Carlsbad Desalination Plant (USA)

The largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere


An award-winning desalination plant in Carlsbad for the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) delivers clean drinking water to about 400,000 people.

Originating first in 1998, the Carlsbad desalination plant took nearly 14 years to permit, design, and build, overcoming significant regulatory and economic aspects.


  • Capacity: 204,412 m³/day (54M gallons)
  • Technology: Reverse Osmosis (RO)
  • Project Type: Engineering & Procurement, Operation & Maintenance (0&M)
  • Location: USA
  • Footprint: ~5.5 acres
  • Commissioning date: 2015


  • Cutting edge design

    Innovative pretreatment phase, resulting in higher efficiency, reduced energy consumption and high quality water.

  • Revolution for US desalination

    Ground-breaking project financing that relies on a true partnership model.

  • Environmental breakthrough

    First major California infrastructure project to eliminate its carbon footprint.


  • Desalination Deal of the Year 2013, Global Water Intelligence (GWI).

  • North American Water Deal of the Year, Project Finance Magazine

  • Far West Deal of the Year 2013, The Bond Buyer financial newspaper.

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