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100 Billion Gallons-Carlsbad Desalination Plant-Water Supply

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Celebrates 100 Billion Gallons Served

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has served more than 100 billion gallons of high-quality, locally controlled water over the past seven years – a milestone passed in late October, as California entered a fourth consecutive year of severe drought.

The plant produces an average of more than 50 million gallons of high-quality, locally controlled water every day. It’s a foundational water supply for the San Diego region that minimizes vulnerability to drought and other water supply emergencies. The facility is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient desalination plant in the nation, and it has provided a sustainable water supply to residents and businesses in San Diego County since December 2015.

Core water resource

“As we mark this achievement, water from the seawater desalination plant continues to reduce our dependence on imported water sources, which has the effect of making more water available for drought-stricken communities elsewhere,” said Mel Katz, Board chair for the San Diego County Water Authority. “Since coming online in 2015, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant has met nearly 10% of the region’s water demand, and it will be a core water resource for decades to come.”

Desalination plant-Carlsbad-desalinated water-water supply-primary

The San Diego County Water Authority added desalinated seawater to its supply portfolio in 2015 with the start of commercial operations at the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

“Reaching 100 billion gallons demonstrates the value, effectiveness, and reliability of the desalination plant, as it produces high-quality water to help meet the needs of the region’s residents and businesses,” said Channelside President, Sachin Chawla.

The desalination plant is a key piece of the region’s multi-decade strategy to diversify its water supply portfolio. A 30-year Water Purchase Agreement between Poseidon (Channelside) LP and the Water Authority allows for the production of up to 56,000 acre-feet of water per year, enough to meet the needs of approximately 400,000 people.

100 billion gallons-reverse osmosis-seawater desalination

Reverse osmosis is the heart of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. During this process, dissolved salt and other minerals are separated from the water, making it fit for consumption. This reverse osmosis building contains more than 2,000 pressure vessels housing more than 16,000 reverse osmosis membranes. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Reverse osmosis technology

Desalination uses reverse osmosis technology to remove water molecules from seawater. Water from the ocean is forced through tightly-wrapped, semipermeable membranes under very high pressure. The membranes allow the smaller water molecules to pass through, leaving salt and other impurities to be discharged from the facility.

More information about the desalination plant is at carlsbaddesal.com and sdcwa.org.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Hits Milestone 100 Billion Gallons Served

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has served more than 100 billion gallons of water over the past seven years — a milestone reached in late October, the San Diego County Water Authority and plant owners announced Tuesday.

The plant, which produces 50 million gallons of drinking water daily, enough for 400,000 homes meeting 10% of San Diego County’s water demand, is the largest in the United States.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Celebrates 100 Billion Gallons Served

Carlsbad, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2022) – The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has served more than 100 billion gallons of high-quality, locally controlled water over the past seven years – a milestone passed in late October, as California entered a fourth consecutive year of severe drought.

The plant produces an average of more than 50 million gallons of high-quality, locally controlled water every day. It’s a foundational water supply for the San Diego region that minimizes vulnerability to drought and other water supply emergencies. The facility is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient desalination plant in the nation, and it has provided a sustainable water supply to residents and businesses in San Diego County since December 2015.

“As we mark this achievement, water from the seawater desalination plant continues to reduce our dependence on imported water sources, which has the effect of making more water available for drought-stricken communities elsewhere,” said Mel Katz, Board chair for the San Diego County Water Authority. “Since coming online in 2015, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant has met nearly 10% of the region’s water demand, and it will be a core water resource for decades to come.”

The desalination plant is a key piece of the region’s multi-decade strategy to diversify its water supply portfolio. A 30-year Water Purchase Agreement between Poseidon (Channelside) LP and the Water Authority allows for the production of up to 56,000 acre-feet of water per year, enough to meet the needs of approximately 400,000 people.

Desalination uses reverse osmosis technology to remove water molecules from seawater. Water from the ocean is forced through tightly-wrapped, semipermeable membranes under very high pressure. The membranes allow the smaller water molecules to pass through, leaving salt and other impurities to be discharged from the facility.

