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Graphene holds up under high pressure
Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive.
A single sheet of graphene, comprising an atom-thin lattice of carbon, may seem rather fragile. But engineers at MIT have found that the ultrathin material is exceptionally sturdy, remaining intact under applied pressures of at least 100 bars. That’s equivalent to about 20 times the pressure produced by a typical kitchen faucet. The key to withstanding such high pressures, the researchers found, is pairing graphene with a thin underlying support substrate that is pocked with tiny holes, or pores. The smaller the substrate’s pores, the more resilient the graphene is under high pressure. The MIT team’s results, reported today in the journal Nano Letters, serve as a guideline for designing tough, graphene-based membranes, particularly for applications such as desalination, in which filtration membranes must withstand high-pressure flows to efficiently remove salt from seawater. MIT News- 4/24/17

Workshop on Setting One International Standard for Desal Costs
The Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC) will hold an international workshop on ‘Desalination Costing Towards an International Standard’ at its Muscat, Oman headquarters April 11 and 12. The workshop will cover cost, research and development, regulatory framework, environmental impact and other issues involved with running a desalination plant. Dr. Jauad el Kharraz, head of research at MEDRC told the Muscat Daily, “The major goal is to develop a process for normalizing desalination costs to reliably compare costs from around the world. The main points to be discussed are: The best practices for reported desalination costs, R&D efforts for a lower energetic, economic, and environmental costs in desalination; regulatory framework and its impact on desalination costs; energy consumption and energy recovery systems in desalination plants (design, performance and economics); desalination capital expenditure and operating expenses and desalination project costs.” Muscat Daily_4/09/17


Israel estimates 96% of Gaza water undrinkable
Israel warns a water crisis in the Gaza Strip is rapidly worsening and urges the international community to take urgent action. In a letter to international aid organizations, representatives of the international community in Israel, and Israel's foreign ministry, the defense ministry's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) estimated some 96 percent of water in the Gaza Strip is now undrinkable after the collapse of the enclave's main aquifer, Israel's Army Radio reported Sunday. It was the second such warning issued by COGAT head Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai over the past six months. Mordechai asked international aid organizations to advance projects to alleviate the crisis, such as the establishing desalination plants in the Strip. i24news_04/09/17


Doosan wins $422 million Saudi desalination plant contract
Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. was awarded a $422 million contract to build a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant in Shualbah, Saudi Arabia. The plant, 68 miles south of Jeddah on the Red Sea, will be the nation’s largest desal plant, according to Business Korea. The plant will turn 400,000 tons of sea water a day into fresh water and meet the requirements of 1.3 million people in western Saudi Arabia. _4/06/17


Graphene-based sieve turns seawater into drinking water
A UK-based team of researchers has created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater. The sought-after development could aid the millions of people without ready access to clean drinking water. The promising graphene oxide sieve could be highly efficient at filtering salts, and will now be tested against existing desalination membranes. By 2025 the UN expects that 14% of the world's population will encounter water scarcity. As the effects of climate change continue to reduce urban water supplies, wealthy modern countries are also investing in desalination technologies.
"This is our first demonstration that we can control the spacing [of pores in the membrane] and that we can do desalination, which was not possible before. The next step is to compare this with the state-of-the-art material available on the market," said Dr Nair. "The ultimate goal is to create a filtration device that will produce potable water from seawater or wastewater with minimal energy input."
BBC News – 4-3-17

Doosan Heavy Wins $422.05M Seawater Desalination Deal in Saudi Arabia

Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., the world’s largest provider of seawater desalination solutions, has succeeded in winning a 470 billion won (US$422.05 million) seawater reverse osmosis desalination (SWRO) plant construction deal in Saudi Arabia. Doosan Heavy announced on March 29 that it has signed a contract with Saudi Arabia's Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) to construct the nation’s largest SWRO plant in Shuaibah, 110 km south of Jeddah, on the coast of Red Sea.
Under the deal, the company will complete the construction of the plant as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor. Once the facility is completed, it will process 400,000 tons of sea water into fresh water a day, which can be consumed by 1.3 million people at the same time, and supply it to western Saudi Arabia. 3/30/17

3D Printing Offers Possible New Efficiencies to Water Desalination

Researchers at the University of Bath (England) Centre for Advanced Separations Engineering (CASE) have focused on the potential for using additive manufacturing (3D Printing) to improve on separation membrane engineering with the hopes of creating more precise designs than current fabrication methods allow.
Additive manufacturing of membranes for water desalination would offer a number of advantages in the design of membrane structures customized to reduce fouling by selectively channeling the feed towards particular parts of the membrane. 3/23/17

Jordan and Saudi join forces for atomic-fueled desalination

Saudi Arabia and Jordan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a feasibility study on two nuclear reactors in Jordan, to generate electricity and for desalination, reports Zawya.

Jordan is believed to have uranium reserves, and wants to build a nuclear reactor to power the proposed Red Sea-Dead Sea project, for which five consortia were shortlisted in November 2016. The scheme proposes to pump seawater 230 meters uphill, from the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba and the through the Arava Valley to the Dead Sea. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Jordan has received 657,000 registered refugees from the conflict in Syria as of 15 March 2017. The influx has put severe stress on the country’s already scarce water resources. 3/29/17

Growers Oppose Desal in Drought-stricken Area of South Africa
Desalination is one of the last options a South Africans regional government leader said will be considered in a drought-stricken province. Dam levels are below 35% in the Western Cape area. Growers in the area which supplies much of Cape Town’s fresh produce said the government should concentrate on preserving the aquifer. EWN 2/16/17

Doha to Host Arab Electric Power and Desalination Conference

The Power Sources and Water Desalination in Arab Countries conference will be held in Doha Feb. 22-23 to discuss more than 20 working papers from 10 Arab nations. Issues include the environmental impact of generating and distributing electricity and drinking water, power plant economics, water security strategy and Arab nation desalination techniques. Gulf Digital News_2/15/16

Leaked Docs: Trump Backs Huntington Beach, Calif. Desal Project

The proposed $1 billion Poseidon Water desalination plant in on a list of 50 infrastructure projects nationwide that are a priority for President Trump, according to a leaked administration document that was reported in the Kansas City Star and The News Tribune. Poseidon has been trying to build the plant since 1998 but is opposed by environmentalists who argue it would kill sea life, among other issues. Even if the Trump administration backs the project, it must be approved by state and regional agencies. Orange County Register_1/25/17

International Water Summit 2017: GCC countries are global leaders in desalination
The UAE and other GCC states are global leaders in desalination, and have proved the value of the technology in underpinning water security worldwide, said a report released at the International Water Summit (IWS) which opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE January 16. The world uses almost 87 million cu m of desalinated water every day, and the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region accounts for 44 per cent of that figure, according to the International Desalination Association. In the GCC alone, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar are all among the world’s 10 largest users of desalination, it stated. 1/17/17_/






Desalination News Archives




Desalination Facts

  • As of June 30, 2008 there were 13,869 "contracted desalination plants" worldwide, according to Global Water Intelligence and the International Desalination Association.
  • Top 10 desalination countries as of June 30, 2008, accordng to Global Water Intelligence and the International Desalination Association.
    1) Saudi Arabia  10,759,693 m3/d  17%
    2) UAE 8,428,456 m3/d 13%
    3) USA 8,133,415 m3/d 13%
    4) Spain 5,249,536 m3/d 8%
    5) Kuwait 2,876,625 m3/d 5%
    6) Algeria 2,675,958 m3/d 4%
    7) China 2,259,741 m3/d 4%
    8) Qatar 1,712,886m3/d 3%
    9) Japan 1,493,158 m3/d 2%
    10) Australia 1,184,812m3/d 2%

Food & Water Watch critique of Marin County, California's desalination plan;  June 4, 2009  

Food & Water Watch report on desalination; 2009

Desalination: A national perspective; U.S. National Research Council April 24, 2008; pdf download 


Desalination: option or distraction for a thirsty world; WWF June 2007 report pdf

