Desalination technology is a viable solution for areas that are facing water shortage crisis. In the past, desalination technology is only used on ships to provide clean drinking water for the crews and passengers on the ship. New desalination technology has reduced the amount of energy required for establishing desalination plants so that it can be used to provide fresh water supply to community that are facing water shortage. Desalination water is suitable for providing water for various purposes including drinking water, factories and farms.
The biggest desalination plant built in the western hemisphere is the Carlsbad desalination plant. The plant is equipped with the most powerful desalination technology in the western hemisphere. The desalination plant is so big that it is capable of producing 50 millions gallons of water for about 500,000 residents in San Diego county. According to the Department of Water Resources, the 2009 water plan report estimated that they will need at least 275,000 gallons of water to meet the demands for clean water supply in California by the time they reach 2025.
The plant was built across the Encina Power Station where it draws the energy for carrying out the desalination process. Carlsbad desalination plant draw the seawater from the Pacific Ocean. The San Diego County Water Authority has struck a 30 year water purchase agreement with Poseidon water. The plant is only opened recently and started to produce desalinated water for the community at San Diego County since December 2015.
Carlsbad desalination plant reduces the dependence on water supplies that are imported from other regions. It increases the community’s dependence on water supply that comes from Southern California. The quality of the desalinated water produced by Carlsbad desalination plant is improving over time through research. It was built to fulfill the goal of the water conservation programs in California.
Carlsbad desalination plant is able to offer clean water that meets the standard just as other water supplies. The ocean will always have water so using this technology will no longer rely on rainfall. The plant does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It provides water to the residents that live in the ocean front properties in Carlsbad. The building of Carlsbad desalination plant also contribute to the restoration of the wetland in South San Diego Bay that covers an area of 66 acres.
Carlsbad desalination plant will remove 99% of the salt from the seawater so that it is safe for drinking. There are many pipes that suck water from the sea to the plant. The water that is being sucked through the pipe will enter into the filtration system to remove the particles that appear above the water. After the particles are removed from the water surface, it will go through the reverse osmosis (RO) process where fresh water is passed over to the other side of the membrane while the salt, mineral and other contaminated contents will not pass through. Only half of the water that is processed in the desalination system will be usable with the rest of the water being flushed back into the ocean.