Largest Seawater Desalination Plant in US Online
Operations are officially under way at the Claude â€śBudâ€ť Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant â€” the nationâ€™s largest and most technologically advanced seawater desalination plant. The plant has already produced more than 1.5 billion gallons of locally controlled water for San Diego County, helping to minimize the regionâ€™s vulnerability to the statewide drought.
The Carlsbad Desalination Plant is the result of a 30-year water purchase agreement between the plantâ€™s developer and owner, Poseidon Water, and the San Diego County Water Authority for the production of up to 56,000 acre-feet of water per year. It is a major component of the Water Authorityâ€™s multi-decade strategy to diversify the regionâ€™s water supply portfolio.
The $1 billion desalination project includes three main components: the desalination plant adjacent to NRG Energyâ€™s Encina Power Station on Agua Hedionda Lagoon; a 10-mile pipeline that connects to the Water Authorityâ€™s regional distribution system; and upgrades to Water Authority facilities for distributing desalinated seawater throughout the region.
The Carlsbad plant uses reverse osmosis to produce approximately 10 percent of the regionâ€™s water supply. It costs less than 0.5 cents to produce a gallon of drinking water at the plant. Desalinated water will cost typical homeowners in the region about an additional $5 per month, in line with the low end of projections when the project was launched in late 2012.
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