October 6, 2008

Proposed Desalination Plant in Carlsbad Gets Green Light

By Owen, Ted

After nearly a decade of blood, sweat and tears, the city of Carlsbad and its partner, Poseidon Resources Corp., could finally raise their water glasses and cheer Aug. 6 when the California Coastal Commission finally approved all of its stipulations to allow the biggest water desalination plant in the nation to begin construction.

With water being a century-old malady in California, the plant, by most expert opinions, should already be up and pumping. How many cities in the country would want a public and private partnership where the private company pays $300 million in construction costs and the city pays nothing?

One procedural hurdle remained when this issue went to print Aug. 21. The project was scheduled to go before the California Lands Commission on Aug. 22 for approval of the lease for the project.

It appears that the Lands Commission had the same concerns as the Coastal Commission on approving the plant. So with the hurdles approved by one, I'm guessing by the time this publication hits the streets that the other will have followed suit and the final hurdle will have been met.

A victory for Poseidon is a positive step for dozens of desalination plants to follow in its footsteps. Nearly all of the state's water experts are aligned on desalination being one of the key answers to our state's water availability; only the Coastal Commission didn't want a private-sector company to make a profit from the ocean.

The commission staff acted as though they've never heard of hotels, marinas, boat yards and so on. I think all businesses on the coast make some money.

Copyright San Diego Business Journal Aug 25, 2008

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