Desalination

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Carlsbad Desalination PlantDesalination – A key piece of the puzzle to ensure future water reliability

After years of planning, construction is now complete on building the Western Hemisphere’s largest desalination plant at a site located near the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. The Claude "Bud" Lewis Desalination Plant is capable of supplying 50 million gallons per day of de-salted ocean water safe for human consumption.  The plant takes water from Carlsbad’s Agua Hedionda Lagoon, processes it, and then distributes it through a 54-inch pipeline 10 miles eastward before being delivered to your faucet. Vallecitos is currently the only water providers that receives water directly from the desalination plant.

This site not only anchors a state-of-the-art, reverse osmosis facility, but a portion of Vallecitos’ water supply that is safe, environmentally friendly, sustainable and drought resilient from a nearby, endless source. Vallecitos will receive as much as 4,083 acre feet of desalinated water annually, which equates to approximately 27 percent of the District’s annual supply and is enough water to meet the needs of more than 8,100 families for one year.

Now that desalinated water is a major component of Vallecitos’ water portfolio, it will further minimize the District’s reliance on imported water and provide customers an increased level of reliability despite drought and other regulatory issues. Desalinated water will also:  

  • Minimize the impact to Vallecitos customers of mandatory water-use restrictions by wholesale water suppliers in the event of a drought;
  • Offer superior quality water free of salt and virtually any mineral, biological or organic compounds; and
  • Provide an emergency water source in the event imported water isn’t available due to natural disaster.

The desalination plant is another cornerstone to Vallecitos’ source diversification strategy to provide customers with the reliable service they’ve come to expect now and in the future.