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2007 Desalination News

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Desalination: option or distraction for a thirsty world; WWF June 2007 report pdf



December, 2007

IDE to build desalination plant in Australia, Haaretz reports

IDE Technologies Ltd., a joint venture between Israel Chemicals Ltd. and Delek Group Ltd., won a $100 million contract build a desalination plant in Australia, daily newspaper Haaretz reported. The facility will be used by an iron ore mine company in Pilbara, Australia to supply 51 million cubic meters a year, the newspaper said, without citing anyone. The construction of the desalination plant will start in 2008, and the mine will start production the following year, Haaretz said. A spokeswoman at IDE refused to comment on the news report. IDE, Israel's biggest water-desalination company, postponed its initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange because of ``global market conditions'' last month. Bloomberg_ 12/30/07

Victoria, Australia desalination plant to get environmental study

A controversial $3.1 billion desalination plant planned for Victoria's south-east coastline will now be subject to an environmental study, but it won't stop the project going ahead. Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden said he decided an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) was necessary because preliminary reports showed further investigation was needed into the impacts on the landscape, flora, fauna and marine life. The study would also consider Aboriginal heritage issues and the impact on any fossils in the area, he said. But it was unlikely the EES, which would take about a year to complete, would stop the project going ahead altogether at the proposed site near Wonthaggi, south-east of Melbourne. The $3.1 billion desalination plant will provide 150 billion litres of water each year for Victorians. Sydney Morning Herald_ 12/27/07

Keansburg, New Jersey plans desalination to clean up  borough water supply

The Keansburg Council recently instructed its environmental engineers to create a $145,000 design plan for decreasing the amount of sodium and chloride in the borough's drinking water. Engineers at Millburn-based Hatch Mott MacDonald have until March to create a design for how the process, known as desalination, would be incorporated into the borough's water system. The project's total estimated cost is $2 million, up from $1.5 million, said Steven Ussmann, superintendent for the borough's Water and Sewer Department. Keansburg water customers could expect to pay an additional $11 to $12 per quarter if the project, which the municipality would pay for by floating bonds, were implemented, said Glenn Cullen, the borough's chief financial officer. Keansburg draws its drinking water from aquifers located dozens of feet below the surface of the borough. The U.S. Geological Survey believes that decades of overpumping by Keansburg and other Bayshore communities have caused salty water from Raritan Bay to creep into the aquifers. Engineers at Hatch Mott MacDonald believe that if Keansburg does not implement the desalination program, the increasing levels of sodium and chloride eventually could render the borough's water undrinkable. The alternative would be for Keansburg to purchase its water from a private company. But borough officials believe the option could prove more costly for its water customers. New Jersey American Water charges $4.78 per 1,000 gallons, according to the company's Web site. Keansburg charges $2.60 per 1,000 gallons, Ussmann said. Asbury Park Press_ 12/27/07

Severn Trent to build desalination plant in Mexico
Severn Trent Services has won a contract to design and build a desalination plant for the Maravia Country Club Estates in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. The Fort Washington, Pa., unit of Severn Trent PLC didn't reveal the value of the contract. Severn Trent Services' office in Torrance, Calif., will perform the work. Philadelphia Business Journal_ 12/24/07

Veolia wins UAE desalination plant order

Veolia Water said on Friday it has been selected to run the operations and maintenance part of a Reverse 0smosis (RO) desalination plant in Qidfa, Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. The plant will produce 136,500 cubic metres per day of desalinated water. The contract, worth an estimated cumulated amount of $115 million, has been awarded a venture of International Power Plc and Marubeni Corp. Reuters_ 12/21/07

AcquaPro Worldwide partners with Emares of the UK to seek Saudi desalination plant contract

Biloxi, Mississippi-based AcquaPro Worldwide, Inc. is the developer of the world's first full-scale, fully engineered, barge-mounted water desalination system, but the Saudi work would be shore-based. Under the agreement with Emares Ltd., the companies will seek a contract with the utility Marafiq in Saudi Arabia. AcquaPro Worldwide would provide the system hardware and operational support to Emares, a global industrial procurement and supply company, to produce up to 20 million gallons (75,000 cubic meters) of potable water daily to the industrial zone at Jubail and Yanbu on Saudi Arabia's Persian Gulf Coast. The volume is equivalent to the output of four standard AcquaPro plants and the 16-month supply contract would have a minimum value of just over $52 million. The AcquaPro system employs all existing, tried-and-true reverse osmosis (RO) desalination technology mounted in a unique configuration on a large sea-going barge. In the case of the Saudi contract, however, the client, the utility company Marafiq, seeks a modular shore-based plant. As a result, the AcquaPro water plant, which includes containerized RO units and other skid-mountable components, will be decoupled from the barge for this installation. AcquaPro said in its news release it is exploring potential U.S. opportunities in California, Florida and Georgia, all areas facing interim and long-term water shortages that the company's system might address rapidly and economically.  It said an advantage of the AcquaPro system is that it avoids most of the costly and time-consuming political and environmental conflicts that often plague shore-based desalination plants. It can be deployed in a fraction of the time and cost as conventional desal plants. News Release/NewswireToday_ 12/11/07

Sydney, Australia desalination plant to run as dams fill

Sydney Water plans to operate the controversial Kurnell desalination plant while there is still years worth of water in Sydney's dams - a significant shift from the original plan in which the plant would be used during times of water shortage. The head of Sydney Water, Kerry Schott, told a public hearing yesterday that the water utility planned to turn the desalination plant off only when water storage levels reached 70 to 80 per cent. This week water storage levels at Sydney's dams stood at 58.5 per cent, a four-year high and sufficient to supply the city's water needs for up to six years. The final decision on the operating regime for the plant will be made in the coming 12 months in talks with the Government and other agencies, she said. Sydney Morning Herald_ 12/8/07

Water rates to rise in South Australia to pay for Adelaide desalination plant

The State Government has announced plans for a $1.1 billion desalination plant, on the site of the mothballed oil refinery at Port Stanvac in Adelaide's south. The plant will produce 50 gigalitres of fresh water, about one quarter of Adelaide's annual needs, with potential to double that output to meet population growth. The desalination plant is expected to be in operation by 2012. Another $300 million will be spent to build a north-south water interconnector in Adelaide, to balance supplies between the desalination plant in the south and water treatment plants in northern Adelaide. Water rates will rise by 12.7 per cent from next July to help fund the water project. ABC News_ 12/5/07

Dinosaurs derail desalination drive Down Under; An inconvenient fossil find

A fossilised spanner has been thrown into the works of plans for Australia's largest desalination plant, as a hoard of dino-remains has been uncovered on the beach near the proposed site. The plant, intended to protect Melbourne from drought, was being built at a cost of A$3 billion, but the dinosaur discovery has put its future in doubt. The find dates back to 115 million years ago, when the Australian land mass was in the polar circle, experts say. Local authorities have yet to rule on whether or not the plant will proceed, and won't say whether or not it will conduct an environmental impact report, following the find. The desalination plant would be one of the biggest in the world, capable of processing 150 billion litres of water every year. Construction was set to begin next year, and the plant was expected to be up and running by 2011. The Register_ 11/27/07

Controversial San Diego County, California desalination plant heads toward final approval hurdle Dec. 3

With a final hurdle within sight, the controversial Carlsbad desalination plant appears to be on schedule. The state Coastal Commission approved construction of the proposed $300 million desalination plant on a 9-3 vote, but did so by imposing 20 conditions on the developer, Stamford, Conn.-based Poseidon Resources Corp. Now the project will face its final hurdle in the approval process with the California State Lands Commission next week. Michael Cowett, a lawyer with the San Diego office of Best Best & Krieger who has followed the desalination approval process closely, said that he believed that Poseidon anticipated the conditions and said that the project should continue along its original timeline. Best Best & Krieger represents six water districts in the county, including the Sweetwater Authority, Helix Water District, Padre Dam Municipal District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Valley Center Municipal Water District and Ramona Municipal Water District. Privately held Poseidon has developed and invested $2.5 billion in water supply and wastewater treatment projects worldwide, according to its Web site. The Carlsbad plant, when completed, will process half of 100 million gallons of seawater per day into drinking water; the other half will be returned to the ocean with a higher salt content. It is considered drought-proof compared with the 85 percent of the county’s water imported from other agencies. San Diego Business Journal_ 11/26/07

Namibia building desalination plant

After years of bickering and redrafting of contracts, Namibia's long-anticipated move toward large-scale desalination is set to become a reality, supplying water for homes as well as for the country's uranium mining industry. The country's water utility and French company UraMin signed an agreement Friday to build a 250 million Namibian dollar (nearly $40 million) sea water intake and brine disposal pipeline to support a 715 million Namibian dollar ($110 million) sea water desalination facility. It will be located in the coastal town of Swakopmund. AP/BusinessWeek_ 11/23/07

Could nuclear power be the answer to desalination?

Research results presented at the Trombay Symposium on Desalination and Water Reuse offer a new perspective on desalination and describe alternatives to the current expensive and inefficient methods. Meenakshi Jain of CDM & Environmental Services and Positive Climate Care Pvt Ltd in Jaipur, India highlights the energy problem facing regions with little fresh water. "Desalination is an energy-intensive process. Over the long term, desalination with fossil energy sources would not be compatible with sustainable development ...." "Nuclear energy seawater desalination has a tremendous potential for the production of freshwater," Jain adds. The development of a floating nuclear plant is one of the more surprising solutions to the desalination problem. S.S. Verma of the Department of Physics at SLIET in Punjab, points out that small floating nuclear power plants represent a way to produce electrical energy with minimal environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Such plants could be sited offshore anywhere there is dense coastal population and not only provide cheap electricity but be used to power a desalination plant with their excess heat. A. Raha and colleagues at the Desalination Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, in Trombay, point out that Low-Temperature Evaporation (LTE) desalination technology utilizing low-quality waste heat in the form of hot water (as low as 50 Celsius) or low-pressure steam from a nuclear power plant has been developed to produce high-purity water directly from seawater. Science Daily_ 11/20/07

Poseidon Resources gets California Coastal Commission OK to build desalination plant, but months of work ahead before all 20 conditions can be met

Poseidon Resources has persuaded the Coastal Commission to give it a permit to build an ocean-water desalination plant in Carlsbad, but the strings attached to that permit may tie up the developer for months, or even years. After an 8 ½-hour hearing and lengthy debate Thursday, commissioners voted 9-3 to give Poseidon a coastal permit to build the desalination plant – but only after attaching more than 20 conditions. Poseidon must work out the details of those conditions with the commission's staff and then deliver the plan back to the commissioners for approval. The most stringent condition is a requirement that Poseidon devise a plan to offset the number of tiny marine organisms – fish eggs, larvae and plankton – the desalination plant would kill while processing seawater. Poseidon had argued that such a condition was outside the commission's authority, but commissioners didn't buy that position. San Diego Union-Tribune_ 11/17/07

Poseidon plant nears OK
San Diego, CA Desalination project needs another panel's approval

After a marathon 8½-hour meeting in front of an overflow crowd, the California Coastal Commission last night approved a proposal to build in Carlsbad what would be the country's largest ocean water desalination plant.Although commissioners voted 9-3 to approve a proposal by Poseidon Resources to build a $300 million plant that could produce 100 million gallons of drinking water a day, few gave it a ringing endorsement.  Several said they would vote for the project as insurance against San Diego's continuing drought, but with a list of conditions attached to address environmental damage the plant is expected to cause.  “This just doesn't meet any of the tests” for issuing a coastal development permit, Commissioner Sara Wan said before voting against the proposal.  Commissioner Ben Hueso, a San Diego city councilman who made the motion to approve the permit, said Poseidon's offers to fund wetlands restoration and reforestation programs made the project palatable.  SignonSanDiego.com_11/16/07

Marin County, California, considers San Francisco Bay desalination for future water needs

For a mere $115 million, homes in Marin County could soon be sucking de-salted bay water through their taps, according to an environmental report scheduled for release this week. The Marin Municipal Water District on Wednesday will present a draft environmental report on a proposed desalination plant, becoming the first water agency in the Bay Area to seriously consider using San Francisco Bay for drinking water. The district's 190,000 customers in southern and central Marin will have considerable say over whether water district directors eventually decide to build the plant, in part because the ratepayers will likely end up financing the construction through taxes or higher water rates, officials said. San Francisco Chronicle_ 11/5/07

San Diego County desalination plant rejected by staff of California Coastal Comission; Poseidon Resources $300 million project to be reviewed by the full commission Nov. 15

