Carlsbad Desalination Plant

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: 54M gallons (204,412 m3) per day
Technology: Reverse Osmosis (SWRO)
Project type: Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) + Operation & Maintenance (O&M)
Location: Encina Power Station, Carlsbad, California
Footprint: ~5.5 acres
Commission 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.
Related Content: Desalination Plant | EPC | GWI | O&M | SDCWA | SWRO | water supply |