 2009 analysis.  Over 100,000 Chevy Volts have been sold.

The Tesla Model-S has a 70 kWh battery with 240 mile range given by the EPA.  That gives 0.292 kWh per mile or 29.2 kWh per 100 miles.  We use this more efficient model in the table.  There is also an 85 kWh with a 265 mile range.  That gives 0.321 kWh per mile or 32.1 kWh per 100 miles.  The reverse is 3.12 miles per kWh.

In the last 4 quarters, 43,000 Tesla Model-S cars have been sold.  In the table, we use the smaller 70 kWh battery at 0.292 kWh per mile.

In the table we keep separate the unspecified power until the mpg columns, where we just add in the undetermined power as if it were natural gas power.  We round off to the nearest 5 mpg, considering the large undetermined power in some utilities.

 Utility Lbs CO2/kWh Volt Lbs CO2/mile Volt mpg Tesla Lbs CO2/mile Tesla  mpg US 1.13 0.39 50 0.33 60 CA 0.67+0.18 0.23+0.06 70 0.20+.05 80 SCE 0.32+0.47 0.111+0.163 75 0.093+0.137 85 PG&E 0.28+0.25 0.10+0.09 105 0.08+0.07 130 LADWP 1.09+0.08 0.38+0.03 50 0.32+0.023 60 SDG&E 0.56+0.23 0.20+0.08 70 0.18+0.07 80 SMUD 0.48+0.09 0.167+0.03 100 0.140+0.026 120 SFPUC 0.00 0.00 Clean Clean Clean Silicon Valley 0.74-0.06 0.26-0.02 85 0.216-0.017 100

## Comparison of CO2 Emissions from Large California Utilities in 2014

Even though all California Power Content Labels are not reported yet, it is useful to compare the latest ones for the United States, California, and the main California utility companies.  We also study the out-of-state power sources that make up a large part of the power mix, and their percentage CO2 emissions.

In order not to burden myself or the reader with complex and unfamiliar energy units for a relative comparison, we take the emissions of CO2 for an older natural gas plant at 34% efficiency as one unit of CO2 emissions.   Then an older coal plant at 34% efficiency has CO2 relative emissions at 1.78.  Emissions from nuclear, hydro, and renewables is taken as a relative 0.  Emissions from newer combined cycle natural gas plants at 55% efficiency would be taken as 0.6, but we have no separate accounting of these in the California Power Content Labels.  It’s time for them to catch up in this recent development.

The power type sources columns numbers are percentages of the utilities’ totals.  The final Total column   in the Total column is the unspecified part added in as if it were old natural gas plants as 1 times the fraction unspecified.  The data are for 2014.

 Utility Coal Nat. Gas Ren. Nuc. Hydro Uns. Total U. S. 39 27 7 19 6 0 .97 CA 6 45 20 9 6 15 .57+.15 SCE 0 27 24 6 3 40 .27+.40 PG&E 0 24 27 21 8 21 .24+.21 LADWP 40 22 20 9 2 7 .93+.07 SDG&E 0 48 32 0 0 20 .48+.20 SMUD 0 41 33 0 18 8 .41+.08 SFPUC 0 0 9 0 91 0 .00 Silicon Valley 11 42 36 0 15 -5 .63-.05 Anaheim 41 24 27 0 2 7 .97+.07

SCE is Southern California Edison; PG&E is Pacific Gas and Electric; LADWP is Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; SDG&E is San Diego Gas and Electric; SMUD is Sacramento Municipal Utilities District; SFPUC is San Francisco Public Utilities Commission using water and power from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir; and S. Valley is Silicon Valley.

It is clear that the US average is the most CO2 polluting, compared to California and the main California utilities.  LADWP is almost tied, and still importing coal power, although it is getting rid of those contracts as soon as possible.  San Francisco (SFPUC) is 100% clean, but the Sierra Club is still mad at it for damming the Hetch Hetchy valley, which is almost as beautiful as Yosemite Valley.   SC Edison is still adapting for losing 2.2 GigaWatts clean power in having to close the San Onofre nuclear reactors.  It has been drawing 1,700 GWh from each of the three Palo Verde reactors.  SCE has 40% of its power as Unspecified.  The next larger Unspecified is PG&E at 21%.  Unspecified power sources can be fairly clean, and being bought on the spot market save consumers money.