The staff of the California Coastal Commission has rejected a private developer's proposal to build an ocean-water desalination plant on Carlsbad's coast. The commission staff's 88-page report, released Friday, says the proposal to produce 50 million gallons a day of drinking water “would cause significant adverse impacts to marine life and water quality in Agua Hedionda and in near-shore ocean waters." Despite the staff's negative analysis, Poseidon Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan said: “We've spent the last eight years looking to the Pacific Ocean for a partial solution to San Diego's long-term water-supply needs. We're looking forward to Nov. 15 and having an opportunity to share our views with the commission." San Diego Union-Tribune_ 11/3/07

California Lands Commission begins review of Poseidon Resources' proposed San Diego County desalination plant

Roughly 250 people packed into a state hearing Tuesday, many of them arguing that a proposed desalination project in Carlsbad could help protect this drought-stricken region as it confronts a dwindling water supply. The proposed plant could give the area a guaranteed source of local drinking water and provide a little security for a region that now depends on the distant Colorado River for nearly all of its water, said proponents, who included area water district officials, chamber of commerce leaders and farmers. Opponents of the desalination project, including local coastal preservationists and surfers, said they don't oppose the idea of producing drinking water out of seawater, but they don't think the design of this plant is best way to do it. "Here we are with the first one (of what may be many such plants) and it's one of the worst ones," said Marco Gonzalez, an environmental lawyer who is active in the local Surfrider Foundation. Poseidon Resources Inc. wants to build the plant within the Encina Power Station site on the coast in the community of Carlsbad. The state panel has permit authority over part of the project because the proposed intake pipe runs across state tidal land. Commissioners said Tuesday they hoped developer Poseidon Resources Inc. would have more information when the commission returns for a vote in December, particularly about

how it will reduce the carbon dioxide generated by the plant. Even with the commission's backing, the project still has a least one big hurdle to overcome -- it needs a permit from the state Coastal Commission. That panel is expected to review the issue in November. North County Times_ 10/31/07

Desalination for Australian racetrack

Flemington racecourse plans to cut its water consumption by more than 50 per cent through an onsite desalination plant tapping a salt water aquifer beneath the track. The plant, to be about the size of a shipping container and expected to cost $10 million, should cut Flemington's use of Melbourne's drinking water by about 350 megalitres a year — enough to supply about 1700 households. Victorian Racing Club chairman Rod Fitzroy said the plant meant it could "preserve the wonderful elm trees, the lawns, the tracks and our beautiful roses with confidence into the future". The Age_ 10/31/07

Nipomo, California leans toward desalination to fix water woes

The Nipomo Community Services District board has narrowed several options that it has considered in recent months to two: buying state water or building a desalination plant. A desal plant would cost between $80 million and $100 million, according to a study completed for the district by consultants Boyle Engineering. And the plant, in San Luis Obispo County on California's central coast, could take at least eight years to complete, the report states. The board may choose either state water or desalination, or both, according to district General Manager Bruce Buel. But the district likely can’t afford state water and desalination. The board is expected to vote at a Dec. 12 meeting, Buel said. For more than seven years, the district has been looking for additional water for Nipomo. Several studies show that too much water is being pumped out of underground aquifers, the district’s only source of drinking water. San Luis Obispo Tribune_ 10/22/07

Prime Minister John Howard pledges $50 million, including money for a desalination plant, to help South Australia tackle the drought

Speaking in Adelaide this afternoon, Mr. Howard said the Coalition Government if re-elected would provide $10 million towards planning for the proposed desalination plant. The Government also would provide a further $40 million to more than double its contribution to the waterproofing northern Adelaide project, extending it into new development areas. In a normal year Adelaide draws some 40 per cent of its water needs from the River Murray and Mr Howard said this was “ impractical and unacceptable for a river system under stress”. The Advertiser_ 10/21/07

Florida's troubled Tampa Bay desalination plant on verge of final test, four years after it was supposed to be finished

Tampa Bay Water's perpetually troubled desalination plant may at last be free of its operational woes, an official from the company repairing the plant told the utility's board Monday. "I sometimes say that this plant has ghosts with it," Kent Turner of American Water Pridesa told the board. "I think the ghosts are gone." Since the start of a test run that began Oct. 2, Turner said, the $158-million plant has been producing its capacity of 25-million gallons of water every day. If this phase, known as a "run-in," continues without a major glitch, the company will end it Thursday, take a two-week break and begin the plant's formal acceptance test in early November, Turner said. If the plant passes that test, then it will be ready to begin full-fledged operation, he said. The Apollo Beach plant, the largest in the United States, was supposed to be ready in 2003, but it flunked its acceptance test, and the company that built it went bankrupt. Turner's company, hired in 2004 to fix the plant, has missed several deadlines to complete the $29-million job. Turner has said that the fate of the desal industry worldwide hinges on the success of the Apollo Beach plant. With so much riding on the plant's success, the German-Spanish consortium agreed Monday to give Tampa Bay Water a $600,000 price break to settle its claims on the repeated project delays. St. Petersburg Times_ 10/16/07

Wind powers Sydney, Australia's desalination plant

Sydney's controversial desalination plant will be supplied with power from 75 wind turbines from as many as six wind farms to be built across the state. The $1.7 billion project will demand almost one-fifth of the country's wind-generated energy, providing the biggest ever boost to the state's green energy industry. Water Utilities Minister Nathan Rees will today issue a request for proposals from energy suppliers to power the 400,000MwH plant. Mr Rees said proposals would be accepted from any provider accredited to supply clean, green energy to the national energy market: "As I have said repeatedly, Sydney's desalination plant will not produce a single kilogram of CO2 emissions. Concerns were previously raised that the desalination plant would absorb almost all of the country's green power supply. It has since emerged that it will take only a sizeable chunk - and with renewable energy now a federal hot topic the industry is expected to grow rapidly enough to feed the plant. Daily Telegraph_ 10/15/07

Jordan plans desalination unit in Aqaba

During a meeting with Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Shatnawi in Aqaba, Director of Aqaba Water Company Emad Zreikat said the $30 million plant would be set up on the southern shores of Aqaba with a capacity of five million cubic metres (mcm) annually. The project would cover more than a quarter of water needs of the growing Aqaba, which currently consumes 18mcm a year. Zreikat said terms of reference are being set by a specialised international firm. Sources at the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) said Saturday that the shortage in water supplies witnessed in the summer has been minimised, thanks to the resumption of constant pumping from the Zara Main Plant at a 100,000mcm daily rate. The improvement was also attributed to 42 new water wells, with a total capacity of 20mcm and the reduction of water loss by 2 per cent, which has saved the country 5.5mcm a year, according to Miyahuna sources. Jordan is one of the world's top 10 thirstiest countries. A major solution to water shortage is the Disi water conveyance project, which will be implemented over the coming four years by a coalition of companies led by Turkey's GAMA. The winning coalition would dig 55 wells in the Disi area bordering Saudi Arabia for pumping 100mcm of water annually through a 320-kilometre pipeline. Jordan Times/MENAFN_ 10/8/07

Portland, Australia frontrunner for clean energy and water desalination project

The $500 million plant would harness the energy of waves to generate 50 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power 25,000 houses. Part of the plant would also be used for desalination to create up to 50 billion litres of fresh water a year. West Australian company Carnegie Corporation held talks about its ambitious project with the Victorian Government last month. Herald Sun_ 10/6/07

San Diego County congressional delegation supports Carlsbad, California desalination plant

The five congressional delegates from San Diego County have sent a letter to the California Coastal Commission, urging them to approve the permit for the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. It was signed by Darrell Issa, R-Vista; Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach; Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon; Bob Filner, D-San Diego; and Susan Davis, R-San Diego. Poseidon, with the city of Carlsbad as its main partner, wants to build a $300 million plant at Carlsbad's Encina power plant. Poseidon has said the plant would turn 50 million gallons of seawater each day into drinking water by forcing it through high-tech filters and sending the extra salt back to the sea. Hearings are scheduled for Oct. 30 before the State Lands Commission and Nov. 15 before the Coastal Commission. North County Times_ 10/4/07

United Water New York gives Hudson River treatment plant plans to the state

United Water New York has taken the first official step toward constructing a facility that would send treated Hudson River water to its 266,000 Rockland customers. The company has submitted plans to the state for a facility that would draw water from the river - where everything from polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and the radioactive isotopes tritium and strontium 90 have been found - and make it safe to drink. United Water was required to address long-term supply needs as part of a negotiated settlement when the company successfully sought a rate increase last year. The state Public Service Commission, which oversees utilities in New York, is monitoring Untied Water's compliance with the negotiated requirements of the overall rate case, but it will be up to other agencies, such as the state departments of Environmental Conservation and Health, to review specifics of the project. Rockland relies primarily on just the rain and snow that fall upon it for its drinking water. The company must submit draft environmental studies and environmental permit applications by Sept. 30, 2008. The plant is proposed to be in service by Dec. 31, 2015. Journal News_ 10/2/07

September, 2007

Arabian Gulf reefs survive under extreme conditions; desalination makes sea warmer

Gulf reefs survive under extreme conditions due to increased rate of desalination which is making the sea warmer and saltier, with high amouts of chlorine, said lecturer at Dubai's Zayed University and a member of the United Nations University Prof John Burt. He was speaking at a lecture given to the Dubai Natural History Group. He said salinity in the area could reach 50 points per thousand, which can be fatal to coral and water temperature could range around 25 degrees Celsius. He said he was concerned about the plans to install a new desalination plant near the Abu Dhabi border which could have huge long term effects by increasing temperature and salinity. UNI/New Kerala.com_ 9/23/07

Metito and IFC help improve water services in the Middle East and North Africa

Metito, the international desalination, water, and wastewater treatment specialist, has partnered with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to increase its capital and finance its expanding projects in water and wastewater infrastructure in the Middle East and North Africa. As predicted by a World Bank report, the Middle East and North Africa will experience a 50 percent drop in water supply per capita by 2050, with serious implications for the region's aquifers and natural hydrological systems. As the region's economies and population structures develop over the next few decades, demands for water supply and irrigation services will change accordingly, as will the need to address industrial and urban pollution. The report states that approximately 60 percent of the region's water flows across international borders, further complicating the resource management challenge. AME Info_ 9/23/07

UAE emergency water reserves on the decline

There is only two to five days of emergency water reserves for domestic use in the UAE and region, according to a study which calls for more groundwater storage to cope with crises over long periods of time. The study by Dr Mohammad Dawoud, Manager Water Resources Department at the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi was recently published by the Gulf Research Centre. According to the findings, current storage facilities can only hold water for less than five days and surface reservoirs are costly and not environmentally friendly. "Groundwater storage using the artificial recharge technique is a promising tool for strategic water reserves in all GCC countries. Storing the fresh water in groundwater aquifers is safer and more reliable in terms of time and location," Dawoud states. "The problem facing the GCC countries, however, is the vulnerability of desalination plants to pollution and emergency conditions. "Usually wells can be located where most needed and because wells require little land, the costs of large land acquisitions are avoided," said Dawoud. GulfNews_ 9/21/07

U.S. signs accord with Jordan backing its nuclear development for electricity and desalination

The United States has signed an accord with Jordan aimed at supporting the peaceful development of the kingdom's nascent nuclear program, the U.S. Embassy said Sunday. Jordanian King Abdullah II announced his intention to develop a peaceful nuclear program in January, saying alternative energy sources were needed to generate electricity and desalinate water in the kingdom. Haaretz/AP_ 9/16/07

Companies rush for slice of South Australia's desalination action

Companies hoping to build South Australia's promised desalination plant have made formal and informal approaches to the State Government. Pelican Point power station operator International Power wants the desalination plant next to its power generator. It operates combined power-desalination plants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Construction company John Holland managing director David Stewart said the company, a partner in desalination projects on the Gold Coast and in Sydney, would look seriously at Adelaide. Other companies believed to be interested in building and operating the proposed plant, which could cost more than $1.5 billion, are United Water and Multiplex, which built Perth's desalination plant. The Advertiser_ 9/13/07

Mott MacDonald to conduct water study in Saudi Arabia

Mott MacDonald has been appointed by King Abdullah Research & Consulting to conduct a study into water demand and resources in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Due to its growing population, Saudi Arabia's demand for water is increasing. This new study will help to ensure that higher levels of demand can be met as well as inform plans for new desalination plants which is of particular importance as most of the plants commissioned in the 1980s are about to de-commissioned as they reach the end of their productive life. The study, due for completion by the end of this year, will provide data to help determine planning of new desalination plants and the co-generation of power for the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the next 25 years. WaterWorld_ 9/12/07

