DesalData Weekly - May 11th, 2016

Posted 11 May, 2016 by Mandy

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Later this month, Dubai’s first solar desalination plant is set to open at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.  A photovoltaic array powers the plant, which will produce 50 cubic metres of water per day.  This initiative bolsters the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to provide 7 percent of the city’s energy from clean energy sources by 2020—and 75 percent by 2050.[1] 

The managing director and chief executive officer of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, has stated that...

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DesalData Weekly - May 5th, 2016

Posted 05 May, 2016 by Mandy

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The coastline along San Diego County North   Credit: JRo [3]

San Diego currently imports 57 percent of its water supply—compared to 95 percent a quarter of a century ago.[1]  As reported in the Wall Street Journal, San Diego transformed from being “one of the most vulnerable areas” during drought in California—to “one of the best prepared.”  Rather than transporting water hundreds of miles from Northern California and the Colorado River, the city now relies on treated water.  Although this has come at a great cost.  Water officials have managed more than $2 billion in investments,...

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DesalData Weekly - April 27th, 2016

Posted 27 April, 2016 by Mandy

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Desalination plant in Paphos

In Paphos, an ancient coastal city in southwestern Cyprus, the fate of an idle desalination plant is mired in a standoff.  According to a Cypriot paper, the government’s Water Development Department is “calling for the demolition of the temporary desalination plant” built on government land—“but the operator is refusing to flatten the area and wants to sell it instead” at a cost of 5 million (USD $5,650,500).[1]  The plant went online in 2011, and was operational for only four months.  It was constructed in response to a...

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DesalData Weekly - April 20th, 2016

Posted 22 April, 2016 by Mandy

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In early April, Cebu City’s water crisis led to the declaration of a state of emergency.  Credit: The Big Wobble

In the Philippines, two Christian groups have offered desalination equipment to the Cebu Provincial Government, home to the country’s “second city.”[1]  Cebu, which was Spain’s first Filipino settlement in the sixteenth century, is the country’s second most populous metropolitan area after Metro Manila.  The desalination facilities, made by Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines and The Church of the Latter-Day Saints, will alleviate some of the intensive water shortages that plague the region.  As reported in CNN, on April...

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DesalData Weekly - April 13th, 2016

Posted 13 April, 2016 by Mandy

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A hydrologist overlooking Zambia’s Zambezi River   Credit: Joao Silva/ New York Times [3]

In Zambia, climate change has brought about a severe drought that threatens the viability of the hydroelectric Kariba Dam—one of the largest in the world. As reported in the New York Times, when drought previously took hold in the country, the Kariba Dam remained “a steady, and seemingly limitless, source of something rare in Africa: electricity so cheap and plentiful that Zambia could export some to its neighbors.”[1]  The Kariba allowed Zambia’s economy to grow, and also contributed to political stability.  However, the severity...

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DesalData Weekly - April 6th, 2016

Posted 06 April, 2016 by Mandy


Area where the South Coast Water District aims to build a new facility (Don Leach/Coastline Pilot) [2]

California’s South Coast Water District wants to build a new desalination facility that may produce up to 56,780 cubic metres of water a day.  The Water District endeavours to construct the facility on its property in Dana Point (121,406 square metres in size), near San Juan Creek.[1]   Late last week, water district officials announced their intent to carry out an environmental impact report for the facility.

Currently, the South Coast Water District is the only agency that supports the Doheny Ocean Desalination Project. ...

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DesalData Weekly - March 30th, 2016

Posted 30 March, 2016 by Mandy

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An Indian farmer in his paddy field (Kameswar Rao/ Indian Express)

In Aurangabad, India, the state government is pursuing the possible construction of a desalination plant near Mumbai to ameliorate the “perennial water scarcity” in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra state.[1]  Years of limited rainfall, crop failure, and insufficient social support services has spurred a suicide epidemic among Marathwada’s farmers.  In 2015—when Marathwada reported the highest post-Monsoon rainfall deficit in India—more than 1,100 farmers committed suicide across the region’s eight districts (among 3,000...

