Using desalination to address drought

Using desalination to address drought
Carlos Riva. Credit: Poseidon Water
"It's a very interesting time in the water industry," says Carlos Riva '75, CEO of Poseidon Water, a company that is drawing attention as it develops, in Southern California, what will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. The project is expected to deliver water to parched businesses and residents in San Diego County, where there is a drought state of emergency, when it comes online late in 2015.

Poseidon's involvement is unusual because most of the agencies in the United States are public utilities managed by government agencies. "There hasn't been a lot of involvement of the private sector in developing ," Riva says. As a result, "our work has attracted attention, not just from people interested in what's being done to address [California's] drought, but also from municipal agencies around the country that see this as a potentially different model for supplying their communities with water."

While Riva is excited about the many innovations related to water currently being developed at institutions like MIT, he notes the difficulty in getting that technology out of the lab and into the real world. That's where the could help, he says. Companies like Poseidon "are in a position to push forward the adoption of these technologies to really make a difference in terms of the overall water supply."

An industrial developer focused on water treatment for industrial or municipal uses, Poseidon, headquartered in Boston, does everything from determining the location of a project to securing the permitting and, ultimately, putting in place contracts to sell the resulting water. The company also manages construction of the necessary infrastructure, and then forms an operational team that may run the project for the life of a plant. Or, at some point, it might turn it over to a municipal entity.

Riva notes that in many parts of the world, traditional sources of water such as lakes and underground reservoirs "have been pretty much tapped out, or spoken for, because they are the most accessible." That means "there's an opportunity to develop new strategies and new sources around water," says Riva, from better conservation to the use of treated wastewater and seawater desalination. "I think the solutions to the problems of are going to involve an 'all of the above' strategy."


Explore further

Why enough water will never be enough for California

This story is republished courtesy of MIT News (web.mit.edu/newsoffice/), a popular site that covers news about MIT research, innovation and teaching.

Citation: Using desalination to address drought (2015, May 29) retrieved 27 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-05-desalination-drought.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
18 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jul 02, 2015
Is anyone looking at the claims of :

http://www.primar...ter.html

This guy seems to have no problem finding this water and if the science of this is true
and can be proven, then we do not have a problem at all.
Yet I see NO mention of this anywhere - I read everything and have no built-in opinions which is the only way to be !!!
FIND OUT IF THIS HAS ANY TRUTH TO IT WITHOUT PREJUDICE OF FORETHOUGHT !!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more