Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant

2016 | Water/Wastewater | National Award of Excellence | National Award of Merit | Project of the Year

Design-Build Team Summary

Challenge Design-Build Project Delivery Addressed

Poseidon Water used the Fixed Price Design-Build delivery model to ensure financial viability of the project and provide performance-based guarantees on water quality, quantity, power consumption and chemical usage while also delivering a drought-proof, reliable water source to drought-stricken Southern California in the shortest possible timeframe.


The $583-million Carlsbad Desalination Plant is the largest desalination facility in the Western Hemisphere, with average production of 50 MGD of fresh, high-quality drinking water. Owned by Poseidon Water and completed by the design-build team of Kiewit Shea Desalination with Arcadis, IDE Technologies and Tetra Tech, it is a harbinger of a new era in which desalination is viewed as a viable solution to water challenges and a way to drought-proof public water supplies.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: Poseidon Water LLC
Design-Builder: Kiewit Shea Desalination
General Contractor: Kiewit Shea Desalination
Architect: Arcadis U.S., Inc.
Engineer: IDE Technologies
Specialty Contractor: Morrow-Meadows
Duration of Construction: 36 months
Project Cost: $583,000,000