Category Archives: Desalination

Lawn Fallowing versus Desalination

Outdoor residential water use is increasingly becoming a target for urban water conservation.  As western municipalities face more restricted water supplies, water providers are paying residents to take out their lawns permanently. Current programs in Southern Nevada and Los Angeles are yielding water conservation at a cost of $65,000/AF to $87,000/AF. Continue reading

California Desalination: Orange County Negotiating another Poseidon Project

The Municipal Water District of Orange County (“MWDOC”) released last month a draft Water Reliability Agreement Term Sheet outlining the terms under which it may buy 56,000 AF per year of drinking water from Poseidon Resources’ Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Project.  As with San Diego’s desalination plant in Carlsbad, another wholesale water agency in Southern California is seeking fully reliable water supplies.  Continue reading

An Economist’s Perspective on San Diego’s Desalination Project

November 2012 was desalination month in California.  The San Diego County Water Authority approved a 30-year agreement with Poseidon Resources to buy up to 56,000 acre feet (AF) per year of desalinated seawater produced from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.  With the annual price tag of water set at $2,041/AF to $2,295/AF (later reduced to $1,917/AF to $2,165/AF when San Diego secured project financing at unexpectedly favorable terms), there is buzz about what the deal says about the value of water.  As with any venture, the project also has critics about the cost of water, skeptics about risk allocation, and cynics about the role of a private party. Continue reading