Sea Water Desalination

Water desalination processes separate dissolved salts and other minerals from water. Feedwater sources may include brackish, seawater, wells, surface (rivers and streams), wastewater, and industrial feed and process waters. Membrane separation requires driving forces including pressure (applied and vapor), electric potential, and concentration to overcome natural osmotic pressures and effectively force water through membrane processes. As such, the technology is energy intensive and research is continually evolving to improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Seawater desalination has the potential to reliably produce enough potable water to support large populations located near the coast. Numerous membrane filtration seawater desalination plants are currently under construction or in the planning stages up and down California’s parched coast, with the 50 million gallons per day (mgd) Carlsbad Desalination plant scheduled to be operational by 2016.