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 - September 2nd, 2016

Posted 02 September, 2016 by Mandy

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A representation of the proposed desalination plant in Baja California   Credit: NSC Agua

Plans for Baja California’s Rosarito Beach desalination facility are moving forward with a contract for public-private partnership.  The plant will become the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.  At full capacity, it will produce 378,500 cubic metres of water per day—which is twice the capacity of the Carlsbad desalination plant.[1]  As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune, the contract stipulates that a private consortium will build the facility in two phases: the first phase will launch in 2019 or 2020,...

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DesalData Weekly - August 26th, 2016

Posted 26 August, 2016 by Mandy

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Diplomacy between Turkey and Israel has enabled plans for a new desalination plant in Palestine.  In June, the two countries conducted negotiations that ended diplomatic discord that had lasted for six years.  The root of the conflict dated to May 2010, when relations between the long-time allies became strained: Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists aboard a ship that was attempting to break through an Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza.[1]  The détente appears to reconcile the objective of the larger Turkish flotilla,...

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DesalData Weekly - August 13th, 2016

Posted 13 August, 2016 by Mandy

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A new 150,000 m3/d desalination plant will soon be constructed at Egypt’s East Port Said.  This plant will become one of the five desalination plants that the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development will develop on the Sinai Peninsula—as part of a three-year, $900 million investment programme.  Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation and the Kuwait Fund have entered into a $211 million agreement to construct the plant.[1] 


This week in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, government officials and members of the UN Department of...

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DesalData Weekly - August 4th, 2016

Posted 04 August, 2016 by Mandy

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Topography of the Monterey Canyon, the deepest submarine canyon in the North American West
Credit: New Atlas

Monterey Canyon—one of the world’s deepest submarine canyons—may soon become the source of water for a proposed desalination plant in central California.  While the canyon runs more than 3 kilometres deep into the earth, the proposed plant would draw water from an intake pipe located only 40 metres below ground level, and 300 metres from the shore.[1]  This Deep Water Desal project would ameliorate the water shortages affecting the Monterey Bay region, which has no access to California’s State Water Project, a water system that...

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DesalData Weekly - August 1st, 2016

Posted 01 August, 2016 by Mandy

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Sorek Desalination Plant  Credit: IDE Technologies/ Ensia

Water has been a source of political turmoil in the Middle East, but it may also become a source of political union.  Scientists at Israel’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research believe that Israel’s water management strategies and new infrastructure could help other countries in the Middle East.  Over the past few years, Israel has produced water-saving measures and desalination plants that have eliminated the nation’s water scarcity, including new techniques in drip irrigation, water treatment, and desalination pioneered by...

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DesalData Weekly - July 20th, 2016

Posted 20 July, 2016 by Mandy

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Credit: Globes

Along the coastline of the western U.S. and Mexico, officials have pursued desalination as a means of addressing water-scarcity issues.  In California, Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora, desalination plants are “being planned, under construction, or in operation”; even inland states in the southwestern U.S. are looking towards the glistening Pacific for their own supply of freshwater.  Across the American West and southwards into Mexico, building plans and climactic changes point to the invariable expansion of the...

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DesalData Weekly - July 13th, 2016

Posted 13 July, 2016 by Mandy

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 Credit: International Middle East Media Center

This week, the Turkish Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs reported that Turkey will establish a $300 million (USD) desalination plant for water-deprived Palestinians.[1]  While the daily capacity of the newly planned facility is not clear—it may well exceed that of an existing EU-funded desalination plant which will eventually provide clean water for 150,000 Gazans (for whom more than 95% of the existing water supply is unfit for consumption).  According to the International Middle East Media Center, “the project is big-ticket”...

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DesalData Weekly - July 7th, 2016

Posted 07 July, 2016 by Mandy

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Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County   Source: Wikimedia Commons

Diablo Canyon—the nuclear power plant that provides California with 7 percent of its electricity—will soon close.  In 2024 and 2025, the plant will shut down its two reactors to implement “lower-cost zero-carbon energy sources.”  This decision was the result of extensive negotiations conducted by the owner of the plant, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), unions, and environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth and the Natural Resources Defence Council.[1]  


The power plant’s desalination facility, which can...

