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Desalination News July through September, 2006


September, 2006

Tampa, Florida hopes to get long-delayed desalination plant working by next year

Adding filtration stages and enclosing exposed electric transformers in air conditioning were among the steps taken over the past 15 months to repair the region's desalination plant. The plant's main problem was that water wasn't clean enough when it reached delicate, expensive membranes that filter salt and convert sea water to drinking water. The plant's owner, Tampa Bay Water, hired American Water-Pridesa to fix the $119-million plant after it failed a series of attempts in 2003 to convert 44 million gallons of saltwater a day to 25 million gallons of drinking water. Repairs and testing are to be finished in late December but the plant likely won't begin operating consistently at full capacity until next year. Tampa Tribune_ 9/30/06

Australian desalination plant to cost $1.1 billion

The cost of the Tugun desalination plant has blown out to $1.1 billion - and ratepayers will pay more for water as a result. Just how much more is not yet known. However, Gold Coast City Council water committee chairwoman Daphne McDonald admitted water prices would be increased to help cover the spike in the cost of the project. Initial plans were for a $260 million desalination plant producing 55 megalitres a day. Cr McDonald said officers were still studying costings provided by the alliance consisting of Veolia Water, John Holland Group and Gold Coast Water and assessing how they would affect the city's water rates. There were concerns the price of water could double, even with an agreement to spread the cost throughout the southeast. Gold Coast Bulletin_ 9/27/06

Veolia Environnement-Electricite de France, Dalkia joint venture wins 82.8 million euro contract to manage desalination power plant in Israel

Delek Group awarded the contract to supply electricity and thermal energy to a seawater desalination plant operated by Veolia's water division. The power plant will start operating in the second quarter of 2007. AFX/Forbes_ 9/26/06

Desalination pipeline to run through Easton, Massachusetts

Aquaria Water LLC recently received a right of way agreement from the town of Easton in its quest to build a desalination plant in Dighton with 20,000 feet of pipeline running through a portion of the town. In addition, a water connection will be installed in case at some future date the town of Easton needs to purchase water from Aquaria. The desalination plant has been in the works for the past 14 years and has finally received the 38 permits required by the state to begin construction. It will sit on 25 acres on a tidal river just south of Taunton to take advantage of an unlimited supply of salt water as each tide comes in and goes out. The plant will provide water for sale to communities who need it. Currently the city of Brockton is the main customer while the town of Norton has also signed on as a customer. Easton Journal_ 9/22/06

H2ID consortium wins bid to operate Israel's Hadera desalination plant

H2ID is a consortium of IDE Technologies Ltd. and Housing and Construction Holding Co. Ltd. H2ID offered a price of NIS 0.60 per cubic meter of water. A price of NIS 0.53 per cubic meter was offered in the Ashkelon desalination facility tender, in which IDE is a member of the consortium. Delek Group Ltd. and Ofer Brothers jointly own IDE. The current cost of desalinated water is NIS 2.75 per cubic meter. H2ID beat a consortium comprising Granite Hacarmel Investments Ltd., Ocif Investments and Development Ltd., Tahal Group, and two Spanish companies Inima Servicios Europeos de Medio Ambiente SA and Aqualia GestiónIntegral del Agua SA. A third consortium comprising Africa-Israel Investments Ltd., Baran Group and Ionics Agar Environmental earlier withdrew from the tender. Only the Ashkelon desalination facility is currently operating in Israel. It produces 100 million cubic meters of water a year. The facility is owned by VID Desalination Company Ltd., a consortium of IDE (50%), Elran Investments Ltd., 25%, and Veolia Environnement (25%). A 30 million cubic meter desalination facility is under construction at Palmachim, and Mekorot National Water Company plans to build a 40 million cubic meter facility, as well as a number of smaller facilities. Globes_ 9/19/06

Metito wins US$2.3 million Sudan desalination contract

Metito, a UAE-based water desalination and wastewater treatment specialist, announced that it has been awarded a contract exceeding $US2.3 million to execute a sea water desalination project for the Red Sea in Sudan. The desalinated water will be used for sanitation and potable purposes to address continuous growing demand for clean water and to counter the inadequacy of existing supplies within Port Sudan city. Antara/Asia Pulse_ 9/19/06

Singapore taps ocean for fresh water and income

For many decades, going back to long before its independence from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore has depended on its northern neighbor for fresh water supplies piped in to supplement the modest resources of its island catchment area. Now, diplomatic disputes over a range of issues, including the price of Malaysian water, is pushing Singapore to search for alternative sources, a development that may turn out to yield a useful new revenue stream for its economy. In 2005, the Public Utilities Board, or PUB, Singapore's water authority, brought on stream the city state's first desalination waterworks, a $127-million reverse-osmosis plant that produces drinking water from the sea. The plant is the largest in Asia and one of the largest in the world. Singapore is already exporting desalination know-how: Hyflux, a water treatment company which owns and operates the reverse osmosis plant under contract from the PUB, has won contracts to build desalination facilities in Tianjin and Ningxia in China, and also in Dubai. International Herald-Tribune_ 9/11/06

