California’s New Desalination Plant Wins International Award

AP Photo/Gregory Bull
AP Photo/Gregory Bull

California’s new $1 billion desalination plant, which transforms sea water into fresh water, has won an international award for technological and environmental achievement.

“The Claude ‘Bud’ Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has been honored with a Global Water Award as the Desalination Plant of the Year for 2016 by Global Water Intelligence, publisher of periodicals for the international water industry,” the San Diego County Water Authority said in a press release on Friday.

“The largest seawater desalination plant in the nation, it started commercial operations in December 2015 and is providing the San Diego region with a drought-proof water supply during one of the most severe droughts in California’s recorded history.”

The plant was opened to journalists last year. Breitbart News’ Michelle Moons visited, and described how it works:

Once the water is cleared of an acceptable level of impurities it is run through the highly technical “reverse osmosis” process to remove salt from the seawater. Finally, the water intended for drinking must have minerals added back in and be disinfected with chlorine before heading out to San Diego County homes.

From each two gallons of seawater, one gallon of drinking water and one gallon of highly concentrated salt water or “brine” is produced. The drinking water then travels through a pipeline to the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) for further treatment, and is eventually sent out to county residents.

The brine portion left over at the plant is diluted with more seawater to achieve what has been deemed an acceptable level of concentration for seawater. That portion is then re-released into the ocean.

The Carlsbad facility was built in cooperation with an Israeli firm, IDE Technologies. Israel has expanded its desalination and reservoir infrastructure dramatically over the past two decades, resulting in greater water independence and national security.

This November, Californians may be able to vote on a ballot measure that would divert funds from the high-speed rail project, whose estimated cost is near $70 billion, towards new water storage facilities to alleviate California’s periodic droughts.



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