Water from San Francisco Bay, minus the salt, could be pouring from taps in Marin County, where the early steps for a desalination plant are being taken.
The Marin Municipal Water District voted 3-2 last week to pay $69,000 to URS Corp. for initial planning and environmental services linked to a desalination plant.
Two board members, John Jaeger and Dick Hill, voted against the plan, but Jared Huffman, Alex Forman and Jack Gibson approved it.
Huffman said a plant could be running in the next two to five years.
"It is a boundless resource," Huffman said last week, as he spoke to members of the Marin Environmental Forum.
Jaeger, who also spoke to the group, criticized the move.
"Do you want a mom-and-pop operation like [Marin Municipal Water District] trying to perfect this?" he asked. "Let others do it."