Water. desalination + reuse

February/March 2013

Water. Desalination + reuse

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PROJECTS PROJECTPROGRESS CaRlSbad COnSTRuCTiOn gETS gREEn lighT Poseidon Resources announced on 27 December 2012 that it had secured all necessary funding for the Carlsbad Desalination Project and that its engineering, procurement and construction contractor, Kiewit Shea Desalination, had been given the green light to start construction. Poseidon also said that it anticipated going before the California Coastal Commission to obtain a Coastal Development Permit for the Huntington Beach desalination plant, similar to that obtained for Carlsbad. The Carlsbad start follows approval by the board of the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) on 29 November 2012 of the water-purchase agreement between SDCWA and Poseidon. The agreement cleared the way for the sale of bonds to finance the fully permitted project, which includes the plant as well as a 10-mile (16 km) pipeline to deliver treated water to customers. The desalination plant will produce 48,000 to 56,000 acre-ft (59-69 million m3) of desalinated seawater for SDCWA annually, roughly one-third of all water generated in San Diego County. Two SDCWA member agencies, Vallecitos Water District and Carlsbad Municipal Water District, will purchase a combined total of 6,000 acre-ft (7.4 million m3) of the desalinated water as their own local supply under separate agreements with the water authority. Under the agreement, the total price for the desalinated water – including related upgrades to the Water Authority's pipelines and treatment plant – was projected to start between US$ 2,041 and US$ 2,290 per acre-foot (US$ 1.65-1.86/m³ in 2012 dollars), depending on how much is purchased annually. The purchase agreement says the price of water from Poseidon can only be adjusted for inflation and certain predefined circumstances. However, rather than selling at an interest rate of 5.2-5.6% as forecast in November 2012 by Ken Weinberg, director of water resources for SDCWA, the bonds realised a rate of 4.78%. This saved approximately US$ 125/AF (US$ 0.10/m3), reducing the price of water from the plant to US$ 1,917-2,165/AF (US$ 1.55-1.76/m3). The reverse-osmosis desalination equipment and plant operation for Carlsbad will be provided by IDE Technologies. Start-up is anticipated by the end of 2015, and the plant is expected to be in commercial operation early in 2016. Carlsbad and Huntington Beach will both use reverse-osmosis and have a capacity of 50 MGD (189,000 m3/d). Eu TO SuPPORT dESalinaTiOn in dJibOuTi A 22,500 m3/d brackish-water desalination plant, expandable to double that size and powered by renewable energy, is to be built in the East African state of Djibouti with support from the European Union (EU). The announcement was made on 19 December 2012 by EU development commissioner Andris Piebalgs, during the visit to Brussels of the Djiboutian prime minister, Dileita Mohamed Dileita. Current demand for water in the capital Djibouti City (where around 75% of the population lives) is estimated at 80,000 m3/d but only 36,000 m3/d is currently being supplied. A prolonged drought | 24 | Desalination & Water Reuse | February-March 2013 has led to a serious food crisis, recent fighting and riots in the country. Project PEPER (Producing Safe Drinking Water with Renewable Energy) involves setting up a desalination plant in the capital to provide water to 200,000 inhabitants, a quarter of the country's population, in some of Djibouti's poorest areas. Almost half of the 560,000 inhabitants of the city of Djibouti live in Balbala, which has a poverty rate in excess of 70%. The water will be taken from the local aquifer, the only source of potable water for the city, which has reached its physical limit. Its quality is poor due to seawater intrusion. A wind farm is planned as part of the second stage of the PEPER project. The EU will provide € 40.5 million out of the total estimated budget of € 46 million for the new water desalination plant. The remaining € 5.5 million will be financed from Djibouti. univERSiTy may managE TExaS dESalinaTiOn STudy The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) in Texas, USA, is to negotiate an agreement with the Sustainable Energy Research Institute at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to manage a feasibility study for a proposed seawater desalination plant. The GBRA is currently looking at 16 bids to carry out the study and seeking to narrow these to four or five for interview. The authority's board authorised general manager WA 'Bill' West to approach the UTSA institute at its meeting on 19 December 2012. It is looking to run the desalination plant via a combined-cycle gas power station, which could also supply the grid. vSEP SySTEm fOR QuiTO landfill lEaChaTE Another vibratory shear enhanced process (VSEP) membrane reverse-osmosis (RO) system has been commissioned in South America at a municipal landfill in Quito, Ecuador. California-based New Logic Research (NLR) announced almost a year ago that it had successfully commissioned a landfill leachate treatment system in Colombia using its membrane separation system. The RO system takes the landfill leachate in Quito from storage ponds and filters it to create clean water that is recycled and used as irrigation water. While searching for a solution, the El Inga landfill built twenty-one storage ponds to hold the wastewater temporarily. The water permeating from the system has only about 50 ppm dissolved solids, which is lower than the town drinking water. According to NLR's CEO Greg Johnson, "The El Inga landfill struggled for more than eight years trying six different treatment methods for treating the leachate that all failed. During this time, the landfill faced incredible pressure from the local community and spent a great deal of money trying to fix the problem." "Now the landfill finally has a working sustainable solution to its leachate management issues," he continued. "And thanks to our local partner Global Fluids providing support, we're confident that this system will provide many years of trouble-free service to the citizens of Quito."

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