Energy/Water Nexus

Solar desalination plant to serve California’s Central Valley

Yoshimi Yoshida
Started by Yoshimi Yoshida on
09 Jul 2015 at 23:53
Environmental Scientist
Know-how: Environmental Services and Mitigation, Environmental Services

Filtration Solar desalination plant to serve California’s Central Valley JULY 09, 2015 

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. — HydroRevolutionSM will construct a solar desalination plant in the Panoche Water and Drainage District in the Central Valley, according to a press release.

The facility will convert saltwater into freshwater using the sun’s energy, noted the release. The plant will serve local water districts in the region, and is the first of its kind in the area.

“Given the trend of highly uncertain inputs from the Delta, we need to develop a reliable supply of water in the Central Valley,” shared Panoche Water and Drainage District manager Dennis Falaschi in the release. “This is a sustainable solution that can provide a substantial amount of water. There is an enormous resource of subsurface water than can be utilized.”

HydroRevolution can generate up to 5,000 acre-feet of water every year, stated the release. The amount is enough to serve 10,000 homes of 2,000 acres of cropland.


Yoshimi Yoshida
Sameer, I share your concern, but California Central Valley perhaps is not even in a position to afford NOT to desal sea water. See below quote -
I dont know if you have ever visited the inland of California. It is very very thirsty, arid land.
See another content, in 2014.
"The Panoche Water District and Drainage District serves over 44,000 acres of the Valley in and around Firebaugh, which includes farms growing almonds, tomatoes, melons, asparagus, pistachios and alfalfa. Panoche gets water from the Bureau of Reclamation out of Shasta Dam in Northern California which travels through the Sacramento River to the Delta region and is pumped into the Central Valley Project delivery system in Tracy, Calif. It then travels about 45 miles to the San Luis Reservoir. There is saline in the irrigated water, and lack of drainage in that part of Fresno County causes a major problem. The saline levels in some of the water have a content greater than seawater."
Sameer Dohare
How filtration solar desalination plant is sustainable solution??
If it requires about 34 ML/Day of seawater to give about 17 ML/Day of treated water, by considering 50% R.O. reject.
Also, the water consumed, will again generate about 12 ML/Day of domestic wastewater, which will again have high TDS, and contaminates.
Now, you have about 29 ML/Day of wastewater, which will have very high TDS, and contaminates, and shall be ultimately disposed of into the sea.
Considering the sensitive aquatic ecosystem, this disposal of high contaminated wastewater will have slow, but high impact on the same.
Hence, in my point of view, It's not sustainable at all.
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