San Diego County Taps the Sea with Largest Seawater Desalination Plant in Western Hemisphere

Advanced reverse osmosis technology from Dow helps combat drinking water scarcity in region

San Diego, CA - August 28, 2015 - The California Department of Water Resources confirmed Water Year 2014 was one of the driest seasons on record – and the first half of 2015 didn’t deliver wetter results. With Californians using an average of 196 gallons of water per capita per day (excluding agriculture),1 the state is in clear need of hydration.

To alleviate the stress on its limited water resources, the San Diego County Water Authority sought a long-term strategy to diversify its water sources and enhance the reliability of the region’s water supply.

Equipped with advanced water treatment technologies that have made seawater desalination a viable, economically feasible option, the new Carlsbad Desalination Plant, located in the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, California, will provide the county with a locally controlled, drought-proof supply of high-quality water that meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards.

With 50 million gallons per day of desalinated water capacity, the facility will be the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere, providing water for nearly 112,000 households (over 300,000 people) in the area.2

As a key element to the desalination process, advanced reverse osmosis (RO) membrane technology from Dow Water & Process Solutions can filter and separate salt and other impurities from water molecules to help create clean, potable drinking water. DOW FILMTEC™ seawater and brackish water reverse osmosis membrane elements deliver high salts and other impurities rejection for excellent water quality and their durability and good cleanability extend their life to help reduce replacement frequency.

The Carlsbad Desalination Plant will begin operation in late 2015, more than 10 years since its inception. Over the past decade, system design concepts and RO membrane technology have improved significantly.

The plant will require 12 percent less energy and approximately 23 percent less membrane elements and pressure vessels to yield the same quality and quantity of water had it been built with the technology available 10 years ago.3

The Carlsbad Desalination Project is the result of collaboration between San Diego County Water Authority, Poseidon Water, IDE Technologies and Kiewit Shea Desalination.

1 Source: San Jose Mercury News
2 Source: The Carlsbad Desalination Project
3 Gasia Bruch, E.; Coker, S; Keinan, B; Salgado, B; Key Aspects of the Membrane Technology Implemented in the Carlsbad Desalination Project. The IDA World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, September 2015, San Diego, CA, USA.

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Ignacio Pozuelo
Dow Water & Process Solutions
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Beth Crisafi
G&S Business Communications
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