Fresh bidding for US$2 billion Dubai desalination project

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates started a second round of bidding to build a US$2 billion (US$1 = RM3.65) power and desalination plant after failing to secure enough interest last month for the project needed to meet rising demand. Companies that were invited to bid in August have until December to bid again for the contracts, according to a public tender issued by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority. Bloomberg/Business Times_ 9/11/06

Georgia company seeks permit for small, coastal desalination plant

A modest plan to turn seawater off the Georgia coast into a new drinking water supply has surfaced more than two years after the shelving of a far more ambitious proposal involving the city of Atlanta. But environmental advocates are just as skeptical about a pilot project limited to 50,000 gallons a day as they were about pumping millions of gallons of treated sea water hundreds of miles from the coast to the metro area. Aquasis, a Jonesboro desalination company, is seeking state permits to build a small plant at one of several potential sites along the coast next year. The fresh water produced by the plant would be sold locally as an alternative to the ground and surface water supplies the rapidly growing region now relies upon. Aquasis officials have indicated a willingness to foot the bill for the plant without asking the state for any money. Also, they’re focusing strictly on coastal Georgia. Three years ago, water planners from Atlanta asked for $250,000 in state funds to help underwrite a $500,000 feasibility study of plans to build three desalination plants along the coast from Hutchinson Island to St. Marys. The treated water was to be pumped along three pipelines to the metro region. But the study fizzled early in 2004 when Gov. Sonny Perdue yanked the money out of the state budget. Environmentalists are concerned about the massive amount of energy desalination requires and how the company would dispose of the salty brine produced as a byproduct of the process. Gwinnett Daily Post_ 9/10/06

Mexico/U.S. team works to protect border wetlands from desalination plant

With 20,000 hectares of bright green in a sea of sand in the state of Sonora, the Ciénaga de Santa Clara is one of Mexico's richest coastal ecosystems. Faced with the imminent reopening of a desalinisation plant just across the border in the United States, a binational team is working to protect the vast wetland. Ongoing drought conditions in the south-western United States has prompted the George W. Bush government to finance the restart of the long unused Yuma Desalting Plant (YDP) in the border state of Arizona in 2007. IPS_ 9/8/06

Siemens acquires Chinese water filtration company CNC Water Technology Inc.

With 120 employees, including 70 engineers, the company is exclusively active in the water sector and primarily in industrial filtration applications. Both parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Established in 2002 to introduce membrane filtration treatment process to the seawater desalination and wastewater treatment market in China, CNC relied on its technical competencies and particularly strong experiences in ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis membrane fabrication to quickly become a market leader. Since 2002, it has successfully executed some of the largest projects in China for seawater desalination industrial wastewater and municipal water treatment, covering a wide industry range, including petrochemicals, refining, power generation, and steel production. Beijing bases CNC Water Technology Inc. is a 100% owned company of the CNC (HK) Water Technology Limited., Hong Kong, of which Siemens has aquired the majority with 70% ownership. An option has been agreed upon the parties granting Siemens the right to aquire the remaining 30 per cent of the shares after three years. Azom.com_ 9/7/06

Long Beach California water treatment program gets patent
"The Long Beach Method" may soon become a household name.  The city's desalination process, developed by engineers at the Water Department, has received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, city officials announced Thursday.  "This verifies that the technology is truly unique and is truly a breakthrough," said Kevin Wattier, general manager of the Water Department.  The idea for this two-step filtration process emerged in 1999, when a manager at the Water Department decided to find a way to lower the amount of energy needed to make seawater potable.  Diem Vuong, who last year retired from his post as the department's assistant general manager, invented "The Long Beach Method," which uses less pressure to purify seawater by adding a second layer of membrane, or filter.  The unique method has been shown to be 20 percent to 30 percent more energy efficient than reverse osmosis, which is considered state-of-the-art technology, according to the Water Department.  Press Telegram_9/7/06

Bahrain-based Nass Mechanical secures US$8.38 million desalination contract

NASS Mechanical, a wholly owned subsidiary of NASS Corporation BSC, has secured a contract worth BD 3.13 million (US$8.38 million) for the fabrication and mechanical erection work for Phase III of the Hidd Privatization and Desalination Expansion Project. The expansion project is expected to be completed by the end of 2007, and will include the installation of a 60 MIGD (million imperial gallons per day) desalination plant and its integration with existing assets comprising a 910MW gas turbine based power generator and 30 MIGD of desalinated water production. Parsons Brinckerhoff have been appointed to provide project management and construction supervision on site. Hidd Power Company was set up by a consortium of International Power plc, Suez Energy International and Sumitomo Corporation to acquire and operate the Al Hidd power complex. Press Release/AME Info _ 9/5/06

