Carlsbad desalination water-purchase agreement moves forward

Two meetings next week could prepare the way for a long-awaited water purchase agreement between San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) and the Carlsbad seawater desalination project in California to be built by Poseidon Resources.

SDCWA took over the water-purchase responsibility from its nine member water agencies, who were originally to buy the water individually, and has been seeking nullification of the original agreements, about which Poseidon has now satisfied the authority.

On 23 August 2011, a new proposal will go before Carlsbad City Council, the host authority for the plant, which is said to satisfy all the doubts the city had about the agreement, relating to property taxes and amenity improvements to be undertaken by Poseidon.

Then, on 25 August 2011, the SDCWA’s Water Planning Committee will consider a document from its staff recommending approval of the agreement.

Under the agreement, Carlsbad may opt to connect to the desalinated supply at its own cost and take up to 10,000 acre-feet (1.233 million m³) of the 56,000 acre-feet (6.9 million m³) annual supply.

If the SDCWA approves the agreement, Carlsbad City is expected to add its approval at a 13 September 2011 council meeting. Water authority staff will then begin negotiating with Poseidon on a final water-purchase agreement.