Amidst Drought, Solar Desalination Allows California Water District To Gain New Access to Fresh Water

waterfxaqua4
A solar desalination facility was recently implemented in California to remedy drainage issues.

California’s Panoche Water District has implemented a solar desalination facility in response to the need for cost-effective solutions that would ensure the availability of sustainable water in the vital agricultural region.

The facility, located in Firebaugh, Calif., utilizes renewable desalination technology from WaterFX.

The water district is deploying WaterFX Aqua4 technology as a remedy for drainage issues that have reached critical levels for the region’s agricultural industry. Irrigated water in the Central Valley contains elevated levels of salinity ranging from 15,000 to more than 40,000 ppm in many regions (greater than the salt content of seawater).

Meanwhile, drought conditions throughout the state have limited access to contracted water delivered from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation through the Central Valley Project, resulting in water districts receiving only a portion of their allotted water contracts. This year, the projected allocation is expected to fall to zero.

Sustainable water reuse through solar desalination can provide a scalable, alternative source of water unencumbered by the low reliability of imported water and high-energy costs.

After six months in operation, the 6,500-square-foot, solar-powered test facility has produced up to 8 gallons per minute of pure water from saline discharge drainage, and will be expanded to produce 2,200 acre-feet per year.

“We are very encouraged by the results so far and are looking forward to increasing the capacity to provide a treatment solution for larger volumes of drainage water,” says Dennis Falaschi, Panoche Water and Drainage District manager. “Farmers, in partnership with federal agencies, have invested in a solution that may soon solve drainage issues across all of California’s west side.”

The Panoche Water District and Drainage District serves more than 44,000 acres of the Central Valley in and around Firebaugh, Calif., including farmlands growing almonds, tomatoes, melons, asparagus, pistachios and alfalfa. The salinity of drainage water collected through intricate tile systems placed below irrigated crops and pumped to drainage canals necessitates designated reuse acreage that the Panoche District uses for recycling drainage water, growing salt tolerant crops and now employing water treatment technology.

“Panoche is a very forward-thinking water district to begin exploring sustainable, alternative water reuse options and it will greatly benefit local farms,” says Aaron Mandell, WaterFX chairman and founder. “This project represents a dramatic shift in how we use and reuse water in scarce regions like California. Our long term goal is to chart a new course towards water independence and reduce the need to import water from finite natural sources; this will pave the way towards economic growth dependent on water reliability.”

The WaterFX Aqua4 system differs from traditional seawater desalination, which is performed by an electricity intensive reverse-osmosis process that forces salt and other solids through a membrane at high pressure. WaterFX’s Aqua4 system reclaims water using a Concentrated Solar Still (CSS), a new device with advanced solar absorption technology, requiring minimal electricity and fuel input and producing more than 200 acre-feet of freshwater per acre of solar collection area.

Aqua4 consists of a solar thermal collector, an absorption heat pump, a multi-stage distillation system and a thermal storage unit to store solar heat and ensure 24-hour-per-day operation. The system is designed to deliver maximum value from renewable energy inputs and features a modular and moveable design, a compact footprint and the ability to easily scale up or down. High-efficiency thermal evaporation makes the system robust and able to achieve high recovery from a variety of water streams including drainage water, wastewater, produced water and seawater. The Aqua4 system will also reclaim extracted metals and salts, removing them from the water system entirely and eliminating brine discharge.

 

Leave a Reply

More From Uncategorized...

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Women To Seek Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and Suppliers Together in San Diego This October

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More
cultivate'15 logo

March 4, 2015

Cultivate’15: AmericanHort Announces What’s New

In an industry that has seen major changes occurring at a fast pace, many industry professionals leave Cultivate with their heads spinning and no clear idea of how to regroup and strategize. Cultivate’15 is “Changing the Game.” As this year’s focus, Changing the Game will call your attention to the ways in which our industry has changed and your opportunities to compete successfully.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 11, 2015

Benchmarks: Find Your Game-Changer

Refuse to accept the status quo in your organization. Explore possibilities until you find what works best for your company.

Read More
Lychnis 'Petitie Jenny'

February 2, 2015

Variety Showcase: A Dainty Debutante

Lychnis flos-cuculi ‘Petite Jenny’ is a dwarf form of the popular Blooms of Bressingham® variety Lychnis ‘Jenny.’ This double-flowered little beauty was discovered by Paul Gooderham at Bressingham in a patch of its parent, ‘Jenny.’ ‘Petite Jenny’ produces masses of large, fluffy, double flowers like ‘Jenny,’ but with a more diminutive habit. The species goes by the common name “ragged robin,” but there’s nothing unkempt about ‘Petite Jenny’. An easy-to-grow, tidy little plant, it is suitable for any sunny or lightly shaded border and is also a good container candidate. Garden Performance Mass of bright pink double blooms beginning in mid-May. Sterile blooms provide a longer flowering period Erect, leafy flowering stems Forms compact, bushy clumps just 14” tall with an 18” spread Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and is deer-resistant Ideal for containers, front of borders, informal cottage gardens and as cut flowers’ Sun or part shade USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to […]

Read More

January 20, 2015

Register Now For Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Trad…

The first-ever conference, sponsored by Meister Media Worldwide and the Biopesticide Industry Alliance, March 3-5, offers hands-on, real-world technical advice on biocontrols to help you craft a “softer” pest management program focused on resistance management, MRLs and results.

Read More

October 6, 2014

Fighting Fall Foliar Disease: The Best Defense Is A Goo…

Managing foliar diseases starts with evaluating the greenhouse environment. Virginia Brubaker, GGS Pro Technical support supervisor for Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, shares some ways you can defend against fall foliar diseases.

