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PUERTO RICO WATER DESALINATION OPTIONS AND CALCULATIONS

PURPOSE: Discuss the mitigation of Puerto Rico's post-hurricane water source contamination and shortage, using water desalination capabilities.

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CORE WATER DESALINATION QUESTIONS:

1. Solar desalination occurs in many countries and remote tourist destinations around the world, so why not in use it for the Water Shortage in Puerto Rico, is it too expensive?

ANSWERS:

=> Desalination can be utilized the same way it is being used in California, (and is already happening in Anaheim, and Central Valley, and 17 other conventional water desalination plants are planned for implementation as well!

=>COST: (EXAMPLE, Farmers typically pay $300 per Acre-foot for water by receiving it from reservoirs), whereas the Central Valley solar desalination water solution discussed below is estimated to cost ~$450 per Acre-foot. -

2. Can water creation through desalination be implemented in such a way as to avoid a negative environmental impact by way of hydrocarbon emissions or brine production?

ANSWER=>Yes, solar power avoids burning fossil fuels and there are industries that can utilize the by-products.

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DESALINATION OF SALT WATER EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS AND CALCULATIONS:

1. Puerto Rico could implement a system similar to the (one million dollar) WaterFX Solar Thermal Desalination Plant operating in California’s Central Valley and producing 14,000 gallons of water per day from salty contaminated runoff. Their cost to produce the clean water is $450 an acre-foot which is 325,851 Gallons of water (a value compared to past desalination costs of $2,000 an acre-foot due to use of fossil fuel pumps and generators).

=>Solar power means very limited or no environmental impact.

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2. AMPAC USA multi-case study brochure:

I found an Ad Hoc ocean water desalination capability, called the “Mobile Trailer Water Purification System with Diesel Genset,” which pumps 40,000 GPD (Gallons Per Day).

http://www.ampac1.com/index.php?route=product/download/get&download_id=17

Without getting into too many logistics, consider the following:

=>It is made by AMPAC, (the same company that supplies water purification to our military).

=>We spend money on diesel, but it occupies a very small space per unit (at 7 feet wide X 16 feet Long).

=>It produces more than twice the water of WaterFX (12.32 million gallons in 308 days), and (since) it is mobile, (then) when summer is over, we can pack it up and put it away, clean it, scheduled maintenance etc.

NOTE: I don’t know the costs associated with this unit at this time (they weren’t in the spec. sheet), however, this appears to be a great Ad Hoc unit (which is an option to consider first before altering Puerto Rico infrastructure).

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3. Hitachi solar-powered desalination plants, at the Abu Dhabi Desert:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgXPooc7KmI)

=>Solar power means very limited or no environmental impact.

=>This solar powered desalination systems can achieve a rate of 7.7 million gallons in 308 days per unit (and a single unit occupies 300 square meters of space).

=>This unit will not cost money by expending fuel while running, but maintenance of the plants would involve at least one or two permanent personnel, and the initial capital necessary to build it.

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DESALINATION IMPRESSION: Due to costs and time constraints, clearly a combined and balanced approach to water resource management will be necessary.

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Submission No. 336