Israeli firm opens America’s largest desalination plant in southern California




Israeli water sector giant IDE Technologies dedicated the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere on Monday – a facility that will produce some 190 million liters of water daily for the residents of southern California.

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in California. – Photo: IDE TECHNOLOGIES

Providing a new source of water in a state that has long suffered severe droughts, the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant will be quenching the thirst of roughly 10 percent of San Diego country, according to IDE. Employing advanced pre-treatment and seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) technologies, the plant is able to generate potable water of the highest quality while significantly reducing energy consumption, the company explained.


The desalination plant is the result of a 30-year water purchase agreement between the plant’s local developer and owner, Poseidon Water, and the San Diego County Water Authority, a joint statement from those two bodies said. The plant, which will be operated by IDE, has created some 2,500 jobs and generated about $350 million for the local economy, the statement added.

“Since the last major drought here a little over 20 years ago, the San Diego region has worked to conserve water as well as identify new water sources,” said California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. “The Poseidon project not only provides San Diego County with a drought-proof water supply, it also demonstrates how California can meet the water needs of future generations.”

IDE Americas Inc. CEO Mark Lambert added that the project is “putting the ‘Pacific on tap’ for San Diego County, bolstering the region’s water reliability for decades to come.”

In addition to the Carlsbad facility, IDE is currently part of another 10 projects in the United States and operates hundreds of facilities around the world, as well as three of the four largest desalination plants in Israel, the Israeli firm said.


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