## Answering Attacks on Philosophy and Liberal Arts Subjects

I use this blog not only to comment on Energy and Environment issues, but also on Education issues, and on the defense of Scientific thinking. I am not using it for Politics, except as it affects the above issues. This article is to reply to the attack on Philosophers in higher education. Obviously, Chancellors, University Presidents, and Deans of Liberal Arts can and will defend the liberal arts,, but I have not seen press articles by them yet.

Of course, I am referring to Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s remark favoring vocational education over Philosophy at the college level. First, I strongly support vocational education. However, decisions about both vocational education in High School and College is made at the state and local levels, and budgeted at both the state and local levels.

What does the federal government, and in particular the President, have to do with these issues? I thought the Republican Party position was to get the federal government out of education. This was emphasized by Rubio’s opponent Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who forgot in his list of five departments, that he was going to immediately abolish the Department of Education, but chose to abolish the Department of Commerce twice. Philosophers do not generally receive federal grants at the levels of STEM researchers, and any federal funding drop for them would be far insufficient to fund the very large needs for funding vocational education facilities in high school or colleges.

I take Senator Rubio’s comments to not just apply to philosophers, but to any non-STEM or liberal arts majors that do not lead immediately to jobs in industry. That would also include English majors, and Political Science majors for example. Senator Rubio received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida in Political Science. In his case, though, after receiving his J.D. at the University of Miami, he has spent his entire career in politics. People with these liberal arts fields have excellent future careers, for example, in Medical School (like my doctor), in many business, in teaching, and in Law (I include here a link to the Stanford Law School Philosophy of Law program which recommends majoring in Philosophy.)

Philosophy has many aspects, including being a basis for government, politics, and law. It is hard to imagine that in three years of law school, Senator Rubio was not exposed to the philosophy of law. If he studied constitutional law or legislative law making as in the Senate, he must have learned about the philosophy behind constitutional government, and the source of the justification of laws.

In a separate press comment, he derided Greek Philosophy. I imagine this includes Democritus who hypothesized the atom, which is the basis of Physics and Chemistry. Democritus also backed explaining phenomena by scientific laws, not by religion or as a result of desired ends, an important lesson for Climate Change Deniers in Congress. It also might include Plato who favored constitutional government, and governance by philosophers with wisdom. It might also include Locke, who argued for free speech.

While there are some voters in primaries who of course want more attention to practical jobs, attacking liberal arts majors or academics is not a target that will benefit them. There are also many voters who have attended the Colleges and Universities in all states, who will question the attack on the liberal arts.

Senator Rubio also attacked the high price of a college education. This is an ongoing battle for public colleges and universities, but their funding is done at a state level, and is a function of voters’ not cutting state taxes. Voters should realize the benefits of giving higher education to their children, and of increasing the economic benefits to the state and themselves of having more educated workers in their state.

The highest costing colleges are the private ones. I don’t really think that Senator Rubio implied federal relief for private colleges, or federal restrictions on what they can charge. That is outside any possible constitutional jurisdiction of the President or Congress.

I hope that Senator Rubio’s liberal arts educated staff and advisors will enlighten him on the importance of philosophy and the liberal arts. I also hope that more college and university educators will speak out on the importance of both vocational and liberal arts education.

## SC Edison Power Content Label — Compare and Contrast

SC Edison 2014 Power Content Label – Compare and Contrast

The SC Edison 2014 Power Content Label is now available on their website.

We compare this to past SC Edison Power Content Labels, shown in the graph below.

The San Onofre two nuclear reactors supplied 2.2 GigaWatts of power, before they were shut down because of faulty replacement heat exchangers. That was around the 20% of power that was nuclear in 2009—11. In 2014, nuclear power is down to 6%, probably from the Palo Verde nuclear reactor owned by SC Edison.

The Unspecified Sources of Power, which is out-of-state power, is 40% for 2014, comparable to 41% in 2012, and back up from 34% in 2013.  The Southwest power out-of-state sources are said to be new combined cycle natural gas plants, and some coal.

Eligible Renewables is up to 24% in 2014, from 22% in 2013. This has been steadily rising from 17% in 2009. Wind is now the leading source, at 10%, geothermal is at 9%, and solar is at 4%.

Large Hydroelectric has fallen to 3% in 2014, down from 4% in 2013, and having fallen from 9% in 2009. This is probably mainly because of the four year drought.

