Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Monterey Seawater Desalination Pilot Plant

Project at a Glance

Location: Monterey Bay (Moss Landing), California
Technology: Seawater Desalination
Partner: California American Water
  • Pilot Plant – 22,000 gallons per day
  • Proposed Full-Scale Facility – 10 million gallons per day
  • January 2008 – Pilot plant commissioned and begins operation
  • June 2009 – Pilot plant project completed

The Monterey Seawater Desalination Pilot Plant is the initial stage of finding a permanent solution for supplying California American Water’s customers with sustainable water resources. The testing phase of the project will serve to plan and develop a full-scale facility providing for the needs of Monterey Peninsula residents while meeting state-mandated limits on the amount of water that can be pumped from the Carmel River and Seaside Aquifer. After examining other alternatives, desalination through reverse-osmosis technology is providing the solution. Since ACCIONA is an industry leader in the development of sustainable clean-water resources, there is no partner better suited for California American Water to design and deliver, on a turnkey basis, the pilot plant in anticipation of California American Water providing millions of gallons of clean water to the people of the Monterey Peninsula in an ecologically balanced manner.
About the technology
Desalination through reverse osmosis removes virtually any mineral and most biological or organic chemical compounds to produce high-quality, potable drinking water. This process has long been used in regions of the world where fresh water is in short supply. In fact, in ancient times, travelers aboard ships distilled seawater to convert it to drinking water. At the modern-day Monterey testing facility, reverse-osmosis desalination technology draws ocean water from the cooling system of the local Moss Landing power plant. The water is then moved through a series of filtering membranes under pressure from pumping systems. Pores in these membranes let water molecules through but not salt and pollutants. And while the basic concept is nothing new, its impact on modern society is profound. Over 21,000 desalination plants are in operation worldwide, producing over 3.5 billion gallons of potable water a day.
Why we did this project
To provide water for drinking, bathing and municipal needs, California American Water has relied on the resources of the Carmel River and Seaside Aquifer. These sources, however, are not sufficient to meet the needs of Monterey Peninsula residents while complying with state-mandated limits on the amount of water that can be taken from the river basin without threatening fish and wildlife. The Monterey facility is serving as proof that a solution to the water-scarcity challenge exists. Instead of relying on the Carmel River and local aquifer, desalination technology can be used to draw ocean water and convert it to drinkable water in a sustainable and balanced fashion. ACCIONA has sustained its partner with technology and commercial support in the pilot testing phase.

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