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DesalData Weekly - March 23rd, 2016

Posted 23 March, 2016 by Mandy

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

In San Luis Obispo County, local officials support the proposal to expand the desalination plant of Diablo Canyon Power Plant.[1]   The power plant produces 7 percent of the California residents’ electricity needs, and its desalination facility is capable of producing 5,678 cubic metres of water a day—although it currently produces 40 percent of its full capacity.  After the proposed expansion, the desalination plant would supply up to 1,604,000 cubic metres of water a year to South County residents. 

This week, San Luis...

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DesalData Weekly - March 16th, 2016

Posted 16 March, 2016 by Mandy


The Presidente Juarez thermoelectric plant in Rosarito Beach   Credit: San Diego Water Authority/San Diego Union-Tribune

In Baja California, the Mexican company NSC Agua is hoping to build a ground-breaking desalination project that would become the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.[1]  However, as reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the two groups that jointly proposed to build the plant are suing each other in U.S. and Mexican courts.

Since June 2015, San Diego resident Gough Thompson has been seeking legal redress against his partners for illegally pushing him out of the project in February 2012 “without his knowledge or consent...

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DesalData Weekly - March 9th, 2016

Posted 09 March, 2016 by Mandy


Victoria’s Desalination Plant, near Wonthaggi  Credit: John Gollings/The Age 

In southeastern Australia, state government officials have ordered 50 million cubic metres of water from the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant.[1]  The order will add roughly $12 AUD ($8.98 USD) to customer bills over the course of the year—amounting to a yearly total of $27 million AUD ($20,206,800 USD)—in addition to the $608 million AUD ($455,118,400 USD) cost of plant maintenance.[2]  Steady drops in Victoria’s water storages triggered the order, with Melbourne’s dams dipping just below the 65 percent benchmark that is identified as...

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DesalData Weekly - March 2nd, 2016

Posted 02 March, 2016 by Mandy


Wonthaggi Desalination Plant Credit: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

At MIT, researchers are making good progress with their development of a solar-powered desalination system that can drastically increase groundwater in Indian villages.  After two years of “detective work,” Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Amos Winter, MIT PhD candidate, Natasha Wright, and a team of researchers developed a prize-winning, solar-powered, electrodialysis desalination system to address water shortages across India.[1]

After winning USAID’s Desal Prize in April 2015, Professor Winter reports that the...

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DesalData Weekly - February 24th, 2016

Posted 24 February, 2016 by Mandy


Southern California Water Districts are currently supporting large-scale desalination projects

In the small coastal city of Manhattan Beach, in southwest Los Angeles, the City Council has opposed the construction of a seawater desalination plant.  The West Basin Municipal Water District proposed the construction of a $300 million (USD) plant that would produce between 75,710 and 227,100 cubic metres water a day for the West Basin’s service area, which encompasses 17 cities that are located mostly in South Bay.[1]

The West Basin Water District is currently preparing an environmental impact report for the plant, which will be...

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DesalData Weekly - February 17th, 2016

Posted 17 February, 2016 by Mandy


Charles Lester, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission (Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times)

In California this week, state legislators introduced legislation that would require the California Coastal Commission to “disclose the use and payment of professional lobbyists.”[1]  The intent of the bill is to ensure that the agency’s relationships with interest groups are transparent to the public:  this means that the 44-year old coastal agency would be subject to the same reporting requirements of government agencies.[2]

Assemblyman Mark Stone, a co-author of the bill, stated that the influence of “certain lobbyists” on the...

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DesalData Weekly - February 10th, 2016

Posted 10 February, 2016 by Mandy


An engineer at Carlsbad, overlooking filters that remove impurities from seawater   Credit: Chris Jennewein

The Japanese industrial and engineering firm, Hitachi Zosen Corp., has designed a desalination system that uses heat from waste incineration.[1]  Hitachi Zosen developed this desalination system with a view towards promoting its use in the Middle East.   The system desalinates water through reverse osmosis and distillation.  The burned waste enables the production of water, either by turning a turbine to generate electricity for the reverse osmosis process; or, by directly providing heat for a distillation process. ...