The total clean energy sum of renewables, hydro, and nuclear is 33% in 2014. In the years in the graph, the clean energy sum is 47% (2009), 43% (2010), 50% (2011), 31% (2012), and 32% (2013). There is no use crying over spilled milk in the shutdown of San Onofre. But SC Edison was up to an amazing 50% of clean energy in 2011, and is now down at 33% but growing at 1% a year.
The California 2014 Energy Sources is on a federal energy site, and we relate its content below.

In comparing SC Edison’s Power Content Label with California’s 2014 label, we note that the 2014 California label is close to the 2013 label in the starting table. Coal and large hydro are down to 6%. Natural gas is at 45%, and nuclear is 9%.

Unspecified sources are at 15%, compared with SC Edison at 40%.  The large amount of unspecified SC Edison power does not allow a calculation of the CO2 emission from the set of power sources.

California Renewables are 20%, composed of Wind at 8%, Geothermal and Solar at 4%, Biomass at 3% and Small Hydro at 1%.

The total of Clean Power is 35%, comparable to SC Edison at 33%.

SC Edison natural gas is at 27%, while California’s is at 45%. California Coal is at 6%, while SC Edison has none.  Another problem with the current label occurs in figuring out the CO2 emissions from the power sources.  The natural gas sources are not broken down by older single cycle plants at 33% efficiency, or new combined cycle gas turbine plants at 54% efficiency.

## UCI Neutrino Group Shares in Fundamental Physics Breakthrough Prize

The Breakthrough Prizes were just announced in the NY Times, on Nov. 8, 2015.  One of the Fundamental Physics Prizes went to five neutrino experiments that showed that neutrinos oscillated.  The UCI Department of Physics and Astronomy Neutrino Group participated in three of the experiments.  Currently they are working on the Super-Kamiokande experiment, and the T2K experiment, both in Japan.  The SNO lab experiment had been proposed by UCI Prof. Herbert Chen.

Scientific American has an excellent but short description of the Breakthrough Fundamental Physics Prize, and an explanation of the neutrino oscillation experiments.

The Super-Kamiokande and SNO experiments were discussed in the second post previous to this.  The experimental leaders of these experiments were awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics.  The contribution of the UCI Neutrino team to the Nobel Prize research is described in the second post previous to this one.

The Breakthrough Awards site covers the leaders and experimenters themselves.

The Super-K site has a description of the experimental contribution to understanding neutrino oscillations, and a list of collaborating institutions.

Those listed who are currently or previously at UC Irvine on Super-Kamiokande are:  Henry W. Sobel, William R. Kropp, Michael B. Smy, Mark R. Vagins, David Casper, Todd J. Haines, and Leroy R. Price.

Those listed as being on SNO who were associated with UC Irvine are Herbert Chen (deceased), Monica Dunford, Steven D. Biller, and Peter Doe.

Members of the K2K and T2K collaboration associated with UC Irvine are:  Henry Sobel, William Kropp, Michael Smy, Mark Vagins, David Casper, Clark McGrew, and Danuta Kielczewska.

The presentation and celebration of the prizes is presented on the National Geographic Channel, but requires a pay tv channel subscription.

## Notes on the UCI Law Symposium: Desalination:  A Solution to Drought and Clean Water Demands?

A meeting on Desalination was held at UC Irvine School of Law on Oct. 15, 2015.  The meeting was sponsored by the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources (CLEANR), Water UCI, and Brown Rudnick.

I will report here on the Keynote Address, the talk by the Pacific Institute, and the panel on Southern California projects.

The Keynote Address was given by Frances Spivy-Weber, Vice Chair, State Water Resources Control Board.

She spoke about better water metering, monitoring, and our water footprint.  The price of water is rising as will be charged by water districts.  This is an important factor in considering water production.  She recommended a portfolio approach to water production.  Desalination may be used on groundwater basins where there is brackish ground water.

She divided water sources into Reliable and Intermittent.  Reliable sources include recycled surface water, and desalinated water.  Intermittent sources include capturing storm water or runoff.  Imported water is not reliable, especially in this drought.  Ground water is not being restored.  She also classified sources as Centralized or Decentralized.  Conservation and rain capture are decentralized sources, as can be desalinated water.

In evaluating desalination we must look at its benefits, costs, and who are winners and losers.  It has been chosen by very few places.  In time, its price will be less outrageous.  We haven’t had a major test yet.  The Santa Barbara plant is not yet on. (The Carlsbad plant will be discussed below.)  Huntington Beach is a possible new plant.