2006 Pacific Institute California desalination report and overview




Lack of big desal projects drops demand for industrial titanium

The demand for industrial titanium worldwide is likely to drop in 2014 because few large-scale desalination projects are underway, according to an industry executive. 10/23/13


New Seawater Desal Technique Could Use Far Less Energy

A simpler, less energy-dependent method for removing salt from seawater has been created by scientists at the U.S. University of Texas at Austin and Germany's University of Marburg. A article in the journal Angewandte Chemie says the new technique uses so little energy it can run on a store-bought battery. The startup company Okeanos Technologies is developing the technique for commercial use and a patent is pending. The journal article said the new system, called electrochemically mediated seawater, eliminates the need for a membrane. University of Texas/Tehran Times_6/28/13

Florida's Tampa Bay desalination plant achieves performance milestones

Tampa Bay Water, American Water and Acciona Agua announced today that the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Facility, the largest seawater desalination plant in the U.S., has passed the final two performance milestone tests. The tests required the plant to produce 25 million gallons of water per day (MGD) for 120 consecutive days and also average 20 MGD for 12 consecutive months. Both milestones were successfully completed this February. At 25 MGD, the plant provides about 10 percent of the Tampa Bay region's drinking water supply and is operated by American Water and Acciona Agua through the joint venture American Water -- Acciona Agua LLC. As a result of passing the test, Tampa Bay Water will receive $31.25 million dollars from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly known as SWFWMD. SWFWMD had pledged funds to help build the plant, but had required the plant to achieve four performance benchmarks prior to releasing all the funds. News Release/Business Wire_ 2/26/10

New desalination system can fight United Arab Emirate's algae red tide

Abu Dhabi's second desalination plant on the Gulf of Oman coast will have advanced technology never before used in the Middle East to treat harmful blooms of marine algae. Its installation was prompted by the red algae, or red tide, which hit the UAE’s east coast for eight months from August 2008. Water desalination plants incurred large losses as the algae clogged filters. To combat the problem, a system known as dissolved air flotation (DAF) is being tested at the new desalination plant in Fujairah, a technique which has been used successfully elsewhere in the world. The use of DAF means that, rather than washing sand filters every day, one wash will be required every 38 hours. The National_ 2/13/10

El Paso, Texas, desalination plant: Another resource for fresh water

What's a desalination plant doing in a city that's hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean? The plants transforms brackish groundwater from the Hueco Bolson into fresh water. Taking in this salty, brackish water allows what Christina Montoya of the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board calls the world's largest inland desalination plant to conserve fresh ground water in the Borderland. kvia_ 2/13/10

California Air Resources Board reaffirms greenhouse-gas plan for Poseidon Resources desalination plant in Carlsbad

In a letter to the California Coastal Commission (CCC) on 8 February 2010, the CARB says, "We do not believe there have been any changes to the project or the assumptions underlying Poseidon's GHG plan, which would change the positions expressed in our August 5, 2008 letter." Poseidon Resources announced that CCC staff have recommended that the commission deny the request made by opponents of seawater desalination to revoke the Coastal Development Permit for the Carlsbad Desalination Project. The commission is scheduled to hear the revocation request when it meets in on 10 February 2010. D&WR_ 2/9/10

Sea water desalination project in south Orange County,  California, heads for new level of testing

The Municipal Water District of Orange County announced Wednesday that it has awarded a $1.05 million contract to Separation Processes Inc. for Phase 3 of the South Orange Coastal Ocean Desalination Project at San Juan Creek. Municipal Water District is partnering with San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, South Coast Water District, Laguna Beach County Water District and Moulton Niguel Water District to try to create a stable new water source to improve supply reliability for all the partners. Currently, South County cities rely heavily on imported water, making them vulnerable to water shortages or reductions in allocations. Phase 3 of the Municipal Water District project should take 18 months, the agency said, and a full-scale desalination plant could be completed in 2016. Phase 3 will include pumping, testing and treating ocean water from a demonstration well installed in 2006. The project uses a slant-well technology that is said to avoid affecting the marine environment and – using slow filtration with sand – can produce high-quality water. Municipal Water District says costs are reduced by eliminating the need for open-water intake and pretreatment facilities. Brine – a byproduct – would be blended with treated wastewater that already is being discharged more than a mile offshore through an existing pipe. Orange County Register_ 2/4/10

December, 2009

India's Shivsu Canadian installs Rs 52 crore worth water plant for Iraqi government

Chennai-based Shivsu Canadian Clear International Limited, a leading water technology solutions provider and manufacturer of mineral water packaging equipments, has become the first Indian company to successfully install Rs 52 crore worth desalination water plant for Iraqi Government. Shivsu's work includes design, manufacture, supply, construction and commissioning of the plant on a turnkey basis, a company release said. The capacity of the plant is 20 MLD (million liters per day). newKerala.com_ 12/28/09

Energy Recovery expands desal line with Pump Engineering acquisition

Energy Recovery, which makes energy efficient desalination equipment, bought Pump Engineering for $20 million and one million shares of Energy Recovery stock. Pump specializes in energy-efficient seawater pumps. (Energy Recovery held one of the few greentech IPOs last year). With Pump, Energy Recovery says it can offer a more complete suite of tools to municipalities and others building desalination plants. It also gets the company into a new market, namely pumps. Greentech Media_ 12/3/09

South Africa firms may have to go coastal to get fresh water

A new report by the international McKinsey consultancy says government needs to make an annual capital investment of $365m (about R2.8bn) in its national water infrastructure. If it does not do so, South Africa could experience a 30% shortage of water by 2030. Linda Page, spokesperson for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, says the McKinsey report was compiled with the cooperation of various parties, including the department. These include bodies from the private sector, such as SABMiller and Coca-Cola. The McKinsey report indicates that, if South Africa experiences a water shortage, various industries - like the industrial, agricultural and mining sectors - will have to compete with each other for the available water sources. This could considerably elevate water prices and could result in industries' increasingly having to settle at the coast. Sea water would then be substantially cheaper to desalinate and use than fresh water. Fin24_ 11/29/09

Public subsidies approved for Poseidon Resources desalination plant in San Diego County
The vote Tuesday by the Metropolitan Water District board means the private venture could get up to $350 million. Coastal groups opposed the action. Backers said Tuesday's vote by the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was critical to getting private financing, the plant's next hurdle. Poseidon Resources is also seeking tax-exempt status for the more than $500 million in bonds it hopes to sell by the end of the year. That would lower its interest costs. Los Angeles Times_ 11/11/09

Desalination equipment maker sees rapid growth

Energy Recovery Inc, which makes equipment for desalination plants, sees the industry that converts sea water to fresh water growing as much as 25 percent annually and is looking to expand its operations through the acquisition of new technologies. G.G. Pique, president and chief executive of Energy Recovery said costs of desalinated seawater had become competitive for many urban users because of fast-rising rates for other water sources. Energy costs account for about 40 percent to 50 percent of the cost of desalination, which has given it a reputation for being expensive as well as bad for the environment in a world focused on carbon emissions from energy. Reuters_ 11/6/09


Doing desalination wrong: Poseidon on the public dole

Desalination in California is an idea whose time has not yet come. It remains too expensive, compared to untapped conservation and efficiency, recycled water, capturing stormwater, and smart trades with agriculture. The Institute wrote about the pros and cons of desalination in one of our most downloaded studies  Even worse, the first effort to build a major desalination facility for urban water supply in California, by the private group Poseidon Resources, is poorly designed, badly financed, and environmentally unsatisfactory. It is going to become the new case study in how NOT to do desalination, replacing the previous case study (also of a Poseidon effort) of how not to do desalination - Tampa Bay, Florida.  SFGate_11/5/09

Poseidon Resources gets final OK to build Carlsbad, California desalination plant

