Carlsbad (kärlzˈbăd) [key]. 1 City (1990 pop. 63,126), San Diego co., S Calif., on the Pacific coast; settled in the 1880s, inc. 1952. Carlsbad is a booming San Diego suburb; its population more than tripled from 1970 to 1990. It has electronic and aircraft industries, machine shops, and a silica quarry. Major agricultural products are tomatoes and flowers. Flower fields in bloom, golf courses, mineral springs, freshwater and tidewater lagoons, theme parks, and water-sports facilities draw visitors. 2 City (1990 pop. 24,952), seat of Eddy co., SE N.Mex., on the Pecos River, in a grazing and irrigated farming area; settled 1888, inc. 1918. Potash mining and tourism are important, and retirement homes are multiplying. The Carlsbad reclamation project, begun in 1906, irrigates more than 20,000 acres (8,000 hectares) and provides water recreation. A branch of New Mexico State Univ. is in Carlsbad. Nearby are Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the Living Desert State Park. Outside Carlsbad is the controversial Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, cut deep into rock salt formations as a storage facility for high-level nuclear wastes.
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