South Australia government to build A$1.54 billion desalination plant to supply 25% of Adelaide's water

The State Government will build a desalination plant and double Mt Bold reservoir at a cost of more than $2.5billion to secure the state's water supplies. In a major statement, Mr Rann says the desalination working group had been investigating both a 50 gigalitre desalination plant and a doubling of the Mt Bold reservoir at a cost of $820 million. Mr Rann said the pricing of water to SA households would have to be reviewed as part of the development. In the biggest infrastructure development in the State's history, the government would proceed with both. The desalination plant could cost in excess of $1.54 billion and would supply 25 percent of Adelaide's annual water supply. Unlike the Perth plant, the SA Government would build it on a site that would allow it to double in size if necessary. The Advertiser_ 9/11/07


Spain's Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA and Obrascon Huarte Lain SA bid for desalination plant in Algeria

The companies are bidding through their respective environmental units Aqualia and Inima, La Gaceta de los Negocios. The Spanish company estimates that the project will cost 500 million euro while it is seen worth some 3.4 billion euro over a 25-year concession. The concession includes the design, financing, construction and management of the plant, according to the company. FCC and OHL are also bidding for three other desalination plants in Algeria with an investment of 250 million euros. Echorouk_ 9/3/07

August, 2007

Istanbul Mayor confirms desalination project

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbas said the municipality has launched a project to turn seawater into potable water in an attempt to ease the city’s water shortage problem. When asked about plans for the project while attending Victory Day celebrations in Istanbul yesterday, Topbas said they would launch tender studies, though that method has substantial costs. Pointing to other countries suffering water problems, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are using the same method Topbas said the municipality plans to start with a capacity of 350,000 tons. “The project will [ultimately] provide 10-15 percent of  of Istanbul's water needs," he said. Today's Zaman_ 8/31/07

Veolia to build desalination plant in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

France's Veolia Environnement said today the Fujairah plant would be built by its Sidem subsidiary. The facility will be located in Qidfa and is expected to produce 590,000 cubed meters per day of desalinated water. Veolia said the contract represents $805 million in revenues over the duration of the project. In June, the company said it would build an 800,000 cubed meters per day plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The company said that deal is worth $945 million. The Sidem subsidiary has 73 desalination plants in the region. Inside Greentech_ 8/30/07

United Water to submit plans for Hudson River desalination plant in New York's Rockland County

United Water New York sees the plant as a long-term solution for ensuring that its Rockland customers have an adequate supply by the end of 2015, the company said yesterday. The company, which supplies drinking water to a majority of Rockland's homes and businesses, must submit preliminary plans to the state Public Service Commission by Sept. 30. The PSC oversees utilities in New York. United Water successfully sought a rate increase last year, but was required to address Rockland's water supply on a short-, medium- and long-term basis. The company faces financial penalties if it fails to pursue projects by specific dates. When United Water announced the proposal in January, it estimated the cost at $79 million. Journal News_ 8/29/07

Jordan's King Abdullah II urges speeding up the nation's nuclear power program to supply desalination power and generate electricity

Following up on his January announcement of his intentions to develop a peaceful nuclear program, the king stressed the need for an alternative energy source to generate electricity and desalinate water in the face of the rising costs of imported energy, the official Petra news agency reported. Minister for Scientific Research Khaled Toukan told the recently formed Supreme Committee for Nuclear Energy Strategy that "nuclear energy would constitute 30 percent of the total amount of energy produced in Jordan by 2030," based on studies his ministry has conducted. Other countries in the region, including U.S.-allies Egypt and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council also have announced plans to develop their own peaceful nuclear programs. The moves come against a backdrop of rising regional concern over Iran's nuclear program which it describes as being for peaceful purposes, though the U.S. alleges it is also for developing weapons. AP/International Herald Tribune_ 8/26/07

California looks to desalination for water woes

Desalination plants used to be found only in oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia. Now, as water becomes an ever more precious resource in California, proposals for 18 desalination plants are being studied by local officials from San Diego to Marin County. The largest would be in the Bay Area. NPR_ 8/25/07(audio broadcast)

London mayor appeals Thames Water desalination plant

London Mayor Ken Livingstone submitted an appeal to the U.K. High Court against Thames Water Utilities' proposed desalination plant in Becton, in the east of the capital. Livingstone is appealing last month's approval to build the facility, saying the government didn't give ``proper consideration to the Mayor's case'' and hasn't properly examined alternatives to the plant, the mayor's press office said in an e-mailed statement today. ``Thames Water should be fixing more leaks rather than finding expensive ways to spend Londoners' money on making fresh water,'' Livingstone said in the statement. ``Adding 200 million pounds to Londoners' water bills to spend on technology more appropriate for the desert is simply a disgrace. I cannot sit back and allow this to happen." Construction of the plant, the first of its kind in the U.K., is expected to start next year, with the facility operating by the second half of 2009, Thames Water said in July. It will remove salt from water taken from the River Thames and supply as many as 140 million liters of water a day to London, enough for almost 1 million people. The facility will run on biodiesel, a liquid fuel made from plants, and will only be used during periods of low rainfall, according to the utility. Bloomberg_ 8/21/07

Jordan mulling desalination as a cheaper alternative to Red Sea-Dead Sea canal

Jordan is considering a cheaper, quicker alternative to a planned canal that is designed to replenish the dwindling Dead Sea with water from the Red Sea and provide Amman with drinking water. The Jordanians are concerned the construction of the canal will be delayed either due to its high cost, or the opposition of Israeli environmental groups, and therefore are considering building a desalination plant in Aqaba and pumping the water through pipes to Amman. That solution would not resolve problem of the dwindling size of the Dead Sea, but Israeli sources said they believe that Jordan will opt for the cheaper alternative should the construction of the canal prove difficult, because rehabilitating the Dead Sea is considered less important to Jordan than addressing the country's water shortage. The World Bank and private investors are expected to finance the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal, but Saudi Arabian businessmen who visited Aqaba recently expressed an interest in financing the desalination project, should the World Bank renege on financing the canal. Haaretz_ 8/12/07

Desalination gaining popularity in Southern, East Africa - Frost & Sullivan

The use of desalination technology as a source of freshwater in Southern and East African and Indian Ocean island locations has significant potential, global growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan said in a research note this week. However, the primary challenge for desalination plant suppliers is the cost of the desalination technology. Frost & Sullivan said that, despite a reduction in membrane costs, less developed economies and their end-users generally do not have the capacity to finance such plants. Desalination technology provides these countries with a water supply option that is not affected by changing weather patterns and water scarcity, Frost & Sullivan said. However, environmental conservation group WWF voiced concerns over desalination earlier in the year, saying that there were cheaper and greener ways to supply fresh water. While the WWF acknowledged that desalination may have a place in the world's future, it said that desalination was not the answer to water supply problems and that nothing could replace the need for proper management of freshwater ecosystems. Creamer Media's Engineering News_ 8/10/07

Groundwater desalination research center to open next week in New Mexico

Scientists at the center hope to find cheaper and efficient ways to use poor-quality water. The Bureau of Reclamation owns the Yuma Desalting Plant in Arizona, which was mothballed for more than a decade but successfully completed a test run earlier this year. Once thought the province of coastal cities, desalination has quickly emerged as an alternative for inland areas with poor groundwater or excess agricultural runoff. Officials see promise in the ability to improve water quality in rural areas or on Indian reservations. The New Mexico research center, a joint operation of the bureau, Sandia National Laboratories and New Mexico State University, will open next week in Alamogordo, N.M. Researchers there will study new desalting technology that could reduce costs and help small, rural systems. Arizona Republic_ 8/10/07 (logon required)

$87 million desalination plant goes online in El Paso, Texas

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant is the largest inland desalination plant in the world. It's expected to be at its full capacity of 27.5 million gallons per day -- about a quarter of the current demand -- by October. The plant also helped save Fort Bliss, after Army officials moved a cavalry regiment to Colorado based on reports that El Paso faced a water shortage, Hutchinson, a former U.S. Senator, said at the dedication. After the most recent Base Realignment and Closure round, Fort Bliss became the "major recipient of troops for our Army," said Hutchison, who was credited with finding money for the project. "This historic base is going to be one of the greatest Army bases in the world." Fort Bliss is slated to receive more than 20,000 soldiers by 2011. And the Army is studying the possibility of sending more soldiers to Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range as a part of a plan to expand the Army. "We always used to get hammered about El Paso being a community that was going to run out of water," said U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas. With the lawsuits filed over water rights and the "myth" of looming shortages "it looked like we were a county under siege, worrying about where our next glass of water was going to come from," Reyes said. The plant treats brackish water, which exists in large amounts in the Hueco Bolson under El Paso. Also dedicated on Wednesday was the Carlos M. Ramirez TecH2O Water Resources Learning Center. The plant is expected to help El Paso become a water treatment research and development leader. El Paso Times_ 8/9/07

Residents on Cyprus angered by proposed desalination plan that fails to consider impact on tourism

Plans for a floating desalination plant off the coast of Pyrgos, in the Limassol district, have been met with outrage by residents of the community. The Council of Ministers has given the green light for the plant, which is expected to produce 20,000 cubic metres of water daily, and is due to begin operations by May next year. The plant is said to be a temporary measure until the construction of a permanent plant in Limassol is finalised, by 2010. This will produce 40,000 cubic metres of water every day. A second unit, in Paphos, is expected to be in place by 2012, with a third, in Famagusta, no later than the following year. Pyrgos Community Council on Wednesday met with Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Fotis Fotiou and
Chairman of the council Argyris Evagorou said the decision was taken without even speaking with any of the residents and that local factors, such as the town’s tourism plans, are being ignored. Following the meeting, Evagorou said the government had ignored their pleas and was hell-bent on proceeding as quickly as possible. He warned, however, that the community was equally determined to stop any work that would interfere with their tourism plans. Cyprus Mail_ 8/9/07

El Paso desalination plant opens with high expectations
A desalination plant that officials say is the world's largest outside a coastal area and is expected to supply this desert city with water for 50 years opened for business Wednesday. The opening of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant, named for Texas' senior U.S. senator, marked the end of a 15-year project to design, fund and build the plant that eventually will be capable of supplying 27.5 million gallons of drinking water daily.  "This is a new water supply for El Paso, a new facility with a new water," said Edmund G. Archuleta, president and CEO of the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board, which will run the $87 million plant.  The plant will treat brackish, or salty, water pulled from hundreds of feet below the ground, where the supply was considered worthless before the plant was built. A series of wells and more than two dozen miles of pipeline will connect the plant to the aquifer, which sits under Fort Bliss, the city's neighboring Army post.  Star Telegram_8/8/07

Acciona SA water division Acciona Agua joint venture wins 133.8 million euro Algerian desalination contract

In a statement, Acciona said it will construct and operate the plant with Canadian group Lavalin and Algerian state enterprise Algerien Energie Company. Acciona noted it will be 80 pct financed by Credit Populaire Algeriene, while the remaining 20 pct will be provided by the joint venture. The construction group also said a joint venture in which it is a participant has won a similar concession to build and operate for 10 years another desalination plant in the United Arab Emirates for an undisclosed sum. Thompson Financial/Forbes_ 8/6/07

Desalination deal awarded for Saudi economic city

SETE Energy Saudia for Industrial Projects has won a contract to set up a desalination plant for Saudi Arabia’s ambitious business and residential hub King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). The lead developer is Emaar, the Economic City (Emaar EC). No financial details were released. Arabian Business_ 8/6/07

Poseidon's customer list growing for possible desalination plant in California's San Diego County

The developer of an ocean-water desalination plant has signed up a fifth agency, the Rainbow Municipal Water District, to buy its product, meaning it has customers for 80 percent of the proposed plant's output. Poseidon Resources has most of the permits it needs to build the plant on the grounds of the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. The company still faces a California Coastal Commission hearing in November in San Diego. Poseidon Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan said he believes the fact that the plant has lined up five water agencies – and likely will have others by the time of the hearing – will help it get a coastal permit. The Rainbow board voted unanimously Tuesday to buy 7,500 acre-feet, roughly one-fourth of the district's demand, from Poseidon. Rainbow, a largely agricultural district along Interstate 15 that stretches from Bonsall to Riverside County, probably would not see a drop of desalinated ocean water because Poseidon's proposed pipe system will not reach that far inland. Instead, the Rainbow district would enter into a transfer arrangement with another Poseidon customer. Rainbow would swap water it draws from the San Diego County aqueduct with water the other agency, such as Oceanside, would take from Poseidon. Farmers will be the first to feel the squeeze of any future water curtailments. George McManigle, a Rainbow board member and fruit grower, said agricultural uses are considered surplus by the Metropolitan Water District, the Los Angeles-based supplier for Southern California. The Rainbow district is planning for a 30 percent reduction in water allocations for the upcoming year. As with other districts that have signed up for desalinated water – Carlsbad, Valley Center, Rincon and Sweetwater – Rainbow's agreement says it will pay no more for Poseidon's product than it pays the County Water Authority. San Diego Union-Tribune_ 7/29/07

