Project Overview

The Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant is a 50 million gallon per day (56,000 acre-feet per year (AFY)) seawater desalination plant located adjacent to the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, California. Desalination has evolved into a desirable water supply alternative by tapping the largest reservoir in the world - the Pacific Ocean. The technology, available for decades, is at work in many arid areas of the world including the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. A 30-year Water Purchase Agreement is in place between the San Diego County Water Authority and Poseidon Water for the entire output of the plant. The plant has been delivering water to the businesses and residents of San Diego County since December 2015.

News

  • Carlsbad Desalination Plant Named International Plant of the Year for 2016

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Jones (760) 655-3998 download a pdf
    Global Water Award announced in the United Arab Emirates
    Carlsbad, CA – The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has been honored with a Global Water Award as the Desalination Plant of the Year for 2016 by Global Water Intelligence, publisher of periodicals for the international water industry. The award, announced this week at the Global Water Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, goes to “the desalination plant, commissioned during 2015, that represents the most impressive technical or ecologically sustainable achievement in the industry.” Read more.

  • Poseidon’s Peter MacLaggan Named ‘Top 25 Newsmaker

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Jones (760) 655-3998 download a pdf
    Honor Bestowed by Engineering News Record Salutes the Industry’s Most Influential People

    San Diego, CA – Today, Poseidon announced that their Senior Vice President of Project Development for California has been named one of Engineering News Record’s (ENR) ‘Top 25 Newsmakers.’ Every year, ENR salutes influencers in construction by naming the Top 25 Newsmakers who have been the most influential in their respective roles. MacLaggan was recognized for his tenacity and patience in pushing for the successful construction of the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western hemisphere in Carlsbad, California.“I am deeply honored to be named one of ENR’s Top 25 Newsmakers along with the best and the brightest minds in the industry,” said Peter MacLaggan, Poseidon Senior Vice President. “The Carlsbad project took over a decade to come to fruition and was truly a team effort. I want to thank everyone who helped San Diego County residents achieve desalination as a new drought-proof reliable source of water from the Pacific Ocean for future generations to come.” Read more.

  • $1 Billion Desalination Plant, Hailed as as Model for State

    Los Angeles Times

    Carlsbad, CA (December 15, 2015) - With Monday's ceremonial opening of the Western Hemisphere's largest ocean desalination plant, a new era began for water use in San Diego County — and possibly for the entire parched state. Read more. 

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Need

State, regional and local water plans all have confirmed that immediate and pressing water needs cannot be accomplished without some investment in seawater desalination.

  • The plant will provide 56,000 AFY of new water supply for the San Diego region. A region where nearly 85% of the current water supplies are imported.
  • The CA Department of Water Resources’ 2009 Water Plan Update identifies the need for 275,000 AF of desalinated water by 2025.
  • The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Integrated Water Resources Plan identifies a need for 150,000 AFY of seawater desalination (including 56,000 AFY from the Carlsbad project) by the year 2020.
  • The San Diego County Water Authority’s (SDCWA) Urban Water Management Plan identifies a need for 56,000 AFY of seawater desalination from the Carlsbad project by 2016.