San Diego County's first desalination plant is ahead of schedule

Carlsbad Desal Plant expected to go on line in '16

CARLSBAD, Calif. - It could be the answer to California’s drought.

Construction on San Diego County’s first seawater desalination plant has passed its midway point.

The billion-dollar Carlsbad Desalination Plant is slated to start delivering water to San Diegans by 2016.

“In my opinion, the most important water project in the state,” said construction manager Mike Page.

It may be the first of many desalination plants tapping into the vast Pacific Ocean, especially if California can’t shake reoccurring droughts.

The Carlsbad Desalination Plant will convert 50 million gallons of seawater into clean water every day.  That’s enough for 300,000 San Diegans every day.

‘The seawater is pushed through at a very high pressure to remove all the salts and impurities,” said Poseidon Water spokeswoman Jessica Jones.

The San Diego County Water Authority will purchase the water at a fixed price for 30-years once it goes on-line in 2016.  That means every San Diegan will benefit at home.

“Imported water supply prices are going up and so this fixed-local supply price is important to ratepayers,” said Jones.

“I think that this will be a model for things that can happen in the future,” said Page.

That future could include another desalination plant right up the coast at Camp Pendleton.  It’s just an idea for now.  But Carlsbad started as an idea as well.

“This is just part of the puzzle,” said Jones.  “We also need to look at other local water supplies as well as conservation.”

Jones added unfortunately, San Diegans can’t conserve water if they don’t have any water to conserve.

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