Desal Data Weekly - May 16, 2017

Posted 16 May, 2017 by Mandy

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Mekerot employees at the company’s Ashdod Desalination facility   Credit: Tomer Appelbaum  Haaretz

MEKOROT, the state-owned Israeli water company, has retreated from its ambition to enter the desalination business.[1]  Last week, an expose on the company’s finances revealed its $330 million debt accrued over the course of the past decade.  Delays with the company’s construction and reports of poor operation of a desalination plant in Ashdod form a significant part of its financial burden. The facility, worth roughly $444,800,000, went into operation last year—four years behind schedule—and has yet to work at full capacity due to...

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Desal Data Weekly - May 4th 2017

Posted 04 May, 2017 by Mandy

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In MOMBASA COUNTY, KENYA, the World Bank is supporting the development of three desalination facilities.[1] County officials are currently tendering two of the desalination plants on a build, operate, transfer basis.  They will soon request proposals from five shortlisted companies for the third facility.  It is expected that the plants will be located in the West Mainland, the North Mainland, and Likoni, where the World Bank is financing the construction of a new water network. The projects will be financed through public-private...

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Desal Data Weekly - April 24th, 2017

Posted 24 April, 2017 by Mandy

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 Credit: EWA

IN SOUTH AFRICA, a new public-private initiative may yield a large-scale desalination plant for Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape Province.[1]  The initiative involves officials from the beer maker SABMiller, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, and the salt producer Marina Sea Salt. The impetus for the project is the national government’s Business-Adopt-a-Municipality scheme—which seeks to strengthen municipal infrastructure by fostering closer ties between government, business, and state-owned entities.[2]



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DesalData Weekly - April 18th, 2017

Posted 18 April, 2017 by Mandy

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Credit: EWA

DUTCH company Hatenboer-Water has supplied three reverse osmosis units for an oil ship.[1]  The vessel, Pioneiro de Libra, is a Floating Production Storage and Offloading unit, which produces, processes, and stores oil.[2]  Two of the reverse osmosis units each produce 480 cubic metres of water for the oil separation process.  The third unit provides potable water.


SUEZ has taken the next step in refinancing its acquisition of GE Water, offering 600 million worth of undated, deeply subordinated hybrid bonds.[3]  In...

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DesalData Weekly - April 11th, 2017

Posted 11 April, 2017 by Mandy

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Credit: Gregory Bull/AP via the Christian Science Monitor

RESEARCHERS in England have created a graphene-based sieve for desalination, which may eventually be manufactured on an industrial scale.[1]    In 2004, scientists isolated graphene as a material with tremendous tensile strength and electrical conductivity—capable of filtering salts.  It is both two-hundred times stronger than steel and the thinnest material on earth: one million times thinner than a human hair.[2]

Until now, it has been difficult to produce large quantities of single-layer graphene membranes.  But...

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DesalData Weekly - April 3rd, 2017

Posted 03 April, 2017 by Mandy

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THE SOUTH KOREAN company, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, has acquired a (USD) $421 million contract to build a seawater reverse osmosis desalination facility in Saudi Arabia.[1]  The facility will provide water for 130,000 people in the vicinity of Shuaibah, approximately 110 kilometres south of Jeddah. 


LAST WEEK, Saudi Arabia and Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study for two nuclear reactors that will power seawater desalination in Jordan. Officials from the two countries...

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DesalData Weekly - March 29th, 2017

Posted 29 March, 2017 by Mandy

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Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico  Credit:

AFTER THE UNITED STATES’ presidential election, Consolidated Water’s proposed mega-project in Baja California faces an uncertain future.[1]  Last week, the company issued its annual performance report, which cited the decline of the exchange rate for the Mexican peso relative to the dollar, and the deterioration of “general macroeconomic conditions in Mexico.”[2]  Aguas de Rosarito, the company which was set up to deliver this project, has proposed to the Baja California State Water Commission (CEA) to increase the water tariff...

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DesalData Weekly - March 17th, 2017

Posted 17 March, 2017 by Mandy

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SEVERAL JAPANESE COMPANIES will provide Saudi Arabia to develop the country’s desalination market.  Earlier this month, when King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited the East Asian island-nation, twenty companies signed 20 memorandums of understanding. The JFE Engineering Corporation will provide the desalination systems, while the materials manufacturer, Toyobo, will develop water treatment membranes.[1]  Sasakura Engineering as well as several other companies will commercialize the facilities.[2]


SAUDI ARABIA has pledged to...