France, Libya sign nuclear drinking water desalination deal

France and Libya have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a Libyan nuclear reactor for water desalination and clinched a raft of other deals, a senior French official said. The agreement "aims to furnish Libya with a nuclear reactor that makes it possible to meet one of its important needs - a supply of drinking water," French presidential aide Claude Gueant told reporters in Tripoli. The deal came soon after French President Nicolas Sarkozy flew in for talks with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, a day after Tripoli’s release of six foreign medics that cleared the way for trade deals with the oil-rich state. Gueant stressed that "there is still much work to do" on the feasibility study of the desalination project and that French experts had already been in Libya for more than three weeks doing preliminary planning. Asked if the deal had been linked to the release of the medics, he replied, "No, not at all."  AFP/The Times_ 7/26/07

Abu Dhabi invites bids to build water desalination, power plant

Abu Dhabi has invited offers from at least 20 international firms to build a water desalination and power plant, an official said yesterday. "We have asked international companies to submit expressions of interest by July 24," said Zaal Al Hammeri of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). The S2 plant will have a capacity of 1,600 MW of power and 100 million gallons per day (mgpd) of water, he said. He did specify the value of the project. The companies invited include Britain's International Power, US company General Electric and Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co and Marubeni Corporation. Reuters/Gulf News_ 7/23/07

Santa Cruz, California tests the waters for desalination

City leaders and Soquel Creek Water District officials started construction Friday on a $4 million pilot desalination plant at the UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab that will test a water treatment system that would feed homes and businesses across the county if proven acceptable. The 2,400-square-foot test facility is expected to pump 72,000 gallons of seawater a day, and possibly set the Santa Cruz Water Department and water district on the path to a shared $40 million permanent desalination facility they say would help shore up the area's water supply. The pilot plant — to be constructed by global engineering firm Camp Dresser and McKee — should be completed by October and running by November, according to Heidi Luckenbach, an engineer with the city's Water Department. The test plant will operate for at least one year to examine details of the energy-intensive reverse osmosis process, impacts on marine life and the resulting water quality. Santa Cruz Sentinel_ 7/21/07

Veolia Water is awarded major Sydney, Australia desalination contract

As part of the New South Wales Government's initiatives for sustainable water supply, the Sydney Water Corporation has awarded a major 250,000m3/day seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant contract to Veolia Water and construction joint venture partner John Holland. The project's aim is to help ensure Sydney has a sustainable and secure water supply, and comes after growing concern over climate change. The contract is for the complete design, build, operation and maintenance of a reverse osmosis desalination plant with expected consolidated turnover of approximately 570 million Euros for Veolia Water over the life of the project. Veolia Water has formed a construction joint venture with John Holland for the project. Both organisations are currently working together delivering the Gold Coast Desalination Plant in Queensland. Work will begin on the project in late July and water will be delivered to Sydney residents by the Australian summer (November to March) 2009/2010. Veolia Water will operate the plant for 20 years. Veolia Water has seawater desalination projects across the world, including the world's largest reverse osmosis desalination plant (320,000m3/day) in Ashkelon, Israel, and its latest contract signed in June 2007 for an 800,000m3/day desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. News Release_ 7/18/07

UK gets first desalination plant
The UK's first desalination plant providing drinking water for Londoners and people in the south-east has been granted government approval.  The plant in Beckton, east London, will start producing water sometime in 2009, in times of drought or low rainfall.  The site will provide up to 140m litres of drinking water a day - enough for nearly one million people.  But critics say the plant is a "sticking plaster" solution to the water crisis.  Richard Aylard, from Thames Water, said: "The desalination plant is a vital part of our plans to secure future water supplies to the capital.  But environmental campaigners condemned the government's approval of the plant.  "It is a sticking plaster solution to the water crisis we have in the south-east," said Rob Oates from the World Wildlife Fund.  "The government should instead conduct a bigger, strategic review of people's water usage and work to reduce demand and leakage, introduce metering in homes and encourage residents to install water-saving technology."  BBC News_7/18/07

Russia to build floating nuclear plants for desalination power, other uses

Since 2006, Sevmash, the main company of the Russian State Nuclear Shipbuilding Center, has been working to complete a floating nuclear power plant in northern Russia that will be launched in 2010 and moored in a nearby harbor. The floating NPP, three to five hectares in area, will power Sevmash's production and social infrastructure, and will generate heat and desalinate seawater. In fact, the ship, like a small island with two KLT-40S reactors, could be towed anywhere. Russia plans to build many floating NPPs by 2020. These NPPs, which are a vital element of the national energy program, the G8 strategy to prevent energy crises and the current renaissance in nuclear power, were developed in order to meet growing power demand in remote Russian areas.   Russian News and Information Agency_ 7/17/07

California Coastal Comission, Poseidon Resources Inc. at odds over disclosure of Carlsbad desalination information

When the California Coastal Commission charged recently that Poseidon Resources, Inc. was withholding information about its plans build a Carlsbad desalination plant, it was not the first time someone had leveled such criticism at the company. San Diego County Water Authority officials, during several years of contentious on-again-off-again negotiations to be part of the Carlsbad project, once complained that Poseidon had used business-secret confidentiality claims to withhold environmental information. The agency broke off negotiations a year ago, but has endorsed the project. In Tampa Bay, Fla., where Poseidon helped build a desalination plant that endured problems from 2003 to 2005, officials still say Poseidon used confidentiality claims to "conceal" information that would have made the plant operate better. Despite that, local water officials who desperately want the Carlsbad seawater desalting plant to succeed because of drought worries, refused to criticize Poseidon after the California Coastal Commission's staff complained July 3 that Poseidon was not turning over requested information. Poseidon itself, which eventually allowed the Water Authority to conduct its own environmental testing and has denied the Tampa Bay complaints, said last week that it was close to reaching a resolution with the Coastal Commission on its information requests. However, company officials also said that they've asked to meet with the Coastal Commission's board in August to appeal to circumvent those requests if they can't reach a resolution. North County Times_ 7/16/07

Israel Desalination Enterprises Technologies to build 3 desalination plants in India for $9.5 million

IDE, jointly owned by Israel Chemicals and the Delek Group, said in a statement one plant would supply about 3,000 cubic metres (105,900 cu ft) of drinking water a day, while the other two would each supply about 1,200 cu m. In 2002, IDE built a plant capable of producing 5,500 cu m in Gujarat province where it plans to build one of the plants. Reuters_ 7/15/07

International Power 'ready to build' desalination plant in Adelaide, Australia

International Power, which operates Pelican Point power station, has had talks with the State Government on construction should the Government decide to proceed with desalination as a solution to Adelaide's water crisis. International Power has discussed the proposal with Water Security Minister Karlene Maywald and Infrastructure Minister Patrick Conlon. A spokesman for International Power, which operates a giant desalination power plant in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, said the company had made no secret of its desire to use Pelican Point as a desalination site. If it proceeds with a desalination plant for Adelaide, the Government's preferred option is understood to be for a joint power-desalination complex. A Government working party is examining the desalination option. Its report is expected in September or October. The Advertiser_ 7/13/07

Full dams won't stop Sydney, Australia desalination plant

Sydney will get its desalination plant even if all the dams are filled, the NSW Government says. NSW Water Utilities Minister Nathan Rees said today the controversial plant, which is opposed by environmentalists and many water experts, would go ahead because of population expansion. Mr Rees said 1 million new Sydneysiders were expected over the next 20 years, which would add unprecedented pressure to water supplies. Mr Rees told Southern Cross Broadcasting in the face of climate change and increased unreliability of rainfall projections, the government would not take a risk with the security of Sydney's water supply. Sydney Morning Herald_ 7/13/07

Law suit filed to challenge desalination project in San Diego County

An environmental group has filed a lawsuit challenging a discharge permit that could spell trouble for a proposal to build a Carlsbad plant to turn seawater into drinking water. The Surfrider Foundation filed a lawsuit asking the court to make the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control board reconsider the discharge permit it renewed for Carlsbad's Encina Power Station in August 2006. The permit allows the electrical station to suck in ocean water to cool its electricity-generating turbines, and then spit the water back out into the sea. A private company, Poseidon Resources, Inc., and the city of Carlsbad, are proposing to build a plant that would use a portion of the seawater the plant takes in, to filter out the salt and make it drinkable. The company has an agreement to use the cooling system, and must have the permit to build the plant. Environmental groups say the "once-through-cooling" system harms the ocean, and that recent court decisions bar their use in the future. A state water board in June rejected the Surfrider request to overturn the permit. North County Times_ 7/11/07

Dow Technology supports production of fresh water at Australian desalination plant

Dow Water Solutions, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company and its affiliates, announced that its advanced FILMTEC™ membrane technology is at the heart of Western Australia’s largest seawater desalination plant. The newly-commissioned Perth Seawater Desalination Plant, currently the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, significantly improves the availability of drinking water for more than 200,000 Perth residents.  Press Release_7/10/07

Consolidated Water Co. awarded contract to build seawater desalination plant in Cayman Islands

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. today announced that the Cayman Islands Government has awarded the Company a ten-year Design-Build-Own-Operate-Transfer contract for a seawater desalination plant on Frank Sound on Grand Cayman Island. The design capacity of the new plant will be 2.38 million US gallons of water per day (USgpd), and the Company will guarantee under the contract the delivery of 2.14 million USgpd to its customer, the Water Authority of the Cayman Islands. Fresh drinking (potable) water will be produced from salt water wells via two electrically driven Sea Water Reverse Osmosis ("RO") units utilizing the Calder DWEER(R) energy recovery device for optimum operating efficiency. The plant will also include a partial second-stage brackish water desalination unit to meet applicable quality standards. PRNewswire/CNN_ 7/10/07

Sydney Water picks Blue Water consortium to build desalination plant

The government of New South Wales (NSW) has announced that the Blue Water consortium is its preferred tenderer to design, build and operate Sydney's desalination plant. NSW premier Morris Iemma said Sydney Water would shortly sign a contract for a 250 million litre per day plant at Kurnell in the south of the city, worth approximately US $815 million, with the consortium, which consists of John Holland, Sinclair Knight Mertz (SKM), Maunsell and Veolia. The new capacity figure is double what was originally planned, and was increased because the costs turned out to be less than initially envisaged. Iemma said the new arrangement would make Sydney "drought-proof". The plant itself will now cost around US $620 million, while the seawater intake and outlets are estimated to cost around US $195 million. Work on the desalination plant, which will run on green energy and supply 15% of Sydney's water, is due to begin next month and become operational by 2010. ArabianBusiness.com_ 7/9/07

IES technology in United Arab Emirates desalination plant cuts brine waste

Dubai and the whole UAE may soon be able to recycle the concentrated brine resulting from their seawater desalination processing systems, following the partnership forged between two companies based in Germany and Bahrain. IES, a German firm specialising in advanced eco-technologies, and CDT-International, a Bahraini firm facilitating technology transfer on environmental protection, have agreed to promote the new technology that would solve problems involving seawater desalination. Martin Padisak, chairman and CEO, IES, said his company has developed a technology that recycles the environmentally harmful seawater waste brine discharges resulting from the desalination processes. He added that this involves a self-sustaining process of "deep decalcination", or softening of the brine. The process produces high-quality potable water and valuable minerals, such as magnesium chloride and potassium chloride, out of concentrated seawater waste discharges. Noting that two-thirds of the world's desalination plants are in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE, Padisak said he hopes that these Gulf states would be among the first users of the new IES technology. He said the IES has an ongoing negotiation with Taiwan, which could be using the company's new technology within the year. Talks with Japan will begin this month while the other immediate targets are Australia and the US. He added that IES has been talking with the European Desalination Society, which has direct contact with members of the European Union. He stressed that all seawater desalination technologies — reverse osmosis, thermal distillation and electrodialysis, among others — being used today produce harmful brines that are thrown into the coastal areas, gradually killing the natural habitat. Khaleej Times_ 7/7/07

