United States

Decades in the making, Buena Vista Lagoon restoration plan finally approved – California

A long-sought compromise has been approved that will open the stagnant, reed-filled Buena Vista Lagoon to the sea and restore its native coastal marine habitat, but years of work remain before the transformation begins.

Disagreements over whether the lagoon at the border of Carlsbad and Oceanside should remain freshwater or be restored to saltwater have stalled the project for decades.

The final decision allows the removal of the weir, a low wooden dam at the mouth of the waterway that keeps out the ocean and holds back runoff from rain and irrigation.

Santa Barbara’s Water Outlook Foresees Sufficient Supply to Meet Demands Through Fall 2022 – California

Santa Barbara’s water supplies are on the way to recovery followed by three average or above-average rainy seasons.

The city’s water-supply forecasting shows there’s sufficient supply to meet demands through fall 2022, while allowing groundwater basins to slowly recover and rest, water supply analyst Dakota Corey told the city’s Water Commission at Thursday’s special meeting.

The availability of water from Gibraltar Reservoir, upstream on the Santa Ynez River, in the past few years as well as Santa Barbara’s desalination plant operation and water conservation have enabled the city to accumulate a significant amount of stored water in Lake Cachuma, Corey said.

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Online-Only Public Comment for Poseidon Desalination Plant Public Hearing Draws Criticism – California

A state regional water board is drawing public criticism in Orange County for holding meetings on a controversial  desalination plant in Huntington Beach, while public participation can only be done virtually amid the coronavirus health crisis.

The Santa Ana Regional Quality Control Board is meeting this morning to hold a public hearing on Poseidon Water’s request for a permit renewal for their facility, which would be built on 12 acres of a power plant and produce 50 million gallons of water per day, according to water district staff.

The project has remained controversial for years over what critics say will be drastic environmental damage and increased water rates. The approval process for Poseidon Water’s proposal has been marked by legal disputes, permit crusades and lobbying campaigns paid for by the company.

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Solar driving efficient electrochemical water treatment – California

A study from the University of California, Berkeley has illustrated the potential advantages and challenges of using PV to power electrochemical water treatment.

Researchers analyzed how the use of solar power could increase the competitiveness of electrochemical approaches such as electrocoagulation (EC), capacitive deionization (CDI), electrodialysis (ED) and electrodeionization (EDI).

The four methods examined, according to the scientists, are not as capital-intensive as traditional large-scale water treatment centers, while also being modular, portable and energy efficient. The use of solar could also make smaller electrochemical facilities suitable for desalination of brackish water in remote regions.

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Material shows promise for capacitive desalination – Virginia

This is the claim of Guoliang “Greg” Liu, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech who has conducted extensive research into the design and synthesis of porous carbon fibres. The material is composed of long, fibrous strands of carbon with uniform mesopores of approximately 10nm.

According to Virginia Tech, Liu sees the primary application of his porous carbon fibres in the automotive industry, where similar materials are used as the external shells of some luxury cars. Now, Liu reports capacitive desalination as a new application for this material.

“Because of the high surface area of the porous carbon fibres, we can store a lot of ions,” Liu said in a statement. “Because of the interconnected porous network, the ion movement is very fast inside the pores.”

(LINK).

US announces $9m prize for solar-powered desalination projects – United States

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a $9 million (£7m) prize for successful desalination projects, in a bid to bolster freshwater supply across the US.

The Solar Desalination Prize is focused on using solar-thermal energy to extract clean water from sources such as subsurface oil, concentrated brine and municipal facilities.

(LINK).

US said to question China’s role in bid to construct Israeli desalination plant – United States

US officials have questioned a China-tied company’s bid to construct a new desalination plant in Israel and have expressed concerns over the possibility of it winning the tender, Axios reported Saturday.

Hutchison Water International is one of two companies to have reached the final stage of the tender to build the Sorek B plant, set to be the largest desalination facility in the world, alongside IDE Technologies.

Hutchison is owned by Hong Kong-based holding company CK Hutchison Holdings.

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NREL Launches $9 Million Solar Desalination Prize Competition – Colorado

On April 28, with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) kicked off the Solar Desalination Prize, a $9 million competition that’s part of the American-Made Challenges series.

The competition is designed to accelerate the development of systems that use solar-thermal energy to produce clean drinking water from salt water.

NREL manages each of the American-Made Challenges for the DOE.

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SCWD Board Approves Path to By-District Elections – California

The South Coast Water District Board of Directors approved an interim settlement agreement Thursday that clears the way for the agency to transition to by-district voting in 2022.

If the directors approve the new voting system next year, SCWD would join the hundreds of other public agencies to move away from at-large voting under threat of lawsuits authorized by the California Voting Rights Act.

In January, SCWD received a demand letter from Newport Beach attorney Philip Greer who claims to represent a number of SCWD ratepayers concerned that at-large elections stymie candidates who represent the district’s racial and socio-economic diversity. District leaders immediately signaled their acquiescence to avoid a costly lawsuit.

(LINK).

Corpus Christi applies for $222 million loan for desalination plant in port’s Inner Harbor – Texas

The city of Corpus Christi is exploring securing $222 million in loans to pay for its first seawater desalination plant.

The City Council on Tuesday authorized its staff to apply to the Texas Water Development Board for the money.

The funds, if approved, would cover costs to both the design and build the facility in the Port of Corpus Christi’s Inner Harbor.

(LINK).

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