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Water District Vote Expected On Carlsbad Desalination Plant Subsidy

The Metropolitan Water District is expected to vote this week on a plan to help subsidize the cost of making water from a proposed desalination plant in Carlsbad. The company also wants help to pay for the plant's construction.

Poseidon Resources proposed the desalination plant in 1998.

The company has spent the last six years getting permits for the project from several agencies.

Poseidon Resources is now seeking a $250 per acre foot subsidy from the Metropolitan Water District to offset the cost of producing the water. The agency is expected to vote on that request this week.

The company has also requested $530 million in tax-free Private-Activity Bonds from California to finance construction.

Critics of the project say water recycling and conservation measures are more energy-efficient and cost less than building a plant to convert seawater into drinking water.

Poseidon said the plant would produce 50 million gallons a day of drinking water or enough for 300,000 San Diego County residents.