The Oceanside City Council gave the green light Wednesday to a $4-million desalination project that officials said will give the city a desperately needed emergency water supply.
The council unanimously approved continued funding for the the San Luis Rey River Valley project, which will pump water from wells, remove salts and metals that now make it undrinkable and provide up to 2 million gallons a day of fresh water.
Oceanside, like most other San Diego County cities, depends totally on water imported from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California through huge pipes.
Should an earthquake smash those pipes, said Barry Martin, city water utilities director, it could be a month or more before they would be repaired.
He said the desalination plant should be completed and operating by May, 1993.