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Cal Am desal plant gets narrow Planning Commission OK – California

Citing long-running efforts to secure a new Monterey Peninsula water supply and the state-imposed deadline for reducing unauthorized water usage, the county Planning Commission approved California American Water’s desalination plant north of Marina on Wednesday.

By a 6-4 vote, the commission backed a use permit for the proposed 6.4 million gallon per day desal plant. The plant is designed to provide about 40 percent of the Peninsula’s planned new water supply to offset the state’s Carmel River pumping cutback order set to take full effect at the end of 2021, as well as reduce pumping from the Seaside basin. The commission’s approval can be appealed to the Board of Supervisors.

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Santa Barbara Close to 2020 Renewable Energy Goal – California

With eight months left until the end of the year, the City of Santa Barbara is 8 percent shy of its goal to have half the power used by its municipal buildings come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Since the Santa Barbara City Council committed to the goal in 2017, the city started installing three small scale solar arrays, two at fire stations and the last at the Eastside Branch Library, which began going up only this past week, said Alelia Parenteau, Energy Program supervisor at city Public Works.

More solar arrays are being designed for the Santa Barbara airport and Granada Garage.

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Cal Am desal plant project goes to Monterey County Planning Commission – California

Considered by many the key to long-running efforts to cut unauthorized pumping from the Carmel River, California American Water’s proposed desalination plant project is headed to the Monterey County Planning Commission next week.

On Wednesday, the commission is set to conduct a public hearing on a combined development permit for the proposed 6.4-million-gallon-per-day desal plant on Charlie Benson Road off Del Monte Boulevard north of Marina.

The commission is charged with considering a use permit and administrative permit and design approval, for the desal plant and related facilities based on consideration of a combined environmental impact report and environmental impact statement certified by the California Public Utilities Commission in September.

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Oceanside takes step toward water independence with $2.6 million grant – California

Oceanside announced it will receive a $2.6 million federal grant to build two more of the wells that the city has used for more than 20 years to supply a portion of its drinking water.

The wells pump brackish water from what’s called the Mission Basin, an area near the airport, the old swap meet property and the San Luis Rey River.

The city filters the water using the same reverse osmosis process used on a much larger scale in Carlsbad to desalinate seawater.

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MIT Engineers Turn Desalination Waste into Useful Chemicals

Engineers from MIT have devised a new approach for turning desalination waste into useful chemicals.

Modern desalination processes often leave behind a lot of highly concentrated brine, which is usually disposed of by dumping it back into the sea.

This process requires costly pumping systems which have to be managed carefully to prevent damage to marine ecosystems. 

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MIT tech could let desalination plants use their own brine waste

When salt is removed from seawater in desalination plants, the byproduct is – not surprisingly – a lot of highly-concentrated salty brine.

Ordinarily, this is just dumped back into the sea, which can harm the environment. Thanks to a new treatment process, however, that brine could actually be used to desalinate more water.

Developed by a research team at MIT, the proprietary system incorporates what are described as “well-known and standard chemical processes.” These include a nano-filtration process to initially remove unwanted compounds from the brine, followed by one or more stages of electrodialysis.

As a result, the brine is converted into useful chemicals such as sodium hydroxide.

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Study of Brine Discharge from Desalination Plant Finds Good News and Bad News –

Before the Carlsbad Desalination Plant in Southern California began operations in 2015, scientists at UC Santa Cruz recognized an important opportunity to study the effects of the high-salinity brine that would be discharged from the plant into coastal waters.

Starting in 2014, they collected measurements of water chemistry and biological indicators in the area so they could compare conditions before and after the plant began discharging brine into the ocean.

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County Water Authority Refinances Bonds for Savings of $18 Million – San Diego

The San Diego County Water Authority announced Wednesday that it has saved nearly $18 million in debt payments by refinancing the bonds used to construct part of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

The savings topped prior projections of $13.6 million through June 2046, according to the Water Authority. A total of 45 investors, including J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Goldman Sachs, made nearly $2 billion in orders for the bonds.

Investors were attracted to the water authority’s strong credit and history of providing a reliable water supply, according to the agency.

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Clean water more than a pipe dream – California

Water scarcity is an ongoing problem in Southern California. Six of the last seven years have been drought years, leaving most of the region highly dependent upon imported water.

By using the best technology, sound management practices, public participation, and a balanced approach to human and environmental needs, Sweet-water Authority—known locally as the Authority—provides its customers clean, safe water from local water supplies.

The Authority is a publicly-owned agency that delivers water via 388 miles of pipeline to serve 190,000 people in a 32-square mile service area in Southern San Diego County.

The Authority’s customers were among the first in the region to benefit from a desalination (desal) process designed to treat “brackish,” or saline, groundwater to make it safe for human use.

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County desalination plant celebrates 40 billion gallons of drinking water – San Diego

Representatives from San Diego County and Poseidon Water held a celebration Thursday for the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant producing its 40 billionth gallon of drinking water.

The celebration also correlated with the third anniversary of the plant opening. The Carlsbad plant produces more than 50 million gallons of desalinated water each day and is the largest and most technologically advanced desalination plant in the U.S., according to the county.

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