The San Diego Superior Court has upheld the State Lands Commission's approval of the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will produce 50 mgd of high-quality drinking water and serve 300,000 residents annually when it goes on line in 2012.

The court denied a lawsuit led by the San Diego chapters of the Surfrider Foundation and Coastkeeper that has appealed project permit approvals. The ruling means that every legal challenge against the project has also been rejected, allowing construction to begin later this year.

The litigants had argued that the Lands Commission should have required additional environmental studies, but the ruling recognizes that the project's marine life and greenhouse gas mitigation plans are sufficient.