Municipal Water Leader
  • Flipbook

    Volume 6 Issue 2 February 2019 On the Frontiers of Desalination

    Desalination is one of the most exciting frontiers in municipal water supply. Inland, it promises to unlock new supplies of previously unusable brackish groundwater; on the coast, it provides access to a practically unlimited supply of seawater. In both cases, desalination is quickly becoming a cost-effective alternative to traditional water supplies like surface water and nonbrackish groundwater. This issue of Municipal Water Leader profiles the municipal water managers, inventors, and professionals who are furthering desalination around the United States and the world. In our cover story, we speak with Steve Ramos of the City of Corpus Christi, which is planning two major seawater desalination plants with the help of consultants…

  • District Profile,  Interview

    Eastern Municipal Water District’s Inland Desalination

    Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) provides water, wastewater, and recycled water service to more than 825,000 people in Riverside County, California. For the past two decades, the district has supplemented its largely imported water supply by developing brackish water desalination plants. This year, the district will begin construction on a new desalination plant; when it comes online, EMWD aims to produce enough potable water through desalination to supply 30,000 households. In this interview, Joe Mouawad, EMWD’s assistant general manager of planning, engineering, and construction, speaks with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about EMWD’s water supply and delivery challenges and why desalination is a cost-effective and beneficial solution.

  • Business Leader,  Interview

    How ROTEC Is Improving Desalination Technology Around the World

    High-recovery reverse osmosis (RO) is becoming a vital solution for both municipal and industrial water portfolios around the world. It is a reliable, drought-resilient water source that in many cases can be more affordable than importing new surface water. RO is also a critical component in the advanced treatment and reuse of municipal wastewater and the mitigation of seawater intrusion into groundwater aquifers. Historically, RO has been limited in application because of its low recovery rate—the ratio of treated water to feed water in the desalination process. In a system with a 75 percent recovery rate, for every 100 gallons of feed water that enter the system, 75 gallons of…

  • Business Leader,  Interview

    Oceanus’s Hybrid Pumped-Storage Desalination Facility

    Desalination plants typically deal with two major problems: the desalination process requires a large amount of energy, and it results in a large amount of brine, which is difficult to get rid of and can be harmful to the natural environment. Oceanus Power and Water has discovered an innovative solution to both of these problems: combining a pump-storage facility, which stores power in the form of elevated water that can be used to drive turbines, with a desalination facility. Gravity power alone can dramatically reduce the energy demands of the desalination process. Moreover, the resulting brine can be reinjected into the stored seawater as it is released back into the…

  • Interview

    Averting Catastrophe, Seizing Opportunity The Salton Sea Authority

    T he Salton Sea is California’s largest lake, located at the lowest point of the Colorado River basin, 235 feet below sea level. Fed primarily by agricultural drainage flows from the crops of the Coachella Valley and constantly concentrated by evaporation, the sea is nearly twice as salty the ocean. That intense salinity is only increasing now that flows into the sea are reducing, killing wildlife and damaging a major waterfowl habitat. The lake itself is shrinking, too—exposing salty, dusty sediments that threaten to form dust storms that could damage valuable crops and human health. With this in mind, managing the Salton Sea has become an urgent priority. In 1993,…

  • Interview

    Brackish Desalination An Affordable Alternative for Texas

    A s an arid state with a rapidly growing population, Texas is in need of alternative water supplies. Since 1988, Bill Norris has been part of the solution. First with his company NRS and now with his current company, NorrisLeal, Mr. Norris has been a pioneer in promoting brackish desalination as a cost-effective alternative water source for Texas’s municipal suppliers. Today, NorrisLeal is a leader in desalination in Texas. In this interview with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill, Mr. Norris discusses how he got into the desalination field 30 years ago and the advances that have brought NorrisLeal to where it is today.

  • Interview

    Adding Seawater Deal to Corpus Christi’s Water Portfolio An Interview with Steve Ramos

    The City of Corpus Christi supplies water to half a million people in Texas’s Coastal Bend region. Its water supplies are derived from surface water from local reservoirs and Texas’s Colorado River. After the drought years of 2011 and 2013, it became apparent that alternative water supplies were needed. With this in mind, Corpus Christi has begun work with the consulting firm Freese and Nichols to develop plans for two potential seawater desalination plants. In this interview, Steve Ramos, the city’s water resources manager, speaks with Municipal Water Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about the process of siting and permitting the new plants—and the benefits they could bring to Corpus Christi…

  • Interview

    Joining the Northwest Pipe Family An Interview with Erin Cornwell

    In July 2018, Northwest Pipe Company acquired Ameron Water Transmission Group, reinforcing its position as the United States’ largest manufacturer of water transmission steel pressure pipe. Erin Cornwell is an engineer who worked in a number of different departments at Ameron Water Transmission Group and now works for Northwest Pipe. In this interview with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill, Ms. Cornwell discusses her work, developments in the steel pipe industry, and her experiences during the recent acquisition.

  • Interview

    How Wellntel is Providing Groundwater Supply Information

    Farmers can observe the weather, they can measure rainfall, and they can monitor how much water they pump out of their wells, but until now, it has been nearly impossible to measure their groundwater supply in real time. Groundwater is a dynamic resource that recovers from pumping at different speeds, depending on geology, precipitation, and the number and density of the wells that draw from it. Wellntel, a technology company founded in 2012, has created a cloud-based platform that provides real-time groundwater supply information from a network of simple sensors installed on private wells. In this interview, Marian Singer, the cofounder and chief executive officer of Wellntel, talks with Municipal…

  • Interview

    Managing Storm Water in Los Angeles County

    Los Angeles is associated with sunny skies, but when storms come, the water they bring can be difficult to manage in the city’s dense urban landscape. Since 2015, the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LACSD) have been legally permitted to aid their member jurisdictions with storm water management. Today, the Districts are figuring out safe and efficient ways to introduce storm water into their sewer systems and treat it to meet water quality standards. In this interview, Kristen Ruffell, the division engineer for the LACSD’s Water Quality Section, speaks with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about recent advances in storm water management in Los Angeles.