Carlsbad Power Station in San Diego

IDE Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Israel’s IDE Technologies Ltd., is to engage in the largest desalination plant construction project to ever hit the western United States. Israel’s IDE Technologies Ltd will be building a 204,412-cubic-meter seawater desalination plant for the greater San Diego region. The $922 million construction plan, otherwise known as the Carlsbad Desalination Project, is being administered by Poseidon Resources LP, a subsidiary of Poseidon Water LLC, and will be carried out in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority.

Construction of the desalination plant is expected to begin this year and will bring high-quality drinking water to the San Diego area by 2016. The goal is that the new desalination plant will assist the San Diego County Water Authority in alleviating its water shortage and help local San Diego officials to achieve their target of supplying 7 percent of the region’s water through desalination by 2020, thus “creating a new map of the American water market,” according to a statement issued by Israel’s IDE Technologies.

The greater San Diego region is presently suffering from acute shortages in fresh water. The San Diego County Water Authority has stated that they are presently in a crisis. According to the UCSD Center for Environmental Economics, California’s water crisis exists because of drought, rapid population growth, historical over-use of water resources, and the general overall neglect of the environment. Desalination can effectively address this issue, by increasing the amount of water that is available to the population.

According to Avshalom Felber, CEO of IDE Technologies Ltd., “The Carlsbad Desalination Project is a significant milestone for us, California and the US at large; as we believe it will set the stage for the future of desalination in America. For decades, we’ve successfully completed similar projects in countries all over the world, and we’re excited to be a part of what will be the largest desalination plant in the US.”

IDE Technologies Ltd. has built and operated some of the world’s largest desalination plants, including one in China, and presently provides over the distribution of 2.3 million cubic meters of water per day around the world. This Israeli desalination company has thus far worked on 400 desalination plants in over 40 different countries, and thus has sought to significantly address water problems in many arid locations across the planet.

Mark Lambert, CEO of IDE Americas, asserted, “The Carlsbad project that we’re about to embark upon will accelerate both the visibility of desalination in North America and the ability of potential clients, both public and private, to understand how creative project delivery, creative finance and innovative process design allow these types of projects to happen. The movement in the US toward desalination has been a long time coming, and we’re ready to lead the charge.”

By Rachel Avraham