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Desal plant at Diablo Canyon on track for providing SLO County with drinking water

Diablo_Canyon_Flickr_Tracey_Adams.jpg
Flickr/Tracey Adams
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Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant on the San Luis Obispo County coast has a desalination facility that could one day provide local residents with drinking water.

San Luis Obispo County is moving forward with plans to boost the local water supply by using Diablo Canyon's desalination facility.

The County Board of Supervisors approved $900,000 on Tuesday to fund the project's planning phase.

According to the county, a feasibility study shows it is technically possible to connect the nuclear power plant's desalination facility to the existing Lopez Water Project to deliver drinking water to San Luis Obispo County residents.

The plan's overall costs are estimated at anywhere between $21.7 million and $36.4 million.

Despite a move into the planning phase, the project is not a done deal, according to the county.

"If PG&E, which must keep the needs of Diablo Canyon Power Plant paramount, determines that a 20- to 30-year water supply agreement is not feasible, then the project cannot move forward," the county stated on its website on Tuesday. "Likewise, if the project partners decide not to participate, be it time frames, costs, or other water supply opportunities, then the project would have no customers and would not go forward."

Failure to get the proper permits or meet other required conditions could also keep the project from becoming a reality.