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DesalData Weekly - March 10th, 2017

Posted 10 March, 2017 by Mandy

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A home destroyed by fire near Haxtun, Colo.  Credit: Joe Amon/ The Denver Post, via Associated Press and the New York Times


SUEZ AND CANADA’S CDPQ will buy GE Water & Process Technologies for $3.37 billion (USD) in cash.[1]  Suez will purchase 70 percent of the business, and the Canadian company, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, will purchase the remaining 30 percent. Suez chief executive, Jean-Louis Chaussade, has stated that the acquisition of GE Water abides by the company’s strategy to strengthen its position in the industrial water market.[2]


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The recently collapsed Azure Window of Gozo, Malta  Credit: Darrin Zammit Lupi via...

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DesalData Weekly - March 3rd, 2017

Posted 03 March, 2017 by Mandy

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INDIA’S SUPREME COURT has issued a landmark ruling to stop industrial operators from polluting the nation’s waterways.  The ruling requires operators to install primary effluent treatment plants (PETPs).[1] Chief Justice J.S. Khehar directed all state pollution control boards to officially inform all operators producing wastewater that they must install PETPs within three months. If they do not comply to these requirements, the government will disconnect their power supplies.


MEANWHILE, IN CHENNAI, the Expert Appraisal Committee of...

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DesalData Weekly - February 24th, 2017

Posted 24 February, 2017 by Mandy

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Shamsuldeen Ahmed Saed and Haitham Younis Wahab fixing a water pump in Mosul, Iraq

Credit: Ben Solomon/ The New York Times

AFTER 100 DAYS of combat, the water and sewage system in an eastern Mosul neighborhood collapsed.[1]  Last week, two men decided to fix the despairing situation. Haitham Younis Wahab and his neighbor, Shamsuldeen Ahmed Saed, pulled out the sledgehammers, steel pipes, and shovels and started digging. Several days and 26 feet later, the men hit water.

All across the Rashidiya neighborhood, other residents have also dug fresh wells to retrieve water. But most have only been able to use this water for washing and cleaning.  For potable...

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DesalData Weekly - February 17th, 2017

Posted 17 February, 2017 by Mandy

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AS PART of a $183 million-dollar deal, Hyflux will deliver three seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants to Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC).[1]  The company’s Saudi subsidiary has signed a memorandum of understanding with SWCC “to design, build, supply, test, and commission” three plants along the shores of the Red Sea.[2] Each plant will have a capacity of 16,000 cubic metres of water per day.


Singapore’s Public Utilities Board has shortlisted four companies to develop the nation’s fifth desalination...

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DesalData Weekly - February 10th, 2017

Posted 10 February, 2017 by Mandy

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Credit: Time Magazine

LAST WEEK, the Trump administration purportedly leaked a document that identified a list of 50 “Emergency & National Security Projects.”[1]  The document identified projects worth a total of $137.5 billion, with 50 percent of this capital deriving from private investment. Poseidon Water’s Huntington Beach facility features as one of the nation’s key infrastructure projects.[2]  


The document promotes the desalination project as “a cost-effective, environmentally sensitive solution” for providing “a safe and reliable...

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DesalData Weekly - February 7th, 2017

Posted 07 February, 2017 by Mandy

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The Gachsaran Oil and Gas Production Company in Iran is set to build two new desalination plants.  These plants will increase the production of crude oil by 15,000 barrels per day.[1]  They will also improve the production quality of oil and prevent the decline of refinery feedstock.[2]   Gachsaran has crude oil extraction sites in three provinces of southern Iran (Khuzestan, Bushehr, and Fars). However, it is not yet clear which of these facilities will undergo the planned works.[3]


In the Gaza Strip, a new EU and...

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DesalData Weekly - January 27th, 2017

Posted 27 January, 2017 by Mandy

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Credit: Anne Barnard/ The New York Times

In the ancient city of Damascus, the capital of Syria, millions of people have been suffering from an acute water crisis.  As reported in The New York Times, drinking water is the latest casualty of conflict.[1]   The violence of war has brought with it the despair of dry taps.  

The creative adaptations and resilience of Damascus residents is in full swing. In one woman’s words: “‘When you cut off the water, we dig for water. When you cut off the tap, we make a tap.’”


The Barada Valley, north of Damascus, provides...

