MWD approves Carlsbad desalination water subsidy

The directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) on 10 November 2009 voted to approve a seawater desalination program (SDP) agreement with the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) and nine local retail agencies.

The agreement provides the nine local water retail agencies, known as the San Diego Desal Partners, with a US$ 250/acre-foot (US$ 0.20/m³) incentive towards the purchase of desalinated water from Poseidon Resources’ Carlsbad Desalination Project.

“We greatly appreciate the support that Metropolitan Water District has demonstrated on behalf of desalination. With the ongoing drought, legal and environmental challenges, and State Water Project infrastructure challenges, the Seawater Desalination Program is a smart investment in California’s water stability both now and for the future,” said Valley Center Municipal Water District’s general manager, Gary Arant. “The water produced locally by our private partner, the Carlsbad Desalination Project, will assist our region in developing a more diverse water portfolio while reducing our dependence on imported water at no risk to taxpayers.”

MWD’s 2004 Integrated Resources Plan called for developing 150,000 acre-feet/year (185 million m³/y) of desalinated seawater supplies in its service area.

Site demolition and preparation for the 189,000 m³/d Carlsbad Desalination Project is imminent following the issue to Poseidon Resources on 3 November 2009 of its Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission (CCC).