“The San Diego County Water Authority announced a tentative agreement Thursday to buy the entire output of what will be the Western hemisphere’s largest seawater desalination plant, clearing a major hurdle for construction to begin.
“The plant in Carlsbad will produce 50 million gallons a day, enough to supply about 7 percent of the San Diego region in 2020.
“The agreement is subject to approval by the water authority board. Upon the board’s approval, the developer—Poseidon Resources LLC—would sell bonds to finance 82 percent of the project, which is estimated to cost about $900 million to build.
“The water authority expects the plant in the north San Diego suburb and a 10-mile pipeline to be completed in 2016.
“Under the pact, San Diego would pay $2,042 to $2,290 for an acre-foot of water—nearly all of it to Poseidon and more than twice what it pays to buy water from outside the region. For supporters, the premium is well worth the price to make the region less dependent on imported water from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which supplied almost all its water in the early 1990s and still provides nearly half.”
read more: Contra Costa times