California Utility Eyes Mexico Water Supply

20 Sep 2014
Available with corporate subscription

Amidst severe drought, Southern California utilities are increasingly concerned about dwindling water availability, including the potential impact of the Endangered Species Act on State Water Project supplies. Further, the slow pace of in-state desalination projects (e.g. Carlsbad, Huntington Beach) means little relief is in sight– Hurricane Odile not withstanding.

Addressing supply uncertainty, Otay Water District (OWD) in southern California signed a non-binding letter of agreement with Cayman Island-based Consolidated Water in 2012 to purchase up to 151,416 m3/d from a planned seawater desalination plant in Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico. Recent releases from Consolidated Water indicate the project continues to move forward.

Bluefield Takeaways

  • Supply portfolio risks drive California utility to Mexico-sourced water
  • Consolidated Water seeking to leverage Mexico base in US water markets
  • US$700 million Rosarito project a beacon for North America suppliers