The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California this week approved a $350 million subsidy that backers said is crucial to financing the state’s first large-scale desalination plant, which will be located in Carlsbad.

Nine San Diego County water utilities sought incentive payments that equal the difference between the cost of desalinated water and Met Water’s full-service treated water rate, up to a maximum of $250 per acre-foot, to make the Carlsbad desalination project economically viable.

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