Case Studies

As part of our research plan, we undertook three case studies of regions in Calfornia considering desalination. These regions include:

Inland Empire Utilities Agency

Located in the rapidly-growing southwest corner of San Bernardino County, IEUA provides water and wastewater treatment services to numerous cities, including Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, and Upland. This region is interested in desalination to meet its growing water demand and because it has brackish groundwater resources that can be made suitablle for urban use. Our IEUA case study helped us understand the challenges and opportunities of desalination planning for non-coastal regions of California.

City of Long Beach

Serving a coastal city in southern California, the Long Beach Water Department provides both drinking water and wastewater treatment services. The Department operated an experimental desalination facility in collaboration with Los Angeles County and the US Bureau of Reclamation. The Long Beach experience helped us understand the planning, economic and communications aspects of integrating desalination into a coastal region's water portfolio.

Monterey County

Located along California's central coast, Monterey County combines small cities, farmland, and tourism. Water demand is growing and the county faces challenges of meeting growing demand, protecting coastal rivers, and stopping the intrusion of seawater into overused coastal aquifers. Numerous agencies are proposing desalination as a new/replacement source of water for the county and water-agency managers and citizens are regularly meeting to discuss what role, if any, desalination will play in water supply. This case study pointed out the challenge of integrating the needs of multiple separate agencies into a truly regional project.

The research team deeply appreciates the support from all of these agencies and regions, all of which volunteered themselves as case studies for our project.