Desalination of the Sea Around Us, Part II

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This is a talk on seawater desalination I gave in Seaside California on October 19th, 2010. It is divided in two parts.

Part I contains information on seawater desalination and how the process can impact the marine environment.

Part II provides specific examples of how brine discharged from these plants can affect species, especially eggs and developing young.

It ends with an illustration of how water recycling could be a better long-term solution to our looming water crisis on the Monterey Peninsula and in the State of California.

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Desalination of the Sea Around Us, Part II

  1. 1. Desalination of The Sea Around Us, Part II Learn About – Desalination methods – Marine ecosystem impacts – Benefits of renewable water Tuesday, October 19 @ 6:30 pm Peace Resource Center 1364 Fremont Blvd, Seaside Sustainable Seaside presents Carol Reeb, Ph.D. Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University
  2. 2. Hello and thanks for joining me. This is a talk on seawater desalination I gave in Seaside California on October 19th, 2010. It is divided in two parts. Part II provides specific examples of how brine discharged from desalination plants affect species, especially eggs and developing young. It ends with an illustration of how water recycling could be a better long-term solution to our looming water crisis on the Monterey Peninsula and in the State of California. Thank you for listening. C. Reeb
  3. 3. Part II Biological Effects Renewable Water
  4. 4. Desalination Plant Desalination’s Environmental Impacts High Salt and Toxic Chemicals CO2 CO2 Brine D ischarge
  5. 5. Osmosis (Diffusion of Water) H2O H2O ADD SALT Sea salinities: Monterey Bay = 33 - 34 ppt Red Sea = 36 - 41 ppt Reverse Osmosis Brine = 62 - 70 ppt Dehydration causes physiological stress.
  6. 6. • Sea Grass: Posidonia oceanica. • Endemic to Mediteranean Sea. • Rapid death at 39 ppt Biological Effects of Brine Photo: Albert Kok, Wikimedia commons
  7. 7. Need For Monitoring Programs Drawn from information in: Lattemann and Höpner. 2008. Environmental impact and impact assessment of seawater desalination. Desalination 220:1-15. Desalination Plants
  8. 8. Desalination Plant Threatens Giant Australian Cuttlefish Point Lowly, Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Potential Impact of Desalination Plant at Point Lowly: • Dispersal of brine takes two years because mixing rate is slow within Spencer Gulf. • Brine can accumulate. •Lab Tests Show: • Embryo survival decreases as brine reaches 45 ppt. • No embryos survive above 50 ppt. • Point Lowly Cuttlefish are a genetically unique population. Source: Dupavillon and Gillanders Marine Environmental Research 67 (2009) 207–218 Photo of Sepia apama from wikimedia commons
  9. 9. Desalination Plant Threatens Giant Australian Cuttlefish Point Lowly, Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Potential Impact of Desalination Plant at Point Lowly: • Dispersal of brine takes two years because mixing rate is slow within Spencer Gulf. • Brine can accumulate. •Lab Tests Show: • Embryo survival decreases as brine reaches 45 ppt. • No embryos survive above 50 ppt. • Point Lowly Cuttlefish are a genetically unique population. Source: Dupavillon and Gillanders Marine Environmental Research 67 (2009) 207–218 Photo of Sepia apama from wikimedia commons
  10. 10. Market Squid Nurseries lie on Sandy Seafloors where brine is to be discharged. Map From: www.sanctuarysimon.org, plant locations from Cooley et al., 2006, Pacific Institute. Proposed No brine Plant Turned Off 8 Desalination Plants Photo Credit:
  11. 11. California Market Squid (Fishery in Monterey, CA since 1860) • California’s Fishery: $20-$40 M/yr • Essential habitat: Sandy seafloor (brine discharged here). • Brine tolerance: Unknown Photo: L. Zeiberg Photo: C. Reeb
  12. 12. California Grunion Source: Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Altered Sand Salinity on Embryos of Beach-Spawning California Grunion. Copeia 2008, No. 2, 484–491 From Monterey County Weekly, July 16, 2009: “Grunion Greeters welcome the amazing fish ashore in Monterey.” Grunion Run In Southern California Photo credit: “Grunion Greeters”, San Diego, CA. • Value: Tourist attraction. • Critical Habitat: Beach sand. • Brine tolerance: Survival drops at 40 ppt. • Larval deformities increase . • Salinity above 50 ppt is lethal.
  13. 13. Black Abalone Proposed Black Abalone Critical Habitat • ESA listed as endangered in 2009. • Operation of desalination plants: “may threaten black abalone habitat”. Source: Federal Register Vol 75, No. 187, 2010 Photo: Wikipedia
  14. 14. Are There Biological Monitoring Programs, Policies, and Regulations? National Ocean Policy Bill