Eco-friendly desalination in the United Arab Emirates

A new eco-friendly process of desalinating water is set to be introduced soon in the UAE that aims to prevent harmful elements entering the sea. The Germany-based manufacturing firm IES signed an agreement yesterday with the local firm Smart Creative, allowing it to distribute the eco-friendly products in the UAE. "Our goal is to protect the environment by eliminating the toxic elements that are thrown into the ocean after the desalination process," said Dr Martin Padisak, Chairman of IES. "The high concentration of salt affects the fish population and as a result limits the fish industry in the Gulf region." By applying the new technology to an existing desalination plant, the seawater desalination process is converted into a zero-discharge process, according to Padisak. Gulf News.com_ 7/6/07

Water department works with UCLA on desalination
Long Beach California's Water Department will take advantage of the huge technical research capability at UCLA to speed the evaluation of seawater desalination using the “Long Beach method.”  The agreement means UCLA will conduct bench-scale membrane evaluations, theoretical model development, data modeling and optimization studies. The laboratory research work will use and complement data being gathered at Long Beach’s 300,000-gallon per day test facility and a companion Under Ocean Floor Intake and Discharge Demonstration System.  Long Beach has been working for the last decade to perfect a method to take salt and minerals from seawater to provide a new source of potable water. The city has patented a dual membrane method created by since retired Water Department Assistant General Manager Diem X. Vuong that is expected to be much cheaper than the current standard of reverse osmosis.  The $5.4 million desalination plant, next to the Haynes Power Plant on the border with Orange County, began operation a year ago. It runs side-by-side desalination tests with reverse osmosis and various configurations of the Long Beach dual membrane approach to find the most energy-efficient method.  Gazettes.com_7/5/07

California coastal watchdog says Poseidon's desalination application incomplete, again

After issuing an "incomplete" verdict for the fourth time in 10 months on the application for a long-discussed plan to turn seawater off the coast of Carlsbad into drinking water, the agency that watches over the state's coastline suggested a sit-down meeting to discuss the plan. Representatives from the California Coastal Commission, which has to give its approval for the $300 million seawater desalination plant to be built, issued a letter to Poseidon Resources, Inc. officials, saying the commission still needed more information before it could even bring the issue to its board for consideration. Commission spokesman Tom Luster said the agency still had substantial financial and environmental questions about the proposed plant. The commission has long been considered the proposed plant's biggest hurdle, because it has questioned whether private companies should be allowed to control potential water supplies. Poseidon officials, who began studying the idea of building the plant at the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad in 2000 and applied for a commission permit 10 months ago, did not return calls for comment Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon, Tom Luster, the coastal commission's desalination expert, said the agency wants to know more about how much the water that the plant would produce would cost; whether the plant should be smaller; and whether the plant would increase greenhouse gas emissions. Poseidon, working with the city of Carlsbad and several water agencies, wants to build the largest seawater desalination plant in the United States at the Encina power plant. The proposed plant would produce up to 50 million gallons of desalted drinking water a day, giving county residents their first "drought-proof" water supply. North County Times_ 7/4/07

Coastal panel's staff has more questions for Poseidon San Diego Union-Tribune_ 7/7/07

Texas pilot plant desalting sea water

On a one-acre site alongside a string of shrimp boats docked on the Brownsville ship channel stands a $2.2 million assembly of pipes, sheds, and humming machinery - Texas' entree into global efforts to make sea water suitable to drink. The plant is a pilot project for the state's $150 million, full-scale sea water desalination plant slated for construction in 2010. Desalting sea water is expensive, mostly because of the energy required. Current cost estimates run at about $650 per acre foot (326,000 gallons), as opposed to $200 for purifying the same amount of fresh water. However, it is a growing field around the world as governments and private investors ante up where water drinkable needs are crucial. About two-thirds of the world's desalinated water is produced in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and North Africa. Perth, Australia, is looking to meet a third of its fresh water demand by removing salt from sea water. In March, Israel showed off its plant at the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon that can process 87 million gallons of water a day. Singapore opened a sea water desalination plant in 2005 hoping it will meet at least 10 percent of its water needs. Two months ago, General Electric Co. announced a $220 million contract to build a plant in South Africa. Global output is still relatively minute - less than 0.1 percent of all drinking water. But according to a recent report by Global Water Intelligence, the worldwide desalination industry is expected to grow 140 percent over the next decade, with $25 billion in capital investment by 2010, or $56 billion by 2015. While the U.S. has hundreds of plants to purify brackish ground water, desalination of saltier sea water is just getting started. AP/Charlotte Observer_ 7/1/07

Dry winters raise S. California's hopes for desalination plant

Officials with Poseidon Resources Inc., the Connecticut-based developer of the proposed ocean-water desalination plant in Carlsbad, Calif. are pushing to extend the plant's pipeline system so it can reach more customers. The company hopes to get the plant up and running in 2010.  The possibility of a new source of water has particular appeal now, after two years of sparse rain. Last week, the County Water Authority asked residents to voluntarily reduce their daily consumption by 20 gallons a person. “It puts a huge spotlight on the role desalination and other supplies can play to lessen the region's demand on imported water,” Poseidon Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan said.  Poseidon also is confronting raised expectations.  “We now find ourselves under a fair amount of pressure from our customers to get this moving,” he said of his firm's nine-year effort to build the plant.  The city of Carlsbad approved the project last year, and Poseidon has obtained most of the permits to build the $300 million plant. It has an application pending with the California Coastal Commission.  Poseidon proposes purifying 50 million gallons of ocean water a day at the plant, to be built on the grounds of the Encina Power Station.  Its potential output is 56,000 acre-feet of treated water a year, which is about 10 percent of what the county imports from Northern California and the Colorado River. An acre-foot is enough to cover 1 acre with 1 foot of water. Poseidon's proposed plant would supply about 112,000 households. SignOnSanDiego.com_7/1/07    Editor's Note: A similar project in Tampa Bay, Fla., considered a vital tool for supplying water to a growing region in times of drought, has been plagued with problems including a series of delays and hugely expensive repairs. The Tampa Bay plant, the largest in the United States, was designed to take seawater from Tampa Bay, filter out salt and produce 25-million gallons of drinking water a day. But problems plagued the project from the onset. Contractors went bankrupt. Water pumps rusted. Asian green mussels clogged the water intake and costs ballooned by $29-million, to a total of $140-million.  Click Here for more Desalination News



Efforts expand to bring sea water to nation's faucets
On a one-acre site alongside a string of docked shrimp boats and fronting the turquoise waters of the Brownsville ship channel is a $2.2 million assembly of pipes, sheds, and whirring machinery — Texas' entree into making Gulf of Mexico sea water suitable to drink.  Plant operator Joel del Rio is its guardian, constantly checking the intake pumps, the pretreatment filters, the discharge pond, and the long pipes of the desalination unit. In an occasional moment of truth, he opens a small spigot at the end of a fat pipe and fills a plastic glass in hopes the finished product will taste "like regular bottled water."  "Sea water," he said. "It's never gonna run out."  The plant is a pilot project for the state's first, $150 million full-scale sea water desalination plant slated for construction in 2010.  Houston Chronicle_6/30/07


Desalination no answer to water crisis, says WWF
"Misdirection of public attention" could harm sea life and enhance global warming.
Removing salt from sea water to overcome a worldwide shortage of drinking water could end up worsening the crisis, environmental group WWF warned.  Desalination, the filtering and evaporation of sea water, is very energy-intensive and involves significant emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are a factor in the shrinking supplies of freshwater, the Swiss-based group said."The quite possibly mistaken lure of widespread water availability from desalination ... has the potential to drive a major misdirection of public attention, policy and funds away from the pressing need to use all water wisely," it said.  Some farmers have used water from desalination to grow "unsuitably thirsty crops in fundamentally dry areas," the WWF said, an unsustainable trend given its high energy costs: "It seems unlikely that desalinated agriculture is economic anywhere".  "Regions still have cheaper, better and complementary ways to supply water that are less risky to the environment," it said.
The WWF, or World Wildlife Fund, estimated there were more than 10,000 desalination plants around the world. It said the sector would likely grow exponentially in coming years as governments seek to supply water to fast-growing arid areas in the United States, India, China and elsewhere.  Reuters/OC Register_6/19/07

Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates shuts down desalination plant for illegally selling drinking water for construction uses

The Municipality permanently shut down and fined a desalination plant Dh10,000 yesterday on charges of selling potable water to construction companies to be used at work sites. Mubarak Ali Al Shamsi, Director General of the Municipality, said this was the third offence committed by this particular plant. Al Shamsi said the plant has been loading big tankers with huge quantities of underground potable water to sell to construction companies. He said this plant was officially accused of endangering the emirate's subterranean water table. According to municipal regulations, the construction companies can only be provided with water that is not fit for human consumption for use in the construction process, and the potable water should only be sold for drinking purposes. GulfNews.com_ 6/16/07

California American Water cleared for a pilot desalination plant on the Monterey coast

A lawsuit challenging permits issued to California American Water for a pilot desalination plant at Moss Landing was thrown out of court in Monterey and the permits were approved by the California Coastal Commission Friday at its meeting in Santa Rosa. The two actions clear the way for operation of the plant, which Cal Am officials describe as an experiment to see if seawater desalination is a feasible source of fresh water for the Monterey Bay Area. The suit contended that the plant's authorization is at odds with a 1989 county ordinance that requires public ownership of water desalination facilities. The company is under the gun to find a new water source. In 1995, the state Water Resources Control Board advised Cal Am that it was taking 14,106 acre-feet per year from the Carmel River aquifer, 10,730 acre-feet more than the state allows. In addition, a court has ordered that producers of water from the Seaside basin aquifer — Sand City, Seaside, Cal-Am and others — reduce their pumping from the aquifer's coastal subareas by 2,219 acre-feet and their pumping from the Laguna Seca Subarea by 381 acre-feet for a total reduction for the entire Seaside basin of 2,600 acre-feet by October 2027. Monterey Herald_ 6/16/07 (logon required)

UK gives go-ahead for nation's first desalination plant; It's to be built in east London

The planned £200m facility in Beckton will make supplies from the Thames estuary drinkable. London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who opposed the plan, described the move as "misguided and a retrograde step in UK environmental policy". But welcoming the success Thames Water said the plant would be run entirely on energy from renewable sources. It could supply 140 million litres of water a day, enough to supply 400,000 homes in north-east London. BBC News_ 6/15/07

Clarkson University professor Amy K. Zander to chair National Academy of Sciences committee on Advancing Desalination Technology
Zander’s committee is studying the potential for both seawater and inland brackish water desalination to help meet anticipated water supply needs in the United States, assess the current state-of-the-science in desalination and recommend long-term goals for advancing desalination technology. Its report, expected by the end of the year, will make recommendations to federal, state and local authorities as well as private industry. The study is sponsored by the Department of the Interior and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Zander, Associate Dean of Engineering at Clarkson, in Potsdam, N.Y. has served on two prior committees of the National Academy of Sciences, producing the report Safe Water from Every Tap: Improving Water Service to Small Communities in 1997 and Confronting the Nation's Water Problems: The Role of Research in 2004. Learn more about the Advancing Desalination Technology study. News Release_ 6/13/07

Polluted, drought-stricken China eyes sea water 

China, where hundreds of millions lack regular access to drinking water due to drought and pollution, plans to build a huge sea water desalination plant south of Shanghai, state media said on Wednesday.  Adding to widespread drought, factories have ignored pollution hazards and dumped toxic industrial waste into rivers and lakes in China, home to one-fifth of the world's population but only 7 percent of its water resources.  In late May and early June, the country's third-largest lake, Lake Taihu in the eastern province of Jiangsu, was struck by a foul-smelling canopy of algae. It made tap water undrinkable for more than 2.3 million residents of the city of Wuxi and prompted a run on bottled water.  The desalination plant, to be built in the neighboring province of Zhejiang, awaits final approval from the National Development and Reform Commission.  Scientific American_6/13/07

Oman desalination plant resumes most water supplies to the capital

An important desalination plant supplying water to Oman's capital regained most of its production capacity, easing a water shortage caused by a rare cyclone that slammed the Mideast country last week, officials and news reports said Tuesday. Cyclone Gonu, the strongest and deadliest storm to hit Oman in decades, killed at least 49 people. Water and electricity was restored to most of Muscat, said Seif al-Shabibi, an official at the ministry of housing, electricity and water. The Ghubrah desalination plant, which supplies a large portion of the capital with drinking water, was restored to 90 percent of its capacity, plant manager Allen Conroy said in Tuesday's Oman Daily Observer, a Muscat daily. AP/Business Week_ 6/13/07

