Desalination is the process of removing salt from water in order to render it useful for human uses. In 2008, the City of Santa Cruz and the Soquel Creek Water District began a joint effort to explore the idea of building a desal plant on the westside of Santa Cruz, and several million dollars were spent. Protection from a major drought was given as the reason for the need to build a desalination plant by public officials, but environmentally minded community members objected, and groups such as Santa Cruz Desal Alternatives became active protesting the desal plans. In May of 2012, a petition drive led by Right To Vote On Desal was successful in gathering over 8,800 signatures for a petition that insisted the desal decision be put before voters.


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