United States

Desalination Plant Can Transform Monterey Peninsula And Help Avert Water Crisis – California

Nobody likes to look out to the Pacific Ocean and see oil derricks on the horizon. That’s why California wisely banned new offshore oil drilling 50 years ago.

But in Monterey County, coastal views are limited by a relic of a bygone era: a giant, industrial sand plant right on the dunes between Highway One and the ocean.

In 2017, the California Coastal Commission reached an agreement with the sand plant for operations to shut down by 2020 and for all buildings and equipment to be removed by 2023.

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Composites’ role in seawater reverse osmosis desalination – California

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.

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As Groundwater Basins ‘Rest,’ Santa Barbara Looks to Reservoirs for Future Water Supplies – California

This winter has started out as a wet one, but even if the rain tapers off, Santa Barbara can meet the water demands of its customers through 2022 with existing supplies, according to city staff.

It’s been more than eight years since Lake Cachuma filled up and spilled, and groundwater basins all over Santa Barbara County are at historically low levels after being heavily pumped during the long drought.

Groundwater well pumps are off to help basins “rest,” and it will take an estimated five years for the basins to recover from the drought, water supply analyst Dakota Corey told the city’s Water Commission at Thursday’s meeting. That’s how long it took after the drought in the early 1990s, she said.

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Water Authority Offers to Settle Long-Running Rate Dispute with MWD – California

The San Diego County Water Authority’s board offered Thursday to settle a long-running dispute over rates with the giant Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

The offer, made following a special board meeting, asks MWD to make $140 million in payments to San Diego County water customers to cover claims from 2011 through 2020 and, in the future, follow new, transparent procedures in setting water rates.

“The Water Authority’s proposal would benefit residents across San Diego County, enhance understanding of how MWD’s rates are set, and provide more opportunities for our agencies to collaborate in ways that would benefit water management across the Southwest,” said Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer.

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Final vote on proposed desalination plant permit in Huntington Beach expected in April – California

The Santa Ana Regional Water Board held a workshop on Dec. 6 on the permit renewal of Poseidon Water’s proposed Huntington Beach desalination project; the permit is on pace for a final vote in April 2020.

Poseidon Water is seeking to build a $1 billion desalination plant on a 12-acre parcel at the current AES Huntington Beach Generating Station on Newland Street. Previous permits were issued in 2006 and 2012, under which no construction took place. The proposed permit is the third generation of the discharger’s permit.

The facility would produce an average volume of 50 million gallons per day (MGD) of potable water from salt water from the Pacific Ocean through a reverse osmosis process. The plant would use the AES intake and discharge systems, but would be required to modify the systems to reduce intake and mortality to all forms of marine life before beginning operation.

Huntington Beach desalination plant eyes approval, but foes turn out in force – California

With Poseidon Water’s plans for a Huntington Beach desalination plant approaching the homestretch, critics were as adamant as ever at a Friday workshop, where dozens complained the proposal is environmentally flawed, unneeded and would jack up water rates.

The meeting of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board was called to review a draft permit and solicit public comment in advance of a scheduled April 3 vote on the final permit.

Approval rides on whether the board determines the drought-proof project will “use the best available site, design, technology and mitigation measures feasible to minimize the intake and mortality of all forms of marine life.”

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Residents to have their say on Belmont desalination plant – New York

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is asking for community feedback on an application by Hunter Water for a drought response desalination plant at Belmont.

Executive Director, Infrastructure Assessments, David Gainsford, said community input is a vital part of the planning process and encouraged everyone to have their say on the draft proposal.

“Hunter Water has lodged a State Significant Infrastructure application for a desalination plant at Belmont which could be used to supplement the Lower Hunter’s water supplies during times of extreme drought,” Mr Gainsford said.

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EIR for desal project approved – United States

Ocean water desalination, in which salt and other compounds would be removed from water in the Pacific and introduced into the water supply for drinking and other potential uses, could have numerous potential benefits, West Basin said, including “reducing reliance on imported water, improving water security through increased local control of water supplies,” and “improving climate resiliency” by providing a water source that is not dependent on the shifting volume of rain and snow that arrives each year.

Opponents, however, have said that the project poses significant environmental issues. The desalination process is energy-intensive, even more so than carrying imported water hundreds of miles from other parts of the state.

And it also arrives as alternatives for enhancing the water supply, many of them focused around water recycling and which are less energy-intensive, are becoming more widespread. 

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SCWD Examines Drilling Plan for Desal Plant – California

An engineering firm advising the South Coast Water District on its proposed Doheny desalination project was summoned Thursday, Nov. 14, to explain how officials might mitigate the risks of using a relatively-new drilling method to siphon seawater from beneath the ocean floor.

Brian Villalobos, principal geohyrdrologist for GEOSCIENCE Support Services, told the SCWD Board of Directors that drilling slant wells, rather than vertical or horizontal wells, off Doheny State Beach is ideal because of the dynamic hydrological and environmental conditions. Villalobos said alternatives to the proposed project would have a greater impact on San Juan Creek’s lagoon and stream flow.

“We felt these weren’t acceptable because of all the problems they would create, and they’re not really solving problems,” Villalobos said.

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Monterey Bay Desalination Plant Debated by Coastal Commission – California

The Monterey Peninsula is running out of water.

The fog-shrouded, cypress-dotted land formation jutting into the Pacific Ocean forming the southern reach of the Monterey Bay is drying up as underground water aquifers become increasingly depleted.

The lack of water inhibits economic growth, prevents the development of housing – including the affordable variety – and restricts commercial opportunity.

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