Topic: Desalination

Overview

Desalination

Recurrent droughts and uncertainties about future water supplies have led several California communities to look to saltwater for supplemental supplies through a process known as desalination.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Baja California’s first desalination plant to open in 2017 in Ensenada

Far from the Colorado River, Baja California’s coastal regions are increasingly looking to alternative sources of supply — and desalination has become a favored option.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Who needs an ocean? San Joaquin Valley projects give new life to salty water

A glistening spectacle on the west Fresno County prairie could be a rock star in California’s next drought. It’s a mirrored solar array longer than a football field, collecting heat to boil salt and other impurities out of irrigation drainage. … The technology is among Valley water stories that The Bee will tell this month in a weekly series.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Backers of desalination hope Carlsbad plant will disarm critics

For the expected 1,500-plus people attending the International Desalination Assn. World Congress, the highlight will be a Sept. 4 tour of the $1-billion desalination plant under construction in Carlsbad.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am seeks desal project contractors despite groundwater questions

As environmental review for its Monterey Peninsula desalination project approaches a critical stage, California American Water is already moving ahead with hiring contractors for key aspects of the project.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Orange County Water District eyes deal with planned desalination plant

Faced with the continuing drought, Orange County water officials are looking into the possibility of purchasing water from a proposed Huntington Beach ocean desalination plant.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

New state rule could impact how Marin would build desal plant

With drought impacts in full effect, some water agencies are looking at desalination as way to improve water supplies. Now the state Water Resources Control Board has passed an amendment to its codes requiring new or expanded seawater desalination plants to use the best available technology to protect all forms of marine life.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

State sets environmental rules for desalinating water

California adopted new rules Wednesday to help cities and water agencies figure out the best way to siphon water from the sea and turn it into drinking water without killing fish.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey Peninsula business leaders urge expert review of desal, groundwater replenishment reports

For the second time in less than a month, Monterey Peninsula business leaders are seeking a legal and technical analysis of California American Water’s desalination project in an effort to sniff out any issues that could potentially further delay or derail the proposal.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Desalination plants aren’t a good solution for California drought

As surely as the hot, dry Santa Ana winds bring blue skies to the coast and wildfires to the hills, severe California droughts bring calls to build desalination plants up and down the seashore.

Aquafornia news PBS NewsHour

Could Israel’s water technology ease drought conditions in California? (with audio & video)

Could the technology used in Israel that successfully turned the country’s water shortage into a surplus be implemented in California to ease the state’s drought? KQED Public Media reporter Daniel Potter joins Alison Stewart via Skype from San Francisco to discuss.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

As drought persists, desalination could be California’s last resort

For nearly 25 years, the desal plant has sat unused. That’s about to change. As nearby beachgoers swam, sailed and paddle boarded on an overcast morning last week, Santa Barbara officials showed off those tanks and pumps, describing their plan to turn seawater into drinking water.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Desalination could provide Orange County an infinite water supply, but at a steep cost

Desalination promises a world with no limits. … That promise is driving the $1 billion desalination plant that Poseidon Water is set to open in Carlsbad this November. And it has brought Poseidon within one permit of building a plant in Huntington Beach.

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

Completion is near for $1 billion Carlsbad Desalination Project

As an unprecedented drought tightens its grip on California, completion is near for the $1 billion Carlsbad Desalination Project that is expected to supply 7 to 10 percent of San Diego County’s drinking water by the end of this year.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

For drinking water in drought, California looks warily to sea

Every time drought strikes California, the people of this state cannot help noticing the substantial reservoir of untapped water lapping at their shores — 187 quintillion gallons of it, more or less, shimmering so invitingly in the sun.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Santa Barbara looks to ocean desalination for new water; are other cities next?

A mothballed desalination plant sits like a time capsule near Santa Barbara’s main tourist beach, a relic of California’s last drought to end all droughts. … The dilemma is the focus of the latest installment of this newspaper’s ongoing series “A State of Drought.”

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

The drought — with a grain of salt

As drought-parched California withers, salt water captures attention – again. … In Sacramento, the State Water Resources Control Board is poised to adopt new regulations in May governing desalination.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Business group questions Carmel River cutback relaxation bid

California American Water submitted a draft petition to the state water board last month aimed at delaying the deadline for reducing its river water pumping by four years from the end of 2016 to 2020. It promised to meet a series of milestones including completion of a desalination plant capable of providing a replacement water source for the Peninsula by the new deadline.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Will turning seawater into drinking water help California through drought? (with audio)

Across California, communities are examining all options to avoid running out of water. Some, like the coastal city of Santa Barbara, are looking to the past for inspiration.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Judge: Marina Coast Water District on hook for millions in failed desal project

A San Francisco judge Friday dealt a major blow to ratepayers in Marina and Fort Ord, voiding several contracts related to a failed regional desalination plant.

