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Fri Sep 28, 2012, 10:51 AM

Deal reached for massive Calif. desalination plant [View all]

Source: Associated Press

The San Diego region hit another milestone in its long quest for water independence, reaching a tentative agreement to buy the entire output of what will be the Western Hemisphere's largest seawater desalination plant.

The plant in Carlsbad will produce 50 million gallons a day, enough to supply about 7 percent of the San Diego region in 2020.

The agreement announced Thursday is subject to approval by the San Diego County Water Authority board, but it marks the clearing of a major hurdle for construction to begin. Upon the board's approval, the developer Poseidon Resources LLC would sell bonds to finance 82 percent of the project, which is estimated to cost about $900 million and begin operations in 2016.

The San Diego County Water Authority would pay $2,042 to $2,290 for an acre-foot of water, more than twice what it pays to buy water from outside the region. For supporters, the premium is well worth the price to make the region less dependent on water imported from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which supplied almost all its water in the early 1990s and still provides nearly half.

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Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49206952/ns/us_news/

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