Spain's Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA Aqualia unit wins 75 million euro Granada desalination contract

The Aqualia water unit is in consortium with Pridesa Proyectos y Servicios. The contract is for a desalination plant in Alumunecar, Granada, southern Spain. In a statement, FCC said the 20-year contract is to build, install and operate the desalination plant, which is expected to provide water for some 60,000 people. Thompson Financial/AFX/Forbes_ 6/11/07

General Electric Infrastructure India and Hyderabad-based ICRCL Infrastructures & Projects Ltd. part of consortium in the race to set up a Rs 800 crore water desalination project

The project, in Gujarat's Kutch region, will be awarded through competitive bidding. The other members of the consortium include Toyo Engineering Corp. of Japan and Cethar Vessels of Tamil Nadu. The desalination project will be developed on a concession basis and the successful bidder will sell the product water to the Gujarat government. LiveMint_ 6/11/07

Oman hit by water shortages after cyclone damages desalination plants

Oman suffered severe water shortages Sunday as crews and volunteers worked to clean up and repair damage after Cyclone Gonu inundated the capital with floodwater and mud. The death toll in Oman remained at 49 on Sunday, with the state-run Oman News Agency reporting that 27 remained missing. Another 12 people were killed when the storm moved on to Iran. The water shortages stemmed from damage to two key water desalination plants. Muscat and the eastern city of Sur were hit by severe water shortages amid the country's usual high heat and humidity. Residents scoured supermarkets for bottled water and siphoned drinking water from swimming pools, and the city government sent tanker trucks to try and cope, the Oman Daily Observer newspaper reported. Scuffles were reported at some water distribution points. The shortages appeared to stem from damaged water supply pipes and damage to the Gubrah power and desalination plant, which normally supplies Muscat's 631,000 people with water. Another desalination plant north of the capital also closed because of damage to its pumping, Mohammed al Nabhani, the country's director-general for water resources told the Observer, Oman's English language newspaper. AP/International Herald Tribune_ 6/10/07

Israel's IDE Technologies Inc. signs $119 million contract to build China's largest seawater desalination plant
The Beijiang power station, 200 kilometers northeast of Beijing, is owned by Tianjin Ambest International Logistics Co. Ltd. The facility will be the largest desalination plant in China. It will provide 100,000 cubic meters of fresh water a day for the power station’s generators, and drinking water for local residents. The saline water will be used to make salt. IDE is jointly and equally owned by ICL (Israel Chemical Ltd.) and the Delek Group. Globes_ 6/10/07

Major Japanese trading house Marubeni in $3 bilion water, power deal in United Arab Emirates

Marubeni said it planned to spend some 360 billion yen ($2.9 billion) to enter the electricity and desalination business in the United Arab Emirates. The company is expected to join International Power of Britain and the UAE government to build a facility that combines both a thermal power plant and a desalination unit in the north of the desert nation, a spokesman said. AFP/Pakistan Daily Times_ 6/10/07

$450 million Sydney, Australia desalination deal signed

Construction of Sydney's water desalination plant will begin by October, after the Connect Alliance - headed by Bovis Lend Lease - won the contract. The construction arm of parent company Lend Lease has a 40 per cent share in the consortium that bid for the $450 million contract. The State Government announced the deal yesterday for the construction of the 18km pipeline, to carry desalinated water from the plant in Kurnell to the water supply at Erskineville. The pipeline will be built under homes in up to 15 suburbs. Work will begin in October, subject to approval. The project consists of two contracts - one to design, build, operate and maintain the plant and one to construct the pipelines to deliver water to customers. Sunday Telegraph_ 6/9/07

Planned desalination plant on California's San Diego County coast clears one state hurdle; still faces others

A state agency has rejected a petition by environmental groups challenging a plan to build the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere in Carlsbad. But other hurdles remain before waters of the Pacific Ocean can be converted into drinking water. The State Water Resources Control Board ruled Tuesday against Surfrider Foundation and Coastkeeper, environmental groups that asserted a regional agency should not have issued a permit last summer to allow the plant to return extremely salty water to the ocean. Because that water would contain higher concentrations of salt than the sea itself, the groups alleged, marine life near the plant would be harmed. Poseidon Resources Corp., the Connecticut-based firm with offices in San Diego that is proposing to build the $300 million desalination plant at the site of the Encina power station north of Cannon Road, praised the board's decision. The ruling upholds the San Diego Regional Water Control Board's August 2006 decision granting the company a discharge permit. North County Times_ 6/6/07

San Antonio, Texas water officials draft plans for $150 million desalination project

San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is seeking input from water experts on how best to develop a new desalination project in the San Antonio region. Officials with the utility are examining ways to create new drinking water resources from brackish groundwater -- water with a high salt and mineral content that is unsuitable for drinking. SAWS expects to begin procuring services for major elements of the desalination project in early 2008. A desalination facility could come online by early 2011. The Texas Water Development Board estimates that there is as much as 400 million acre-feet of brackish groundwater in the San Antonio region alone. The San Antonio region has the most brackish water in Texas. Water produced from a desalination plant could augment water drawn from the Edwards Aquifer -- the region's primary source of drinking water -- when peak demand is high, SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden says. SAWS also is working to procure water from Canyon Lake, the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer and the Lower Colorado River Authority. San Antonio Business Journal_ 6/5/07

Brockton, Massachusetts sees an end to water shortages with New England's first desalination plant

The city will get more than 4 million gallons of water a day from the facility, which is rising this summer and is expected to be completed next spring on the banks of the Taunton River. That supply is expected to end decades of water shortages for Brockton residents and help the city compete for future growth in the booming but water-challenged region. Brackish river water will be drawn in to the plant, which is in Dighton, purified and desalted, and then sent through a 16-mile pipeline, now about 40 percent built, to Brockton. The $70 million project is a joint venture of Inima, a Spanish multinational utility company, and Bluestone Energy Services, a small, Norwell-based firm, which hatched the idea for the plant 15 years ago. Inima became the principal investor in the project after a Pittsburgh-based utility dropped out in 2002. Inima also has desalination facilities in Brazil, Chile, Europe, Mexico, and North Africa. The company is looking to expand into the United States. Boston Globe_ 6/3/07

Is desalination California's answer to the drought?

Northern California just endured its driest winter in 20 years. The state's population is growing by half a million people a year. New dams are controversial. And this week, a two-inch endangered fish shut down the pumps at California's largest drinking water source, San Francisco Bay's delta. Although 10 years ago there were none, today 20 desalination projects are on the drawing board in California's coastal areas from San Diego to Marin County, including one of the largest desalination plants in the world proposed for the Bay Area. Filtering salty ocean water into drinkable fresh water is expensive. And environmental challenges loom. But groundbreaking on several facilities may start within two years. New technology has cut the cost of filtering ocean water in half since 1990. Still, the process, which uses large amounts of electricity, can cost at least three times as much as other ways. In large part because of high costs, none of California's 20 proposed projects is under construction. However, many have moved beyond the planning stage into the testing stage. San Jose Mercury News_ 6/3/07

Yuma, Arizona desalination plant shut down after successful tests

The Yuma Desalting Plant's 90-day demonstration run to reduce salinity in water returned to the Colorado River ended at midnight Thursday. It was the first time in 14 years the $245 million plant had operated - and its output has exceeded federal officials' expectations. The test run of 10 percent of the plant's capacity was to demonstrate whether it could still function, to determine the cost of operation and to try new technology. The plant was constructed in the 1980s and early 1990s to desalinate water as part of a treaty with Mexico. The plant had only run during a six-month test period in 1992-93. Since then, the U.S. has been able to meet its treaty obligations without running the plant because of increased river flows. However, persistent drought has led many to advocate activating the plant to help meet water needs in the Southwest. Yuma Sun_ 6/1/07

May, 2007

Tetra Tech to lead Huntington Beach, Calif. water desalination program

Tetra Tech, Inc. announced today that it will lead a team that has been selected to design, engineer, construct, and start up the Huntington Beach Water Desalination Facility for Poseidon Resources Corporation in Huntington Beach, CA.  The Huntington Beach Water Desalination Facility will have the capacity to provide 50 million gallons of high-quality drinking water per day. The facility will produce enough water to meet approximately 7% of Orange County’s water needs. On-site storage will also provide a guaranteed supply of safe, reliable drinking water to Orange County in times of emergency, reduce the risk of water shortages, and reduce dependence on imported water.  Tetra Tech’s team includes J.F. Shea Company, Inc. and Israeli Desalination and Engineering Technologies. J.F. Shea and Tetra Tech are currently working together to build the largest membrane desalination project in Southern California. The project, a 70 million gallon per day reverse osmosis membrane water reclamation plant, is part of the Orange County Water District’s Groundwater Replenishment System.  Poseidon Resources plans to begin construction of the $250 million Huntington Beach Water Desalination Facility once final permit applications and agreements with the California State Lands Commission and California Coastal Commission are approved.  News Release_5/31/07

General Electric unit to design and build R1,5 billion South African desalination plant

In a first for South Africa, GE Water & Process Technologies said it would construct a reverse osmosis seawater plant to recover ultra-pure salt from the concentrated brine stream for the production of chlorine, caustic soda, and hydrochloric acid at a chlorine refinery planned for the IDZ. The new 600-ton-a-day refinery would be owned and operated by Straits Chemicals and would meet the growing global demand for chlor-alkali and its derivatives. Earl Jones, structured projects general manager for GE Water & Process Technologies, said water produced would also meet the anticipated water demand for the IDZ‘s expansion. “As freshwater resources in South Africa become increasingly limited, this sustainable, new source of potable water from the Coega desalination plant will help alleviate water-scarcity challenges caused by low rainfall, growing populations and rising demand. The Herald_ 5/30/07

Cape Town, South Africa plans pilot desalination plant

Paul Rhode, of the water and sanitation department, said at Monday's utility services portfolio committee meeting that a draft memorandum of understanding with the Waterfront was in place. A two-year study, completed last year, indicated that the Waterfront was the most suitable site for the desalination plant. The plant, expected to convert 500 kilolitres of seawater into drinking water every day, had been scheduled to be running by the end of last year. Talks on the desalination plant were put on hold during the sale of the Waterfront at the end of last year. Cape Times_ 5/8/07

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority invites bids for construction of seawater desalination plant

Interested parties have until June 10 to put in bids for the Hassyan plant which will be located in Jebel Ali and could cost up to $4 billion to build. News Release_ 5/6/07

Jordan eyes developing nuclear power for desalination, electricity

Jordan is looking at the possibility of developing nuclear power as a means of generating electricity for civilian uses and water desalination. In an interview with the Petra news agency Saturday, Jordan's Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Khaled Al Shreideh said the Middle East country's heavy reliance on imported power was costing 23 percent of its gross domestic product and that it made sense to develop existing uranium resources. EarthTimes_ 5/5/07

Karachi, Pakistan signs agreement with Norway's M/S Aqualyng for string of desalination plants

As Karachi’s water crisis continues to grow, the City Government has turned to setting up desalination plants across the city’s shoreline so that local demands can be met. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the CDGK and a private company for the first such plant on Friday. City Nazim Mustafa Kamal said this plant would provide 25 million gallons of water per day (MGD) to the water-starved Korangi Industrial Area. In this regard, the CDGK has provided land to the investor company. The MoU was signed with a UAE-based Norwegian firm, M/S Aqualyng and its joint venture partner M/S Green Energy. The 25 MGD sea water desalination plant will be built on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis. The plant will cost $130 million and the project will be completed in 24 months, reporters were told. If this project was successful, the project would be replicated in other coastal areas of the city and its suburbs. As things stand, many coastal communities in and around Karachi lack potable water facilty. People have to walk several miles each day to get water for drinking and cooking purposes. It is hoped that with the new initiative from the city government, water will once again come through the dry taps in many houses of the city. The International News_ 4/29/07

Florida's Tampa Bay Water settles 3-year-old law suit over troubled desalination plant for $7.9 million

However, legal fees may leave only about $1 million to go toward repairing the plant. Tampa Bay Water filed the suit in July 2004 against Hydranautics, the manufacturer of membranes that remove salt from sea water at the plant, two engineering companies and an insurance carrier. The settlement includes no admission of fault or liability. Susan Latvala, Pinellas County commissioner and chairwoman of the Tampa Bay Water board, said after the meeting the settlement eliminated the risk of a trial. The settlement ends one chapter of the plant that opened in 2003 but never functioned properly. The plant was shut down in June 2005 for $48 million in repairs that are not finished. Tampa Bay Water sought to collect from a $14 million insurance policy written by Indian Harbor Insurance. Hydranautics also carried a $24 million performance bond. Indian Harbor will pay the full cost of the settlement.Tampa Tribune_ 4/17/07