After an 11-year effort, the developer of an ocean-water desalination plant received its final permit and will prepare its Carlsbad site for construction next week, although several challenges remain before it can pump out 50 million gallons a day of drinking water. The California Coastal Commission yesterday permitted Poseidon Resources to build the plant, the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Carlsbad Mayor Bud Lewis, who championed the project as mayor and now as chairman of the San Diego County Water Authority board, called the moment historic. The plant will turn Pacific Ocean water into enough drinking water for more than 100,000 typical households. Poseidon must line up $530 million in financing and has applied to the state to receive tax-exempt status for bonds it will issue to pay for construction. Poseidon also needs approval from the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for a subsidy of $250 per acre-foot of desalinated water. That subsidy makes desalination cost-competitive with other new sources. San Diego Union-Tribune_ 11/4/09

California PUC asked for more time by Monterey Coastal Water Project backers

A decision from the Public Utilities Commission on a new water source for the Peninsula could be delayed. Based on a schedule set by the PUC, a decision was slated for May. But Friday, California American Water, the Marina Coast Water District and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency filed a petition requesting the procedural schedule of deadlines for filings, workshops and hearings be temporarily suspended. In their petition, the parties say they want more time to finalize negotiations concerning development of a Coastal Water Project. The proposed Marina and Moss Landing desalination plants would be owned by California American Water. The Regional Project is sponsored by Marina Coast Water District. The PUC is expected to recommend which of the three proposals should be constructed, or it could identify components of each proposal that should be developed. The selected proposal would be titled the "Coastal Water Project," which is intended to be a replacement source to the Carmel River for Cal Am. Monterey County Herald_ 10/31/09

United Arab Emirates urged to monitor desalination plants

The UAE needs a monitoring system at the federal level to regulate water desalination activity across the country, a top government official said. The UAE is the second-largest market for desalinated water in the world after Saudi Arabia, with 95 per cent of its fresh water originating from the sea, said Hamad Al Hashemi, Managing Director of Dubai Institute of Technology-TechnoPark. “A federal monitory system will help improve waste management to ensure more environment care with less negative impact,” Al Hashemi told Khaleej Times in an interview. The combined capacity of desalination plants in the United Arab Emirates is 8.4 million cubic metres of water per day, representing 13 per cent of the global desalination capacity. Around $80 billion investment is expected in the Middle East desalination industry over the next few years, according to recent studies. Khaleej Times_ 10/22/09

Environmental groups sue to stop Carlsbad, California desalination plant

Opponents of the desalination plant proposed in Carlsbad have filed a new lawsuit seeking to block it, the latest of five filed over its six-year history. The suit says the city of Carlsbad failed to adequately review the project's likely harm to the coastal environment when the city approved changes to the project Sept. 15. Poseidon Resources Corp., which is scheduled to begin construction on the project in the next few weeks, replied in a statement that the lawsuit is based on "tired arguments" already rejected in previous lawsuits. The suit was filed Oct. 16 in San Diego County Superior Court by San Diego Coastkeeper and Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation. North County Times_ 10/19 09

Long Beach, California desalination project just waiting for President Barack Obama's signature
Federal US funding for the Long Beach desalination and water-reuse development projects in California now only needs President Obama's signature after the Senate on 15 Oct. 15 approved the final version of the US$33.5 billion 2010 Energy & Water Appropriations bill. The third phase of the desalination plant R&D will be completed by the end of 2010, when a full-scale plant will be built. The water reuse project is less well advanced. Desalination and Water Reuse_ 10/20/09

Ground broken for $18.6 million North Carolina reverse-osmosis water plant
Pasquotank County officials broke ground Monday afternoon on an $18.6 million reverse-osmosis water plant that’s expected to provide water for customers in the county, Elizabeth City and Perquimans County for decades to come. A 19-mile discharge line will carry the salt-laden discharge water to Rebellion Point on the Albemarle Sound. When it goes online late next year it will have a capacity of 2 million-gallons-per-day, with about 1.5 million-gallons-per-day actually being pumped. The plant will be able to expand to a five-million-gallons-per-day capacity. Mid-Eastern Builders Inc., Temple Grading and Construction, T.A. Loving Company and A.C. Schultes of the Carolinas Inc. will be constructing the various parts of the plant. Daily Advance_ 10/19/09

Cost concerns may delay Poseidon Resources desalination plant in Carlsbad, California

A long-planned desalination plant to be built by Stamford, Connecticut-based Poseidon Resources Corp. in Carlsbad Calif., is ready for construction permits despite "last-minute" concerns of potential financial risks that the San Diego County Water Authority outlined in a letter this week. The letter was delivered to Metropolitan Water District, one of the agencies that has teamed up for the $320 million plant under an agreement called the Seawater Desalination Program. Along with the County Water Authority, which imports most of San Diego's water, nine local water agencies in the county have signed up. Members of a committee considering the desalination project said Monday it might put Metropolitan on the hook if the project doesn't work, but the desalination program insulates Metropolitan from those risks, said the letter, sent by Bud Lewis, chairman of the water authority. For its part, Metropolitan said nothing is amiss. "The matter is on track to be duly considered by the board and its committees," said Bob Muir, a Metropolitan spokesman, declining to elaborate. North County Times_ 10/15/09

American Water launches innovative desalination technology in partnership with Netherlands-based organizations Staff Report

Oct. 4, 2009

American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK) has partnered with Vitens, RWB Waterservices, the University of Twente and WE Consult to launch a $2.5 million to $3 million innovative desalination technology project, according to an American Water announcement.

The partnership with the Netherlands-based organizations is the first for American Water's new Innovation Development Process, an initiative that combines American Water’s research and development, technical expertise, and infrastructure assets with innovations from within the company and from business partners to create greater efficiencies in the areas of water reuse, desalination, wastewater operations and bio-energy.

The “Clean Operator” project is co-funded by subsidiary SenterNovem and aims to reduce the costs, environmental impact and carbon footprint of desalination.

In the Clean Operator project, the partners will develop new technologies for seawater
desalination and the treatment of surface water and wastewater using Reverse Osmosis
membranes, according to an American Water news release. (read the full story)

Lawsuit filed to halt desalination plans in Northern California's Marin County

Opponents of a Marin Municipal Water District plan to desalinate bay water and pipe it to Marin homes filed a lawsuit Monday in an effort to stop the project from proceeding. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to halt progress on the proposed desalination project and "protect the San Francisco Bay and the citizens of Marin from the harmful effects" of desalination, according to the suit filed in Marin Superior Court by San Anselmo Councilman Ford Greene, an environmental group and several other plaintiffs. The suit alleges the proposed $105 million desalination plant would induce population growth of up to an additional 85,000 people in Marin, discharge up to 30 million gallons of harmful brine into San Rafael Bay, increase energy consumption by the water district by up to four times and expose the public to potential contamination. In addition to Greene, Oakland-based attorney Stephan Volker filed the lawsuit on behalf of the North Coast Rivers Alliance, Larry Rose, Fairfax Councilman Larry Bragman, Ritchie Cook, Susan Kirsch, Frank Egger and Peter Lacques. The water district is listed as the primary defendant. San Rafael Independent Journal_ 9/21/09

With Poseidon's desalination issue resolved, California legislator drops bill

State Sen. Christine Kehoe said yesterday that she has dropped legislation that would have automatically extended a permit to build an ocean-water desalination plant in Carlsbad after the developer reached an agreement with the California Coastal Commission. Kehoe had proposed the bill to extend the plant's coastal development permit because the developer, Poseidon Resources, feared that commission staff members wouldn't have enough time to issue the permit by a Nov. 14 deadline. But Tom Luster, a Coastal Commission scientist, said that if Poseidon submits all the necessary paperwork by mid-September, commission staff members can meet the deadline. Poseidon Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan said the company will meet all the conditions for the permit after the Carlsbad City Council votes on the project's final development agreement Sept. 15. Noting that Poseidon and the Coastal Commission reached an agreement, Kehoe said, “The bill did its job." San Diego Union Tribune_ 9/4/09

Long Beach, California gets two year extension to operate its pilot sea water desalination plant

