North America

Where’s the Water? – Mexico

I love San Miguel de Allende.  It’s a lovely town in Mexico, and anyone who wants romance in his or her life should come down here.  It’s  just turning June, and it’s starting to get hot from Sarasota to Dallas to Los Angeles, but not here. 

No, this is supposed to be the rainy season.  And May was supposed to be hot, but it wasn’t.  Yes, this would be a Mexican paradise, except for one thing.

We’re running out of water.  We had less than an hour of rain yesterday.  They keep predicting rain but it doesn’t come.  Meanwhile, the aquifer drops lower and lower each year.  And because it drops, the natural underground chemicals (arsenic and fluoride)  become a great part of what comes into our cups.


Rethinking Wastewater Treatment for Better FGD Economics

Since its introduction in the 1960s, electrodialysis (ED) technology has been adopted for a wide range of industrial applications, and today it is the second-most widely used membrane desalination technology.

The traditional technology involves applying a direct-current electric field to flux positive ions across cation exchange membranes in one direction, and negative ions through anion exchange membranes in the opposite direction.

More recently, it has benefited from an innovation that helps to keep the membranes cleaner by allowing the polarity of electrodes and hydraulic channels to “reverse.”


Drag the nation’s water systems into the 21st century, Minister Charles Jr – Jamaica

When Senator Pearnel Charles Jr was assigned the water portfolio I held my breath and waited for good news. He is an attorney by profession, but let’s not hold that against him. I see him as one of the Renaissance men in this Administration, and fully expected him to drag this sorry department scratching and kicking into the 21st century.

Jamaica has an abundance of hydrologic resources. There should be more than enough to meet local demand. The first problem is that it does not always rain where we want it to and when we want it to. Then, like rice, sugar cane and bananas are thirsty plants, and our immigration strategies are woefully inefficient.

We are heavily dependent on ground water, an increasing amount of which is being contaminated by the bauxite-alumina industry. When we hear of deforestation, everybody’s minds run to coal-burning and the clearing of land; nobody talks of the harvesting of yam sticks and its impact on deforestation. But a 2003 study by Barker and Beckford revealed that some 63 million yam sticks are harvested each year. This has a huge impact on the maintenance of forests. The sticks used for fish pots have never been quantified.


More water woes as Desalcott goes down again – Caribbean

The Water and Sewerage Authority is advising customers in parts of Central and South West Trinidad, served by the Point Lisas Desalination Plant, of an unplanned shutdown at the facility on Friday.

This was due to a leak that has developed on the fiberglass clearwell system at the Plant that will require emergency repairs.

The owner and operator of the Plant, the Desalination Company of Trinidad and Tobago (DESALCOTT), is currently in the process of assessing the full extent of the damage, after-which an estimated timeframe will be given for the completion necessary repair works.


Mexican Region Gets First Desalination Plant for Agriculture Use in the Americas – Mexico

Weather conditions in San Q1uintin, a region in the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California, are good for growing crops year-round, but the lack of water in the area is forcing farmers to turn to innovative and environmentally friendly technologies, such as desalination, to deal with the problem.

The drought that affected San Quintin from 1985 to 2015 caused the amount of land under cultivation to fall from 28,000 hectares (69,135 acres) to 7,889 hectares (19,479 acres), a reduction of 72 percent.

A company called Grupo BerryMex recently announced that it was going to start operating the first agricultural desalination plant of its kind in the Americas in San Quintin, allowing fields to be irrigated.


Rising sea threatens South Florida’s drinking water and region’s economy – Florida

You grab the last box, freshly packed with life’s memories. As you drive toward the highway, you pass the ruins of what used to be the city you made a home.

The downtown is now a ghost town. Your company has laid you off because all the offices are being forced to close. You must leave the city that you love. Why? The city that floods almost every day no longer has fresh drinking water.

Unfortunately, this scenario might become a reality for most of South Florida’s residents, who receives their drinking water from one source, the Biscayne Aquifer. The aquifer serves residents in Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties.


Desalination loses more urgency in hyper-wet winter – California

Desalination began to lose its urgency among Californians and their public officials two years ago, after the drought-busting winter of 2016-17, when heavy rain and snow ended dry conditions in most of the state.

The idea of drawing potable water from the sea became even less of a priority this year, when an autumn of record-level fires gave way to one of the state’s wettest winters on record.

Reservoirs are brimming. Instead of desperately seeking new sources of water, Californians were moaning about the billions of excess gallons that washed into the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. Depleted aquifers began their path to replenishment, too, with snow levels in the water-producing Sierra Nevada Mountains far above normal.


Vancouver cleantech Mangrove Water receives $2.1 million from federal government – Canada

Vancouver-based water management cleantech Mangrove Water Technologies, has received a $2.1 million investment from the federal government as part of its Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) initiative.

Mangrove is developing a technology that simultaneously converts saline waste-water and waste-gases into desalinated water and value-added chemicals for on-site utilization.

The funding for the company will support its zero-discharge desalination technology, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas sector operations. “Mangrove has developed a distributed manufacturing platform that converts waste streams to chemicals on-site and on-demand and water for reuse,” said Saad Dara, co-founder and CEO of Mangrove Water.

“This not only simplifies logistics and reduces cost but also has significant environmental benefits around GHG reduction and water conservation.”


Bonds eyed for desalination plants – Hawaii

Legislators are considering a bill to authorize issuing special purpose revenue bonds to build and operate solar-powered saltwater desalination plants on Hawaii Island.

The measure would allow the Department of Budget and Finance to issue up to $100 million in special purpose revenue bonds to assist Trevi Systems Inc. and Kona Coast Water in bringing operational two or more plants to desalinate water using 100 percent renewable solar energy and supply it to customers on Hawaii Island, and potentially other islands as well.

Special-purpose revenue bonds allow the state to offer financing that helps private capital improvement projects considered to be in the public interest.

The bonds aren’t state funds and are instead bought by private investors.


Emergency cutback at Point Lisas desalination plant – Point Lisas – Trinidad

CUSTOMERS in parts of Central and South/West Trinidad will experience a disruption in their regular pipe-borne water supply because of a cutback in production at the Point Lisas desalination plant.

A release from the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) said the plant was producing ten million gallons per day (mgd), just 25 per cent of its capacity.