Once the desalination plant is complete, the regional water supply will be less dependent on imported water. Photo by Ellen Wright
Once the desalination plant is complete, the regional water supply will be less dependent on imported water. Photo by Ellen Wright

Water desalination plant more than 60 percent finished

CARLSBAD— With California’s severe drought in full swing, the water supply is more stressed than ever.

The city announced mandatory water restrictions for residents but by this time next year, the desalination plant will offer residents a drought-proof water supply.

Officials from Poseidon Resources, the company building the plant, gave the City Council an update on Tuesday about the project.

Almost 75 percent of pipeline has been laid along Cannon Road and Faraday Avenue and the project is 64 percent finished, according to Jessica Jones, community outreach manager at Poseidon Resources.

The pipeline will run from the plant, which is next to the Encina Power Station, to the San Diego County Water Authority’s aqueduct in San Marcos.

“We’ve got 500 more sticks of pipe to go,” said Casey Arndt, construction manager for the city.

Deputy general manager at the water authority, Frank Belock, said there have already been a few headaches with the project and Arndt warned there will be more to come when pipeline is laid at the intersection of El Camino Real and Faraday Avenue.

He said it will take three months from start to finish working on El Camino Real and the city will host a workshop Sept. 24 to promote the use of alternative routes to businesses and residents traveling that route.

A whole square mile will be affected when construction begins, said Arndt.

Traffic lights nearby will need to be changed temporarily to accommodate the increase in traffic on College Boulevard.

The road along Cannon Road and Avenida Encinas should be restored by mid-September, said Belock.

Jones said Poseidon is also looking into different intake and discharge facilities for the plant since the existing facilities are connected to the Encina Power Station, which will be closed in 2017.

Once a new system is selected, the company will need to apply for five permits, to stay in compliance with state ordinances that require the best use of technology to minimize the impact on marine life.

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