The workshop planned for Friday was to follow up a similar session held in December. At that meeting, several key issues continued to concern some board members, who requested additional information on whether the desalinated water was needed and whether the proposed mitigation was adequate for the environmental damage expected.
Multimillion-dollar contract to run El Segundo water recycling plant again awarded without bidding – California
Continuing a practice started in the 1990s, the West Basin Municipal Water District has again bypassed competitive bidding in awarding a multimillion-dollar contract to operate its wastewater treatment facility in El Segundo.
The district board recently renewed a five-year contract worth roughly $13 million a year to Suez Water Environmental Services to run the award-winning plant. Since 2016, Suez has earned roughly $61 million on the deal with West Basin.
Suez — and before that United Water, which Suez purchased in 2000 — had previously been awarded contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to operate the plant, all without bidding.The latest contract is roughly $2 million less per year than its previous agreement.
Those supporting Poseidon Water’s plans to build a saltwater-to-freshwater conversion factory on the Huntington Beach coast certainly hoped the desalination project would be moving forward in earnest by now.
A December 2019 vote on the desalination plant was put off, however, and Poseidon would have to wait a few more months before knowing whether it would be allowed to go forward with its ambitious $1 billion project.
Members of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board are expected to make a decision on Poseidon’s project in April. Will the board finally approve the permits Poseidon has been seeking for several years?
A completely passive solar-powered desalination system developed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in China could provide more than 1.5 gallons of fresh drinking water per hour for every square metre of solar collecting area.
Such systems could potentially serve off-grid arid coastal areas to provide an efficient, low-cost water source, said MIT doctoral students in a paper appearing in the journal ‘Energy and Environmental Science’.
The key to the system’s efficiency lies in the way it uses each of the multiple stages to desalinate the water. At each stage, heat released by the previous stage is harnessed instead of wasted. In this way, the team’s demonstration device can achieve an overall efficiency of 385 percent in converting the energy of sunlight into the energy of water evaporation.
Understanding why desalination is so critical to California’s water future is a lot like building a personal budget. With a changing climate, growing population and booming economy, we need to include desalination in the water supply equation to help make up an imported water deficit.
Cochilco analyst Camila Montes said desalination use would grow most in the drier northern parts of the country, forecasting 65% usage in Antofagasta, 60% in Tarapaca, 42% in Atacama and 25% in Coquimbo.
The addition of seawater desalination to a large-scale project adds at least a billion dollars to project capex, up to over $3 billion for a massive plant such as the 2,500 litres per second (lps) plant BHP added at Escondida in 2018.
In an effort to solve water shortage issues in the U.S. state of California, Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered key state agencies to develop a blueprint for meeting California’s 21st century water needs, to ensure safe and resilient water supplies, flood protection and healthy waterways for the state’s communities, economy and environment.
Two solutions in which composites play a significant role are wastewater purification (which was featured in CW‘s January 2020 feature “Composites help take the waste out of wastewater”) and, the focus of this report, seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination.
The problem in California is easy to understand, but difficult to solve: The original configuration of rivers, streams, lakes, bays and underground water (aquifers) in California has been reconfigured so extensively over the years to accommodate a growing population and conflicting interests that these resources cannot be relied upon to meet future water needs — even the near future.