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DesalData Weekly - February 3rd, 2016

Posted 03 February, 2016 by Mandy


Saint Kitts and Nevis   Credit: Henry Zbysynski/ Flickr

The government of the dual-island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis may use seawater desalination to offset water shortages.  The Caribbean nation’s Minister of Public Infrastructure, Ian Liburd, has revealed that the government may reactivate an existing reverse osmosis desalination plant at La Valle.  Liburd indicated the government is examining the cost of relocating the La Valle plant to a more suitable location in the Basseterre area; and it is also discussing the use of mobile reverse osmosis plants.[1]


The Indian...

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DesalData Weekly - January 27th, 2016

Posted 27 January, 2016 by Mandy


Filtration tanks at Santa Barbara’s Charles E. Meyer Plant (Brian van der Brug/ LA Times)[5]

India’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai has rejected a proposal to create desalination plants to deal with the city’s water crisis.  BMC has explained that steep costs and a lack of land prohibited such a venture.[1]  The BMC arrived at its decision after it appointed a committee to examine measures for setting up desalination plants in Mumbai.  The committee recommended the installation of two pilot plants of 100 million litres daily capacity each, one for the city, and another for suburbs and metropolitan...

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DesalData Weekly - January 20th, 2016

Posted 20 January, 2016 by Mandy


The shores of Praia Grande    Credit: James Hopkirk

 The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has granted Cape Verde a $930,000 (USD) grant to develop the “world’s first wave-driven desalination system.”[1] SEFA is a multi-donor trust fund that is rooted in a $60 million (USD) grant made by Denmark and the United States—to support renewable and efficient energy projects in Africa.[2]  The plant, located in Praia Grande, Cape Verde, will operate off the grid, supplying up to 4,000 cubic metres of water a day to more than 48,000 people.[3]  Resolute Marine Energy (RME) Cape...

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DesalData Weekly - January 6th, 2016

Posted 06 January, 2016 by Mandy


Sunset at Menindee Lakes [4]

This week, the renovated Broken Hill Desalination Plant in New South Wales, Australia will resume operations.  The plant has been undergoing a capacity increase and equipment upgrades that will enable the use of high-recovery reverse osmosis technology.[1]  Meanwhile, by early next week, the city of Broken Hill will no longer draw water from Copi Hollow.  Instead, it will rely on Weir 32 at Menindee Lakes.[2]  The shallow, freshwater Menindee Lakes is the main water source for residents of the city as well as New...

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DesalData Weekly - December 16, 2015

Posted 16 December, 2015 by Mandy


A man in motion at the World Climate Change Conference 2015, near Paris   Credit: Cristian Hartmann/Reuters

Pathbreaking climate talks in Paris inspired the creation of the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance – H20 minus CO2.  The alliance includes more than 80 signatories in government and the public and private sectors from around the world—including Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S.   

By 2040, the alliance seeks to reduce approximately 270 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year from desalination plants.[1] ...

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DesalData Weekly - December 9, 2015

Posted 09 December, 2015 by Mandy

CarlsbadThis Monday, December 14, a ceremony will celebrate the completion of California’s $1 billion (USD) Carlsbad Desalination Plant—the largest seawater desalter in the Western Hemisphere[1]. The plant will deliver potable water to customers through a ten-mile, large diameter pipeline.  According to the 30-year Water Purchase Agreement between Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority, the latter will purchase between 59,210,000 and 69,070,000 cubic metres of water per year (serving 400,000 people, or about 8 percent of the region’s water demand)[2].