Florida's troubled Tampa Bay desalination plant up and running, but not yet where it should be

After clearing water quality tests, the plant has pumped more than 20-million gallons directly into the water system since late last week. But the Apollo Beach facility hasn't passed a formal test required for full operation. Failure on a similar test in 2003 exposed problems that resulted in a series of delays and hugely expensive repairs. The plant, the largest in the United States, was designed to take seawater from Tampa Bay, filter out salt and produce 25-million gallons of drinking water a day. It is considered a vital tool for supplying water to a growing region in times of drought, like today. But problems plagued the project from the onset. Contractors went bankrupt. Water pumps rusted. Asian green mussels clogged the water intake. Costs ballooned by $29-million, to a total of $140-million. Eric Sabolsice, project manager for American Water Pridesa, a German-Spanish consortium, did not set a time line for the final trial. "We are taking our time and making sure that we are getting it right the first time," Sabolsice said. St. Petersburg Times_ 4/10/07

And from the Tampa Tribune:The $110 million plant was shut down in early June 2005 for repairs and has been idle until now. The plant opened in 2003 but never ran properly. Ultrafine membranes that filter salt from the sea water clogged too quickly, driving up costs and requiring frequent cleaning. A law suit is pending. Tampa Tribune_ 4/10/07

Pilot desalination project approved in Australia; When full project is built, it will be largest desalting plant in the southern hemisphere

Pre-filtration equipment - which needs to be tested as it is the only component of any desalination plant that needs to be customised - will now be built by BHP on the Santos jetty at Port Bonython. Urban Development and Planning Minister Paul Holloway yesterday signed the planning approvals required for the project to begin. BHP expects the plant to be built within the next two months. The pilot plant will not produce fresh water but once it has been completed and successfully tested it will pave the way for the construction of the biggest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere. The completed plant would provide two-thirds of its desalinated water to BHP's Olympic Dam, whilst the remaining water will be pumped to Upper Spencer Gulf and some Eyre Peninsula residents. The Advertiser_ 4/3/07

March, 2007

Spanish water authority advocates desalination as a drought measure

The director of the Cuenca Mediterránea Andaluza said desalination and good water management must go hand in hand to maintain reserves. The chief of Andalucía’s regional water authority has spoken of the need to continue with a programme of desalination of sea water as a measure against the current drought. Antonio Rodríguez Leal, director of the Cuenca Mediterránea Andaluza, was speaking on Tuesday at a conference taking place on tourism and sustainability. He said that desalination must be used to maintain the stability of water reserves, and that good water management, by public administration and members of the public, must also take part in achieving that aim. Rodríguez Leal told EFE news agency that Málaga province has managed to save 60 cubic hectometres of water since the drought decree was issued in November 2005. Reserves however currently stand at 7 hectometres lower than last year, he said. Málaga’s reservoirs are now at 36.3% capacity. EFE/Typically Spanish.com_ 3/27/07

Pakistan inaugurated Rs 1.2 billion desalination plang at Gwadar

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz performed the inauguration of a 200,000 gallons per day desalination plant costing Rs 1.2 billion in the coastal city of Gwadar on Monday. This is one of the first desalination plants going operational in the country. It has been entirely funded by the private sector, he said. The Prime Minister said the development in Gwadar where the deep sea port would become operational from Tuesday and other projects under implementation would change the destiny of the city and the province of Balochistan and that of Pakistan. Pakistan Times_ 3/19/07

Santa Cruz, California picks Soquel Creek Water District as partner for $40 million desalination plant

Santa Cruz has been planning since November 2005 to augment its water supply in dry periods by building a desalination plant, which turns ocean water into fresh water. The district has been looking for an alternative to its heavily used underground wells since 1997. Work is under way to build a $4 million pilot desalination plant at Long Marine Lab on the Westside. The pilot project, expected to be operating by July, will run for at least one year to examine details of the energy-intensive reverse osmosis process and the resulting water quality. If the pilot project goes well, plans are to build a much larger, $40 million plant around 2009. A rate increase of about 13 percent went into effect Thursday for the Soquel district's customers to cover the upcoming desalination costs. The rate hike means a typical single-family home will pay about $50 a month instead of $45, Brown said. Mercury-News_ 3/5/07

Saudi Arabian Water and Electricity signs $1.9b deal for water project
Officials at the Saudi Arabian Water and Electricity Co. (WEC) announced that the company has signed an agreement with ACWA Power Projects, Gulf Investment Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation to carry out the $1.9 billion Shuqaiq Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP), Arab News reported. The new project, which will be located in the southwestern coast of the kingdom, will consist of a thermal power plant, a reverse-osmosis technology desalination plant, a fuel unloading platform and water intake and discharge structures.  The IWPP will generate 850 MW of power and 212,000 cubic meters per day of water. The project, which is expected to be completed by 2010, will create 17,000 job opportunities for Saudi workers.  MENAFN_3/1/07

February, 2007

California Coastal Commission to decide if the community of Cambria can conduct test drilling on the beach to prepare for a desalination plant

The state Coastal Commission has set a hearing on the issue for Wednesday. An August approval of those plans by county officials was appealed to the Coastal Commission by the Sierra Club and other organizations and individuals, who say the project could harm the environment and restrict public access to the beach. The community has been in a virtual building moratorium since November 2001 because of the town’s limited water supply. San Luis Obispo Tribune_ 2/11/07

Persian Gulf states to move ahead with nuclear energy plans for drinking water desalination and other power needs

The six Gulf Arab states are moving ahead with plans to explore development of their first nuclear energy plants, with representatives planning to seek help from the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog later this month, the secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council said on Sunday. Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah said he and other GCC officials would travel to the Vienna headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency Feb. 22 to seek help planning the six-nation Arab bloc's first foray into nuclear power. Analysts say the advance of civilian nuclear technology could spill over into military areas in the volatile region. Israel is the only Middle Eastern country with nuclear weapons and a civilian nuclear energy program. Al-Attiyah said the huge energy needs of the fast-growing Gulf countries warranted development of nuclear energy. In particular, Gulf countries expend vast amounts of oil and gas in desalination, turning sea water into drinking water. AP/International Herald Tribune_ 2/11/07

China to invest 30 billion yuan in 147 key science projects, including seawater desalination technology

7.35 billion yuan has already been allocated from the central budget and the remaining funds are expected to come from companies, local governments and institutes, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) announced on Friday, as it launched the five-year project. The Ministry drew particular attention to 50 high-profile projects, including highly efficient seawater desalination equipment. The science programs cover about 11 fields such as energy, environment, population, health care, public security and urban planning. Wang Xiaofang, director of the MST Planning Bureau said the programs were designed to enhance China's competitive capability in key industries and the independent innovation capacity of Chinese companies. Xinhua-English_ 2/9/07

Dutch consortium announces potable sea water breakthrough
A consortium led by technology institute TNO has announced it succeeded in cheaply producing fresh water from seawater. The process used is the Memstill technology.  Memstill is a distillation technique that makes use of membranes, a type of ultra fine filters that allow the clean water to evaporate away from the dirty, salty residue liquid. For this process, Memstill makes use of residual industrial heat, a cheap source of energy that is fully available in industrialised countries, according to TNO statements.  From September to December, a pilot installation in the Rotterdam ports daily produced over 10 cubic metres of drinking water from seawater. The technology, which has been patented, was co-developed by Keppel Seghers, E.on, Evides Industriewater, Watertechnology Holland, Heineken, Waternet and EMF.  TNO estimates that one cubic metre of clean water costs 30 to 40 euro cents in large-scale production. "Herewith, Memstill attains a better score than other state-of-the-art techniques to turn seawater into fresh water, such as reverse osmosis, multi-effect distillation and multistage flashing. The lowest reported costs for these techniques are between 0,50 to 1,80 euros. In addition, Memstill is compact, does not make use of chemicals and thanks to the use of waste heat, barely adds to the production of greenhouse gases".  NISNews_2/8/07

Desalination viable for Marin County, California, drinking water, but the cost is at least $111 million

Remove the salt and filter the slimy stuff out of the San Francisco Bay and the water would be perfectly good to drink, according to an engineering report on a seawater desalination pilot program in Marin County. It would cost between $111 million and $173 million. The report, which will be presented Thursday to the Marin Municipal Water District board, analyzed a small-scale desalination plant built by the district as a pilot project that ran for 11 months starting in June 2005. The study is part of the information the district board will need before deciding later this year whether a full-scale plant should be built in Marin, providing up to 10 million gallons of drinking water a day, about 20 percent of daily usage. It's an important issue not just in Marin, but all over the state as water supplies diminish and the threat of catastrophic droughts increase with global warming. As it is, the water district does not have enough water -- primarily from its seven local reservoirs -- to supply all of its customers during a drought. If built, the Marin desalination facility would be the largest seawater plant in the Bay Area and the only one in the state to tap into an enclosed bay and estuary. The plan, as it now stands, is to mix the brine extracted during the desalination process with treated wastewater from the Central Marin Sanitation District, creating what experts believe would be a more natural byproduct for disposal into the bay. San Francisco Chronicle_ 2/7/07

Middle East Electricity 2007 to feature desalination and waste water industries

Among the topics that will be covered are; Desalination Innovations & Trends, Solar Thermal Seawater Desalination, Public/Private Partnerships in Developing Large Scale Irrigation, Desalination Intake & Pretreatment Options and The Importance of the Water Reuse in Countries with Poor Water Resources.

The panel of speakers includes;

Tom Pankratz from the US, who is Editor of the Water Desalination Report, part of Global Water Intelligence. Involved with numerous industry bodies, he has over 30 years of desalination industry experience.

Dr. Corrado Sommariva PhD, who leads the Desalination and Water Treatment Group at Mott MacDonald in Abu Dhabias Divisional Director. He has been involved in the majority of large scale thermal and RO processes in the Middle East in the last 15 years.

Lisa Henthorne, Vice President and Global Director of Desalination Technology, CH2MHill, and a registered Professional Engineer who has more than 20 years experience of working with brackish, waste water and seawater membrane technology both in the U.S. and internationally.

Dr. Julian Blanco who is responsible for Environmental Applications of Solar Energy at the Plataforma Solar de Almeria (PSA), a large European scientific installation belonging to the public Spanish research institution CIEMAT (devoted to Energy and Environmental issues). For the last 16 years he has specialised in the application of solar energy to water processes, water detoxification, water disinfection, seawater and brackish water desalination.

Francois Dao, Regional Director Middle East, Degremont, key players in sustainable development. Degremont designs, builds and commissions installations for drinking water production, desalination by reverse osmosis, waste water treatment, and sewage sludge processing.

Chris Jeffery, GE Water & Process Technologies - Zenon, who, utilising advanced membrane technologies and complementary products, cover the entire water cycle from raw water treatment for potable use to industrial wastewater treatment.