Washington's Makah tribe talking with Navy about desalination system

The Makah are working with representatives of the Navy to get a temporary back-up system for drinking water, says Ben Johnson, tribal chairman. The system would allow the tribe to access the water surrounding it in the Pacific Ocean and Strait of Juan de Fuca. A shortage of water on the reservation from a lack of rain and high visitor traffic over the summer forced the Tribal Council to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday, Johnson said. The Tribal Council was alerted Monday to the critically low levels of water in its two main sources, the Waatch River and Educkett Reservoir, he said. Peninsula Daily News_ 9/3/06

Canal between Red Sea and Dead Sea proposed

Representatives of Jordan, Israel and the international financial community will meet in October to discuss a proposed canal between the Red Sea and Dead Sea. The conference in Amman will launch a $15 million feasibility study, Jordan’s Petra news agency reported Friday. The plan, which involves a hydroelectric plant and desalination plan, aims to stop a fall in the Dead Sea’s water level. Jewish Telegraphic Agency_ 9/3/06

Florida's Tampa Bay Water receives good bond rating despite long-standing desalination plant problem

Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'AA-' rating to Tampa Bay Water's approximately $80.65 million utility system refunding and improvement revenue bonds series 2006. The bonds are scheduled to sell the week of Sept. 11 via negotiation with Raymond James. In addition, Fitch affirms its 'AA-' rating on TBW's $1 billion in outstanding revenue bonds. The revenue bond rating reflects sound operating structure, high-quality management and success to date in meeting regional water supply demands, despite challenges at its seawater desalination plant, Fitch said in a release. The authority has effectively developed new water supplies well in advance of mandated reductions in groundwater withdrawal, although demand projections and periodic drought conditions support continued urgency in seeking new sources, Fitch said. Fitch went on to say that remediation of TBW's seawater desalination facility at a cost of about $40 million is expected to be complete by the end of this calendar year. The plant has been operating at reduced capacity. Once the plant demonstrates an operating history, the full $85 million reimbursement from the Southwest Florida Water Management District will be released, which TBW would use to redeem outstanding series 2002 variable-rate bonds. Litigation against the plant's membrane manufacturer and its surety, and against two engineering firms involved in the original design, engineering, and construction of the facility, is pending with no resolution expected in the near future, Fitch said. Tampa Bay Business Journal_ 9/1/06

August, 2006

Monterey County, California, Board of Supervisors reject appeal by group opposed to pilot desalination project

A permit for California American Water's pilot seawater desalination plant planned for Moss Landing was approved Tuesday by Monterey County supervisors. The action was a ratification of the zoning administrator's earlier approval. At the same time, supervisors voted 4-0 to reject an appeal of the permit approval by Santa Monica-based Desal Response Group. The group based its objection on the fact that the plant's once-through cooling system is being phased out, and that the project should not have been exempt from full California Environmental Quality Act review. The county's acting zoning administrator, Jeff Main, granted a coastal permit for the pilot plant July 13. Main found that the pilot plant's use of the Moss Landing Power Plant's existing once-through cooling system to draw water for the desalination process would not have an adverse environmental effect on the Monterey Bay. No new water would be withdrawn or discharged into the bay. The temporary plant, which should be in place for a year, would use only about .02 percent of the up to 1.2 billion gallons per day now being pumped by the power plant, said Cal Am spokeswoman Catherine Bowie. The pilot plant is designed to gather information on the viability of a permanent desalination plant at the location and will not produce any potable water. Monterey Herald_ 8/30/06

Poseidon Resources asks California Coastal Commission to approve Carlsbad desalination plant

The regulatory commission could be the project's biggest hurdle. However, officials said it could still be months before the application is finally given to coastal commissioners themselves, and before any decision is made about whether the long-discussed project is approved or rejected. Connecticut-based Poseidon Resources Inc. has been studying since 2000 the idea of building a $270 million project at the Encina power plant on Carlsbad's coastline. Poseidon's plant would turn 50 million gallons of seawater a day into drinking water. During the last five years, the company has been in and out of the news as it tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a deal with the San Diego County Water Authority, the region's main water supplier, to buy the water for county residents. Water Authority board members abandoned five years of negotiation with Poseidon a month ago. But hedging its bets, Poseidon had already reached a deal to build the plant with the city of Carlsbad and a handful of other, small water companies. North County Times_ 8/29/06

Works minister says desalination important to providing potable water to Bahamas

Works and Utilities Minister Bradley Roberts said recently that by using Reverse Osmosis, the Water and Sewerage Corporation is now able to deal with the one major problem that impacted the Bahamian environment: excluding salt from potentially potable water. "In almost all our islands, we have had to start to make use of the desalination method in order to cater to the demands of our visitors and ourselves. Even slightly brackish water – 'which is not in itself a threat to our health' – is not now acceptable. We all want and demand high quality, pure water." Minister Roberts was addressing the Rotary Club of West Nassau at their luncheon meeting on the topic "The importance of clean water in the provision of piped water in the Bahamas." The Freeport News_ 8/29/06

