Desalination of
The Sea Around Us
Learn About
– Desalination methods
– Marine ecosystem impacts
– Benefits of renewable
wa...
Hello and thanks for joining me.
This is a talk on seawater desalination I gave
in Seaside California on October 19th, 201...
Part I
Introduction
Reverse Osmosis Desalination
Environmental Impacts
Rachel CarsonRachel Carson
The Sea Around Us, 1951The Sea Around Us, 1951
Water = Life
Photo: C. Reeb
Water = Life
Desalination’s Future In California
Redrawn from:
Desalination, With a
Grain of Salt: A
California Perspective
Cooley et a...
“California has a $46B a year ocean
economy, the largest of the 50 states.
There is hardly a job in our region that is not...
Monterey Peninsula Herald
May 27, 1932
Monterey Public Library Archives
…80 % of natural
spawning grounds in
the Sacramento River
have been destroyed
by mines, dams, and
diversion of water for
i...
…80 % of natural
spawning grounds in
the Sacramento River
have been destroyed
by mines, dams, and
diversion of water for
i...
Photo credit: National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA)
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100111_dam...
Desalination Method:Desalination Method:
Reverse Osmosis (RO)Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Desalination
Plant
Desalination’s
Environmental Impacts
CO2
CO2
CO2
CO2
CO2
CO2
Ocean Acidification
Desalination
Plant
Impingement/Entrainment
Desalination’s
Environmental Impacts
CO2
CO2
Seawater Intake
Desalination
Plant
Impingement/Entrainment
Desalination’s
Environmental Impacts
CO2
CO2
Seawater Intake
Marina Coast’s
Regional Water
Project Layout
Redrawn from the Regional Water
Project’s EIR
Desalination
Facility
Brine
Out...
Desalination
Plant
Desalination’s
Environmental Impacts
High Salt
and
Toxic Chemicals
CO2
CO2
Brine
D
ischarge
Photos: L. Zeiberg
Photo: NOAA/MBNMS 2010
Market Squid Eggs In Monterey Bay
Eelpout
Osmosis
(Diffusion of Water)
Cell
Membrane
Equilibrium
CellSeawater
Osmosis
(Diffusion of Water)
Cell
Membrane
ADD
SALT
Equilibrium
CellSeawater
Osmosis
(Diffusion of Water)
Cell
Membrane
ADD
SALT
Equilibrium
CellSeawater
CellSeawater
Dehydration
Osmosis
(Diffusion of Water)
Cell
Membrane
ADD
SALT
Equilibrium
CellSeawater
H2O
H2O
ADD
SALT
CellSeawater
Dehydration
Osmosis
(Diffusion of Water)
Cell
Membrane
ADD
SALT
Equilibrium
CellSeawater
H2O
H2O
ADD
SALT
CellSeawater
Dehydration
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration
RO Filters
Photo: C. Reeb
Sea salinities: Monterey Bay = 33 - 34 ppt
Red Sea = 36 - 41 ppt...
Environmental Impacts:Environmental Impacts:
Brine PlumesBrine Plumes
From: Monterey Regional Water Project’s Environmenta...
Brine Plume
The Movie
5 mls of high salinity brine (62 ppt)
was labeled with dye and
discharged into a 20 gallon
aquarium ...
Brine Plume
The Movie
Brine does mix with ambient
seawater…but the plume is sinking
which suggests that mixing is
incomple...
Brine Plume
The Movie
Brine Field
What impacts will a layer of brine
have on marine species living on the
seafloor?
Long-term Brine Accumulation
in the Persian Gulf
LIWA OASIS, ABU DHABI -
“The Gulf is a closed system with
little freshwat...
Long-term Persistence of Red Tide in Monterey Bay
2007
Source: Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeN...
Red Tide
Monterey Bay, a “Red Tide Incubator”
Harmful algae and their potential
impacts on desalination operations off
sou...
Conclusions
• Seawater Intake
– Impingement/Entrainment
• Mitigated by coastal wells.
– Harmful Algae Blooms
• Mitigated w...
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Desalination of the Sea Around Us, Part I

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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 I