The Long Beach Water Department received a two-year extension today to continue operating its desalination ocean intake facility, a pilot project designed to turn sea water into drinking water without harming the environment. The extension from the California Coastal Commission will give the water department until May 2012 to refine its technology, said the department's Matthew Veeh. The Under Ocean Floor Seawater Intake and Discharge Demonstration System is the first intake system of its kind in the United States. The technology is a key component of the Long Beach Desalination Project, an ongoing national research and development partnership with the water department and the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation. State legislation was introduced earlier this year that would make it illegal to build traditional open-ocean intake systems, further highlighting the need to find alternative, environmentally friendly seawater intake processes. Long Beach Press Telegram_ 8/28/09

Study: Bacteria can make salt water drinkable

Bacteria can be used to turn dirty salt water into electricity and drinkable water, according to new research from scientists at Penn State University and Tsinghua University. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, presents a new spin on microbial fuel cells, which have been used in the past to produce electricity or store it as hydrogen or methane gas. "In this newest discovery, we figured we would desalinate water by modifying the electricity generated by the bacteria," said Bruce Logan, a scientist at Penn State and co-author of the paper. The exact purity of the water can be changed depending on the needs of the scientists or the desalination industry, if the process is scaled up commercially. Discovery News/MSNBC_ 8/25/09

China National BlueStar begins construction of China's largest reverse-osmosis membrane project

China National BlueStar holds 49.9-percent and Toray a 50.1-percent stake in the Beijing project. The investment totals 530 million yuan ($77.60 million), according to BlueStar. The plant is scheduled to go into production in October 2010 with an annual production capacity of 6.18 million sq m of RO membrane and 130,000 RO membrane elements, according to BlueStar Monday. Xi Yuxin, spokesperson of BlueStar, said Monday China would need much more RO membrane than it could currently produce. Around 90 percent of the membranes used by domestic companies were imported. As a subsidiary of the State-owned ChemChina Group Corporation, BlueStar Co focuses on chemical products and new materials. Toray Industries, based in Tokyo, is a world leader in chemical manufacturing. Xinhua_ 8/25/09

Boron nitride nanotubes used to desalinate seawater

A team of researchers from The Australian National University have discovered a way to remove salt from seawater using nanotubes made from boron and nitrogen atoms that will make the process up to five times faster. The study by researchers Dr Tamsyn Hilder, Dr Dan Gordon and group leader Professor Shin-Ho Chung from the Computational Biophysics Group at the Research School of Biology at ANU have been published in the journal Small. "Using boron nitride nanotubes, and the same operating pressure as current desalination methods, we can achieve 100 percent salt rejection for concentrations twice that of seawater with water flowing four times faster, which means a much faster and more efficient desalination process," said Dr. Hilder. AZoM.com_ 8/24/09

Marin County, California water board OKs desalination plant over public opposition

Marin County's largest water utility voted Wednesday night to build a plant that will convert about 5 million gallons of seawater into drinking water for about 190,000 people. It's the first such project on San Francisco Bay. Most speakers at the at-times boisterous meeting attended by about 200 people opposed the desalination facility on the grounds that it is too costly, would harm marine life and could expose people to harmful bay chemicals. What's more, they say, the steep energy needs of the plant will pump huge amounts of climate-changing gases into the atmosphere. But the district and others say desalination is the best way to satisfy projected population and economic growth. San Francisco Chronicle_ 8/20/09

Nevada may partner with Mexico on desalination plants

Talks are progressing among officials from both sides of the border over new joint efforts to squeeze more water out of the arid region. One idea being discussed is U.S. investment in Mexican desalination plants along the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California. The jointly funded plants would supply drinking water to growing coastal communities south of the border and thirsty U.S. cities, including Las Vegas. Mexico might be the new frontier for the seven Western states that share the drought-stricken Colorado River, said Pat Mulroy, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Early this week, Mulroy traveled to San Diego for two days of talks with state and federal officials from both countries. Las Vegas Review-Journal_ 8/8/09

San Diego, California court rejects legal challenge to desalination plant but opponents say more reviews ahead

A San Diego Superior Court Judge has rejected a legal challenge to a proposed desalination plant in Carlsbad. Poseidon Resources says the ruling means construction of the plant can start later this year. But environmental groups say "not so fast." The Surfrider Foundation and San Diego Coastkeeper challenged the approval of the project by the State Lands Commission. Marco Gonzalez with San Diego Coastkeeper says the ruling is tentative and other legal challenges remain. "We have more than two months to decide whether to appeal," Gonzalez says. "And it will be 30-45 days before we make up our minds. But importantly, we also have an appeal pending before the state Water Resources Control Board. There's quite a few hoops that Poseidon still needs to jump through before this thing really does become final." Scott Maloni with Poseidon Resources said he doesn't expect the legal challenges to delay construction of the plant. KPBS_ 8/6/09

Europe's largest desalination plant suffers further delays

Spain's 250 million euro Torrevieja desalination project may be delayed a further two years due to the lack of sufficient power to operate the plant. Información newspaper reports that the plant requires its own electricity sub-station plus a high-tension line to be laid eight kilometres from San Miguel de Salinas to Torrevieja. The new desalination plant will be largest in Europe (2nd largest in the World) when it comes into operation. State company Acuamed recently announced that the plant would be operational before the end of 2009 but it now seems that 2010 or even 2011 may be a more realistic time scale. Torrevieja.com_ 8/4/09

Final approval for a demonstration desal project at Redondo Beach, California

For Carson-based West Basin Municipal Water District, the demonstration desalination project is one step toward a goal of obtaining nearly a tenth of its water supplies from the Pacific Ocean. The district last month received the final approval it needed from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The California Coastal Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed off on the plant in April. The $8.8 million project, set to be housed next to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps' SEA Lab, will filter about 580,000 gallons of water daily through an old power-plant intake pipe. Daily Breeze_ 8/3/09

Marin County, California to make 'yes or no' decision on desalination

The Marin Municipal Water District has set an August date to make another decision on the controversial topic of desalination, the process that converts raw bay water into drinking water by removing salt and other impurities. At the 7:30 p.m., Aug. 19 meeting at the San Rafael City Hall Chambers, the water district board is expected to decide whether to keep pursuing desalination as an option for Marin's future water supply. Former Fairfax Mayor Frank Egger, a vocal opponent of desalination, said he believes the district is intent on moving forward with the project. He urged more conservation outlined in a recent report by James Fryer of the group Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit consumer organization. Contra Costa Times_ 8/1/09

Impulse Hydro wins Australian rights of EESTech's JetWater thermal desalination system

Impulse Hydro recently secured its first contract using the JetWater System in the Queensland coal seam gas (CSG) industry. A new state policy says gas producers are not allowed to continue to store contaminated water in holding ponds, or be discharged into waterways. Existing evaporation ponds have to be remedied within three years. QBR_ 7/25/09

Carlsbad, California desalination plant could break ground in November

Poseidon Resources says it hopes to break ground this fall on the $300 million desalination plant in Carlsbad and it could be operating in 2012. The company has three new management employes and one of the new staffers will oversee Poseidon's other desalination projects in Huntington Beach, in Orange County, California, and in Northern California. Poseidon Vice President Scott Maloni says the success in getting the regulatory approvals for the Carlsbad plant has paved the way for additional desalination projects in California. KPBS_ 7/20/09

UCLA scientists develop new water desalination system; Cuts costs, time

The new mini-mobile-modular (M3) "smart" water desalination and filtration system has been made by researchers at the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. In designing and constructing new desalination plants, creating and testing pilot facilities is one of the most expensive and time-consuming steps. Traditionally, small yet very expensive stationary pilot plants are constructed to determine the feasibility of using available water as a source for a large-scale desalination plant. The M3 system helps cut both costs and time. Though the system is compact enough to be transported anywhere in the back of a van, it can generate 6,000 gallons of drinking water per day from the sea or 8,000 to 9,000 gallons per day from brackish groundwater. News Release_ 7/14/09

California gives desalination plants a fresh look: Process to make seawater drinkable gains traction, but environmentalists object to heavy energy use, harm to marine life

Early next year, the Southern California town of Carlsbad will break ground on a plant that each day will turn 50 million gallons of seawater into fresh drinking water.

