GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Update on MWD’s subsidy (or not) for the Poseidon desalination plant

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 16, 2011

This is a followup to Tuesday’s post Lawsuit leads to cut in Poseidon desalination subsidy and more in which a San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) news release was cited. The news release, in part, said “The MWD board also instructed its staff to refuse to consider any pending or future local supply development projects in San Diego County. The pending agreements included the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project, which would have been eligible for up to $14 million in annual payments…

Today a story in the Desalination & Water Reuse website writes that Poseidon Resources “denied reports that the current standoff in Southern California between the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) will affect the Carlsbad Desalination Project” and that a Poseidon representative said “This claim is incorrect and shows a disappointing lack of understanding about the project’s status and financing.”

A review of the summary report for the June 14 MWD Board meeting doesn’t clarify things much:

“The board reviewed the Rate Structure Integrity provisions of Local Resources Program and conservation agreements with the San Diego County Water Authority; voted to not terminate the two regional commercial and residential conservation incentives agreements; and approved termination of the remaining two active conservation and Local Resources Program funding agreements with the Water Authority.”

Looking deeper in the MWD Board Agenda packet, the Legal and Claims Committee provided the Board with several options. The recommended option reads:

…”terminate the existing incentive agreements with the Water Authority that contain rate structure integrity language. This option is consistent with the policy set forth by the RSI language. Staff will also continue to defer the approval of any pending agreements with the Water Authority requiring inclusion of the RSI provisions, until authorized by the Board.” [the Carlsbad subsidy is one of those pending agreements]

As noted, the meeting summary doesn’t mention the pending agreements, but assuming the Board approved the recommended option, it appears the Carlsbad desalination agreement was not specifically terminated; rather, it remains in the same limbo that was created at MWD’s May 10 meeting which deferred execution of the agreement until further notice.


2 Responses to “Update on MWD’s subsidy (or not) for the Poseidon desalination plant”

  1. The Desalination & Water Reuse article really didn’t say much, did it. The rep says it is ‘incorrect’ and shows a ‘disappointing lack of understanding’ but doesn’t explain anything further. Why, Scott, why? Help us with our understanding!

    • For what it’s worth, I was at SDCWA headquarters today and spoke with an SDCWA staff water resources specialist who attended the Met board meeting. She said the board explicitly discussed the Poseidon subsidy and affirmed it was to be cut. She also said she believed Poseidon’s Scott Maloni must have been quoted out of context in the D&WR news item.

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