Thursday, August 27, 2015

MIT Awards Desalination Concept Alternative to Watergrab

Congratulations to Tom Manaugh and Said Majdi for their MIT award for a desalination alternative to the SNWA Watergrab. It's good to see that their concept is very similar to one I have been proposing for years now. Maybe somebody will pay attention now.

In their comments section (on one of the last posts), they suggested that the solar power facility to run the desalination plant be located near Hoover Dam to utilize the Dam's underutilized power lines.

May I suggest a PV solar power facility on Lake Mead. There are two good reasons for doing this: One, the solar facility would shade a part of Lake Mead, thus reducing evaporation losses. And two, no pristine desert valley would have to be bulldozed to accommodate the facility.

The extra costs for building a floating solar facility could be covered by the monies collected from delivering the conserved water.

And some of the power generated could be traded for water from desalination facilities on (or off) the Coast.

SNWA could enter into agreements with Coastal communities whereas; the coastal community would pay for the desalination facility, and SNWA would provide the electrical power to desalinate the ocean water. Consequently; those Coastal communities could deliver water to their customers for far less, and SNWA could trade for more water from the Colorado River for the cost of generating the power to desalinate Coastal water.

Of course, there is one hurdle to cover. The SNWA and the Coastal community would have to pitch in to help desalinate farm runoff waste water for reuse on California farms (who might otherwise lose out in this Colorado River water trade).

...And since the PV solar power facility doesn't have to be solely owned by SNWA, other interested communities (such as Phoenix or Tuscon) could join in to pay for it – and receive a proportional amount of water from the Colorado River.

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