Local, state and federal elected leaders representing San Diego County have expressed their support for the purchase of water produced by the Carlsbad Desalination Project, a seawater desalination plant that will provide about 7 percent of the region’s water supply, reducing dependence on imported water and significantly improving water reliability in the region.
Mayors Jerry Sanders of San Diego, Matt Hall of Carlsbad, Jim Wood of Oceanside, Art Madrid of La Mesa, Judy Ritter of Vista and Jim Desmond of San Marcos all sent letters to the County Water Authority board supporting the agency’s Water Purchase Agreement with Poseidon Resources, the plant’s developer.
The project also enjoys the backing of the county’s entire state legislative and Congressional delegations, and it has won support from a number of community, trade and government-watchdog groups in the region.
“The County Water Authority staff’s great diligence in negotiations with Poseidon Resources has resulted in a contract that insulates the CWA, member agencies and our ratepayers from downside risk in this public-private partnership,” wrote Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood in a letter to the CWA board. “This project has received extensive public vetting, including dozens of public meetings over the past several years that ultimately assisted with shaping a project that satisfies our region’s need for a drought-proof, local supply at a reasonable cost to ratepayers.”
Mayor Judy Ritter of Vista noted that the project “benefits our local economy through the addition of about 2,400 jobs, as well as helping to encourage investment region-wide by industries that depend on water reliability such as biotech, hospitality, manufacturing and agriculture.”
California Sen. Christine Kehoe commended the Water Authority for ensuring the agreement incorporated “significant protections for ratepayers.”
"The project enjoys broad community support from business and unanimous support from San Diego’s State and Congressional delegations,” Kehoe wrote. “This project is necessary for water reliability and the long-term stability and economic health of our region.”
The elected leaders’ support will help inform the CWA board’s Nov. 29 decision whether to approve the 30-year contract to purchase the treated water produced by the plant. The board of the CWA represents the 24 municipal water agencies who work together under CWA auspices on regional supply, quality, reliability and other policy issues.