America

Chilean debate on desalination regulation takes shape – Chile

Chilean lawmakers are debating how to regulate the increasing number of desalination plants in the country, noting that there are no frameworks for their environmental assessment, use of maritime concessions and their position within the country’s overall water strategy.

A motion currently being reviewed by the senate’s water resources committee would declare desalinated water an asset for public use, prioritize it for human consumption, set requirements to request maritime concessions and establish a national strategy for the sector that would create incentives for technological innovation and development.

During the legislative discussion, senator Isabel Allende said that the bill could be improved, but that “we’re heading down the right path,” as it would create regulations “that don’t currently exist, which is the worst-case scenario.”

(LINK).

Reclamation awards $3.6 million to improve desalination technologies – United States

The Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $3.6 million to 10 projects for advanced water treatment research and development.

The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program funding seeks to improve technologies for water supply development from nontraditional waters, including seawater, brackish groundwater, and municipal wastewater.

“Interest in desalination as a water source is growing in the United States,” said Chief Engineer David Raff. “Improving technologies to treat water will make the advanced treatment of water more affordable for communities throughout the country and increase water supplies for the nation.”

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Mexico modifies 2 PPP water contracts for Baja California Sur – Mexico

Mexico’s Baja California Sur state has modified the tender calendars for two public-private partnership contracts, worth an estimated 5.2bn pesos (US$252mn), that will be awarded this year.

The projects concern the 3.9bn-peso, Los Cabos desalination plant and the 1.3bn-peso integral improvement of Cabo San Lucas city’s water distribution system. 

The contracts for both projects were expected to be awarded on March 17 and 18, respectively, but a notification on procurement site Compranet late last week said the dates were changed.

(LINK).

Chile’s Minister of Mines and Energy prepares for new cycle of expansion – Chile

As copper prices hit their highest level in almost a decade, Chile’s mining industry is preparing for a new cycle of expansion.

“We hope that if the price cycle remains high, which is what most analysts expect, that this accelerates the development of new mine projects,” Chile’s Mines and Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet said in an interview with The Northern Miner.

The government has identified mining projects worth US$74 billion in development, of which almost a third are already in construction. They include Teck’s (TSX: TECK.A/TECK.B; NYSE: TCK) US$4.5 billion Quebrada Blanca project, an expansion of Antofagasta plc‘s (LSE: ANTO) Los Pelambres mine and Codelco’s massive program to overhaul its aging mine operations.

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Opinion: A Desalination Skeptic Now Sees Carlsbad Plant’s ‘Undeniable Value’ – California

It is no secret that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant when it was proposed, and I still wasn’t completely on board when the plant began operations in 2015, or even when I was elected to the Carlsbad City Council in 2016.

But time has given me perspective, and I recognize now that the value that the Carlsbad Desalination Plant provides our region is undeniable.

We are now celebrating the plant’s fifth anniversary since operations began. In that time, I’ve seen firsthand how the Carlsbad Desalination Plant benefits our city and the entire San Diego region, given it has produced more than 65 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water. To put that in perspective, that is enough water to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena all the way to its brim nearly 200 times!

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Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres expansion to cost extra $400m – Chile

Chilean miner Antofagasta revealed on Wednesday that the expansion project at its Los Pelambres operation in the home country would cost $1.7 billion, up from the original $1.3 billion, due mainly to revised marine works and value of a desalination plant extension.

Construction of the project resumed in August, after a four-month halt triggered by the covid-19 pandemic.

A detailed review of the schedule and costs, including those associated with the realized and ongoing restrictions linked to the global pandemic followed. The assessment also considered changes to the marine works to enable an expansion of the desalination plant.

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Governor’s talk on environment falls short when it comes to the Poseidon project – California

Orange County sees past Poseidon’s efforts to buy support for its desalination boondoggle. Why can’t Gov. Newsom?

Poseidon Water, a large water development company, has been pushing to build a $1.4-billion water desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

Like Poseidon’s underperforming, high-cost plant in Carlsbad, the plant and its inflated water would be paid for by ratepayers.

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$15 million credit line will help Antioch build desalination plant – California

Antioch’s plan to build a desalination plant to clear up the city’s brackish water got another boost this week when the City Council unanimously approved $15 million in interim financing.

The almost $70 million project aims to develop a reliable, drought-resistant water supply so the city doesn’t have to depend so much on buying water and can use Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water year-round.

Antioch’s current water supply, which mainly comes from the river, serves more than 112,000 residents within a 28.8-square-mile area.

(LINK).

Purdue-led team named quarterfinalist in DOE solar innovation contest (TDnews) – Indiana

A Purdue University innovator and his team are among the quarterfinalists in a national solar desalination innovation contest.

They received the recognition for a technology to use solar power to purify high salinity water, such as treating desalination brine or produced water from oil and gas extraction.

The team includes two company partners, NiekAab Desal, with efforts led by Ali Amiri, and Focused Sun, with their efforts led by Shawn Buckley.

Windsor Park Elementary students debate topic of desalination – Texas

It’s a highly debated issue, whether the city of Corpus Christi should construct a multi-million-dollar saltwater desalination plant in the city’s inner harbor.

On Friday, some of our youngest citizens tackled the real-world topic.

They may be third graders, but a group of Windsor Park Elementary students took time to debate the pros and cons of building a desal plant and what it could mean for a future water supply.

(LINK).