Government agencies have opposed desalination because of the process's energy consumption. The desalination plant would use nearly twice as much energy as a wastewater-treatment plant available in Orange County. Environmental groups also object because fish and other organisms are likely to be sucked into the facility. Huntington Beach, in Orange County, is planning to break ground on its own desalination plant in 2010. Another plant is in the works at Camp Pendleton, just north of Carlsbad, in San Diego County. Even at a time when budgets are strained, authorities are willing to push ahead on costly projects.  Wall Street Journal_ 7/10/09

Lake Worth, Florida moves forward with reverse-osmosis water plant

City commissioners granted approvals tonight needed to proceed with a $25 million reverse-osmosis water treatment plant. In a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Jeff Clemens dissenting, commissioners authorized paying Mock Roos & Associates $236,556 for engineering work to update plans for the water plant and up to $39,900 for work on an application for a $2.5 million federal stimulus grant. Clemens said he voted against moving forward with plans for the reverse-osmosis plant because the city does not know how it will pay for it. Also tonight, the commission voted 3-2, with Clemens and Vice Mayor Jo-Ann Golden dissenting, to solicit an engineering firm for the design and permitting of a deep injection well to dispose of the briny wastewater produced in the reverse-osmosis treatment process. Utilities Director Rebecca Mattey said the city must award the contract for plant construction by Oct. 1 to qualify for the $2.5 million in federal stimulus money. Palm Beach Post_ 7/7/09

Spain leads Mediterranean area in desalination efforts - Analysts

The international consulting firm Frost & Sullivan is set to publish a study on the Spanish water market, which has embraced desalination technology - the process of removing salt and minerals from sea water for drinking water or irrigation. Nuno Oscar Branco, an industry analyst, who has been researching the desalination market, said: "Spain is the largest desalination market in the Mediterranean region, but countries such as Algeria, Morocco or Libya, to name just a few, have joined the desalination bandwagon and are investing heavily on this source of fresh drinking water. Spanish companies have developed strong know-how in the construction and operation of large desalinization plants and are winning important contracts in Algeria, India and Australia." Edie_ 7/7/09

Long Beach, California water department to get $3 million in federal stimulus money for desalination project

The Long Beach Water Department will receive more than $3 million in federal stimulus funding for its water desalination project, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Wednesday. Funding will go toward a $20 million desalination testing program. The department hopes to complete testing of the technology, which converts sea water into potable water, as early as the end of 2010. Based on the results, water commissioners will then decide whether to seek approval to build a desalination plant somewhere in Long Beach, Alsop said. Long Beach Press Telegram_ 7/2/09

Marin County, California water board accepts desalination report, but not all of its findings

The Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors agreed with assertions of a new report that said conservation is important, but didn't fully embrace the notion that it would be enough to satisfy Marin's future water needs. The report, "Sustaining Our Water Future," was issued earlier this month by the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit consumer organization Food & Water Watch. The report concludes that the district doesn't need to build a desalination plant and could instead employ conservation measures, curb leaks and improve reservoir operations to meet future water needs. Most of Marin's water supply comes from reservoirs on Mount Tamalpais and if they go dry, so can the count. That happened in 1976-77, but a pipeline placed over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge delivered water from the East Bay. That pipeline is long gone and no longer an option. In February, the MMWD Board of Directors directed its staff to keep open the possibility of a controversial 5-million-gallon-a-day desalination plant as part of a package of steps to address the county's future water needs. But a final decision on desalination won't come until 2011. Marin Independent Journal_ 6/25/09

Hyflux to build two desalination plants in Libya

Water treatment company Hyflux Limited said yesterday it has signed an agreement to build two water desalination plants in Libya, a deal which analysts say could be worth more than $1 billion. While details of project cost and financing are yet to be hammered out, based on the estimated $632 million cost of Hyflux's existing desalination plant now under construction in Magtaa in neighbouring Algeria, the two new plants in Libya could cost a total of $1.2 billion, said Kim Eng analyst James Koh. The agreements, signed yesterday with General Desalination Company (GDC), the commercial arm of Libya's Ministry of Utilities, will also see Hyflux taking a 49 per cent stake in the two plants which have a total design capacity of at least 900,000 cubic metres a day. GDC will own the majority share. One plant will be east of Tripoli, the country's capital city. The other will be in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city. Singapore Business Times_ 6/25/09

Switzerland's ABB Ltd. wins $28 million electrical contract for Oran, Algeria desalination plant

ABB Ltd. said in a news release today it won a $28 million order from Hyflux to supply a complete, highly-optimized electrical package for the Magtaa desalination plant, expected to be the world's largest seawater reverse osmosis project when it is completed in 2011. The plant is in Oran, Algeria, on the Mediterranean coast. The news release said the ABB system will boost energy efficiency and cust maintenance downtime from weeks to days, compared to current industry practices. The plant will produce up to 500,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day, enough to meet the daily requirements of about five million people, and will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the world using reverse osmosis technology. It is being built, owned and operated for a period of 25 years by Hyflux. ABB will electrify the plant and provide a 220-kV outdoor substation connecting it to the Algerian power grid. News Release_ 6/23/09

Dubai, Abu Dhabi plan $40 billion desalination projects to boost production

The two biggest emirates in the country have "significant" future desalination production investments pegged at up to $40 billion (Dh146.8 billion) to "produce a river of water" and meet increasing water demand, a leading desalination expert has said. Abu Dhabi plans to double its current daily production of 630 million gallons at a cost of $20 billion, while Dubai will increase current production by 600 million gallons a day, at a cost of between $10 billion and $20 billion over the next decade, said Leon Awerbuch, past president of the International Desalination Association. Gulf News_ 6/15/09

New studies show impact of desalination waste on Arabian Gulf water

The desalination of Gulf sea water to make it fit for human consumption creates waste water that can be harmful to the sea, new studies report. Countries around the Gulf are increasingly turning to desalination to meet the thirst of their growing populations, but new studies reveal that some of the waste products from the process, such as heavy metals, chemicals and highly salty and unnaturally warm water can harm the local marine environment. Currently there are 45 multi-stage flash plants, 32 multi-effect desalination plants, and 41 reverse osmosis plants in the Gulf, according to a recent study by Sabine Lattemann, a researcher from the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. The Media Line_ 6/15/09

Desalination impact on Arabian Gulf

To quench the thirst of the United Arab Emirates, the equivalent of four billion bottles of water is desalinated every day. The biggest plant in the world, the Jebel Ali Phase 2 plant, with an annual production of 300 million cubic metres, is currently in the making. In his research paper "The Effect of Water Scarcity on the Future Growth in the Desalination Industry in GCC Countries" published in 2002, Mohammad Dawood, acting manager of Water Resources Management at the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi said current production is already estimated at 4380 million cubic metres. GCC stands for the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the Arabian Peninsula nations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman. Desalination plants dotting the coast line from Dubai to Kuwait are legally flushing brine, or waste water, carrying chlorine and metals into the Arabian Gulf by the tonne every day. Antiscalants to reduce scale formation in desalination plants can produce increased and harmful algae growth when pumped back to the ocean and recent links to devastating red tide have been made between the industry and the marine environment. Brine's increased salinity can reduce vitality and biodiversity while chlorine is very toxic for many organisms in the mixing zone - an area where effluents are diluted before flushing. Gulf News_ 6/14/09

Maynilad Water Services awards Philippines' largest membrane water filtration project to Pall Corporation Staff Report

June 8, 2009

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Pall Corporation announced today that it won a $14.7 million contract to design and install the Philippines's first large-scale membrane filtration plant, a 100 million liters per day project in Manila. The contract was awarded by Maynilad Water Services and the project will begin producing water in 2010. East Hills, New York-based Pall will install a Pall Aria™ integrated microfiltration (MF)/ reverse osmosis (RO) membrane water treatment system. (Full Story)

