Carlsbad Desalination Plant (USA)

The largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere and a complete game changer for desalination in the US


An award-winning desalination plant in Carlsbad for the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) that will provide clean water to about 300,000 people and generate over $50m annually to the regional economy.

The Carlsbad desalination plant overcame significant practical, regulatory and economic hurdles to deliver a cost effective and environmentally friendly water supply.

IDE and its partners worked for more than 10 years to develop a desalination solution that meets all the challenging criteria.

  • 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 technology

    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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