Desal Plant Marks Historic First Year
In its first year of operations, the nation's largest and most technologically advanced seawater desalination plant produced enough high-quality, drought-proof water from the Pacific Ocean to meet approximately 10 percent of the region's demand. The Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant quickly generated significant benefits by relieving pressure on imported water supplies, reducing state mandates for emergency conservation measures in March and helping the region pass the state's stringent water supply "stress test" in June.
The facility garnered local and international accolades. It was honored in April 2016 with a Global Water Award as the Desalination Plant of the Year by Global Water Intelligence for "the most impressive technical or ecologically sustainable achievement in the industry." In June, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association recognized the desalination project with its highest honor - the Grand Golden Watchdog - for "stretching taxpayer dollars through cooperation between the public and private sectors."
During its first year, the Carlsbad plant produced nearly 15 billion gallons of fresh water for the San Diego region during one of the most severe droughts in state history. "This plant is a game-changer for San Diego County," said Mark Muir, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority's Board of Directors. "It's gratifying that this visionary investment our region's ratepayers strongly supported is paying dividends now, and we expect it to continue to do so for decades to come."
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