Read More

July 11, 2014

Highlights From The 2013 USDA Floriculture Crops Summar…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its 2013 Floriculture Crops Summary in June. Here are some of the main findings.

Read More

June 16, 2014

Pine Wood Chips As An Alternative To Perlite In Greenho…

This is the third article of the four article series highlighting the production and use of pine wood chips as aggregates in greenhouse substrates. We found growers do not need to adjust their production practices when 20% pine wood chips are utilized as a perlite replacement.

Read More

June 4, 2014

Hortilux To Service Philips Indal Supplemental Lighting…

Hortilux Schréder (Hortilux) will be undertaking the warranty and service work for existing Philips Indal supplemental lighting systems for greenhouse horticulture. To deliver this service, Hortilux is taking over the entire stock of parts and production tools from Philips Indal Horticulture, so Hortilux is able to provide the full range of service and maintenance on these supplemental lighting systems, even after they are no longer covered by warranty. In North America, this will fall under the domain of PL Light Systems Canada Inc., a division of Dool Industries and a sister-company of Hortilux. In North America, PL Light Systems will contact the existing Philips Indal horticultural clients and work with them to quantify their service and maintenance needs. PL Light Systems offers a wide range of service and maintenance services, including on site supplemental lighting measurements, lamp and reflector measurements, trouble-shooting and repair maintenance and automated reflector cleaning services. These […]

Read More

May 29, 2014

Country Raisin’s Joins HGTV HOME Plant Collection…

The HGTV HOME Plant Collection announced Country Raisin's as a new annuals grower for 2014.

Read More

April 24, 2014

ePlantSource Announces Five New Partnerships

ePlantSource has announced the addition of five new suppliers to the list of partner companies who provide their products on ePlantSource.com. The additional partners will offer customers new products as well as expanded options for programs and locations.

Read More

April 16, 2014

Update: House Approves Bill To Raise ACA Full-Time Defi…

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on April 3 that would raise the definition of full-time employment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to 40 hours per week.

Read More

March 27, 2014

Amidst Drought, Solar Desalination Allows California Wa…

California's Panoche Water District has implemented a solar desalination facility in response to the need for cost-effective solutions that would ensure the availability of sustainable water in the vital agricultural region. The facility, located in Firebaugh, Calif., utilizes renewable desalination technology from WaterFX.

Read More

March 14, 2014

Adaptive Plastics Announces Laurie Stribling Will Move …

Adaptive Plastics, Inc. has announced the promotion of Laurie Stribling to a newly created outside sales position. In her new position, Stribling will drive sales of Solexx greenhouse covering to commercial greenhouse and nursery growers.

Read More

March 14, 2014

BASF Empress Intrinsic Brand Fungicide Approved For Use…

BASF Empress Intrinsic brand fungicide has received supplemental labeling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on herbaceous and woody plants in greenhouse, nursery container and field production in New York.

Read More
Nicotiana 'Starlight Avatar' from Bioglow is the world's first light-producing plant.

January 31, 2014

Auction For ‘Starlight Avatar’ Went Live To…

BioGlow's auction went live on January 31 for nicotiana 'Starlight Avatar,' the world's first light producing plant.

Read More

January 29, 2014

U.S. Farm Bill Passed In The House After Years Of Indus…

The Farm Bill passed in the House of Representatives on January 29, and could be voted on as early as January 30 in the Senate.

Read More

January 2, 2014

MSU To Host 2014 Independent Plant Breeders Conference,…

If you want an opportunity to learn from and network with other plant breeders, new product development and market gurus and intellectual property experts, consider attending the 2014 Independent Plant Breeders Conference, October 30 to November 2, 2014. Held at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Mich., educational sessions will fill the first two days, focused on helping independent breeders be successful, from technical aspects of breeding through product development and marketing. The final day will include tours of Western Michigan nurseries, garden centers and horticultural landmarks. Sessions will cover topics including: Basic and advanced plant breeding techniques Managing a breeding program Bringing selections to market Intellectual property management Market trends A formal agenda, list of sessions and registration details will be released in the spring. Meanwhile, if you have questions, contact Michigan State University’s Ryan Warner. Find information on hotel accommodations here. Independent Plant Breeders & Students of […]

Read More

November 19, 2013

Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 State Of The Indu…

Greenhouse Grower's State Of The Industry Survey is now open and we need your input. From crop and sales trends to the issues that keep you up at night, your responses to the survey are the basis for our annual State Of The Industry Report in the January issue.

Read More

November 19, 2013

Suntory Reveals Its 2014 Consumer Advertising Plans

To help growers and retailers prepare for the coming spring season, Suntory Flowers announces its multimedia consumer advertising plans for 2014. Leading lifestyle publications where advertising will appear include: • Better Homes & Gardens – April issue (Sun Parasol) • Southern Living – March issue (Sun Parasol) • Sunset – March issue (Sun Parasol) – Plus an extensive digital campaign March through May beginning with Senetti, then transitioning to Sun Parasol. Publications that already engage the avid gardener, where advertising will appear include: • Country Gardens – Early Spring (Senetti) and Spring (Sun Parasol) back covers • Fine Gardening – January/February (Senetti), March/April (Senetti), May/June (Sun Parasol) issues and the Container Gardening issue (Sun Parasol). A multi-faceted digital campaign will run March through May, starting with Senetti and then transitioning to Sun Parasol, while also featuring key annuals in The Suntory Collection. • Inspirations  – the official publication published by […]

Read More