United States

Water & Wastewater Workers Considered Essential During COVID-19 Outbreak – California

10 workers are quarantined inside the Claude Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, California for the next three weeks. 

The workers are monitoring and adjusting gauges and switches, watching for leaks, and completing other tasks needed to safeguard San Diego County’s only significant local source of drinking water. All 10 volunteered themselves. The Carlsbad plant is home to 40 employees overall, reported the San Diego Tribune.

The request for volunteers was a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, reported the San Diego Tribune.

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Poseidon desal plant gets fresh analysis, but coronavirus delays Friday meeting – California

A water board staff report prepared for the meeting provides apparent justification for the board to approve the project, but it also notes the board may disagree and request a revision.

Poseidon Water needs just two more permits to go forward — one from the water board and then one from the Coastal Commission

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.

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U.S.-Israel consortium launches $21.4 million initiative to develop water-energy technologies

Northwestern University and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), announced today the initiation of a U.S.-Israel consortium led by both universities for the development of new technologies to solve global water challenges.

The multi-institutional, international program, called the Collaborative Water-Energy Research Center (CoWERC), has a total budget of $21.4 million, including a $9.2 million grant over 5 years from the U.S. Department of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of Energy together with the Israel Innovation Authority. CoWERC is part of the U.S.-Israel Energy Center program administered by the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

Working at the intersection of water and energy, the team will research, develop and commercialize technology in three areas: energy-efficient enhanced water supply, wastewater reuse and resource recovery, and energy-water systems. All CoWERC projects are binational and include university, national laboratory and industrial partners. Technology development efforts will culminate in pilot testing at water and wastewater facilities in both Israel and the U.S. After being validated, the new technologies could potentially be implemented around the world.

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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.

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Maestas: Poseidon Desalination Would Worsen Environmental Injustice in Orange County – California

What would California be without the beach? I grew up in Irvine with an awareness of how fortunate we are to live near the ocean. As a child, my parents and babysitters took me and my brother to Corona Del Mar and Newport Beach frequently during the summer.

I have many happy memories of enjoying the waves at “our beaches” while bodysurfing, building sandcastles, and seeing fish, anemones, sandcrabs, dolphins and jellyfish! We also took school field trips to Crystal Cove to learn about the ecosystem. These experiences taught me to respect the ocean and to understand that it is alive, a home for sea life and people.

That’s why it’s upsetting that our regional water board is moving closer to issuing permits for a project near my hometown that will harm our ocean, make us more vulnerable to climate change, and make our drinking water more expensive.

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EPA admin addresses plan to protect clean water in US – United States

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has outlined its plan to protect America’s clean water supply, but clean water advocates are warning of the dangers of said plans.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says he’s looking overseas for inspiration on how to protect the country’s clean water.

“They recycle between 88% and 94% of their water. Here in the U.S., we only recycle 6%. We can learn a lot from them,” Wheeler said of Israel.

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Possible Water Board hearing on desalination plant is nearing – California

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?

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New solar-powered system makes desalination ecofriendly – America

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.

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Why desalination can help quench California’s water needs – California

If you’ve ever created a personal budget, you know that assigning your money to different investment strategies is a crucial component to meet your financial goals.

When you stop dipping into your savings account each month, savings can begin to build.  

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.

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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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