Well, the pulp mill's officially dead.
Now the work begins in earnest to find another use for the raw -- meaning untreated -- surface water from the Mad River for which the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District has a state permit to deliver for industrial uses.
We're not talking about our drinking water folks -- that's a separate supply, and spoken for by 80,000 of us, so it's not up for grabs.
But the industrial water, that amounts to 60 million gallons a day idling its way into the ocean. And the state doesn't like idling (water, that is) -- it could yank the district's water rights if the water isn't put to use.
For perspective, San Diego County is building a 50 mgd desalination plant that will serve about 300,000 people.
Or, HBMWD board member Aldaron Laird has another way to wrap yer soggy head around it:
To put it in perspective, there's 1,525 breweries in the United States. If you took all of the breweries and all the beer that they can make in one year, it's about 6 billion gallons of beer. The surface system that we have, if we ran it for a hundred days, we would produce as much water as all of the beer produced in the United States in one year. That's how much water that system can deliver.
For more on the HBMWD's waterlogged dilemma, check out this week's cover story -- on stands tomorrow and online Thursday!