Federal Loan to Support San Diego Desalination Plant Overhaul

The financing will go toward funding an updated cooling system and ensuring the protection of local marine life.

1 minute read

March 28, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Aerial view of desalination plant in Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad Desalination Plant / Desalination plant in Carlsbad, California

San Diego’s Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant was awarded $170 in federal financing to complete a state-mandated overhaul of its intake system and meet environmental regulations, reports Joshua Emerson Smith for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The article explains, “The facility didn’t initially have to deal with such environmental regulations. The Encina Power Plant, which was decommissioned in 2018, previously pulled in water from the Agua Hedionda Lagoon for its cooling process, providing it to the neighboring facility as an afterthought.” The plant currently provides around 10 percent of the region’s water, pumping in roughly 300 million gallons of seawater per day. “Part of the federal loan will help pay for the long-awaited rehabilitation of 125 acres of coastal wetlands in San Diego Bay. Poseidon is required by the state to complete the project in order to offset environmental degradation caused by the plant.”

In 2022, the California Coastal Commission denied Poseidon, the operator of the Carlsbad plant, a permit to build a new facility in Huntington Beach.

Friday, March 24, 2023 in The San Diego Union-Tribune

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