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Ten Carlsbad Water Plant Employees Live at Work for 21 Days

Millions of Californians are staying home.  Millions are working from home.

Ten are living at work.

“We have locked down the site out here. We have ten employees that are doing the job of those 42 employees,” said Poseidon Director of Communications Jessica Jones.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Workers Self-Isolate

In an effort to ensure continuity of operations, ten volunteers are sheltering in place at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County. Poseidon Water‘s Jessica Jones shares this inspiring story of selfless dedication to keeping the water flowing.

“They did volunteer to operate the plant on-site for 21 days,” said Jones. “There were ten recreational vehicles brought in, so each worker has their own RV and food is delivered for them without human contact.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Poseidon Water decided to take this step to ensure there is uninterrupted production and delivery of safe and reliable water for San Diego County.

Critical Water Plant Workers Self-Isolate on Site

In an effort to ensure continuity of operations, ten volunteers are sheltering in place at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County. Poseidon Water’s Jessica Jones shares this inspiring story of selfless dedication to keeping the water flowing.

The Water Authority purchases up to 56,000 acre-feet of water from the Carlsbad plant per year – enough to serve approximately 400,000 people annually. The plant is a major component of the Water Authority’s multi-decade strategy to diversify the county’s water supply portfolio and minimize vulnerability to drought or other water supply emergencies.

 

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Carlsbad Desalination Plant-Building-WNN-primary-March 2020

COVID-19: Carlsbad Desal Plant Workers Shelter-in-Place to Keep the Water On

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused companies and organizations around San Diego County to take measures to continue serving the public.

As of Friday, 10 workers are quarantined inside the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plan for the next three weeks, monitoring and adjusting gauges and switches, watching for leaks, and doing whatever is needed to safeguard San Diego County’s only significant local source of drinking water.

COVID-19 pandemic prompts ‘extraordinary steps’

“We asked some employees to be locked down at the plant for 21 days to isolate the risk of infection,” said Gilad Cohen, CEO of IDE Americas, the global company that operates the Carlsbad plant and others around the world.

The request for volunteers was a precaution against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “mission critical” employees will work 12-hour shifts, sleep in rented recreational vehicles in the parking lot, and be resupplied with fresh food left for them at the plant’s gate. They will be furnished with washers and dryers to do their own laundry, and the desalination plant’s kitchen and cafeteria are available to them.

Read the rest of the story from The San Diego Union-Tribune here: https://bit.ly/2wz5pZd

The San Diego County Water Authority purchases up to 56,000 acre-feet of water from the Carlsbad plant per year – enough to serve approximately 400,000 people annually.

The plant is a major component of the Water Authority’s multi-decade strategy to diversify the county’s water supply portfolio and minimize vulnerability to drought or other water supply emergencies.

“While the on-site team shelters in place, a second team is remaining in isolation at home and fully prepared to take over plant operations should any situation arise that would necessitate a change in staffing or if the COVID-19 threat extends beyond 21 days,” according to a statement from Poseidon Water.

“Poseidon Water is working in close coordination with the San Diego County Water Authority, IDE Americas Inc. and the California State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water and will continue to evaluate the situation and take any necessary steps to ensure uninterrupted production and delivery of safe drinking water from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.”

Carlsbad Desal Plant Aeria-Coronavirus-WNN-March-2020 primary

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Workers Self-Isolate

In an effort to ensure continuity of operations, ten volunteers are sheltering in place at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County. Poseidon Water‘s Jessica Jones shares this inspiring story of selfless dedication to keeping the water flowing.

“They did volunteer to operate the plant on-site for 21 days,” said Jones. “There were ten recreational vehicles brought in, so each worker has their own RV and food is delivered for them without human contact.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Poseidon Water decided to take this step to ensure there is uninterrupted production and delivery of safe and reliable water for San Diego County.

Ten workers, 12-hour shifts, 21 days

The on-site team will sustain plant operations and maintenance for the duration of the 21-day period to ensure continued production of high-quality drinking water, in compliance with all state and federal drinking water standards.

The plant normally operates with 42 employees. She says the ten workers are able to operate the entire plant.

“They’re doing the job of quite a few people,” Jones told WaterWorld.

