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.


  • DBIA Announces 2016 Design-Build Project of the Year

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Louis J. Jenny, Design-Build Institute of America (202) 454-7507
    Carlsbad Desalination Plant Honored as Project of the Year

    Las Vegas, Nevada, 2016 – The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), the only organization that defines, teachesand promotes design-build best practices, announced the 2016 Project of theYear and National Award of Excellence winners at the Design-BuildConference & Expo Awards Dinner. Read more.

  • Poseidon Water Named Energy Champion by SDG&E

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Jones (760) 655-3998   download a pdf
    Recognized for accomplishments in reducing energy consumption at the Carlsbad Desalination Facility

    Carlsbad, CA (July 11, 2016) - San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) named Poseidon Water an “Energy Champion” for 2016. Poseidon was selected as the Water Energy Nexus Champion for their investments in, and commitment to, sustainability and energy efficiency at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant (the Plant).  Read more.

  • Carlsbad Desalination Project Receives Top Honors for Maximizing Cost-Effectiveness through Public-Private Partnership

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Jones (760) 655-3998 download a pdf 
    San Diego County Taxpayers Association Honors Poseidon Water and San Diego County Water Authority for Collaborative Effort to Create New Drought-Proof Water Supply

    Carlsbad, CA (June 17, 2016) – The Carlsbad Desalination Project was recognized for “stretching taxpayer dollars through cooperation between the public and private sectors” by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association at the organization’s 21st Annual Golden Watchdog & Fleece Awards last night at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority received the Grand Golden Watchdog for the project and the unique collaboration that made it possible.

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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.