Cap on access to water key to desalination plans in Cambria, California

If voters approve Measure P in the November election, Cambria’s services district won’t provide drinking water to new customers outside the agency’s current boundaries. Cambria has limited water. In 2001, the district board imposed a moratorium on new connections. Wayne Parrack, president of UNLOC, a property-rights group representing people who want to build on their in-town Cambria lots, said Measure P’s passage could help the district get a desal plant up and running, which would, in turn, permit about 800 lot owners to build their homes over 20 years or so. So far, Measure P apparently hasn’t raised much public comment, for or against. San Luis Obispo Tribune_ 8/29/06

Wave energy raises hopes in Australia for desalinated water without environmental damage

A $40 million commercial wave power plant at Portland would generate enough electricity annually for up to 30,000 houses or desalinate enough water for more than 50,000 houses. In a world first, Energetech is investigating using technology to desalinate water from some of the proposed 10 to 15 wave energy units to be installed in waters off Portland. Energetech chief financial officer John Bell said the plant would be based on a prototype built in Port Kembla. The wave energy units would be using standard reverse osmosis desalination technology and had the potential to produce three million litres of drinking water each day. Conventional desalination plants require huge amounts of energy and produce considerable greenhouse emissions, making the cost of producing drinking water higher than tap water. The Warrnambool Standard_ 8/21/06

Carlsbad, California, seawater desalination project gets regional approval; Next step is getting state OK

With no debate and little comment, San Diego County's regional water cops unanimously approved awarding a key permit Wednesday to a project that could eventually turn millions of gallons a day of the Pacific Ocean off Carlsbad into "drought-proof" drinking water. Directors for the Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the discharge permit Wednesday over the objections of environmental groups who asked for more study time. The control board's permit sets limits for how much pollution and environmental damage the proposed plant could create. Meanwhile, happy representatives from Poseidon Resources Inc. said Wednesday's approval cleared the way for the long-discussed project to move forward to the California Coastal Commission. Connecticut-based Poseidon has been studying the idea of building a $270 million seawater desalination plant at the Encina power station in Carlsbad for six years. If built, it would be the first large plant aimed at turning ocean water into drinking water on the West Coast, and largest such plant in the Western Hemisphere. North County Times_ 8/17/06

Kuwait's new desalination units to alleviate water shortages

The new units will produce approximately 12.5 million gallons of water daily. The increase in water production comes as a response to the growing demands for water from the residential and industrial sector. The Ministry of Energy has a plan to increase water production from 324 million gallons per day to 340 million gallons per day by 2010. In order to facilitate the increased production levels, the ministry is adding desalination units in Subiyya, Shuwaikh, northern Shuaiba and northern Al-Zour. Kuwait Times_ 8/17/06

San Luis Obispo County approves desalination plant test wells over objections of environmentalists

The temporary wells will allow the Cambria Community Services District to conduct 24 exploratory soil borings in a three-phase project. Test results would help the district design a desalination facility by determining how much sea- water could be drawn from below a state beach and under the ocean. The Cambria Community Services District stopped issuing new water hookups in 2001 because water supplies are short. It plans to build a desalination plant to supplement the existing supply of groundwater. San Luis Obispo Tribune_ 8/17/06

Guide to San Antonio, Texas water: Sources diversify as growth spirals

For more than a century, all of San Antonio's drinking water came from simply drilling holes into the ground and letting natural water pressure push the clear water of the Edwards Aquifer into the city's distribution lines — after adding a little disinfectant. The city-owned San Antonio Water System, with about 330,000 customers, is the region's largest supplier and still draws about 95 percent of its water from the Edwards. SAWS is planning a project to desalinate brackish groundwater in southern Bexar County by 2010 and is developing a project in the Carrizo Aquifer in nearby Gonzales and Wilson counties that could bring in water by 2012. A proposal still under study could bring a large quantity of water from the Colorado River basin. Express-News_ 8/16/06

Los Angeles County sea water desalination proposals draw fans and foes

Proposals by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, West Basin and the city of Long Beach are gaining momentum. Water districts in Orange County are also planning their own projects. But ocean environmentalists are questioning why resources are being devoted to tapping the ecologically stressed-out ocean when water recycling and conservation methods could provide enormous supplies and, at the same time, reduce the flow of polluted runoff to the sea. Activists are not alone in their concerns about tiny sea life. The State Lands Commission and the Ocean Protection Council have resolved to discourage the practice of "once-through cooling" at coastal power plants. Systems that use beach wells, which would draw saltwater from under the sand, are more welcomed by environmentalists, but again, only if everything else -- recycling, conservation, etc. -- has been tried. Daily Breeze_ 8/14/06