  1. 1. Desalination of The Sea Around Us 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 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. Thank you for listening. C. Reeb
  3. 3. Part I Introduction Reverse Osmosis Desalination Environmental Impacts
  4. 4. Rachel CarsonRachel Carson The Sea Around Us, 1951The Sea Around Us, 1951
  5. 5. Water = Life
  6. 6. Photo: C. Reeb Water = Life
  7. 7. Desalination’s Future In California Redrawn from: Desalination, With a Grain of Salt: A California Perspective Cooley et al., 2006, Pacific Institute. 23 in State 8 around Monterey Bay 8 plants on Monterey Bay Desalination Plants
  8. 8. “California has a $46B a year ocean economy, the largest of the 50 states. There is hardly a job in our region that is not in some way connected to the ocean.” *Bill Monning, Julie Packard and Chuck Della Sala Guest Commentary, 8/22/10 Monterey Herald
  9. 9. Monterey Peninsula Herald May 27, 1932 Monterey Public Library Archives
  10. 10. …80 % of natural spawning grounds in the Sacramento River have been destroyed by mines, dams, and diversion of water for irrigation… March 17, 1921 Monterey Peninsula Herald May 27, 1932 Monterey Public Library Archives
  11. 11. …80 % of natural spawning grounds in the Sacramento River have been destroyed by mines, dams, and diversion of water for irrigation… March 17, 1921 Monterey Peninsula Herald May 27, 1932 Monterey Public Library Archives Monterey Salmon From: DIVISION OF FISH AND GAME OF CALIFORNIA 1928
  12. 12. Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100111_damremoval.html San Clemente Dam after heavy rains.
  13. 13. Desalination Method:Desalination Method: Reverse Osmosis (RO)Reverse Osmosis (RO)
  14. 14. Desalination Plant Desalination’s Environmental Impacts CO2 CO2 CO2 CO2 CO2 CO2 Ocean Acidification
  15. 15. Desalination Plant Impingement/Entrainment Desalination’s Environmental Impacts CO2 CO2 Seawater Intake
  16. 16. Desalination Plant Impingement/Entrainment Desalination’s Environmental Impacts CO2 CO2 Seawater Intake
  17. 17. Marina Coast’s Regional Water Project Layout Redrawn from the Regional Water Project’s EIR Desalination Facility Brine Outfall Intake Wells
  18. 18. Desalination Plant Desalination’s Environmental Impacts High Salt and Toxic Chemicals CO2 CO2 Brine D ischarge
  19. 19. Photos: L. Zeiberg Photo: NOAA/MBNMS 2010 Market Squid Eggs In Monterey Bay Eelpout
  20. 20. Osmosis (Diffusion of Water) Cell Membrane Equilibrium CellSeawater
  21. 21. Osmosis (Diffusion of Water) Cell Membrane ADD SALT Equilibrium CellSeawater
  22. 22. Osmosis (Diffusion of Water) Cell Membrane ADD SALT Equilibrium CellSeawater CellSeawater Dehydration
  23. 23. Osmosis (Diffusion of Water) Cell Membrane ADD SALT Equilibrium CellSeawater H2O H2O ADD SALT CellSeawater Dehydration
  24. 24. Osmosis (Diffusion of Water) Cell Membrane ADD SALT Equilibrium CellSeawater H2O H2O ADD SALT CellSeawater Dehydration
  25. 25. Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration RO Filters Photo: C. Reeb Sea salinities: Monterey Bay = 33 - 34 ppt Red Sea = 36 - 41 ppt Reverse Osmosis Brine = 62 - 70 ppt
  26. 26. Environmental Impacts:Environmental Impacts: Brine PlumesBrine Plumes From: Monterey Regional Water Project’s Environmental Impact Report, 2009
  27. 27. Brine Plume The Movie 5 mls of high salinity brine (62 ppt) was labeled with dye and discharged into a 20 gallon aquarium filled with seawater (34 ppt). Typical brine waste concentrations range from 60 – 70 ppt.
  28. 28. Brine Plume The Movie Brine does mix with ambient seawater…but the plume is sinking which suggests that mixing is incomplete.
  29. 29. Brine Plume The Movie Brine Field What impacts will a layer of brine have on marine species living on the seafloor?
  30. 30. Long-term Brine Accumulation in the Persian Gulf LIWA OASIS, ABU DHABI - “The Gulf is a closed system with little freshwater inflow. By excessively desalinating seawater, the Gulf states are killing off their main supply. The concentration of salt in Gulf seawater now stands at 45 grams per liter, above the 40-gram level at which desalination works efficiently, Mr. Dawoud said.“ Drawn from information in: Lattemann and Höpner. 2008. Environmental impact and impact assessment of seawater desalination. Desalination 220:1-15. Desalination Plants
  31. 31. Long-term Persistence of Red Tide in Monterey Bay 2007 Source: Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) Elkhorn Slough
  32. 32. Red Tide Monterey Bay, a “Red Tide Incubator” Harmful algae and their potential impacts on desalination operations off southern California. Water Research 44(2010)385 – 416 Anthropogenic causes of jellyfish blooms and their direct consequences for humans: a review. MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES Vol. 350: 153–174, 2007 Red Tide off La Jolla, CA, 2005 Photo Credit: A. Diaz, Wikipedia Commons The catastrophic 2008-2009 red tide in the Arabian gulf region, with observations on the identification and phylogeny of the fish-killing dinoflagelate Cochlodinium polykrikoides. Harmful Algae 9 (2010) 163-172
  33. 33. Conclusions • Seawater Intake – Impingement/Entrainment • Mitigated by coastal wells. – Harmful Algae Blooms • Mitigated with coastal wells and regular water testing for toxins. • Brine Waste Discharge – High salt concentration is toxic to marine life • High velocity jet diffusers can help mixing. • Retention of brine along coast is poorly studied. – Toxic cleaning chemicals also suspended in brine • Effects are largely unknown.

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