  15. 15. Conclusions Possible Impacts to Marine Life in Monterey Bay • Eggs and developing larvae are most vulnerable. – Mollusks • Market Squid – Brine discharged on sandy seafloor » squid nurseries • Black abalone (ESA-listed) – Sea Grasses • Off Elkhorn Slough – small Eelgrass beds (Zostera marina) » Important for crabs, oysters, others? – Nearshore fish • California Grunion, others?
  16. 16. Renewable WaterRenewable Water
  17. 17. Monterey Peninsula’s Future Water Budget Mandated Under State Order (95-10) Carmel River 3,400 AF (under CDO 95-10) Sand City Desal 300 AF Seaside Aquifer 3,800 AF 7500 AF Potable Water Sources Total Water Used in 2010 12,400 AF (Source: MPWMD, Oct. 2010)
  18. 18. Carmel River 3,400 AF (under CDO 95-10) Sand City Desal 300 AF Seaside Aquifer 3,800 AF 7500 AF Potable Water Sources Total Water Used in 2010 12,400 AF (Source: MPWMD, Oct. 2010)Phase I Desalination Plant + 8,800 AF 16,300 AF (4000 extra) Cost: $380 M Monterey Peninsula’s Future Water Budget Mandated Under State Order (95-10)
  19. 19. Why Not Recycle Our Water? • Waste water can become potable “Safe Water” • Same Reverse Osmosis Technology • Half the Cost – Uses less energy, saves $ • only one pass through RO filters (seawater requires two). • Less Brine Waste Produced – Salinity lower – Less impact to marine environment From: Desalination, With a Grain of Salt A California Perspective. Cooley et al., 2006, Pacific Institute.
  20. 20. Carmel River 3,400 AF (under CDO 95-10) Sand City Desal 300 AF Seaside Aquifer 3,800 AF 7500 AF Potable Water Sources 12,400 AF in 2010 Monterey Peninsula’s Future Water Budget Mandated Under State Order (95-10)
  21. 21. Carmel River 3,400 AF (under CDO 95-10) Sand City Desal 300 AF Seaside Aquifer 3,800 AF 7500 AF Potable Water Sources 12,400 AF in 2010 Greywater 1500 AF For ever gallon used, reuse 20%. Regional Urban Water Project Wastewater Recycling (40%) 2,700 AF 11,700 AF in 2011 Monterey Peninsula’s Future Water Budget Mandated Under State Order (95-10)
  22. 22. Carmel River 3,400 AF (under CDO 95-10) Sand City Desal 300 AF Seaside Aquifer 3,800 AF 7500 AF Potable Water Sources 12,400 AF in 2010 Greywater 1500 AF For ever gallon used, reuse 20%. Regional Urban Water Project Wastewater Recycling (40%) 2,700 AF 11,700 AF in 2011 + 1700 AF/yr (40%). + Monterey Peninsula’s Future Water Budget Mandated Under State Order (95-10)
  23. 23. Carmel River 3,400 AF (under CDO 95-10) Sand City Desal 300 AF Seaside Aquifer 3,800 AF 7500 AF Potable Water Sources 12,400 AF in 2010 Renewable Water Over time, an infinite supply, dependent on storage. Greywater 1500 AF For ever gallon used, reuse 20%. Regional Urban Water Project Wastewater Recycling (40%) 2,700 AF 11,700 AF in 2011 + 1700 AF/yr (40%). + Monterey Peninsula’s Future Water Budget Mandated Under State Order (95-10)
  24. 24. Carmel River 3,400 AF (under CDO 95-10) Sand City Desal 300 AF Seaside Aquifer 3,800 AF 7500 AF Potable Water Sources 12,400 AF in 2010 Renewable Water Over time, an infinite supply, dependent on storage. 13,400 AF in 2012 15,100 AF in 2013 16,800 AF in 2014 18,500 AF in 2015 Greywater 1500 AF For ever gallon used, reuse 20%. Regional Urban Water Project Wastewater Recycling (40%) 2,700 AF 11,700 AF in 2011 + 1700 AF/yr (40%). + Monterey Peninsula’s Future Water Budget Mandated Under State Order (95-10)
  25. 25. 100 Years of Central Coast Rainfall Water Year (Oct – Sept) Source: Western Regional Climate Center “Normal” 2010 Precipitation(inches)
  26. 26. 100 Years of Central Coast Rainfall Water Year (Oct – Sept) Source: Western Regional Climate Center “Normal” 2010 Precipitation(inches) San Clemente Dam Los Padres Dam “Super” Dams Proposed Voters Reject Desal, Dam
  27. 27. 100 Years of Central Coast Rainfall Water Year (Oct – Sept) Source: Western Regional Climate Center “Normal” 2010 Precipitation(inches) San Clemente Dam Los Padres Dam “Super” Dams Proposed Voters Reject Desal, Dam Desalination …by 2016?
  28. 28. 100 Years of Central Coast Rainfall Water Year (Oct – Sept) Source: Western Regional Climate Center Precipitation(inches) 50,000 150,000 250,000 350,000 PopulationOfMontereyCo. Source:USCnsus 0 20 30 10 40 50 60 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 20201880 2006
  29. 29. Monterey Peninsula could have lots of water… • Conservation – “WaterWise” landscaping • In Oct. 2009, water use dropped by 60% when the rains began. • “Collection” – Storm drains – Rainfall catchment – Air conditioning/dehumidifier condensation • Storage – Dams • Dredge Los Padres regularly. – Aquifer Banking** • For example, ASR (Seaside Aquifer Storage of Carmel River water) – Community Water Storage Tanks – Residential Storage • Cisterns
  30. 30. Photo: C. Reeb Squid Boats on Monterey Bay

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