The Carlsbad Desalination Facility while under construction, San Diego, California   Credit: NBC News

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DesalData Weekly - December 2, 2015

Posted 02 December, 2015 by Mandy

The Rottnest Island DaisyOn the shores of Rottnest Island in Western Australia, solar energy will soon help to power an existing desalination facility that is undergoing major upgrades. [1] In the spring of 2017, the Rottnest Island Water and Renewable Energy Nexus Project (WREN) will realize its objective to deliver electricity and drinking water for the island at a lower cost and with reduced emissions—by using renewable energy and displacing existing diesel-powered generators. [2]  The WREN Project will add 600 kW of solar power to an existing 600 kW wind turbine that was installed in 2004.  It will also implement a smart control system that will maximise the use of solar and wind energy when it is most abundant, and store treated water for times when renewable energy is not available. [3]  

The Rottnest Island Daisy

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DesalData Weekly - November 26, 2015

Posted 26 November, 2015 by Mandy

SingaporeThe national water agency of Singapore, the Public Utility Board (PUB), has selected the civil engineering company HSL Constructor to design and construct the nation’s third desalination facility.  HSL Constructor bid $153 million (USD) for the plant, which will be located in Tuas.  The plant will operate at a capacity of 136,000 cubic metres per day, the same as the nation’s first facility, which is less than half of the production capacity of the second plant at Tuaspring (which is over 300,000 cubic metres per day). Construction will begin in 2017.


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DesalData Weekly - November 18, 2015

Posted 18 November, 2015 by Mandy

Wheat farmer Leon Hogan on his property, where his harvest is down 80 percent from last year

Early this week in Australia’s state of Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews’ Labour government announced a $27 million package of measures to reallocate water resources and alleviate drought.

The main proposed project to improve Victoria’s water supply will be the creation of 40 kilometres of trunk pipelines and four new pumps, which will be installed at Woosang, Korong, Vale, and Wychitella.   

Wheat farmer Leon Hogan on his property, where his harvest is down 80 percent from last year | Credit: Justin McManus

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DesalData Weekly - November 11, 2015

Posted 11 November, 2015 by Mandy

Basalt columns on the Penghu Islands In Penghu County, Taiwan, the “the Canary Islands of the Orient,” a local official has requested that the central government expand the capacity of a desalination plant that is scheduled to open in 2018.  Last week, Penghu County Magistrate, Chen Kuang-fu, made his appeal during a meeting with the deputy head of the country’s Water Resources Agency. Chen requested an increase of 6,000 cubic metres per day, as opposed to the scheduled 4,000 cubic metres a day.

Penghu County includes almost 100 islands formed from lava of volcanic eruptions roughly 17 million years ago. A quarter of these islands are inhabited, and renowned for their breath-taking, geologically distinct cliffs and beaches, magnificent ocean views, celebrated temples, and traditional Chinese-style homes surrounded by coral walls.

Basalt columns on the Penghu Islands | Credit: Medical Travel

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DesalData Weekly - November 4, 2015

Posted 04 November, 2015 by Mandy

In the Middle East, the intergovernmental political and economic union known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is set to increase its desalination capacity by 40% within the next five years, in order to meet the region’s growing demand for drinking water.    GCC member states—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—currently use around 3,300 million Imperial gallons of potable per day (MIGD; 15 million m³/d) and this number is expected to increase to 5,200 MIGD by 2020 (23 million m³/d).

In the Middle East, the intergovernmental political and economic union known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is set to increase its desalination capacity by 40% within the next five years, in order to meet the region’s growing demand for drinking water. GCC member states—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—currently use around 3,300 million Imperial gallons of potable per day (MIGD; 15 million m³/d) and this number is expected to increase to 5,200 MIGD by 2020 (23 million m³/d).

According to data produced by MEED Projects (a Middle East and North Africa projects tracker): “While reserve margins between supply and demand appear to be at comfortable levels, at country and local network levels the supply-demand gaps are much smaller.”

Desalination plant in Almeria, Spain   Credit: Abengoa Press Room

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DesalData Weekly - October 28th, 2015

Posted 28 October, 2015 by Mandy

In Jakarta, the Indonesian megalopolis of Java, city officials are planning to develop five seawater desalination projects in the Thousand Island archipelago that is just north of the city. The Thousand Islands, also known as Kepulauan Seribu, consists of a string of 128 small islands in the Jakarta Bay, which are surrounded by clear, calm waters and white-sand beaches. Of these islands, 13 are fully developed for public use, and among them, Karya, Kelapa, Harapan, Tidung, and Untung Jawa will become home to new plants.1 The construction will be completed by next year.


