New Report Examines Energy Costs' Impact on Extent and Success of Seawater Desalination in California

"A new report from the Pacific Institute seriesKey Issues for Seawater Desalination in Californiadescribes the energy requirements and associated greenhouse gas emissions for desalinated water and evaluates the impact of short- and long-term energy price variability on the cost of desalinated water.

Energy requirements are key factors that will influence the extent and success of desalination in California. Theanalysisshows energy requirements for seawater desalination average about 15,000 kWh per million gallons of water produced - far more than other water supply and treatment options. Desalination ­­- through increased energy use - can also cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, further contributing to the root cause of climate change and running counter to the state's greenhouse gas reduction goals.

"Beyond the electricity required for the desalination facility itself, producing any new source of water, including through desalination, increases the amount of energy required to deliver and use the water produced as well as collect, treat, and dispose of the wastewater generated," said Heather Cooley, co-director of the Pacific Institute Water Program and report author. "Conservation and efficiency, by contrast, can help meet the anticipated needs associated with growth while maintaining or even reducing total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions."

Read more @