The three-week period started Thursday, March 19, the first day of spring. Jones said another group of employees are ready to relieve the ten workers during or after the 21 day period if needed.

Jones said the ten employees are working 12-hour shifts. The interview with Jones is part of WaterWorld Magazine’s on-going coverage of COVID-19.

Ten volunteers shelter in place at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant

Watch the interview between Jessica Jones and WaterWorld Editorial Director Angela Godwin here: https://bit.ly/33K5HbU

The San Diego County Water Authority purchases up to 56,000 acre-feet of water from the Carlsbad plant per year – enough to serve approximately 400,000 people annually.

The plant is a major component of the Water Authority’s multi-decade strategy to diversify the county’s water supply portfolio and minimize vulnerability to drought or other water supply emergencies.

Poseidon Desal Plant Gets Fresh Analysis, but Coronavirus Delays Friday Meeting

Two issues that could decide the fate of the proposed Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach will have to wait for public debate, as the meeting of the Regional Water Quality Control Board planned for Friday, March 13, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus.

A water board staff report prepared for the meeting provides apparent justification for the board to approve the project, but it also notes the board may disagree and request a revision. Poseidon Water needs just two more permits to go forward — one from the water board and then one from the Coastal Commission.

The workshop planned for Friday was to follow up a similar session held in December. At that meeting, several key issues continued to concern some board members, who requested additional information on whether the desalinated water was needed and whether the proposed mitigation was adequate for the environmental damage expected.

Opinion: Poseidon Desalination Would Worsen Environmental Injustice in Orange County

What would California be without the beach? I grew up in Irvine with an awareness of how fortunate we are to live near the ocean. As a child, my parents and babysitters took me and my brother to Corona Del Mar and Newport Beach frequently during the summer. I have many happy memories of enjoying the waves at “our beaches” while bodysurfing, building sandcastles, and seeing fish, anemones, sandcrabs, dolphins and jellyfish! We also took school field trips to Crystal Cove to learn about the ecosystem. These experiences taught me to respect the ocean and to understand that it is alive, a home for sea life and people.

That’s why it’s upsetting that our regional water board is moving closer to issuing permits for a project near my hometown that will harm our ocean, make us more vulnerable to climate change, and make our drinking water more expensive. The project is a massive ocean water desalination plant being proposed by a global corporation called Poseidon that has its sights on Huntington Beach.

One Idea, Two Cool Things: Desalinated Water and Renewable Energy

The contraption, reminiscent of Rube Goldberg, would produce two of Southern California’s most precious and essential resources: water and electricity.

The electricity would be renewable. And the drought-proof, desalinated ocean water could prove more environmentally friendly — and cheaper — than the water produced from three other desalters proposed for Southern California.

The idea, developed by Silicon Valley-based Neal Aronson and his Oceanus Power & Water venture, caught the attention of the Santa Margarita Water District. The agency quickly saw the project’s viability to fill a void.

Driven by Climate Change, Desalination Researchers Seek Solutions to Water Scarcity

The state of California has dedicated $34 million for eight desalination facilities across the state amid growing concerns about water scarcity in the U.S.

Desalination is when saltwater is converted into freshwater. Though 71% of the Earth is made up of water, extreme weather linked to climate change is adding to concerns about water scarcity.

Scientists estimate that by 2071, nearly half of the 204 freshwater basins in the U.S. may not be able to meet the monthly demand for water, according to a study published in the journal Earth’s Future.

Extracting salt from water seems like an easy fix to a global problem, but the process of desalination can be expensive, and it can also have a huge impact on the environment. That’s why some researchers are looking into how to lower the cost and improve efficiency.

Desalination technology can cost anywhere between two to 10 times the cost of traditional freshwater sources, says Meagan Mauter, research director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.

Opinion: Why Desalination Can Help Quench State’s Water Needs

If you’ve ever created a personal budget, you know that assigning your money to different investment strategies is a crucial component to meet your financial goals. When you stop dipping into your savings account each month, savings can begin to build.

Understanding why desalination is so critical to California’s water future is a lot like building a personal budget. With a changing climate, growing population and booming economy, we need to include desalination in the water supply equation to help make up an imported water deficit.

(Originally published in CalMatters: https://bit.ly/39pNkuD)