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DesalData Weekly - January 20th, 2017

Posted 20 January, 2017 by Mandy

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Credit: Markus Reugels

In November 2016, India and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on water management and development. The countries identified desalination as a key point of focus for their collaboration.  India’s Minister of State for Water Resources, Sanjeev Balyan, pointed to the country’s interest in developing desalination technology via the Department of Science & Technology.  The department has supported reverse osmosis technology for brackish- and seawater-desalination plants, as well as hybrid solar technologies...

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DesalData Weekly - January 16th, 2017

Posted 16 January, 2017 by Mandy

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Wellington Dam   Credit: ABC News/ Andrew O’Connor

In western Australia, the Government of Premier Colin Barnett has committed $37 million to the $380 million project for works on the Wellington Dam. This money would be allocated towards diverting water from the Collie River away from the Dam—in order to desalinate it for farmers.  Premier Barnett indicated that this plan would help drop salinity levels in the dam by over 50 percent, over the next few years.[1] Even though the dam is western Australia’s second largest surface water reservoir—drought has rendered the water highly saline,...

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DesalData Weekly - December 22nd, 2016

Posted 22 December, 2016 by Mandy

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Prince Charles and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, chairman of Masdar   Credit: Reuters/ The National UAE

In Abu Dhabi, Masdar will present the technical results of a pilot program that may seeks to advance environmentally-friendly desalination in the commercial sector.[1]  The program began last year with four small-scale plants that tested renewable energies; and concluded with five plants. French engineering company Mascara added the final plant to the program this past October.[2]


Last month, Prince Charles visited Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology during his state visit.[3]  Ms. Al Mazrui, the Minister of...

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DesalData Weekly - December 20th, 2016

Posted 20 December, 2016 by Mandy

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Site of a proposed Poseidon desalination project for Huntington Beach   Credit: Allen Schaben/ Los Angeles Times

Poseidon is currently awaiting the outcome of its planned desalination facility in Huntington Beach, California.  The company has attempted to employ an exemption in new legislation, which requires desalination facilities to use subsurface intakes to collect seawater—unless these intakes prove economically or technically infeasible.[1]


Over the years, the company has vigorously lobbied California state regulators.  The Los Angeles Times reports that Poseidon has spent more than $1.6 million on lobbying as well as campaign...

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DesalData Weekly - December 13th, 2016

Posted 13 December, 2016 by Mandy

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Credit: Amy Taxin/ AP

The fate of Poseidon’s desalination plant in Huntington Beach, California has yet to be determined.[1]  New legislation ratified by the Environmental Protection Agency in April 2016 requires desalination plants in California to use subsurface intake pipes to collect seawater from coastal aquifers and/or off-shore aquifers beneath the ocean floor.[2]  However, if economic or technical issues make the use of subsurface intakes unfeasible, desalination plants may use open intakes instead.  These structures collect water directly...

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DesalData Weekly - December 6th, 2016

Posted 06 December, 2016 by Mandy

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Credit: BBC/ EPA

A civil war in Yemen has devastated the nation and its water infrastructure. The government of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi is engaged in an ongoing conflict over the fate of the nation with Houthi rebel forces.  Since March 2015, more than 6,800 people have been killed, and 35,000 people who have been injured.[1]  Amid this devastation, the nation’s water infrastructure has also been under attack.[2]


A list of alleged attacks on Yemeni water infrastructure includes a January 2016 attack on a seawater desalination plant located...

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DesalData Weekly - December 2nd, 2016

Posted 02 December, 2016 by Mandy

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In Bushehr, Iran, along the Persian Gulf, officials are building nuclear power plants that will be paired with two desalination facilities.[1]  Each facility will have the capacity to produce 200,000 cubic metres of water per day. 

In early December, the country’s central bank will release the first payment for the two plants, which cost a combined total of USD $9.4 million.[2]


The city council of San Diego will soon introduce a water reuse scheme known as Pure Water.[3]  By 2021, the $3 billion (USD) scheme will recycle...

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DesalData Weekly - November 20th, 2016

Posted 20 November, 2016 by Mandy

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The new desalination plant will be located near this Chennai beach, close to the Bay of Bengal  Credit:

In Chennai, India, the municipal water agency Metrowater has issued tenders for a new reverse osmosis plant near the Bay of Bengal.  Metrowater is now pursuing bids for a 20-year design and build contract; consultancy services for supervised construction; and monitoring services for environmental and social impact.[1]


The new facility will become Chennai’s third desalination plant.  It is expected to produce 150,000 cubic metres of water per day, which will be carried 40 kilometres within Chennai, from a location next to...