Philippines appeals court rejects local law requiring industry to desalinate seawater

The Court of Appeals has struck down a Batangas City ordinance that ordered heavy industries to invest in desalination plants to tap sea water for operations instead of using groundwater. In a 30-page decision penned by Associate Justice Andres B. Reyes, Jr., the court’s fourth division said provincial ordinance 3-2001 "looked more of a moneymaking scheme of the local government than an ordinance intended for higher ideals." The 2001 ordinance required heavy industries along Batangas Bay to install a plant that would convert sea water for industrial purposes. Residents had claimed the industries were drying up wells. Business World_ 6/8/09

Biggest U.S. desal plant ‘by far’ made public by San Diego, California water agency Staff Report

May 14, 2009

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A San Diego County Water Authority committee Thursday unveiled plans to build a seawater desalination plant on the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton that would be ‘by far’ the largest in the U.S. The 50 million-to-150 million-gallon per day project will cost more than $2 billion, if built to full capacity. And, it could supply enough additional water to meet the needs of 24 agencies, including the city of San Diego, that buy water wholesale from the county authority, said Water Resources Manager Bob Yamada. At full capacity, the proposed reverse osmosis plant would be three times larger than the $300 million Poseidon Resources plant in near-by Carlsbad, according to the Water Authority’s summary feasibility study. (Full Story)

Poseidon wins final approval for San Diego County, California, desalination plant

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Board unanimously approved a plan today to build a desalination plant in Carlsbad capable of producing 50 million gallons of drinking water a day. Poseidon Resources, the project's developer, said the decision clears the way for construction on the desalination plant to begin. The company said it hopes to complete the more than $300 million project by 2012. When it's finished, the desalination plant will be capable of converting enough ocean water into drinking water to meet the needs of 300,000 residents, about 50 million gallons a day. The SDRWQB's decision comes one day after a Superior Court judge ruled against two environmental groups who sued in an effort to halt the construction of the desalination plant. San Diego Suburban News/Del Mar Times_ 5/13/09

Siemens launches chemical-free water deionizer
A subsidiary of China’s Siemens launched a new, high-purity water treatment system today that has the potential to replace chemically regenerated mixed-bed deionization systems.  Warrendale, Pa.-based Siemens Water Technologies' new Vantage VNX system is intended for the power, microelectronics and industrial markets.  The modular skidded system use reverse osmosis to produce 50 to 900 gallons per minute of deionized water. Reverse osmosis is the dominant water purification form in the cleantech sector, but it’s criticized because of its large energy requirement and infrastructure cost.  cleantech.com_ 5/13/09

Australia's Western Eyre Peninsula desalination plant vetoed

Funding for the proposed Western Eyre Peninsula Water Desalination Integrated Plan has been rejected, with the state Department of Trade and Economic Development suggesting the Eyre Peninsula can source more water from Adelaide. The Eyre Regional Development Board (ERDB) had sought $85,000 for the water plan and $100,000 for the proposed Eastern Eyre Peninsula mineral export hub. Member for Flinders Liz Penfold said previous promises that the Whyalla desalination plant was going to supply potable water to Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula makes the $48.6 million spent on extending the River Murray pipeline to Kimba “another government farce. The reason given for the pipeline extension, which further stresses the River Murray, was that it would be used for the delivery of desalinated water to Eyre Peninsula in the future.” Eyre Peninsula Tribune_ 5/13/09

California Coastal Commission has questions about permit for Poseidon's desalination plant

Just as Poseidon Resources, the developer of an ocean-water desalination plant proposed for San Diego County's Carlsbad's coast, thought it was about to get its final permit, the California Coastal Commission staff says it wants to reconsider a permit it issued previously. The company will go before the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board tomorrow for final approval on a plan to make up for the number of fish and other organisms that its desalination process would kill. However, Peter Douglas, executive director of the state Coastal Commission, wrote the water quality board last week saying information Poseidon provided that panel was inconsistent with information it provided the commission last year, and it wants to review Poseidon's permit. Poseidon criticized the Coastal Commission's conclusion, saying the information has not changed, and there's no need to revise the permit. San Diego Union-Tribune_ 5/12/09

Nation's largest desalination plant, Poseidon's project in Carlsbad, California, faces financing hurdles

Executives at Poseidon Resources Corp., which is partially owned by Citigroup Inc.'s Citi Sustainable Development Investments, insist their financial prospects are solid despite the economic uncertainty. The company recently sent its financial package to a short list of lenders looking to play in the fledgling desal market, and according to Scott Maloni, a vice president at Poseidon, "a half-dozen proposals" were returned. Though he refused to identify prospective lenders, Maloni said "all the big players still standing" are intrigued by the company's model. He said he expects to secure an 80-20 debt-to-equity deal within six weeks of gaining the permits to break ground. But Tom Pankratz, director of the International Desalination Association, said such a deal would fly in the face of an international trend of stalled projects. Pankratz noted that larger desalination projects in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Australia have been left flailing for financial partners at crucial junctures. For their part, Poseidon executives say they have no interest in pursuing public money. New York Times_ 5/11/09

Lake Worth, Florida votes to halt payments to the county for water reserves and instead build a desalination plant

City commissioners voted today not to pay $6 million due to Palm Beach County Wednesday for water reserves and instead move forward with a reverse-osmosis water treatment plant. A 4-1 majority on the Lake Worth commission chose not to honor a contract with the county that would have reserved 2 million gallons a day and provided a back-up supply for 40 years. Mayor Jeff Clemens cast the dissenting vote. "My only worry is we start moving in a direction here and don't give ourselves any options," he said. The reverse-osmosis plant is projected to be completed by 2012 and estimated to cost about $25 million. Palm Beach Post_ 5/5/09

Saudi Arabia launches world's largest desalination plant

At a grand ceremony in Jubail Tuesday attended by top cabinet members, bureaucrats and businessmen, King Abdullah pushed a series of buttons to mark the formal opening of SR54 billion in development projects, including the world’s largest desalination and power generation plant. The massive investment in Jubail-II is aimed at capitalizing on the Kingdom’s abundant hydrocarbon resources to optimize economic and social benefits for the Kingdom and to further strengthen an already globally competitive petrochemical industry. Maher Al-Sharhan, CEO of Marafiq, said the new water-cum-power plant in Jubail would supply 2,750 megawatt of electricity and 800,000 cubic meters of water daily to cities in the Eastern Province. Jubail Industrial City was conceived by the Royal Commission more than 30 years ago. Before that it was a sleepy coastal village, which relied on fishing and pearl harvesting to drive the local economy. In 1983 the city was cited in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest engineering and construction project ever attempted. In 2009, it is still getting bigger. Arab News_ 4/29/09

Jacksonville, Florida, looks toward desalination

With one desalination plant operating in Tampa Bay and another in the works for Flagler County, the practice of turning seawater into fresh drinking water is drawing increasing attention. And this week, the St. Johns River Water Management District declared that a desalination plant has an almost-certain future in Jacksonville, too. The water we use to drink and water our lawns currently comes from an underground aquifer - that's the case in almost all parts of Florida. But levels in the aquifer are declining as utilities pump more and more to meet growing demand. Desalinating and treating seawater can cost triple or more what it costs to treat fresh groundwater. And desalination poses its own environmental threats, something acknowledged even by activists concerned about taking water from the St. Johns River. Jacksonville Times-Union_ 4/24/09

Saudi government to take back Ras Azzour desalination plant

The Saudi government appears poised to appoint a government body to oversee the project, following the withdrawal of one company from the preferred bidder's consortium to build the independent water and power plant (IWPP). Saudi Arabia's Water & Electricity Company (WEC) announced at the end of October 2008 that the consortium of Sumitomo Corporation/Aljomaih Automotive Co/Malakoff International was its first-ranked bidder for Ras Azzour IWPP. Since then, however, Malakoff from Malaysia has pulled out of the consortium and a replacement has proved elusive. Desalination and Water Reuse_ 4/21/09