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DesalData Weekly - October 21st, 2015

Posted 21 October, 2015 by Mandy

Nanoporous carbonScientists at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) in Saarbrücken, Germany are further developing an emerging desalination method.  The process, referred to as capacitive deionization (CDI), extracts ions from water using electrodes, generating clean water and ions that have been enriched on the electrodes.[1] This process removes salts and heavy metals and, uniquely, it does not use conventional water treatment methods that rely on chemical reactions or sophisticated filtering methods.

In addition to desalination, Professor Volker Presser, head of the Energy Materials Group at INM, explains that emissions from power plants can be used to produce electricity using CDI—as long as the emissions are present (i.e. dissolved) in the water as ions— by taking advantage of the temperature change between the charge and discharge of the electrodes.

Nanoporous carbon materials in capacitive deionization| Credit: Uwe Bellhäuser /Volker Presser (INM)

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DesalData Weekly - October 14th, 2015

Posted 14 October, 2015 by Mandy

The Namibian government has made progress towards finalising a deal to purchase the country’s sole desalination plant.1 Since September 2014, a Cabinet-appointed government negotiating team has been working with the privately-held company, Areva Resources, to purchase the plant, located in the Erongo region, 30km from the capital, Swakopmund. The Omdel water-supply system and the Kuiseb River have long supported the region’s coastal towns and businesses, however, their volumes have been diminishing over the years. In 2009, water shortages stopped the Erongo region’s uranium mining production for the first time.

The Areva plant currently supplies water exclusively to the Husab and Rössing mines; and will continue to support these mines after officials finalise its purchase. Sugnet Smith, of Areva Resources Namibia, has reported that the company is not able to reveal the plant’s purchase price prior to the conclusion of negotiations. Assuming the sale concludes smoothly, the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater), owned by the government’s Ministry of Agriculture, will soon assume responsibility for distributing at least 11 million cubic metres of water annually; however, the plant is capable of producing 20 million cubic metres.3


Namibia’s Kuiseb River, an ephemeral river with a run-off of 20 million m3/year Credit: African Seer 2

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DesalData Weekly - October 7th, 2015

Posted 07 October, 2015 by Mandy

South Gippsland Hills, Victoria | Credit: Ian Rolfe PhotographyIn Australia, officials are developing a water plan that will possibly restart Victoria’s $4 billion seawater desalination plant.[1]  Located on the continent’s southeastern coast, Victoria’s mainland (230,000 square kilometres) is defined by rugged coastline and vast expanses of ancient and protected forests.  A lack of rainfall since July 2014 has brought the ravages of drought to the terrain, parching vast expanses of land (in the north and the west) and diminishing water storage levels.  Parts of western and south-eastern South Australia have received the lowest rainfall on record; and by December, several rivers in Victoria will stop flowing altogether.

South Gippsland Hills, Victoria / Credit: Ian Rolfe Photography [2]

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DesalData Weekly - September 30th, 2015

Posted 30 September, 2015 by Mandy

jerseyThe U.K.’s first desalination plant, La Rosière in Jersey, is undergoing major upgrades. ACWA services Ltd, which is part of a leading water and wastewater corporation, will nearly double the plant’s capacity, reduce operational costs, and implement security measures for periods of low rainfall. The turnkey solution will include the redesign and expansion of the existing seawater and reverse osmosis process streams, a new dual media filter, next generation reverse osmosis membranes, pre-treatment systems and related equipment. Once the plant is operational, it will produce 10,800 cubic metres of water a day, with the capacity to produce 15,000 cubic metres of water daily (upon future expansion).

New rail lines in Jersey, near the La Rosière plant, close to Corbiere | Credit: Kevin Mansell 


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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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