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Invoking California's drought, oceanside town quickly builds long-desired desalination plant


SAN FRANCISCO — One California Pacific Coast tourist town has used the state's drought emergency to build a long-desired desalination plant.

The new water plant for the 6,000-resident town of Cambria, a seaside village near William Randolph Hearst's famous castle at San Simeon, will be up and running in early January.

It's one of the biggest infrastructure projects undertaken in response to Gov. Jerry Brown's drought emergency decree last year.

The plant is expected to go online early this month after being finished in just six months, unusually fast in California. Projects of this sort typically take years, and often decades, of environmental reviews, public hearings and lawsuits.

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