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

Commentary: Desalination makes sense for Orange County

Anyone who has stepped outside in the past year has undoubtedly seen the effects of our state’s historic drought conditions. … Southern California communities have rallied behind desalinated ocean water as a reliable, safe and environmentally friendly solution to long-term water shortages.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Editorial: Water supply — Modified Cease and Desist Order is best option

The Monterey Peninsula has struggled for decades to find solutions to its water supply problems. After a few misfires over the years, progress is now being made.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Santa Barbara working to reactivate mothballed desalination plant

California’s four-year drought created the statewide mantra: “Conserve, conserve, conserve.” But this coastal city can soon add another word to its water-related lexicon: desalinate.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Grievances with Cal Am, Monterey County deal over failed desal plant are aired

The meandering circus that evolved from Monterey County’s failed desalination plant efforts made another stop Wednesday at a hearing before state utility regulators.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

CPUC judge sets public debate on regional project deal

A state Public Utilities Commission judge will allow public debate over the proposed regional desalination project settlement agreement between California American Water and Monterey County later this month, delaying the commission’s scheduled review on Thursday.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Draft proposal to delay Carmel River cutback released

After resisting disclosure, Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority president Jason Burnett released a draft proposal late Tuesday aimed at delaying a state-ordered cutback in pumping from the Carmel River by four years.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Ex-Huntington Beach mayor alleges water board member has conflict

Former Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook has filed a complaint with the state’s political watchdog, alleging that a water district board member has a conflict of interest and should not be allowed to vote on a proposed desalination plant on the city’s oceanfront.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Marina Coast to resume pursuit of own desal plant

A split Marina Coast Water District board decided to resume its previous quest for a desalination plant, with a goal of providing a new potable water supply within two years to new development in Fort Ord, including Monterey Downs.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Huntington Beach desalination plant gets a boost

The Orange County Water District, which manages the groundwater basin in north and central county, gave a much-needed boost this week to a proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach by agreeing to purchase its water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Citing drought, California town rushes water plant

California’s drought declaration has triggered only local limits such as restrictions on washing cars or watering lawns for most communities, but one Pacific Coast tourist town has seized it as an opportunity to build a long-desired desalination plant.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Bureau of Reclamation’s Desalination and Water Purification Research Program seeks proposals to improve water treatment technologies

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking proposals within two funding opportunity announcements to improve water treatment technologies aimed at increasing water management flexibility through new usable water supplies in the United States. The first is for research, laboratory studies and the second is for pilot projects. Reclamation will make a total of up to $1.4 million available for the funding opportunities.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Australia proves desalination works

This week, water leaders from Australia are meeting our Californian counterparts in West Sacramento to discuss the lessons from our long drought. … We applied a number of techniques including conservation, water trading, stormwater collection and on-site gray water reuse, but one of our more tangible successes has been a $10 billion seawater desalination program with the construction of six major plants in all five mainland state capitals.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Regional desal trial testimony concludes; Cal Am wants test well challenge moved

Testimony concluded on Friday in the regional desalination project trial in San Francisco Superior Court, with a preliminary ruling not expected until February. … In a separate suit, Cal Am is seeking to relocate a Sacramento County Superior Court challenge filed by Marina Coast seeking to halt the company’s slant test well project for its current desal proposal, asking a judge to move the case to Monterey County.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Regional desal project trial to start in San Francisco

Opening arguments in the case pitting three former regional partners — the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, California American Water and the Marina Coast Water District — are set for Tuesday before Judge Curtis Karnow in San Francisco Superior Court.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Ocean water is answer to drought

At the State Building and Construction Trades Council, we agree with the San Diego County Water Authority – the Carlsbad desalination plant can’t come online fast enough. There is no denying that California is in desperate need of a reliable, drought-proof water supply.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Cambria desalination plant to start operating soon

Officials with the Cambria Community Services District plan to flip the switch Nov. 15 on a $9 million desalination plant that will provide the community with a desperately needed new supply of drinking water.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Editorial: Marina well project should proceed

The Coastal Commission will consider California American Water’s proposed slant test well project at its meeting Wednesday, and it’s hard to imagine that the commission will go against its own staff recommendation, which is to allow Cal Am to proceed.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Cal Am, Cemex reach deal on desalination test well

California American Water has reached a deal with Cemex to allow drilling of slant test wells, and possibly production wells, for its proposed Monterey Peninsula desalination project at the north Marina sand mining plant.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Coastal Commission staff backs Cal Am test well appeal

Coastal Commission staff has recommended upholding California American Water’s appeal of its desalination slant test well project with conditions, arguing Marina city officials failed to provide any support for denying the project permit.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Could desalination solve California’s water problem?

