Desalination Executable Solution and Logistics Plan (DESAL Plan)


Desalination projects take time to plan, permit, and construct. Factors that contribute to the feasibility of a desalination project are permitting, funding, community support, and environmental protection. The County has coordinated with the Countywide Water Action Team (CWAT), and informal working group of staff from entities accross the county with water supply planning responsibilities, to create a 5-phase approach to develop a desalination project. Right now, the County is pursuing Phase 1: DESAL Plan, which includes stakeholder engagement, funding procurement, and developing a scope of work.

For a draft timeline and description of the 5-phases, please click on the following figure:

Events and Community Outreach

Recent desalination projects within the state of California have taught us that stakeholder outreach and early engagement are critical to a successful desalination project. Engagement in the early planning phases of the project will allow us to build a broad coalition of supporters, which will be necessary to obtain the required permitting. One of the first steps in developing the DESAL Plan will be establishing a stakeholder and public engagement process, which will then be implemented through all phases.

Updates on the desalination project will be given at Water Resources Advisory Committee (WRAC) meetings. WRAC meetings are open to the public. For meeting dates and locations, please go to


County Board of Supervisors Meeting


  • (anticipated) Tuesday, April 18, 2023 @ 9:00 a.m. Agenda Item #TBD - Submittal of a resolution designating the Director of Public Works, or designee, as the authorized representative to prepare, review, approve and file an application and execute agreements for the United States Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART: Water Recycling and Desalination Planning Funding Opportunity and receive an update on the Desalination Executable Solution and Logistics Plan and direct staff to return to the Board for approval of a consultant contract for Phase 2a. All Districts.


  • Tuesday, October 18, 2022 @ 9:00 a.m. Agenda Item #19 - Submittal of a resolution authorizing staff to proceed with developing the Desalination Executable Solution and Logistics Plan in coordination with other participating water-purveying agencies and stakeholders and authorizing the Director of Public Works, or designee, to pursue grants to offset project costs and return to the Board of Supervisors for grant award approval. 


Countywide Water Action Team (CWAT) Agency Meetings

  • The following agencies have adopted resolutions agreeing to be considered in the DESAL Plan:
    • City of Arroyo Grande
    • Atascadero Mutual Water Co.
    • Avila Beach CSD
    • Cambria CSD
    • Golden State Water Co.
    • City of Grover Beach
    • Los Osos CSD
    • City of Morro Bay
    • Nipomo CSD
    • Oceano CSD
    • City of Paso Robles
    • San Miguel CSD
    • Santa Barbara County
    • City of San Luis Obispo
    • Templeton CSD

Join our Mailing List

  • Click here to join the County of San Luis Obispo's DESAL Plan mailing list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Public Works via web form, email, or call us at (805) 781-5252.