USA

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.

(LINK).

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.

(LINK).

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. 

(LINK).

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.

(LINK).

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.

(LINK).

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.

(LINK).

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.

(LINK).

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Purifies 40 Billionth Gallon of Ocean Water – Carlsbad

The newest source of drinking water in our county just reached a major milestone.

Around 100 million gallons of seawater are pumped through the filters at the Carlsbad desalination plant every day. Within about three hours that water is purified and sent to the taps.

After three strong years, the plant just produced its 40 billionth gallon of drinking water. That’s enough water to fill a billion bathtubs, or fill every floor of the empire state building, 145 times.

(LINK).

El Paso to drink treated sewage water due to climate change drought – Texas

The people of El Paso, Texas, are resilient. Living in the middle of the harsh Chihuahuan Desert, the city has no other choice. On average, 15 days every year spike over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The city gets little relief with annual rainfall of just about 9 inches. It’s one of the hottest cities in the country.

One of its prime sources of water is the Rio Grande. Typically the river can supply as much as half of the city’s water needs.

(LINK).

Texas City to Guzzle Drinking Water from Treated Waste – Texas

The city of El Paso, Texas, may soon become the first large city in the US to use treated sewage water for its drinking water needs. 

The amount of snowmelt feeding the Rio Grande has dropped 25% since 1958 and is “critically low,” J. Phillip King, an adviser to the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, told CNN.

The use of treated wastewater will add a significant source of water to the city’s supplies.

(LINK).

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