Water. desalination + reuse

February/March 2013

Water. Desalination + reuse

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RESEARCH RFP to follow UAE renewableenergy desalination launch A pilot program to test and develop advanced energy-efficient seawater desalination technologies that could be powered by renewable energy sources was launched on 17 January 2013 by Masdar, the UAE renewable energy company. Masdar will be issuing a Request for Proposals for Technological Development inviting industrial players to submit codevelopment proposals to pilot in-house desalination technologies with the company. Partnerships will be co-financed by Masdar and benefit from technological expertise available from its Institute of Technology & Science – a graduate-level, research-oriented university focused on advanced energy and sustainability. The long-term goal of the program is to implement renewable-energy powered desalination plants in the UAE and to have a commercial-scale facility by 2020. "With the UAE's growing economy and rising population, it is crucial that we identify a sustainable desalination solution to meet our long-term water needs," added Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. "Connecting desalination technologies to renewable energy enables us to capitalize on our abundant resources, such as solar, as a solution to improve water security." The pilot program is a direct result of a call to action to improve water security made by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, which will stimulate growth, promote investment and advance the desalination sector. Working with technology partners and investors, the pilot program includes three test sites in the UAE and will operate for 3½ years. The program will bridge the gap between promising desalination technologies, which are being developed in universities and research centers worldwide, and large-scale industrial applications powered by renewable energy. "The Middle East is in the process of addressing its long-term sustainable water access and security," said Dr Corrado Sommariva, president of the International Desalination Association at the launch. "Masdar is embarking on an important path of discovery by advancing industrial-scale, sustainable desalination technologies capable of meeting the region's future demand for fresh drinking water." "By bridging the gap between research and development and commercialization, Masdar is providing an opportunity for scaleup of technologies that address water access, while also having economic, social and environmental benefits," Sommariva added. The Gulf region accounts for nearly 50% of the world's desalinated water. In the UAE, seawater desalination requires about 10 times more energy than surface fresh water production, and its costs are projected to increase by 300%, says Masdar. Masdar will coordinate the pilot program with key Abu Dhabi stakeholders, such as the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority, the Regulation & Supervision Bureau, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, and the Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company. "This is a collective challenge that will require a cooperative effort from the public and private sector," said Dr Al Jaber. "Through co-innovation, and working closely with partner companies, we anticipate real opportunities to bring to market the next generation of sustainable desalination technologies." Reclamation seeks desalination research funding proposals Four or five laboratory studies and one or two pilot projects on desalination and water purification are to be given funds by the US government in the Bureau of Reclamation's new Desalination & Water Purification Research Program. Reclamation announced on 7 December 2012 that it would provide up to US$ 150,000 for research and laboratory studies and US$ 400,000 for pilot projects. It is currently seeking pre-proposals from private industry, universities, water utilities and others. The purpose of the research program is to develop more environmentally sensitive, cost-effective and technologically efficient means to desalinate water. The funding opportunity announcement is available on www.grants.gov by searching for announcement number R13SF80004. Pre-proposals were due by 3 January 2013. | 42 | Desalination & Water Reuse | February-March 2013 One third of DPR research funding goal reached Over one-third of the US$ 6 million required to conduct necessary research on direct potable reuse (DPR) of wastewater in California has been raised, according to the WateReuse Research Foundation's December newsletter. The foundation and WateReuse California launched the initiative to help California meet its legislative and state-mandated water-reuse goals by 2016. It will seek to advance DPR by working with the California Department of Public Health, local boards and consumer groups. The money pledged so far has come from water agencies, consulting engineers and equipment manufacturers. At least US$ 100,000 each has been pledged by the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, Orange County Water District, West Basin Municipal Water District and Santa Clara Valley Water District. Seven South Orange County districts have banded together to jointly pledge US$ 140,000. MWH Global, CH2M Hill and Suez Environnement have each pledged US$ 250,000, with Carollo promising US$ 150,000 and Trussell Technologies US$ 25,000. Manufacturer Trojan UV has also pledged US$ 250,000. The money will be used to conduct the necessary scientific research that will guide DPR solutions, in tandem with education and advocacy efforts that foster greater adoption of this form of water supply. • WateReuse also announced that American Water has pledged US$ 500,000 over four years to the WateReuse Research Foundation to help fund its refocused research agenda and to foster greater collaborative efforts among water organizations. Dr Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation and environmental stewardship at American Water, is chair of the foundation's Research Advisory Committee.

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