S.D. County Water Authority Board Approves Agreement to Purchase Carlsbad Desalination

With deal in place, construction on the plant expected to start early next year

The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors has approved the purchase of the water produced by the proposed Carlsbad Desalination Project, a seawater desalination plant that will produce enough water to meet about 7 percent of the region's water needs in 2020, reducing San Diego's dependence on imported water and significantly improving water reliability in the region.

The agreement clears the way for the sale of bonds to finance the fully permitted project, which includes the plant as well as a 10-mile pipeline to deliver the treated water to customers. The bond financing is expected to proceed next month, and construction will begin early next year on the facility, which is located next to the Encinas Power Station in Carlsbad, Calif. The plant is expected to be in operation in 2016.

Under the 30-year agreement approved today, the CWA will purchase the plant's output of approximately 50 million gallons per day of drinking water, which is enough to serve nearly 450,000 county residents.

"San Diego has reached a major milestone in its long-term plan to develop drought-proof, local sources of water to sustain our economy and quality of life, and Poseidon is proud to be part of it through this partnership with the County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies," said Carlos Riva, chief executive officer for Poseidon Resources. "The Carlsbad Desalination Project has been more than a deade in the making, and we're grateful to the many supporters who helped shape the project and move it forward so we can deliver this much-needed supply to San Diegans."

The project and the Water Purchase Agreement enjoys broad support from elected leaders, including the region's entire Congressional and state Legislative delegation, as well as mayors and councilmembers throughout the county. It also won the support of respected business and trade groups such as the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Biocom, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the San Diego Building Trades & Construction Council and groups representing agricultural interests.

Construction of the plant will create about 2,300 jobs in the region, with ongoing operations supporting about 575 jobs. In addition to creating jobs, the project will help protect the region's economy from the devastating impact of water shortages.

Adding to the project's benefits is Poseidon's restoration of 66 acres of wetland habitat in San Diego Bay, which will return the bay to the original condition before it was altered for farming and industrial use. The project will restore natural tidal flows and encourage the return of native plants, migratory birds and aquatic life.

Poseidon Resources specializes in developing and financing water infrastructure projects primarily seawater desalination and water treatment plants. These projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships in which private enterprise assumes the developmental and financial risks.