The race for clean drinking water is on. In some parts of the globe, technologies are feverishly being developed to ensure that the generations to come continue to have clean and safe water to drink. One technology in particular—seawater desalinization—has now attracted much of the world’s attention. Successful seawater desalination projects in Tampa Bay, Florida; Ashkelon, Israel; and Singapore have made many other communities realize the possibility of augmenting their supplies with water from the sea.
California is one of the many communities that are presently evaluating seawater desalination for public consumption. An article published on GreenBiz.com provided details on where The Golden State is currently regarding its desalination efforts:
In the U.S., water-strapped California leads in both innovations and needs. The largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere, a $1 billion state-of-the-art reverse osmosis facility being built near San Diego, is set to begin producing 54 million gallons a day — supplying water to 300,000 residents — in early 2016. At least 15 other desalination plants on the West Coast are in some stage of planning, and some small ones are already operating.
How desalination works
In its most elementary definition, desalination is simply the method of reducing water to its basic elements—salt and water. Remember that first grade project where you were required to separate salt from water through evaporation? That’s practically how desalination works, albeit at a much larger and more complicated scale. The downside to large-scale desalination is that it’s too costly and requires too much energy. Fortunately, thanks to new technologies like reverse osmosis, these issues are now being addressed.
What is reverse osmosis?
Although the term sounds complex, it’s actually a very straightforward water filtration process. In reverse osmosis (RO), dissolved contaminants are removed from water by pushing the contaminated water through a semi-permeable RO membrane. The membrane only lets water pass through and flushes impurities and contaminants like salt down the drain.
What lies ahead?
The world is still a long way off from realizing its seawater desalination goals. In line with this shared goal of humanity, water treatment manufacturers like AXEON Water Technologies will continue to develop their reverse osmosis filtration products to meet growing demands and ever-improving industry standards. Apart from commercial systems, it would benefit you to know that these firms also supply replacement membranes and RO membrane housing products for your residential convenience.
(Source: How new tech is spurring growth in recycling water, GreenBiz.com, June 26, 2014)