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Water Resources Protection as a Driver for Wastewater Project Selection

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The water resources challenges faced by the community of Los Osos, California, were emblematic of those of water-stressed regions. Los Osos was facing two problems: (1) a cease and desist order from regulators to stop the discharge from septic systems into the upper aquifer; and (2) seawater intrusion due to overdraft of the lower aquifer for potable supply. In was determined that a wastewater project planned in response to the cease and desist order could help to mitigate seawater intrusion. Therefore, seawater intrusion mitigation was designated as a benefit to be used to differentiate wastewater project alternatives. The costs of a series of wastewater projects conferring various levels of seawater intrusion mitigation benefit were estimated. The difference in cost between the project with the most and the least benefit was smaller than was expected, so the project with the greatest seawater intrusion mitigation benefit was recommended.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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