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A rendering of the proposed desalination facility by West Basin Municipal Water District shows it just south of the NRG Energy plant in El Segundo. 

A coalition of local conservation groups is hosting a town hall about a proposed desalination plant in El Segundo that has garnered controversy since it was first proposed more than a decade ago.

West Basin Municipal Water District plans to vote on the $400 million project by the end of this year, according to the Bruce Reznik, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper – part of a coalition that includes Heal the Bay, Desal Response Group, Southbay Surfrider Foundation – that comprises Smarter Water LA.

West Basin, a Carson-based agency that supplies water to most of the South Bay, has spent more than 15 years and tens of millions of dollars exploring the idea of building a desalination plant to help make the region less dependent on imported water. The plant would desalinate 20 to 60 million gallons of ocean water per day in a process at a facility in El Segundo if approved.

Opponents say the plant is too expensive and will harm marine life.

The town hall is at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Joslyn Community Center in Manhattan Beach.

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