Marin County's largest water utility has given the go-ahead for a USD 105 million desalination plant that would turn seawater into drinking water. The Marin Municipal Water District's board voted unanimously in favor of the project, which would be the first of its kind on San Francisco Bay.

It would be funded through local bonds and a USD 3 to USD 5 increase in monthly water bills. Opponents say the facility costs too much and would use too much energy. The plant is still subject to permitting and other requirements and is not expected to be up and running until 2014 at the earliest.