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Santa Barbara’s Desal Facility Needs More Funding

The City of Santa Barbara’s proposed desalination facility needs more money.

State and federal regulators are requiring more information before the approval of permits to reactivate the plant.

A company was chosen to do a preliminary design of the desal plant for around $820,628.

Since more studies are needed, Carollo Engineers said it will take $343,959 in additional funding.

The funds will pay for biologists, said Joshua Haggmark, the acting water resources manager.

The California Department of Public Health is requiring 24 months of ocean sampling. Other agencies want an ocean floor survey near the proposed intake structure site to determine what kind of sea creatures are in the area. A study will also be done to see how the brine that is extracted from the seawater will be reintegrated back into the ocean.

A separate contract with a legal firm to help the city with coastal development permits will tack on $200,000 to the desalination facility restart cost.

If the City Council approves the increase at Tuesday’s meeting, the contract with Carollo will be for $1,164,587.

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