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DesalData Weekly - October 31st, 2016

Posted 31 October, 2016 by Mandy

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Credit: Sally Deng/ New York Times
As reported in a recent New York Times op-ed, “water poverty exist in nearly every state” across the United States.  This fact came as a surprise to George McGraw, founder and executive director of Digdeep, a non-profit focused on providing clean water to people around the world.[1]  As McGraw explains, protests against the Dakota Access pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation are a reminder that access to clean water remains a problem for many Americans; however, “long-running water emergencies fester in near-total obscurity...

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DesalData Weekly - October 16th, 2016

Posted 16 October, 2016 by Mandy

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Credit: Middle East Eye

Eventually, the Gulf States of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain may have to contend with the presence of “peak salt”: the moment when ecological factors make desalination economically unfeasible.  As reported in The Guardian, the region’s steady increases in desalination may increase the quantity of brine that is pumped into the Gulf, and increase the cost of the desalination process.[1] 
“The 250,000 square kilometre Gulf is more like a salt-water lake than a sea”: it is very shallow and almost entirely enclosed;...

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DesalData Weekly - October 13th, 2016

Posted 13 October, 2016 by Mandy

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Last week, Chinese officials commissioned a desalination plant in the contested territory of the South China Sea.  As reported in the Times of India, China is looking to strengthen its presence in the maritime region, having hitherto invested in island-building and naval patrols.[1] The neighbouring countries of Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei also claim to sovereignty over the South China Sea (SCS), and its island chains, the Paracels and the Spratlys. The sea is an important base for maritime fishing operations,...

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DesalData Weekly - October 5th, 2016

Posted 05 October, 2016 by Mandy

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Iranian farmer, Karim Baluchi, loading hay onto a truck in Qiyasabad, Iran.  Credit: Carolyn Cole/ Los Angeles Times

Persistent drought in Iran is changing the landscape, and the lives of those who tend to it. Across a parched farm belt, 60 miles southeast of Tehran, “Watermelons once sprung from th[e] soil, the giant striped fruit dotting the arid landscape like mushrooms after a rain.”[1]  Now, “the dusty earth crunches underfoot like biscuits.” As reported in The Los Angeles Times, farmers in Iran, like those in California’s Central Valley, have suffered deeply from the damaging effects of persistent drought. Problems with “environmental...

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DesalData Weekly - September 23, 2016

Posted 23 September, 2016 by Mandy

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The California Coastal Commission during a hearing earlier this month   Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

This month, a small, non-profit organization, Spotlight on Coastal Corruption, served a lawsuit against five California Coastal Commissioners.[1]  As reported in the Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit could cost the commissioners “millions of dollars in civil fines if the courts confirm hundreds of alleged transparency rule violations.”  The non-profit pursuing the lawsuit has formed “solely to pursue the allegations”—which includes a list of 590 violations of “disclosure laws for so-called ex-parte communications” in the past two...

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DesalData Weekly - September 16th, 2016

Posted 16 September, 2016 by Mandy

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Victoria’s Desalination Plant in Dalyston  Credit: Jake Nowakowski and the Herald Sun

In Australia, officials in the state of Victoria have placed a “controversial” $27 million order for desalinated water—even though water levels have surged in dams across the state.[1]  Water Minister Lisa Neville explained that high rainfall at this time of year did not preclude the need for the year-round “insurance policy” that the Wonthaggi Desalination plant provides.  Minister Neville also stated that Aquasure, the plant’s operator, would charge Victoria’s residents a hefty price if the government had cancelled its...

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DesalData Weekly - September 9th, 2016

Posted 09 September, 2016 by Mandy

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Representation of the future facility   Credit: Reuters

In the state of Johor in southern Malaysia, the government will collaborate with the private sector to create a desalination plant.  Located near Forest City, the proposed plant is poised to become the largest in the nation.  According to the chairman of the state-run Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee, Datuk Hasni Mohammad, Johor state will also explore other options for expanding its water supply (through focus on groundwater resources and rainwater harvesting).[1] 


Meanwhile, this summer, a lack of...

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DesalData Weekly is a roundup of recent developments in international desalination news. We summarise the important facts and stories in one convenient place to keep you up-to-date on new plant developments, research and development, and company news, among others. Sign up below to have DesalData Weekly mailed directly to your inbox.

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