The Setting and Current Issues talk was given by Heather Cooley, the Water Program Co-Director of the Pacific Institute.

She reported that 15 desalination plants have been proposed on the California coast, competing with other sources.  Important factors are energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as cost and financing.  Also important is the marine impact.

(An acre-foot of water is about the amount used by two families of four for a year.  An acre is about the size of the yardage part of a football field, and an acre-foot covers this with a foot of water.)  The energy required for desalination of sea water is about 4,000 to 6,000 kWh per acre-foot.  Two thirds of the energy is used for the desalination itself, and one third for pre- and post- water treatment, as well as water movement.  The State Water Project uses about 3,000 to 4,700 kWh per acre-foot.  Brackish water desalination takes between 1,000 to 2,700 kWh per acre-foot.  Local groundwater uses less than 1,000 kWh per acre-foot.

The cost of water has an exposure to the price of energy.  Energy prices go up in droughts, since there is less hydropower available.  The cost of energy is expected to rise 2% to 6% a year over the next 20 to 30 years.

The cost of desalinated water in California runs from about $1,900 to$3,000 per acre-foot.  The lower cost goes with the larger plants.  Compared to this, recycled water costs $600 per acre-foot, while advanced recycled is$1300 per acre foot.  However, we don’t directly drink recycled water, but use it for outside watering.

The costs of desalinated water are apportioned as energy, 36%, capital, 37%, chemicals, 12%, maintenance, 6%, and labor, 4%.  The risk to the demand for desalinated water is alternate supplies.

She reviewed the fate of other desalinated plants.  Tampa Bay is running at 25% of capacity, and seemed necessary since Florida does not have any mountains or snow packs, but uses groundwater.  The Santa Barbara desalination plant initially cost $35 million, but was mothballed. It would cost$50 million to restart it with modern equipment.

There are two main marine impacts:  killing sea life on the intake screen, and brine discharge, which is twice as salty as sea water, and therefore heavier, and falling to the sea floor. A solution may be to use a subsurface intake.  In general, California has been moving away from coastal power plants, although the Carlsbad plant could use the same filtered sea water for desalination after it had passed through cooling the power plant.

Heather Cooley’s summary was to be cautious and thoughtful about a desalination plant, and to make use of other alternatives.

Existing and Operating Projects:  Challenges, Benefits, and Results.

Paul Beard, Counsel of Alston and Bird LLP moderated the discussion.

Andrew Kingman, Executive Vice President, Poseidon Water LLC, described their new desalination plant in Carlsbad California.

The plant can deliver 58,000 acre-feet per year, which is 8% of San Diego’s water usage.  The plant pre-filters organics and seaweed.  It desalinates using reverse osmosis at 800 pounds per square inch pressure.  The water molecules get pressed through the filters or membranes, but the salt molecules cannot go through and are filtered out.  After that, lime is added to the water, and the acidity or pH is balanced to neutral.  They use 800 membranes, at \$400 per membrane.  They can recover the energy on the half of the water that goes through the filter, and the rest with double the salt is returned.  The water is then pumped up 1,000 feet to the aqueduct that supplies San Diego’s water.  Greenhouse gases are made by the power plant that supplies power to the desalination plant.  That power emits 20% more greenhouse gases than is emitted in transporting State Water Project water to San Diego.

Joe Geever, Environmental Consultant, Surfrider Foundation and Residents for Responsible Desalination spoke against desalination.

He was opposed to both the Carlsbad and Huntington Beach plants.  He said that we suffer a 15% reduction in water about every 15 years.  To overcome this we need to do more on conservation, as people are doing.  We have to make the state water system more reliable by collecting more water.  Other areas such as Los Angeles are now going to move into recycling wastewater, which will relieve the pressure on other communities.  We do not need to fund continuous desalination plants when we only have deficits every 15 years.

Andrew Kingman commented that they had to fight 14 lawsuits to build their plant.  He said that he had learned to try to work with environmental groups from the start.  This was not yet working with Coastkeepers of San Diego.

(I did not stay for the remainder of the Symposium but went to the Great Park to see the student built houses in the Solar Decathlon of 2015.  Although the Irvine City Council thought the turnout was low and they would not host the Decathlon again, when we were there the park was mobbed by Orange County students that had been bused in.  It was a unique educational opportunity for them to learn about a sustainable future.)