Water at Middle East Electricity takes place from February 11-14 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre. News Release/AME Info_ 2/5/07

'Tap solar energy for water desalination': Environment 2007 conference in Abu Dhabi

The Environment 2007, the annual ecological conference and exhibition, concluded last week in Abu Dhabi with the experts calling for the promotion of solar technology and energy efficiency in water desalination. A panel of experts from 40 countries, who participated in the conference, issued a set of recommendations for regional countries to explore new renewable and sustainable sources of energy. The panel also recommended extension of the re-use of water for potential human consumption, and quantifying and assessing the impact of pollution on health in both water desalination and power generation. gulfnews.com_ 2/4/07

Australia's New South Wales Opposition Leader Peter Debnam denies desalination deceit: it's last on his water crisis list of priorities

Premier Morris Iemma called the Opposition Leader a hypocrite after the emergence of a letter in which Mr Debnam said a desalination plant could be built at Malabar in Sydney's south as a "last resort". Mr Debnam repeatedly has pledged to scrap the Iemma Government's planned desalination plant at Kurnell, also south of Sydney, if he wins next month's state election. He also said he would abandon the Government's trigger to build a desalination plant - if dam levels fell below 30 per cent. "When there is a rainwater tank in every back yard in Sydney, then we can think about desalination," Mr Debnam said. AAP/The Australian_ 2/3/07

Brazil: Clean water - Hold the salt

Thousands of people in Brazil's semi-arid Northeast are slaking their thirst thanks to a technology that is little used in Latin America: the reverse-osmosis membrane, which desalinises and purifies water. A filter designed by Brazilian experts should be ready in two years. For now, the membranes are being used to desalinise ground water supplying small communities in the interior of Brazil's impoverished Northeast. Several government bodies set up some 2,000 desalination stations over the past decade, but most have been closed or are operating precariously, because they are too small-scale or the operators lack training, said  Renato Ferreira, project manager at the Environment Ministry's water resources division. In the Northeast, where water shortages are a major problem as a result of frequent droughts, subterranean water is an alternative, but is generally very salty because of rocky soils. Water in most wells has an average of about 3,000 parts per million of salt, three times what the World Health Organisation considers apt for consumption, said Ferreira. Throughout the semi-arid region there are some 100,000 wells drilled, but 70 percent are already dry or the water they have is too briny. That leaves approximately 30,000 usable wells, which could produce an average of 4,000 litres of desalinised water per day each. Theoretically, the total output would be enough to supply the 23 million local residents. In the desalination process, according to the Fresh Water Programme, just half the water comes out clean. The other half is left with double the concentration of salt and, initially, it was dumped, contaminating the soil. In response, the Semiarid Centre of EMBRAPA, the government's agricultural research agency, developed a system in which part of the salty wastewater is used in fish farms where the tilapia rosa (Oreochromis sp) is bred. The rest is used in irrigating fields of saltweed, which absorbs salt from the soil and is a good food source for goats and birds. Tierramérica/Inter Press Service_ 2/2/07

January, 2007

Newt Gingrich and the politics of desalination

Notes and video from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's comments to the conservative think tank National Review Institute summit Saturday. Gingrich is working on a book, "Contract with the Earth," about technological, free-market solutions to environmental problems. He then cautioned the questioner. "I do want to warn you that if the Left wins, and you come up with a virtually free water desalinization, you will not be able to use it. Because first of all, it will mean you are taking water out of the ocean. Second, if you were to suddenly have enough water to make the entire Mojave Desert bloom, the desert tortoise would be endangered. And for you to suggest saving the Sahel so that all the people in Chad, Mauritania, Niger, could all of the sudden have a decent living at the risk of in some way affecting the Saharan Sand Flea, I don’t think you could pass the EPA regulatory requirements for what the environmental outcome will be. And so just the fact that you want to help human beings will be seen as a sign that you have an anthropomorphic view of the planet in which all you care about is people and you don’t realize that the planet likes being desert and has actually been trying to desertify for the last 50 years, and you are interfering with the natural order all of which will be exacerbated by the global warming period which will increase the amount of water in the oceans which you could use for desalinization except that it would be inappropriate because after all by then you could have a lot of water in Antarctica so if only you were being reasonable you wouldn't come up with these new scientific breakthroughs and Al Gore’s next book will say that you personally are the greatest threat to human happiness on the planet." National Association of Manufacturers blog_ 1/29/07

Saudi Arabia plans more desalination to increase water supply

The Saudi Arabian Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has drawn up a plan to eliminate water shortages across the country. The plan, which has not been released, will solve the water problem by building new desalination plants, the corporation said. SWCC is the agency responsible for supplying pure drinking water in Saudi Arabia and is investing heavily in desalination despite the challenges of water shortages in the face of the rising population. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer of desalinated water. The corporation is planning to upgrade one desalination plant and build a new one with a bigger capacity. GulfNews_ 1/28/07

Poseidon Resources Corp. selects team to design, engineer and build $270 million desalination plant in Carlsbad, California

The winning team, announced Jan. 26, consists of American Water, Pridesa America Corp., J.R. Filanc Construction Co. and PBS&J. The Carlsbad plant will have the capacity to produce 50 million gallons of drinking water per day. Poseidon reports the plant is on schedule to be built and operating as early as 2009. New Jersey-based American Water operates in 29 states and Canada, with a local operation in Chula Vista. Pridesa America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acciona Agua. The Spain-based company has designed, built and operated more than 60 desalination facilities and 320 water treatment plants around the world. PBS&J is a Florida company formerly known as Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan. The company — which offers infrastructure planning, engineering, construction, architecture and program management services — has offices in San Diego and Encinitas. Filanc is a regional construction company with headquarters in Escondido. San Diego Business Journal_ 1/26/07

Abengoa's Befesa unit in 91-million euro joint venture for India desalination plant

The joint venture with India's IVRCL Infrastructures & Projects will construct and operate for 25 years the Minjur desalination plant in Tamil Nadu state, India. In a statement, Befesa said the plant will have a capacity to provide 10,000 cubic metres per day of desalinated water to the city of Chennai. AFX/Forbes_ 1/23/07

Pakistan's chief minister concerned by desalination delays

Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Mohammad Yusuf on Monday expressed his deep concern over delay in installation of desalination plants at Gwadar town and said the delay has caused exorbitant financial loss to the provincial government besides hampering development work.
He was speaking at a high-level meeting held in Gwadar to review progress of work on various development projects in the future port city of the country. The Chief Minister said the plants are being installed not only to end potable water crisis faced by the residents but also give impetus to ongoing development work. Poor pace of work on these projects is causing difficulties for the citizens as well as delay in other public welfare schemes, he remarked and strictly directed the quarters concerned for timely and smooth implementation of desalination plants project. APP_ 1/22/07

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries address water shortage

A three-day conference on water desalination in Arab countries opens at the InterContinental hotel in Riyadh tomorrow. Ahmed Al-Mudaiheem, deputy governor of Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) who heads the organizing committee, said a specialized exhibition would be held on the sidelines of the conference with the participation of companies that supply desalination technology and equipment. Keynote speakers include Abdul Majid Al-Awadi, Bahrain’s deputy minister of electricity and water; Thamer Al-Sharhan, CEO of Marafiq in Saudi Arabia, Abdulhadi Al-Otaibi of Kuwaiti Institute for Scientific Research, Mohammad Al-Sofi of Arabian Consulting Engineering Center, Christopher Gasson of Global Water Intelligence UK and Mohammed Al-Mazroi of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Privatization in water desalination, water status in the Gulf region, significant water production increase for Jeddah desalt plants, Saudi Arabia and global desalination market, manufacturing vital spare parts in the Kingdom, toward sustainable water sector development, and effect of desalt plants on sea and air environment are some of the topics for debate. Saudi Arabia depends on desalination for 70 percent of its water requirements. The rest comes from some 230 dams and hundreds of wells. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest producer of desalinated water, with 30 desal plants on the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf coasts. Arab News_ 1/20/07

Bermuda contracts with Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. for seawater desalination plant

Consolidated will design, build and operate the Tynes Bay Desalination Plant on the north coast of Bermuda. The project includes a 600,000 US gallon per day (USgpd) seawater desalination plant, a full standby electrical power plant and 1.27 miles of main water delivery pipelines. Production can expand to 1.2 million USgpd at a later date. The contract requires the company's recently formed affiliate, Consolidated Water (Bermuda) Limited, to construct and commission the plant and pipeline within 11 months and to operate the facility for at least 12 months after commissioning. The company has entered into agreements to loan its Bermuda affiliate the funds to construct the plant and to manage its operations. Consolidated Water Co. Ltd operates water production and/or distribution facilities in the Cayman Islands, Barbados, Belize and The Bahamas. The company's affiliate, Ocean Conversion (BVI) Ltd, also produces and distributes water in the British Virgin Islands. Caribbean Net News_ 1/20/07

United Water proposes $79 million desalination plant along New York's Hudson River

United Water New York's Rockland customers could be drinking Hudson River water by 2015 according to plans the company submitted yesterday to the state Public Service Commission. United Water had for some four decades proposed to eventually build a reservoir at Ambrey Pond in Stony Point. The company said yesterday that a cost analysis showed desalination to be a cheaper option. There were also several environmental concerns regarding Ambrey, including the presence of timber rattlesnakes, a threatened species in New York, and two species of protected turtles on the 300-acre parcel, which abuts Harriman State Park. County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef said the concept of a desalination plant needed further technological and scientific study. He said it was vital to determine how safe the river water could be made for drinking purposes. Among the contaminants known to be in the Hudson are polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and the radioactive isotopes tritium and strontium 90. All three substances increase the risk of developing cancer, Environmental Protection Agency says. Michael Pointing, vice president and general manager of United Water New York, said yesterday that available technology would allow United Water to treat the river water and remove PCBs, tritium, strontium 90 and a host of dissolved solids, including sodium, chloride, sulfate, calcium and magnesium. Journal News_ 1/17/07

Phuket, Thailand desalination plant comes onstream

Phuket Provincial Water Supply (PPWS) Manager Sayan Wareearoonroj told the Gazette that the plant, which uses reverse-osmosis (RO) technology, began supplying water to Kata-Karon on a trial basis on December 29 and will begin full production by the end of the month. There have been bureaucratic obstacles to the RO plants operation because of the need to discharge briny process water back into the sea, but the plant should be granted full permission from the Ministry of Interior soon, he said. Pamuke Achariyachai, Managing Director of the Kata Group of hotels and resorts, said the RO supply would come as a relief to long-suffering hotels in the area which have for years been forced to buy supplies from water trucks. The PPWS now has an additional 2 million cubic meters in reserve water supplies from the Hitlor and Manik lagoons in Tambon Srisoonthorn, which are now connected to the PPWS system via a 17-kilometer pipeline completed last year. The PPWS has also signed an agreement with REQ to buy additional water, if needed. REQ maintains two water supply sources in Kathu and one more in Chalong. Phuket City has its own municipal water supply system, which uses Bang Wad Reservoir and tin mine lagoons as sources. Phuket Gazette_ 1/16/07

Melbourne, Australia desalination plant inevitable: Water Minister John Thwaites

Thwaites said a A$1 billion desalination plant, the first for Melbourne, could be built by 2015 but "it's much more difficult to desalinate from a bay than the ocean, (so) if we're going to proceed with desalination, we have to determine where it can be done in the safest and best way." His comments came as he announced that 40,000 new homes in Melbourne's growing outer south-eastern suburbs would be forced to connect to recycled water over the next 25 years. Under the plan, homes would be required to install dual-pipe systems, in which drinking water is replaced with recycled water to be used for toilets, gardens and washing cars. Developers will initially cover the cost of installing the dual-pipe system, estimated at about A$5000 per house. The Age_ 1/16/06

Via Maris consortium plans power plant on same site as Israeli desalination plant

The consortium, which is completing the desalination plant on the coast at Palmahim, is also planning a 50 megawatt power plant at the same site. The cost is estimated at $40 million. The power generating plant is intended to supply electricity to the desalination plant, and possibly even to the national electricity grid, TheMarker has learned. The plant will run on natural gas, and will be connected to the new gas pipeline infrastructure. Via Maris has started negotiations on the purchase of the gas from Egyptian-Israeli natural gas supplier EMG. The desalination plant is scheduled to become operational in three months' time. The investment in the desalination plant is estimated at $80 million, with financial backing from Bank Hapoalim. The plant will provide 30 million cubic meters of fresh water a year. Mekorot is building another plant in Ashdod to provide 48 million cubic meters a year. The Via Maris group is composed of Tahal - 26.5 percent; Granite Hacarmel - 26.5 percent; Ossif Investments - 21 percent; Middle East Pipe - 21 percent; and Oceania Marine Works - 5 percent. Ami Sagis, the CEO of Granite and the chairman of Via Maris, said the water situation in Israel will require expanding the plant to 60 million cubic meters a year, if not more. He added that the state must push such projects as recycling waste water and sewage, improving wells and handling industrial waste as a necessary condition for managing the Israeli water economy properly. Haaretz_ 1/15/07

California's Sweetwater Water Authority signs up for Poseidon water
The Sweetwater Water Authority in Chula Vista California announced Jan. 4 that its board of directors approved an agreement with Poseidon Resources Corp. to purchase water from Poseidon’s planned desalination plant in Carlsbad.  Under the agreement, Sweetwater will receive 2,400 acre-feet per year of drinking water — enough to provide 4,800 families with a year’s worth of water — in a 30-year period. The agreement contains options for two 30-year extensions.  The monetary value of the agreement was not disclosed, but the amount paid to Poseidon is not to exceed that which Sweetwater would have paid to import water via the San Diego County Water Authority.  Sweetwater is now the fourth water agency in San Diego County to enter into an agreement to purchase water from the 50 million-gallon-per-day desalination plant.  Poseidon is awaiting a coastal development permit before the plant can be built at the current site of the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad.  The plant is scheduled for completion in 2009.  San Diego Business Journal_1/4/07


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