Carlsbad Desalination Plant Ahead of Schedule

The desalination plant could be online and providing water by end of 2015

Construction of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant is ahead of schedule and may be available to help supply San Diego County with drinking water from ocean water by the end of next year.

On this week’s “Politically Speaking” program, Jason Foster with the San Diego County Water Authority said the plant could be up and online by late 2015.

“That will be a big help if this drought continues,” Foster said. “The desalination plant will be a core water supply for our region. It’s going to run 24 hours a day, 365.”

Once the plant is up and running, it’s expected to turn 50 million gallons of sea water into fresh drinking water daily for use across the county.

It will deliver roughly seven percent of the region’s water supply but at a cost to ratepayers.

Water bills will increase approximately $5 a month, Foster said.

A recent report showed San Diego’s water use in August was six percent lower than the same time last year. That’s about 1.2 billion gallons or enough to serve about 20,000 residents for a year, according to the report.

Foster said San Diegans have been actively seeking out ways to conserve water. For example, the San Diego County Water Authority has seen applications to the turf replacement rebate program increase 1,000% in 2014.

The program offers $1.50 per square foot for homeowners to replace grass with other landscaping.

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