San Diego County Water Authority says desalination plant a long way off

Water Authority officials said it would be "at least a year to a year-and-a-half ---- and possibly much longer ---- before potential seawater desalination projects in South County and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station could be considered serious and plausible. Meanwhile, questions remain about how supportive the regional Water Authority will be when asked to support the continuing efforts to build the long-discussed Carlsbad plant, even though the Water Authority considers it "critical" to the region's future water supply. The city of Carlsbad and Poseidon Resources Inc. ---- the private company that the Water Authority could not successfully negotiate its own deal with to build the plant ---- are continuing to advance their own plans to build the facility. North County Times_ 8/12/06

Emirate of Umm Al Quwain teams with Al Rajhi Investment Group for 'Imdad,' a AED 2 billion desalination project

The Government of Um Al Quwain represented by HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Mualla, Deputy Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, and Al-Rajhi Investment Group, represented by Dr. Alaa Al Khoza'ee, Project Manager signed an agreement establishing their new company "Imdad". "Imdad" is equally owned by the government of Umm Al Quwain and the Riyadh based company, Al-Rajhi Investment Group. The firm is specialized in producing, delivering and distributing water throughout Umm Al Quwain and other emirates followed by exporting the desalinated water to other countries and has an investment of around AED 2 billion. The project is anticipated to begin its first production within 18 months. Imdad's main mission is to desalinate the sea water through using the latest technologies, and deliver clean water inline with national specifications for the consumer. This policy will prevent the consuming of brackish water, and the renewing of already available sources of water with the assistance of experienced international companies. AMEInfo_ 8/12/06

Australia faces tight desalination deadline

More than half of the water projects needed to keep southeast Queensland from running dry in December 2008 are due to be completed within weeks of the critical month. Five major projects, included a Gold Coast desalination plant and the final phase of a recycled water pipeline, have deadlines in November or December 2008. Courier-Mail_ 8/10/06

Desalination helps Bahrain meets its water demands, with no shortages, in the near future

Expansion of existing desalination plants will ensure that supply meets growing demand, water production directorate Redha Hassan Salman told a Press conference. Desalination plants currently supply only 75 per cent of the country's demand, while underground water is used to make up the deficit, he said at the Electricity and Water Ministry premises. Bahrain consumes around 107 million gallons of water daily, of which 75 million are desalinated and 32 million are underground water. There is no shortage of underground water, either to supply the desalination plants or to supplement them, said Mr Salman. Gulf Daily News_ 8/10/06

As water grows scarce, corporations see profit
Everyone knows there is a lot of money to be made in oil. But a growing number of businesses are discovering there may be even more potential profit in another naturally occurring liquid: water. Indeed, analysts estimate that water- related equipment and services make up a $400 billion global market. In the United States alone, most analysts expect the water market to be worth at least $150 billion by 2010. The UN Population Fund projects that at present consumption rates, in 2025 5 billion of the 7.9 billion people on Earth will live in areas where safe water is scarce. The cost of reverse osmosis membranes, which lie at the heart of most desalination projects, has plummeted, but desalination still remains capital and energy intensive, and creates its own troublesome sludge. For now the water industry remains fragmented, with no company commanding more than 5 percent of sales. But it is consolidating rapidly, as big companies like Siemens, General Electric, Deneher and ITT continue their buying sprees. New York Times/International Herald Tribune_ 8/9/06

Queensland, Australia to go ahead with first desalination plant

The plant, which separates salts and impurities from sea water for drinking, is expected to be completed by the end of November 2008 and provide 125 megalitres a day. Premier Peter Beattie and Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke today signed an agreement to start work on the Tugun-based project with initial investigation and design to cost $100 million. Mr Beattie yesterday used emergency powers in state water laws to set the Gold Coast and 17 other councils in the south-east deadlines for completing major projects, or face fines of up to $125,000. The projects, including new dams, weirs, pipelines and recycling, would form a water grid to drought-proof the region. AAP/The Australian_ 8/10/06

Texas senator supports nuclear reactor to power desalination plant

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is "completely sold" on the idea of a high temperature teaching and test reactor in the Permian Basin. It will train future scientists and engineers and help the country explore new sources of energy. "If we can desalinate more of the saltwater on Earth ... it would be a major step in the right direction. It's exactly the direction we should be going," the Republican senator said. The reactor, which probably would not be operational until 2012, would be a state-of-the-art, helium-cooled nuclear research facility, built largely underground in Andrews County. Midland Reporter-Telegram_ 8/8/06

International Finance Corporation helps enhance China's water treatment

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will make a US$20 million preferred equity investment in SinoSpring Utility Ltd and a US$25 million loan to Tianjin Dagang NewSpring Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of SinoSpring. SinoSpring was set up to develop build-own-transfer or build-own-operate projects in water treatment, including seawater and wastewater, in China. Its shareholders are Hyflux Ltd and RB (Labuan) Ltd. Through its subsidiaries, SinoSpring is currently executing eight water projects in China. IFC's loan will finance Dagang NewSpring, a seawater desalination plant in Dagang district, to supply the Tianjin municipality, which suffers from acute water shortages. Once completed, Dagang NewSpring will be China's largest desalination plant, expanding the city's water resources and providing water to industrial users. China CSR_ 8/7/06