Along this patch of the Pacific Ocean, welders and pipefitters nearly outnumber the surfers and sunbathers. … They are building the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will convert as much as 56 million gallons of seawater each day into drinking water for San Diego County residents.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Desalination comes of age

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. That line is all that remains in my brain from an early exposure to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the endless poem that has been cruelly inflicted upon generations of American schoolchildren.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruzans drink up water source solutions

Even ideas are being conserved as Santa Cruz continues its hunt for alternative water supply solutions. … The so-called ideas convention was hosted by the city’s 14-member Water Supply Advisory Committee.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Cities seek water independence

California’s drought has created mandated water conservation efforts, but some communities in Southern California, from Huntington Beach to Los Angeles, are doing something extra: trying to become water independent.

Aquafornia news KPBS Radio News

Tapping into the ocean with San Diego’s billion dollar desalination plant

San Diego’s water supplies could be seriously tested if a punishing four-year drought extends through another winter. But there is relief on the horizon. It’s not coming from rain clouds; relief is coming from the West Coast’s first seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Subsurface water intakes feasible for desalination plant, study finds

A study regarding a controversial proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach determined that subsurface intakes are technically feasible for the project.

Aquafornia news Victorville Daily Press

Commentary: Water for a parched land

We talked the other day about the most exciting project now going on in California, public or private. That would be Poseiden Water’s Carlsbad desalination plant north of San Diego, scheduled to begin operating next year.

Western Water Magazine

Tapping the World’s Largest Reservoir: Desalination
January/February 2003

This issue examines desalination and the role it could play in the future of water supply. In addition to an explanation of the basics of the technology, the article looks at costs, environmental impacts and groundwater application. Pilot desalination projects are featured, including a much-touted Carlsbad, Calif., facility that promises to substantially boost that region’s water supply.

Western Water Magazine

Desalination: A Drought Proof Supply?
July/August 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines desalination – an issue that is marked by great optimism and controversy – and the expected role it might play as an alternative water supply strategy.

Western Water Magazine

Making the Connection: The Water/Energy Nexus
September/October 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at the energy requirements associated with water use and the means by which state and local agencies are working to increase their knowledge and improve the management of both resources.

Western Water Magazine

Viewing Water with a Wide Angle Lens: A Roundtable Discussion
January/February 2013

This printed issue of Western Water features a roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Video

Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley

Salt. In a small amount, it’s a gift from nature. But any doctor will tell you, if you take in too much salt, you’ll start to have health problems. The same negative effect is happening to land in the Central Valley. The problem scientists call “salinity” poses a growing threat to our food supply, our drinking water quality and our way of life. The problem of salt buildup and potential – but costly – solutions are highlighted in this 2008 public television documentary narrated by comedian Paul Rodriguez.

Video

Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley (20-minute DVD)

A 20-minute version of the 2008 public television documentary Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the problem of salt build up in the Central Valley potential – but costly – solutions. Narrated by comedian Paul Rodriquez.

Video

Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling
Updated 2013

As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.

Aquapedia background

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Salinity

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta always has been at the mercy of river flows and brackish tides.

Before human intervention, salty ocean water from the San Francisco Bay flooded the vast Delta marshes during dry summers when mountain runoff ebbed. Then, during winter, heavy runoff from the mountains repelled sea water intrusion.

Aquapedia background

Desalination

Desalination

Recurrent droughts and uncertainties about future water supplies have led several California communities to look to treat salty water for supplemental supplies through a process known as desalination.

Desalination removes salt and other dissolved minerals from water and is one method to reclaim water for other uses. This can occur with ocean water along the coast and in the interior at spots that draw from ancient salt water deep under the surface or where groundwater has been tainted by too much salt.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Desalination: A Drought Proof Supply?
July/August 2009

It seems not a matter of if but when seawater desalination will fulfill the promise of providing parts of California with a reliable, drought-proof source of water. With a con­tinuing drought and uncertain water deliveries, the state is in the grip of a full-on water crisis, and there are many people who see desalination as a way to provide some relief to areas struggling to maintain an adequate water supply.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Tapping the World’s Largest Reservoir: Desalination
Jan/Feb 2003

“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
For time immemorial, the seas of the Earth have been seen as an enticing but unreachable source of fresh water. Separating the salt from ocean water was always a cost prohibitive process, primarily reserved to wealthy Middle Eastern nations and small-scale operations such as ocean-bound vessels and small islands. Otherwise, through the evolution of modern civilization, man has depended upon lakes, rivers and groundwater – a supply that comprises less than 3 percent of the planet’s total water.

Commands