“The Carlsbad Desalination Project will provide San Diego county with a locally-controlled, drought-proof supply of high-quality water that meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards.”
The quote above comes directly from carlsbaddesal.com,the website for Carlsbad’s new desalinating water plant. The process of desalination includes removing salt and unhealthy minerals from saline water. When discussing the current drought in California, there is often talk of desalination and its potential to increase our freshwater supply. Removing salt and minerals from saline water seems like an obvious solution to the drought and ongoing water scarcity concerns because it is a reliable water source.
Fourteen new desalination plants have been in the works to produce more drinkable water along the California coast. For many, this may seem like an answer to the “exceptional drought”. As consumers, it may also seem like a way to help us avoid making lifestyle changes, such as Governor Jerry Brown’s call for Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent. But while desalination may be a reliable option, the answer is much more complicated.
One of the greatest issues with desalination is the cost associated with these projects. A new plant may cost upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars to build (a billion in the case of the Carlsbad facility), plus considerable cost to run the plant.
Beyond the costs to build these facilities, operational costs are substantial and raise concerns over the energy requirements and their impacts. Energy costs make up around a third of total operating costs for a typical desalination plant. In California, there is concern about vulnerability to short-term and long-term energy price increases. During a drought, energy prices tend to increase due to the reduced ability to generate hydropower and the need to replace that hydropower with more expensive energy sources. These costs are often overlooked and not always factored into the total project cost. Long term, energy prices are not static and may increase due to the rising costs of developing renewable alternatives and building and maintaining new and existing infrastructure.
With these high capital and operational costs also comes a higher cost of its product, water. Desalinated water can cost upwards of $1,900 per acre foot, considerably more than other alternatives such as water conservation and efficiency, stormwater capture, and recycled water.
Aside from the costs, there are other potential externalities associated with desalination facilities, including environmental impacts. Seawater intake systems that draw ocean water in through screened pipes impinge marine organisms on the intakes. Smaller organisms able to pass through, such as eggs, larvae, and plankton, are entrained into the plant and killed during the desalination process. Produced water disposal can also have a substantial threat to marine life. The salt is concentrated into a brine that is usually pumped back out to sea for disposal after going through the desalination process. These point sources increase salinity levels and may affect local sea life, depending on the plant’s location and sea currents.
The idea of building seawater desalination plants during a drought is not a new one. In 1991, a desalination plant in Santa Barbara was constructed in response to the 1987-1992 drought. Once the plant was completed, abundant rainfall rendered the plant cost-inefficient, and it shut down in 1992. Currently, costs to restart the plant are being assessed as the technology and infrastructure are dated and would incur new capital investment. Likewise, six seawater desalination plants were built in Australia in response to the Millennium Drought. Today, four out of the six plants are left idle due to the availability of cheaper alternatives. These examples should serve as cautionary tales.
The good news is that we still have cost-effective options readily available. A study by the Pacific Institute and NRDC shows how California’s drought can be managed with better allocation and management of water resources. By implementing water-saving practices, water reuse, and stormwater capture, California can save 5.2 to 7.1 million acre-feet of water each year in our urban areas – equivalent to the output of 125 large desalination plants!
Sustainable water management is best served by creating a comprehensive water management strategy in California, one that captures the most cost-effective options first. California has the ability to bridge the gap between water demand and supply by taking advantage of the existing resources and practices that have yet to be fully and efficiently harnessed.
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L.A. has come up with a new design to save water moving forward during California’s drought. The main reservoir in Los Angeles has been turned into a giant ball pit. How will this help exactly? Well, the “shade balls” that cover the reservoir are made from black polyethylene and coated with an ultraviolet light-resistant material. They are also filled with water so that they don’t get swept away by wind. The 4-inch balls are supposed to last for 25 years without degradation.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti helped to disperse some of the 96 million balls across the 175-acre reservoir as a sign that L.A. is working to save water during the drought. The reservoir, which is located in Sylmar, holds about 3.3 billion gallons, which would supply the city with drinking water for up to three weeks if need be.
“The balls cost 36 cents each, for a total of $34.5 million. The utility has been testing the concept since 2008, reporting that shade balls reduce evaporation by 85 to 90 percent. That should equate to saving nearly 300 million gallons a year, enough to provide drinking water for 8,100 people. The balls also inhibit microorganism growth, reducing the treatment the water must undergo through other means, which could save the city $250 million over time. The city says the balls will shade and cool the water, reducing evaporation from the reservoir and making it less susceptible to algae, bacterial growth, and chemical reactions that can produce harmful substances.” (National Geographic)
These shade balls will end up helping Los Angeles to cut its water use by 15 percent over a two-year period.
Why Did L.A. Drop 96 Million ‘Shade Balls’ Into Its Water?. National Geographic. August 12, 2015. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/150812-shade-balls-los-angeles-California-drought-water-environment/
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Tagged Algae, bacteria, ball, balls, black, body, california, chemical reactions, design, diet, Drink, drinking water, drought, environment, evaporation, filter, gallons, harmful, Health, healthy, life, live, Los Angeles, material, Mayor, microorganism, million, Nat Geo, National Geographic, polyethylene, reservoir, San Diego, save, shade, shade balls, substances, ultraviolet light, utility, water, water use, wind
As we all know, there’s a drought going on in Southern California. Local water monitors come through residential neighborhoods looking for culprits, boat owners can’t put in local lakes due to their shallowness, and signs are up everywhere pleading people to cut back on their water use. But humans need water to live, it’s a fact. So how do you drink enough water to stay hydrated while also contributing to lessen your water use during this drought? Here are a few tips to doing just that.
