Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023
    Las Virgenes Water District Partners with OceanWell to Study Feasibility of Ocean Desalination

    The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District in California has teamed up with OceanWell, a California-based company, to explore the potential of desalination pods placed on the ocean floor. This collaboration aims to create the nation’s first “blue water farm” and address the challenges associated with traditional, land-based desalination.

    Desalination is the process of removing salt and other materials from seawater to make it suitable for drinking. However, traditional desalination methods are energy-intensive and produce a briny byproduct that can harm marine life. OceanWell’s technology offers a solution by utilizing naturally immense water pressure at depths of about 1,400 feet. This allows for a more efficient and environmentally friendly desalination process, using up to 40% less energy and producing no brine.

    The Las Virgenes Water District hopes that this pilot project will provide a long-term water solution and help mitigate the impacts of climate change and droughts. By harnessing the power of the ocean, the district can potentially produce up to 10 million gallons of fresh water per day, reducing its reliance on imported supplies.

    While local environmental groups express cautious optimism, emphasizing the importance of ocean desalination as a last resort, experts in the field recognize the potential merits of OceanWell’s approach. The concept of utilizing the pressure at the ocean floor for reverse-osmosis and operating at a lower recovery rate could reduce the amount of brine produced compared to land-based facilities.

    The state of California has included desalination as part of its water supply strategy to combat the decreasing water supply caused by increased temperatures and decreased runoff. Desalination is seen as a pivotal solution to address California’s shrinking water resources.

    In addition to the OceanWell project, the Las Virgenes Water District is also planning the Pure Water Project, a wastewater purification facility that will further increase the region’s water supply. These initiatives could potentially reduce the district’s reliance on imported water in half, enhancing long-term water reliability while minimizing environmental impacts.

    Overall, the collaboration between the Las Virgenes Water District and OceanWell showcases the potential for innovative solutions to address water scarcity and create sustainable water sources for California and beyond.

    – [Source 1]
    – [Source 2]