Research projects

Bipartisan legislation supports desalination research and projects

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By Breeana Greenberg

New legislation that U.S. Representatives Mike Levin and Nancy Mace introduced late last month could provide more grants for the study and advancement of desalination technology, benefiting efforts like the Desalination Project. Doheny Ocean at Dana Point.

If adopted, HR 7612or the Desalination Research Advancement Act, would increase the number of research grants the Bureau of Reclamation is allowed to fund, raising the cap from $5 million to $20 million per year through fiscal year 2026.

Funding that the Bureau of Reclamation’s Water Desalination and Purification Research Program (DWPR) can allocate to academic research would also increase from $1 million to $15 million, according to the new bill.

“This bipartisan bill will ensure that the federal government adequately invests in academic and other institutions that do this essential work, which can support projects such as the South Coast Water District’s Doheny Ocean Desalination Project,” said said Levin, who represents California’s 49th congressional district. said in a press release announcement of the bill.

Mace, of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, said that as a representative of coastal communities in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, she recognizes the importance desalination can have on providing clean drinking water.

“By re-authorizing grants under the Water Desalination and Purification Research Program, we can ensure that our technology can provide clean drinking water for years to come,” Mace said. in the ad.

Speaking about the bill this week, South Coast Water District General Manager Rick Shintaku explained that increased research funding in the form of grants could lead to technological improvements that could help reduce the cost of operation of desalination plants.

“This major university research grant program funds research to develop more advanced desalination technologies, which will reduce the environmental impacts and energy consumption of desalination projects,” Shintaku said. “We are always looking for efficiencies and better ways to get better quality water.

Shintaku added that the South Coast Water District has been examining the feasibility of a project that combines direct drinking water reuse and desalination. The Water District funded a conceptual study, led by Dudek, the University of Southern California and Trussell Technology, which examined the recycling of wastewater from the JB Latham treatment plant at the Doheny desalination site.

The study “shows the roadmap that could be the future, where we have a project to desalinate seawater and recycle wastewater, and treat it on this same campus,” Shintaku said.

“When you combine sewage and seawater desalination streams, you reduce your salt load,” Shintaku continued. “You’re just diluting it, because wastewater doesn’t contain as much salt. And it offsets your energy costs, and it’s also the right thing to do when it comes to environmental stewardship.

Such a project, according to Shintaku, could increase the plant’s output from 5 million gallons of water per day to 10 million gallons.

“With the ongoing severe drought in California and Southern Orange County’s reliance on imported water (as well as a lack of groundwater/water storage capacity), the advancement and Federal investment in advanced water desalination and recycling technology is critical to our community’s future growth and water supply,” Shintaku wrote in a prepared statement.

In his announcement of the bill, Levin also stated the importance of improving desalination technology.

“As we face increasingly frequent and intense droughts in California, we must advance desalination projects that use the latest technologies to protect our environment while increasing our local supply of clean drinking water,” said Levin. .

Breeana Greenberg

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Prior to joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance journalist for the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at [email protected]

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