China plans three desalination plants for city of Tianjin

Tianjin is a city of water scarcity, for many years, it has relied on the South-to-North water diversion project to relive its needs for drinking water. Since the city has abundant seawater resources, research on seawater desalination has been started since the early 1990s. Up till now, three seawater desalination bases have been set up or are being constructed in the city’s Binhai New Area, which is close to the Bohai Bay. The area’s advantageous location saves much cost of the endeavor. Dai Haiping and her students started seawater desalination research in 2003. In 2005, at the Tianjin Tanggu Seawater Desalination Base, their research proved a success and was put into production. With a daily output of 1,000 tons of fresh water, the base produces desalinated seawater whose quality is equivalent to that of purified water. Desalinating seawater with ‘reverse osmosis’ technology is China’s first program with proprietary intellectual property rights. One ton of seawater can produce 400 kilograms of fresh water, and the dense seawater can be used to make solar salt. CCTV_ 8/5/06

Three new desalination plants to ease drought crisis in southeast Spain

The administrative council of Acuamed yesterday approved the contracts granted to build three new desalination plants: in Torrevieja (Alicante), Aguilas (Murcia), and Bajo Almanzora (Almeria). Jaime Palop, the president of Acuamed (photo, left), and the general director of the Water Policies department of the ministry of the Environment, stated that the decision was "historic." Altogether the three plants will cost over €722 million with €297 million being spent on the Torrevieja installation that will be the biggest in Europe. Construction on the three plants is expected to begin towards the end of this year, and all three are expected to be working by 2008. Together, the three new plants are capable of supplying the needs of 1.6 million domestic users, but the majority of the annual capacity of 150 cubic hectometres will be used to water agricultural land in Alicante's Vega Baja and Aguilas areas as well as more than 12,000 hectares in the province of Almeria. The rest will be used to guarantee domestic water supplies for 600,000 people. ThinkSpain_ 8/3/06

Dow Chemical Co. signs exclusive licensing agreement to commercialize ZDD desalination technology

Dow signed a licensing option and evaluation agreement with South Carolina-based ZDD, Incorporated, giving Dow exclusive rights to elect an exclusive license to ZDD, Incorporated's Zero Discharge Desalination (ZDD) process technology for desalination of seawater and brackish water. The patent-pending ZDD process technology utilizes a unique combination of reverse osmosis or nanofiltration membranes and electrodialysis cells that enables water treatment facilities to recover potentially saleable salts and greater amounts of pure filtered water. According to the company, it also minimizes or eliminates the production of concentrated brine, the disposal of which represents a substantial cost associated with water treatment in coastal and, in particular, inland locations. ZDD technology was originally developed by Thomas A. Davis, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina and was licensed to ZDD, Incorporated by the University as part of its program to encourage commercialization of its technologies. Chemie.de_ 8/2/06

San Diego County Water Authority abandons 4-year effort to build desalination plant at Carlsbad

The unexpected move by the region's water supplier clears the way for a private company, Poseidon Resources Inc., to pursue its competing proposal for a sea water desalination facility at the Encina Power Station property. The unanimous decision at yesterday's board meeting was a blow to the agency's efforts to diversify the San Diego region's water sources with a desalination plant capable of producing 50 million gallons per day. Water authority officials said they would continue to pursue feasibility studies on desalination plants at San Onofre and Chula Vista. San Diego Union-Tribune_ 7/28/06

Carlsbad, California desalination project draws environmental legal challenge

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit to stop a proposed Carlsbad seawater desalination plant, arguing that its environmental study doesn't do enough to show the harm the project could cause. Lawyers for the Southern California Watershed Group and the Desal Response Group filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court last week against the city of Carlsbad, Poseidon Resources and Cabrillo Power. Connecticut-based Poseidon and the city of Carlsbad have a deal to build the plant, and hope to file a permit application with the California Coastal Commission late this week, or early next week. Cabrillo is the operator of Carlsbad's Encina Power Plant, where the proposed plant would be built. North County Times_ 7/27/06

Australia looks at long distance water piping as desalination alternative

Piping water from the northern rivers of New South Wales to ease southeast Queensland's water crisis was applauded yesterday as an intelligent option by opponents of the Wyaralong and Mary River dams. But the suggestion, by federal water policy boss Malcolm Turnbull, was attacked "as policy on the run" by NSW Water Minister David Campbell. Critics of long-distance water pipelines said they required too much electricity to power pumps and had only a fraction of the output of a desalination plant. Dams were considered one of the best water sources because of their large volumes and low maintenance costs. But they were dependent on weather and could cause damage to the surrounding environment. Courier-Mail_ 7/27/06

California American Water to pay $10 million in fees, gets support for desal in return