Corrosion hits Australia's Tugun desalination plant

Just two months after the taps were finally turned on, the State Government's $1.2 billion desalination plant will be shut down for five weeks for repairs. The plant at Tugun on the Gold Coast has been besieged with problems, and is still months away from being officially handed over to Water Secure - the government body that will own and run it. Infrastructure and Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe confirmed "the planned shutdown in late April will go ahead, to carry out work such as the replacement of corroded couplings. Water Secure will not take delivery of the plant until all these issues are fixed. This is about protecting taxpayers' dollars - now and in the future." Courier Mail_ 4/19/09

California's Santa Cruz County needs desalination, officials say

Santa Cruz County is using water faster than rainfall can recharge local aquifers, and if the drought continues, a new desalination plant will be key to maintaining the quality of life, water officials said Wednesday. Officials of the city of Santa Cruz and the Soquel Creek Water District said a plant could be built in 2012, although no cost was given. Desalted seawater would be used in drought emergencies and would not take the place of traditional water sources. Santa Cruz and the Soquel Creek Water District rely on underground aquifers, and surface supplies like the San Lorenzo River and the Loch Lomond Reservoir, for about 95 percent of current water supplies. The county also has approximately 3,000 unregulated water wells used by private users. Santa Cruz Sentinel_ 4/17/09

Desalination plan's foes hit with a legal setback
Two environmental groups that oppose a proposed ocean-water desalination plant on the Carlsbad coast lost a round in San Diego Superior Court yesterday.  Judge Judith Hayes issued a tentative ruling rejecting arguments by Surfrider Foundation and the Planning and Conservation League that the California Coastal Commission misapplied state law when it gave Poseidon Resources a coastal development permit to build the plant.  The environmental groups challenged the Coastal Commission's decision on several grounds, including that it failed to require Poseidon to reduce the amount of fish and marine organisms that would be killed in the desalination process.  Hayes said the commission's decision was reasonable based on the evidence presented at its November 2007 hearing. Signon SanDiego_4/10/09

Poseidon Resources close to final approval for Carlsbad, California, desalination plant

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board on Wednesday all but approved an ocean-water desalination plant proposed for Carlsbad's coastline, but said it will give the project a final green light at a later meeting. The decision brings Poseidon Resources to the brink of financing and building its $300 million plant on the south shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, six years after it began working its way through a labyrinthine permitting process. The decision also essentially ended a debate over whether Poseidon had under-calculated the number of fish that would be killed by the desalination process. Poseidon Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan said the project will go out to bid next month and begin construction by the end of the year. Poseidon plans to begin delivering water in 2011. Union-Tribune_ 4/8/09

Laredo, Texas plans brackish water desalination plant near border

Laredo is almost to the limit in the amount of water it can draw from the Rio Grande River. As a result, city leaders have agreed to spend $1.6 million to build a pilot plant that will field test a new method of desalinating brackish water. Mark Holtzapple, a chemical engineering professor at Texas A&M University, developed the new method. Terrabon LLC commercialized the technology. The Texas Engineering Experiment Station and the Center for Applied Technology will function as the technology integrator and analyst for the project. Both entities are part of the Texas A&M University System. Terrabon, a Houston-based energy and water-treatment technology company, will design and construct the plant. American Water’s Applied Water Management Group in Hillsborough, N.J., will operate and monitor the plant as a subcontractor. San Antonio Business Journal_ 3/18/09

Lux Research sees new technologies challenging reverse osmosis

The global desalinated water supply will grow at a CAGR of 9.5% over the next decade, reaching 54 billion m3/year (cubic meters per year) in 2020 -- 54 trillion liters/year -- or triple what it had been in 2008, according to a new report from Lux Research entitled "Desalination's Future Champions." According to Lux's report, the demand for desalinated water will foster a rising wave of new water treatment technologies, all aiming to challenge the incumbent reverse osmosis (RO) in desalination's three market segments -- seawater desalination, inland brackish water, and water recycling. RO dominated the desalination equipment market with a 54% revenue share as of 2008, and the relative success of its challengers will vary by market segment. marketwire/MSNBC_ 3/17/09

Membrane technology increases for water and wastewater treatment in South Africa

Most industrial water users are switching to membrane technology as effluent discharge policies become more stringent; companies are required to treat their wastewater before discharging it into the environment. The shortage of surface water sources has forced most industrial water users to resort to wastewater recycling. With water and sewer regulations becoming more stringent, industrial water users are increasingly looking towards wastewater recycling, which in turn, is driving the demand for membrane technology. iStockAnalyst_ 3/16/09

Japanese desalination pioneer to retire

Dr Totaro Goto, former managing director of the Water Re-use Desalination Center (WDRC) in Japan and a former member of the Desalination &Water Reuse Editorial Board, is to retire from the center at the end of March. He is author of countless papers and articles on desalination and the International Desalination Association gave him its Achievement Award in 1997. He will remain active in the Japan Desalination Association, but says that the IDA World Congress in Dubai in November 2009 will be his last. Desalination & Water Reuse_ 3/15/09

Desal executive: Mexico's Baja California state out of money to fund desalination projects

Mexico's federal government has apparently run out of funds to carry out water infrastructure projects in Baja California Sur state, Mexican/US water desalination technology manufacturer Coast Marine Services co-owner Raúl Cervantes told Business News Americas. On March 9, environment ministry Semarnat and the government of Baja California Sur state announced they will spend 733mn pesos (US$48.3mn) to carry out potable water and wastewater treatment works. "We have worked with Baja California Sur's water department and their desalination division. I recently got a call asking me to update our prices for a list of parts to get their units back and running in good order, for roughly US$156,000. After doing so, I asked if they were going to buy, but they replied the state cannot come up with any money," Cervantes said. Business News Amercas_ 3/13/09

Marin County, California indefinitely delays desalination project

Marin water officials have indefinitely postponed key decisions about a controversial desalination plan amid growing opposition. Also driving the delay is concern among water officials that a new proposal for water rate hikes is causing the public to mistakenly link the increase with the proposed $105 million desal project. Last month the board directed its staff to pursue a controversial 5 million-gallon-a-day desalination plant as part of a package of steps to address the county's water needs. At a meeting Wednesday the board was to give formal approval to an environmental impact report on desalination and consider securing permits for various facilities to be able to operate a plant. But the item was put off until the March 18 meeting. Now, district officials say it will not appear at that meeting either, and no new date to consider the item has been set. Marin Independent_ 3/6/09

February, 2009

Allen Stanford, accused of fraud by the SEC, once saw  fortunes to be made in desalination

Texan billionaire Allen Stanford’s financial empire is in chaos after the SEC charged that he and his partners were perpetrating a “massive” fraud, but only four months ago things appeared much sunnier, at least in a glowing Forbes profile that described his investment strategy as “sure and steady." The profile, “Crazy for Cricket,” was part of the Forbes 400 ranking of the richest Americans (Stanford was #205). At the time, he was eyeing desalination plants in developing countries like China: “We’re very bullish on making a lot of money on water in the next 20 years." Reuters_ 2/18/09

Malaysia relief agency to raise funds for Gaza desalination plant, water wells

Global Peace Mission Malaysia (GPM), an international relief and development agency, will set up a special fund for the reconstruction effort in Gaza, Palestine, which came under heavy bombardment by Israel last month. GPM president Muhammad Nor Anuar Hashim said the fund was to bear the cost of building desalination plants, boring of wells and a bakery. Bernama_ 2/18/09

California water agencies debate desalination

From Marin County to San Diego, small and large projects that turn Pacific Ocean seawater into tap water are gaining favor with about 20 water agencies, propelled by events unprecedented in California's history: worsening drought, dwindling species of freshwater fish, crumbling plumbing systems and unyielding demand. "People are worried about water supply," said Michael Carlin, assistant general manager of water at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. "Desalination is for drought supply, for an emergency, and it augments existing supply - it's another tool in our toolbox." But critics argue that desalination is an expensive, environmentally questionable last resort in a sprawling state that misuses one of its greatest assets. San Francisco Chronicle_ 2/15/09

