Carlsbad and Huntington Beach Desalination Plant Permitting
- Two potential 50-mgd seawater desalination projects in southern California would use the Pacific Ocean as a drinking water supply.
- Permits for co-siting the seawater desalination plants with power generation facilities were issued in record time.
- Computer modeling used to evaluate the feasibility of pumping desalinated water into existing potable water distribution systems.
As the population of southern California continues to grow, potable water demands will exceed the available fresh water resources. Civil engineers have made it possible for people to live in Southern California by undertaking large infrastructure-related projects that import fresh water from other parts of the inland state. Now that these supplies have been used to their full capacity, the engineering community has turned to supplies of lesser quality, including the Pacific Ocean.
Carollo is presently undertaking feasibility-level engineering investigations for two potential 50-mgd seawater desalination projects in Southern California. In both cases, the plants would be sited at or near existing power plant facilities. Both projects involve the use of computer modeling (using H2ONet) to evaluate the feasibility of pumping desalinated water into existing potable water distribution systems.
As part of the investigations, the projects also involve investigating alternative sites for the desalination plants based upon aspects such as:
- Proximity of existing potable water pipework distribution facilities that could be used to transfer the desalinated water.
- Existing and projected potable water demands.
- Cost of establishing a desalination facility site.
- Dealing with seawater intake and concentrated by-product discharge issues.
- Synergy with existing wastewater outfall facilities.
- Benefits and effects of desalinated water within the distribution system.
- Land use issues and cost.
- Proximity of electrical power supply and cost of pumping.
Alternative site layouts, a grading plan, and plant renderings have been prepared for one of the plants. This information is being used as part of the application to the City to build the project. Assistance was also provided in preparing information for the EIR that will be released soon. At the second plant, work is also proceeding with the application to the City, and Carollo is preparing preliminary drawings and information to assist with the application.
Carollo has signed Confidentiality Agreements with the Client involved and can therefore only provide limited information on each of the projects.