- Buy a filtering water bottle and stop buying bottled water. Firstly, some bottles leak chemicals from plastics, so you don’t really know what’s in your water. Secondly, the actual water itself can come from many different sources, so you don’t know what you’re putting in your body. And lastly, buying bottled water is not eco-friendly. 100 bottles= more trash than 1 BPA-free bottle re-used 100 times. It’ll also help you to drink more water if you carry a bottle everywhere.
- Drink a glass or two of water with every meal. Experts say that most of the time when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty/dehydrated. So use that filtered water bottle you’re about to buy and fill it up a couple times before, during, and after your meal.
- Make sure you hydrate properly before, during, and after a workout. It’s hot out, and if you’re running outside you’re going to need to drink enough water to replenish your body’s 70% H2O makeup. It’s also a fact that drinking water helps to flush out the lactic acid in your muscles after a workout. So grab some water and drink up so that you aren’t as sore tomorrow.
Filtercon Technologies provides you with two great ways to save water and money while staying hydrated during this drought. Firstly, we have two different filtering water bottles that you can carry with you anywhere. One is from BPA-free and includes a carbon filter that takes out chlorine. The other is a stainless steel bottle that filters out bacteria. The other way that you can save money, water, and help your family stay healthy is to buy a whole house water filtration system for your home. It feeds filtered water to all of the pipes in your house while also re-using the water it backwashes with.
To find out more information, visit our website at http://www.filtercon.com or call our office at our toll-free number (800)-550-1995.
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GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Some studies show that the long-term effects of GMOs can cause damage to humans. Also, data shows that GMOs grown with pesticides and watered with chlorinated tap water result in higher numbers of food allergies. FARE, or Food Allergy Research and Education, says that researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans suffer from some type of food allergy. Our children have it worse as this disease is exponentially growing every year. Presently, 1 in every 13 children in the US has a food allergy. The economic cost of this creates nearly $25 billion per year for America.
The most common allergies are those to dairy, peanuts, wheat, fish, shellfish, and soy. According to the CDC, these types of allergies make up 90 percent of food allergies. Symptoms vary from mild rashes to life-threatening allergic reactions. Many people carry Epi pens in case they are exposed to a food they are allergic to.
The specific chemical that causes issues for humans is dichlorophenols. It is a type of chlorine in some pesticides that kills bacteria. If consumed in large numbers, it can cause renal failure, damage organs, and in some situations even be fatal. Recently, researchers followed 10,348 participants in a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Of them, 2,548 had dichlorophenol levels measured in urine; 2,211 were included into the study. Food allergies were found in 411 of them, while 1,016 had environmental allergies. It was concluded that the pesticide chemical could be ingested from eating different fruits and some juices. This study suggested that the use of pesticides and other chemicals are indeed associated with food allergies. Unfortunately, it also showed that the trend is increasing.
Some people think that the easiest solution to prevent food allergies is to switch to bottled water so that they aren’t being exposed to as much chlorine. However, this is not the best solution because bottled water does not include all ingredients on its labels. One alternative is to know what you are buying by reading the labels. Luckily, organic foods follow specific codes where organic pesticides must be used in order to be labeled “organic.” Laundry and cleaning products with chlorine should be avoided. It is a good idea in getting a shower filter and find out exactly what is in your tap water. But the best solution is to invest in a whole house water filtration system that filters chlorine and chemicals out. You can save money while also saving water and your health. You and your family are worth the investment!
Call us 1-800-550-1995 at or Visit our Website for more information.
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Summer is here, the hottest three months of the year when we need to remember to drink lots of water. It’s important to stay hydrated when it’s hot out because your body sweats naturally. Although drinking your water is important, you can also eat it! Many fruits and vegetables are made up almost entirely of water! Here are some of the most original freggies (fruits and veggies) that are made up of more than 90% water:
Radishes. 95% water.
Starfruit. 91% water.
Broccoli. 90.7% water.
Carrots. 90.4% water
Other fruits and vegetables that contain more than 90% water include: cucumbers, strawberries, celery, cantaloupe, grapefruit, watermelon, green peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and lemon. To put more water into your daily diet, eat more of these fruits and vegetables in your diet!
If you’re worried about the water you drink in your house, visit our website (wwww.filtercon.com) to find out how and why you need to be filtering your tap water before you drink it (Hint: there are lots of chemicals in it!).
15 Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated. Health Magazine. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20709014,00.html
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At shows, people always ask us, “What’s in my water?” The short answer is that you can’t know unless you get the tap water in your home tested with a kit. The long answer is this:
The EPA says that there are roughly 2,000 different harmful contaminants that could be in your water. Out of these, the most harmful are lead, giardia, cryptosporidium, and chlorine. This is scary because lead is found in pipes, so the tap water coming into your home can pick up lead if your pipes are corroded. Chlorine is also a contaminant to fear because we as water consumers do not decide the amount of chlorine that is added to our tap water.
All of these reasons and more are why you should be filtering your water at home. It is important for living a long, healthy life free of illness and disease. It’s also important to test your water so that you know which filters to buy that will get all of the contaminants out of your water. There are also many different home filters to choose from. Should you get one that filters water throughout your entire house? One that goes under your faucet? In your shower? All of this depends on how much you’re willing to spend and how worried you are about your health. If anything, know that you should be filtering.
Want to check out more? Visit http://www.filtercon.com or call us at 800-550-1995