Carlsbad Desalination Plant
Poseidon Resources specializes in developing and financing water infrastructure projects, primarily seawater desalination and water treatment plants. These projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships in which private enterprise assumes the developmental and financial risks. Poseidon has been working with the City of Carlsbad since 1998 on a public-private partnership to construct a 50 million gallon per day (MGD) plant at the site of the Encina Power Station. The plant is scheduled to be completed as early as 2009, and will produce enough drinking water to serve 300,000 residents annually.
Public Policy Strategies has conducted an extensive public education and outreach program since 2002. A wide variety of local and regional organizations have been contacted and involved with the project, including elected officials, local government agencies, planning agencies, business and civic groups, area residents, students, environmental organizations and the news media. As a private sector interest, Poseidon’s involvement in the most significant water infrastructure project in recent San Diego history was identified as an area of concern by PPS early on through a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis.
PPS helped Poseidon overcome community concerns and other potential threats by building a coalition of business, community and environmental supporters, and by conducting extensive briefings and follow-up contact with reporters and editorial writers covering this story. Regular correspondence including newsletters, press releases and the effective utilization of the project’s website and video 3-D animation have aided in the education and advocacy campaign.
After ten years of planning and five years in the state’s permitting process, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant has now received final approvals from every required regulatory and permitting agency in the state, including the California Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission and Regional Water Quality Control Board. Regular public opinion surveys confirm that the project is overwhelmingly supported by Carlsbad residents, due in part to balanced and extensive coverage by local media and strong editorial support.