Carlsbad de-salination plant will produce 50 million gallons a day
As the rains come less and less, and the demands on the water we get from other places, such as Northern California, increase from those places, a local solution and source of drinking water is being built and nearing completion. The Carlsbad Desalination Plant, located at 4658-4874 Carlsbad Boulevard in Carlsbad on the grounds of the NRG-owned Encina Power Station, is on track to be completed and operational sooner than expected.
The one billion dollar reverse-osmosis mega-filter, completely financed by the Poseidon Water private company has taken ten years to build. It is now scheduled to be running, producing 50 million gallons of drinking water per day, by this time next year. Once it’s at full speed, the desalination facility will turn seawater into potable drinking water at an amount calculated to provide 7% of the water needed by the San Diego County Water Authority. While the costs have decreased, the more expensive process will cost each customer approximately five dollars more per month.
Part of the reason for the the plant taking a decade to construct has been the issue of the pollution, mostly heat pollution, caused by the process. Several legal challenges by various environmentally-concerned organizations have delayed the work while answers and solutions to pollution were requested. Many groups will be watching the proceedings very carefully for signs of adverse effects once the plant is operational.
Currently, the county of San Diego has agreed to a contract stretching over the next thirty years with Poseidon for the operation and delivery of drinking water from the Carlsbad plant. The price of the water comes out to 5 cents a gallon for the county. Currently, water delivered via pipelines costs 2.5 cents per gallon. Despite the doubling of the cost, any method that cuts into the 90% of water that is being imported from other locations is desirable. Local control over a local source of drinking water is necessary for even the continuance of the current population here, much less the most probable future growth.