“Reaching 100 billion gallons demonstrates the value, effectiveness, and reliability of the desalination plant, as it produces high-quality water to help meet the needs of the region’s residents and businesses,” said Channelside President, Sachin Chawla.

More information about the desalination plant is at carlsbaddesal.com and sdcwa.org.

Opinion: Did Wastewater Recycling Help Defeat the Huntington Beach Desalination Plant?

For some time, California seemed well on its way toward a water future made more secure by desalination plants up and down the coast.  A dozen are currently in operation, including the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which upon opening in 2015 became the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.  Ten more plants are being planned.

Water World: After Nearly 40 years, Peter MacLaggan Leaves a Liquid Legacy

Every time someone turns on the tap in San Diego County, out flows the work of Peter MacLaggan.

MacLaggan was the point man in the construction of the Carlsbad desalination plant, a nearly $1 billion public-private partnership that since 2015 has supplied nearly 10 percent of the potable water consumed in the county.

Desalination relies on the virtually unlimited supply of water in the Pacific Ocean. It provides a safe, reliable source of local water in a region that for many years relied on supplies from hundreds of miles away and was subject to mechanical breakdowns, seasonal shortages and the whims of nature.

Opinion: Racial Justice Requires Equitable Access to Reliable Drinking Water

Vice President Kamala Harris was right on point last year when she said that clean water is a fundamental human right. President Biden has put those words into action by signing an executive order establishing a White House council on environmental justice.

Opinion: San Diego’s Successful Desal Plant Should Be a Model for California Water Policy

Often the value of a plan or project can best be judged by its opposition. In the case of the proposed Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach, the forces lined up against it are clear indicators that it’s a worthwhile enterprise.

All Set for Carlsbad Dredging Project

Carlsbad beaches will soon have more sand as a result of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon dredging project – starting this February until mid April, informs the City of Carlsbad, California. The lagoon has been dredged every one to four years since 1954 as part of the Encina power plant operations. The last time the lagoon was dredged was three years ago, in 2018. Now that the Encina plant has been retired, Poseidon Water is taking over the dredging, as part of an agreement when the seawater desalination plant was built and came online in 2015.

A Tale of Two Coastlines: Desalination in China and California

The port city of Tianjin is in desperate need of water. The surface and groundwater supplies of this sprawling northeast Chinese metropolis have shrunk to dangerously low levels due to decades of reduced rainfall and overexploitation of the Hai River that flows through the city. According to the Tianjin Environmental Protection Bureau, the city’s per capita water resources are one-twentieth of China’s national average, far below the UN benchmark for a water-stressed region. Despite promoting water conservation and metering among residential and industrial users, Tianjin still faces shortages that drive its reliance on large-scale water-supply infrastructure like the South-North Water Transfer Project and seawater desalination. 

In the United States, a similar situation is unfolding. After a prolonged drought between 2011-2015, California’s investment in desalination solutions to supply fresh water to the state’s dry south grew exponentially. While most American desalination plants are used to purify less-saline “brackish water” from rivers and bays, large-scale seawater operations have begun to proliferate in California, as well as Florida and Texas. California alone has 11 municipal seawater desalination plants, with 10 more proposed. Southern California-based Poseidon Water LLC opened America’s largest desalination facility in Carlsbad in 2015, which currently meets about 10 percent of San Diego’s water demand. With the capacity to produce 54 million gallons of water a day, this new desalination plant, as well as another one currently in the works at Huntington Beach, could ensure water security in Southern California.

Water Company Withdraws Desalination Proposal as Battle over Environmental Justice Heats Up

Amid mounting controversy and concerns over environmental justice, California American Water on Wednesday withdrew its application for a desalination project in the small Monterey Bay town of Marina.

The proposal had become one of the most fraught issues to come before the California Coastal Commission, which was set to vote Thursday. The decision would have been the first major test of the commission’s new power to review not only harm to the environment when making decisions but also harm to underrepresented communities.