To avoid as much as $330 million in fines, California American Water has agreed to pay more than $10 million to compensate for damage to steelhead habitat on the Carmel River. In a settlement with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Division, Cal Am agreed to pay $3.8 million in "mitigation fees" by Aug. 28 and $1.1 million in each of six years thereafter, or until it develops a new water source for the Monterey Peninsula. In return, NOAA Fisheries agreed to "cooperate" with Cal Am by explaining to regulatory agencies why the company's proposed desalination plant in Moss Landing would be a boon to steelhead habitat and should be paid for by Cal Am's ratepayers. The agreement follows a threat by NOAA a year ago to levy massive fines against Cal Am for its continued violations of the Endangered Species Act through overpumping on the Carmel River. NOAA estimated those fines could reach $330 million. In 1995, the state ruled that Cal Am had no legal right to about 70 percent of the water it was pumping from the river and ordered it to develop a new water source. Monterey County Herald_ 7/26/06

Bheemili, India, to get desalination plant as part of becoming a model sanitary town

The Centre has released Rs 17 crore to construct a desalination plant here, said municipal commissioner P Purushottam said on Tuesday. He said sea water enters the river Gosthani at the confluence and hence the water needed to be filtered at the plant to convert it into sweet water. Part of the funds would be utilised for the underground drainage system, he added. Newindpress_ 7/26/06

Studying water quality in Colorado River Delta's Cienega de Santa Clara

Desalination and the environment

A University of Arizona researcher is coordinating a project to monitor water quality in the largest wetland in the Colorado River Delta, the Cienega de Santa Clara in Mexico. The effort will evaluate how operation of the Yuma Desalting Plant (YDP) might affect the cienega.  Researchers will start gathering baseline information in August. The YDP is scheduled to conduct a 3-month trial run at 10 percent of its full capacity during the spring of 2007. The scientists will also collect water quality data during and after the YDP's trial run.  The Central Arizona Project (CAP) is funding the scientific monitoring effort.  "It's a critical first step in a long-term, bi-national effort to systematically evaluate how variation in water quantity and quality affects the delta's ecosystems," said the project's principal investigator Karl W. Flessa, a professor of geosciences at The University of Arizona in Tucson.  The Cienega de Santa Clara is an important stopover for birds that migrate along the Pacific Flyway and provides habitat and feeding grounds for an estimated 200,000 shorebirds, ducks and geese. It is also home to federally listed threatened and endangered species including the Yuma Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris yumanensis), the Southwest Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) and a species of desert pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius.  The cienega is also the basis of a growing ecotourism industry for nearby communities in Mexico.  Press Release_Eurekalert 7/24/06

Residents on California's Monterey Peninsula oppose California American Water's desalination surcharge

Monterey Peninsula residents, faced with the prospect of their water bills more than doubling in the next two and a half years, told a representative of the state Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday night that they don't want to front the money for California American Water's Coastal Water Project. Cal Am has asked the PUC for permission to levy a series of surcharges to its customers to pay for the "approved preconstruction costs" it has encountered in its efforts to build a seawater desalination plant at Moss Landing, and to pay for that project or some other "long-term water supply solution" for the company's Monterey district. But the waters have been muddied by the proposed sale of the water company's stock on the open market by its German parent company, RWE AG. A number of speakers accused the water company of seeking the surcharges in advance of its water project as a way to boost the value of the stock. Monterey County Herald_ 7/19/06

Water rate increases proposed for California's Monterey Peninsula to build desalination plant

Under the rate hikes proposed by California American Water, the average family would see a 19 percent increase in water bills beginning in January. In 2008, a 40 percent increase would take effect and a 70 percent rise is planned for 2009. California American Water wants customers to pay $200 million in preconstruction costs for a desalination plant at Moss Landing and future water projects. Opponents of the increases said California American is unfairly charging customers for business projects that do not yet exist. The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to make a final decision on the rate hikes on Dec. 14. KSBW_ 7/18/06

Taiwan to get its first desalination plant for industrial water

The desalination plant at the Huaya industrial park in northern Taoyuan County will be the largest of its kind in Taiwan and will exclusively serve industry, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hou Ho-shong said after attending a meeting of the Council for Economic Planning and Development. The ministry will submit the construction plan for the NT$1.6 billion (US$49 million) plant to the Executive Yuan for approval, he said, adding that funding for the project will be allocated by the central government in a special budget. It's exected tyo begin operation in three years. CNA/Taipei Times_ 7/14/06

Aberdeen, Maryland considers investing $14 million in desalination plant

Short on water and facing significant population growth on the horizon, Aberdeen is considering tapping a bountiful source in its backyard: the Chesapeake Bay. A proposal to build a plant that would extract salt from the brackish waters of the bay would make the Harford County community the first in Maryland to desalinate water for human consumption, implementing a process used in other parts of the world but not widely in the United States. The city proposes to withdraw as much as 6 million gallons a day from the bay - the nation's largest estuary - and treat it at an Aberdeen Proving Ground pumping station that has been unused since about 1998. Baltimore Sun_ 7/7/06

