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 - 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 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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