Oasys Water raises $10 million for its reduced energy desalination system

Oasys Water Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, says it hopes to market a process that reduces by 90 percent the amount of energy needed to convert saltwater to drinking water, compared with current methods that use reverse osmosis - the filtration of water through a membrane. The Oasys technique was developed by Yale University researchers. Oasys said the financing was led by venture capital firms Flagship Ventures of Cambridge, Advanced Technology Ventures of Waltham, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson of Menlo Park, Calif. Oasys estimates the cost of treating a cubic meter of water - the equivalent of 262 gallons - will be 30 to 50 cents using its technology, compared with 90 cents to $1 for current methods that rely on electricity-intensive reverse osmosis. While reverse osmosis desalination requires high pressure to force water through a membrane, Oasys says its technique uses forward osmosis, which draws out salt and other substances and uses far less energy. Boston Globe_ 2/14/09

Final vote on Carlsbad, California desalination plant delayed until April

An expected vote by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board on Poseidon Resources' controversial desalination plant has been delayed until April 8. The board asked Poseidon for more information. The delay won't affect construction plans, the company said Thursday. Besides regulatory matters, financing for the $300 million project is also a hurdle. Poseidon has said it expects financing to be in place by this summer. North County Times_ 2/12/09

January, 2009

Israel publishes tender for new desalination plant

Israel published a tender for its largest ever desalination plant on Tuesday, as it continues to grapple with low rainfall and dwindling water resources. The 2 billion shekel plant will be in the Soreq region, south of Tel Aviv near the Mediterranean, and will produce 150 million cubic meters of water a year, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. Four unnamed groups have already passed an initial check and will be in the bidding process for the plant, which the ministry said would be one of the largest in the world. Reuters_ 1/20/09

CH2M Hill delivers desalinated water to the UAE
A third desalination plant for the Authority is currently under construction by CH2M Hill, and is expected to be online by mid-2009. Located in the rapidly developing United Arab Emirates, the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority is responsible for providing reliable and affordable electricity and water to the Emirate of Sharjah. As water demands increase, the authority is turning to SWRO membrane desalination to diversify and augment the region's potable water supplies. CH2M Hill has served as the single-source of responsibility for engineer-procure-construct services for the three new desalination plants, which will provide more than 60,000 cubic meters (16 million gallons) per day of high-quality desalinated water to the people of Sharjah. The Layyah and Khor Fakkan SWRO desalination plants began exporting desalinated water in October 2008. AME Info_ 1/20/09

Centriforce Technology successfully tests less expensive desalination technology

Centriforce Technology Corp. (OTC:CNFO - News) announced today the successful testing of its desalination vapor-jet technology. This new technology allows the Company to convert salt water into vapor at very low cost. The vapor is then condensed into fresh water for consumption. The demand for desalination technology is exploding worldwide as water shortages are becoming more prevalent with economic, political and social effects. The new technology under development by Centriforce is designed to reduce the cost of desalination, and therefore, justify the development of more desalination projects worldwide. News Release/Business Wire_ 1/20/09

Frost & Sullivan see wastewater recycling and seawater desalination gaining momentum in North China

In November 2008, China issued a stimulus package that involves construction of sewage and rubbish treatment facilities to preserve water resources in key areas as well as accelerate green belt and natural forest planting programs. According to Frost & Sullivan's China Consultant of Chemicals, Material & Food Vivian Chen, the investment includes RMB120 billion in Q4, 2008 and RMB4 trillion in 2009. In the 4th Quarter of 2008 about ten percent, RMB12 billion, was devoted to energy saving and ecological projects. In 2009, 8.8 percent, about RMB350 million is planned for the improvement of ecological environment. She adds that a series of investments are allocated in various regions nationwide in detail, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Qinghai, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, and Jilin. A lot of these projects are relevant to water conditions and are stimulating the demand for the water and wastewater treatment equipment in China. News Release/PRNewswire_ 1/19/09

Oceanside, California to pursue cheaper desalination idea

Oceanside officials will ask federal authorities next month for money for a project that they say could make water desalination cheaper and require a less-cumbersome approval process. The city is studying whether it can desalinate water pumped inland from wells near Oceanside Harbor. It's something all coastal cities might be able to do, Mayor Jim Wood said yesterday. A consultant, Tetra Tech of Pasadena, has drilled a test well in a parking lot near the harbor. It's studying the quality of the water and possible pipeline alignments to the city's plant about two miles inland. Wood said the concept could be a blessing for cities because land away from the coast is much cheaper. Cities might also avoid having “to do battle with the state Coastal Commission” over large structures along the coast. San Diego Union-Tribune_ 1/16/09

Yale University scientists develop energy-efficient desalination system

Yale doctoral student Robert McGinnis and his advisor Menachem Elimelech, Chair of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, have designed systems that harness the power of osmosis to harvest freshwater from non-potable sources, including seawater and generate electricity from low-temperature heat sources, such as waste heat from conventional power plants. Yale University is commercializing their desalination technology through a newly-established company, Oasys. Their approach, which requires only one-tenth the electric energy used with conventional desalination systems, was featured in the December issue of Environmental Science & Technology. Using a new twist on an old technology, the engineers are employing “forward osmosis,” which exploits the natural diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane. Their process “draws” pure water from its contaminants to a solution of concentrated salts, which can easily be removed with low heat treatment — effectively desalinating or removing contaminants from water with little energy input. Health News Digest_ 1/13/09

Floating desalination plant coming to Limassol, Cypress

Following yesterday’s news that a desalination plant was under construction in the Kouklia area of Paphos, it has just been announced that the Cyprus Ministry of Agriculture plans to build a floating desalination plant off the Germasogia coast at Limassol. Throughout the past summer Limassol, which is on the south coast of Cyprus, was totally dependent for its drinking water on supplies brought in by tankers from Greece. If everything goes according to plan, the plant will come on-line in June and will produce between 20,000m3 and 50,000m3 of water a day for the following five years. After that, the permanent desalination plant planned for Episkopi will take over. Cypress Property News_ 1/9/09

GDF Suez gets $900 million financing for Abu Dhabi desalination plant

GDF Suez said on Tuesday it had secured $900 million financing for the Shuweihat 2 power generation and water desalination project, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). The French energy group said lenders to the deal included Bayern LB, Calyon, KfW, Natixis, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered. Completion and start-up of the plan, which will deliver 1,500 MW of electricity generated from natural gas, and 454,610 cubic metres per day of water, is scheduled for 2011, the company said. Reuters/Interactive Investor_ 1/6/09

Texas desalination plant too expensive, for now

The Rio Grande Valley has moved a step closer toward turning seawater into an abundant drinking-water source. But an originally planned, $180 million desalination plant will have to wait. In a recently released report from the Texas Water Development Board, officials confirmed that the Brownsville Public Utility Board has completed an 18-month pilot study on seawater desalination, and now is planning to build a larger "demonstration project" at the Port of Brownsville. However, the full-scale plant officials initially planned to build is just too expensive to construct all at once, and so the utility is planning to build it in phases, engineers said. Brownsville Herald_ 1/3/09

India to build sea water reverse osmosis plant in Chennai

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave its approval for the construction of one '100 MLD Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant' at Nemmeli near Chennai at a total cost of Rs.908.28 crore. Of the total amount, Rs.871.24 crore will be borne by the Central Government and will be given as grant to the Government of Tamil Nadu for implementing the aforesaid project. The project is likely to be completed by 2010-11 and will be implemented by Chennai Metro Water Supply Sewerage Board. Chennai is an important economic centre in the country and has been fast developing as an IT hub. It has a sizable industrial establishment and is among the 10 top car manufacturing centres in the world. The city of Chennai has faced acute shortage of water in the past and the year 2004, water had to be transported to the city through tankers and rail. New Kerala_ 1/2/09

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