Voters in Cambria, California likely to decide in November if town can grow beyond current water service boundaries

The proposed ordinance is another move by the Cambria Community Services District toward restricting growth that’s likely if a proposed desalination plant is built to provide the town with additional water. District directors unanimously agreed June 22 to request that the county clerk-recorder add to the Nov. 7 ballot an ordinance that would not allow the district board to provide potable water service outside current district boundaries for residential purposes without first completing an environmental review, amending the town’s water master plan and receiving voter approval. According to district directors and staff, they and other townspeople want to preserve Cambria’s small-town ambience, protect the landmark Monterey pine forest and other habitat areas and not allow the community to outgrow its resources. San Luis Obispo Tribune_ 7/6/06

Middle East Desalination Research Center to tackle water desalination research

The Oman-based centre is preparing to conduct research for the first time since it was set up in late 1996. Until now, the centre has only funded and managed research projects in the region, but from next year it will begin its own research programmes in laboratories currently under construction in the capital Muscat. Its director Koussai Quteishat says that Lebanon and Syria are the only two countries in the Middle East with adequate water supplies according to the United Nations' definition of levels 'critical for development'. SciDev.net_ 7/7/06

General Electric pulls plug on desalination plant bid in Hadera, Israel

Corporate giant General Electric withdrew yesterday from the contest to build a major desalination plant in Hadera, just hours before the tender deadline expired. The decision was a blow to the Finance and Infrastructure Ministries, as it leaves just two contestants. GE had been considered a strong contender, possibly the strongest. Of the remaining contenders, one consortium includes a partnership between IDE Technologies and Housing and Construction (Shikun U'Binui). The other consortium pairs Israeli companies Granite Hacarmel Investments, Tahal Consulting and Ocif Investment and Development with Spanish firms Inima and Aquila. Haaretz_ 7/7/06

Qatar Electricity and Water Company closes $485.5 million financing for desalination facility

The project at Ras Abu Fontas (B2) will produce 29.1 million gallons of water per day. HSBC was the financial adviser to QEWC on the project. The bank said it delivered a financing structure with a final maturity of 25 years “establishing a new project finance benchmark” for the longest loan tenor for any Middle East power and water sector deal. QEWC General Manager Fahad Hamad al-Mohannadi, also Qatar Petroleum board member, said, the project “was done in a record time with the close co-operation of QP, Kahramaa and our EPC contractors General Electric and Fisia along with our financial and other advisers.”
Kahramaa, which is responsible for water and electricity procurement, has entered into a 25-year contract to purchase the full output of the facility, which will satisfy the urgent need for additional power and water in Qatar. Gulf Times_ 7/4/06

India to build $130.6 million desalination plant in border district of Kutch

The Rs 600 crore ($130.6 million) plant would be set up to meet the requirements of industries which have come up in the region, after the earthquake rocked Kutch five years ago. This will be the first plant of its kind in Gujarat state. According to well informed sources, the project to set up this plant would be a joint venture, involving privatepublic partnership. The industrial units located in the border-district would invest Rs 20 crore, state government would invest its share and the balance would be raised through loans. The proposed plant would have the capacity to convert 150 million litres of sea water into sweet water per day. Some of the leading companies in the field of desalinition, from Singapore and Israel, have evinced keen interest in the Kutch project and their representatives also attended a meeting. Times of India_ 7/3/06

Consultant reports on Central California coastal desalination proposals

The two cheapest and most productive proposals for taking salt out of Monterey Bay water and using it for human consumption both involve desalination plants at Moss Landing, according to a consultant's report presented to the Monterey Peninsula Water Management Agency. The report, commissioned by the agency and prepared by Bookman-Edmonston/GEI, reviewed three proposals for desalination plants -- California American Water Co.'s Coastal Water Project, Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District's Monterey Bay Regional Seawater Desalination Project, and the Sand City Desalination Project. The report was presented to district directors this week, but they took no action. Sand City's is the priciest and least productive system, but it does have the apparent advantage of not being associated with drawing water from the heavily contaminated Moss Landing Harbor area or from nearby Elkhorn Slough. The future of using water drawn into oceanfront power plants, as Cal Am proposes for Moss Landing, is clouded by a state Lands Commission ruling against once-through desalination because of fish and other organisms that are killed in the process. The Lands Commission would stop renewing permits for "once-through" cooling systems at power plants after 2020 and prohibit new permits for such systems. The Bookman-Edmonston report itself was hurt by the last-minute introduction of information by Peter MacLaggan, senior vice president of Poseidon Resources of San Diego, on how pure the water Pajaro/Sunny Mesa's plant would produce will be. Poseidon Resources delivered a pilot desalination plant for the district to Moss Landing earlier this month and may build the full-scale project. The Bookman-Edmonston report didn't cite specific water-quality figures because, according to presenter Mark Williamson, none were presented. Monterey Herald_ 7/1/06

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