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DesalData Weekly - June 29th, 2016

Posted 29 June, 2016 by Mandy

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Credit: Tehran Times

Doosan Heavy Industries has landed a $185.9 million desalination deal in Iran.  The South Korean company won the contract from Iran’s Sazeh Sazan Company, to build a seawater reverse osmosis plant in the country.[1]  According to Doosan, the deal is “the first SWRO procurement a foreign company clinched from Iran since international sanctions were lifted early this year.”[2]

The city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Iran’s Hormozgan Province, will house the project.  In October 2018, once construction is completed, the plant...

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DesalData Weekly - June 23rd, 2016

Posted 23 June, 2016 by Mandy

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The Episkopi Desalination Plant in 2013  Credit: Cyprus Mai

The Cypriot government will spend approximately 50 million on desalinated water this year.[1]  The reservoirs in Cyprus are currently at 34 percent of their capacity—23 percent less full than they were last year at this time.  Faring worst among the country’s dams is the largest one, the Kouris, which is now at 16 percent capacity.  

Despite this intensive water scarcity, Andreas Manoli, the director of the water development department, has said that the state will not cut water supplies to the public, including farmers. ...

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DesalData Weekly - June 20th, 2016

Posted 20 June, 2016 by Mandy

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Credit: EU Neighborhood Info Centre

Last week, EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn visited Gaza’s EU-funded seawater desalination plant. Mr. Hahn, responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, spoke directly to the dire need for the plant in Palestine: “Water and natural resources have been significantly damaged after the continuous years of closure and conflicts in Gaza. As a consequence, nearly 95% of water in Gaza is considered unfit for human consumption. Therefore we are supporting this plant that will provide clean fresh water for 150,000...

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DesalData Weekly - June 8th, 2016

Posted 08 June, 2016 by Mandy

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Cabo Pulmo National Park, Gulf of California, Baja California, Mexico  Credit: National Geographic

By 2019, Egypt plans to build 5 desalination plants.[1]  A US$98.6 million loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development funds the multi-part project to develop the Sinai Peninsula. Once completed, El Tor will become home to the largest plant, off the shores of South Sinai, and Ras Sedr, Abu Zenima, Daha, and Nuwaiba, will house the other four plants. 


Baja California officials are reportedly building a desalination plant in San Quintín without permits.[2]  Governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid announced the start...

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DesalData Weekly - June 1st, 2016

Posted 01 June, 2016 by Mandy

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Photograph of T Park  Credit: Hong Kong Government[3]

In mid-May, Hong Kong’s government opened T-Park—the world’s largest sewage treatment plant.  The plant has the capacity to treat waste from the city’s 7.2 million residents.[1]  This facility heralds a significant transition in “Hong Kong’s waste-to-energy journey.”[2]  The “T”, after all, stands for transformation.

The complex uses a variety of advanced technologies, including desalination and power generation, to treat up to 2,000 tonnes of waste per day—and to decrease the volume of sludge by 90 percent.  T-Park’s...

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DesalData Weekly - May 25th, 2016

Posted 25 May, 2016 by Mandy

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A boy in a pool in Long Beach, California  Credit: The Atlantic

Last week, California officials suspended mandatory state-wide reductions in water use.  Local communities were told “to set their own conservation standards.”[1]  This swift legislative change is a drastic one.  Last year, Governor Brown ordered all districts and the 411 suppliers to collectively cut 25 percent of their water use:  “For a year, car-obsessed L.A. went without a wash.  Suburban lawns turned sallow, then brown, until finally people gave up and spray-painted their grass green.”[2]  In March, El...

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DesalData Weekly - May 18th, 2016

Posted 18 May, 2016 by Mandy

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A dried maize plant in a field in South Africa’s Free State Province   Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters[3]

South Africa and Iran have partnered to develop desalination plants along their respective countries’ extensive coastlines.[1]  Both nations are in the midst of intensive drought. 

South Africa is dealing with its most severe water shortages in 30 years.  While the South African Weather Services identifies the source of the drought as El Nino, climate change is also a contributing factor in the lack of rain.  Farmers are losing business, food prices are increasing, and the government has declared 5 of its 9 provinces as “...

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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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