REVIEW OF THE DESALINATION AND WATER PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP

Committee to Review the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap

Water Science and Technology Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
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Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap REVIEW OF THE DESALINATION AND WATER PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP Committee to Review the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap Water Science and Technology Board Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 5th St., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the Department of the Interior under award number 02CS810852. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number: 0-309-09157-8 (book) International Standard Book Number: 0-309-53043-1 (PDF) Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C., 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Cover: Reverse osmosis trains at the Larnaca desalination plant, Cyprus. Photograph by Thomas Pankratz (used with permission). Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE DESALINATION AND WATER PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP1 DAVID H. MARKS, Chair, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MIRIAM BALABAN, European Desalination Society, Abruzzo, L’Aquila, Italy B. ANATOLE FALAGAN, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Los Angeles JOSEPH G. JACANGELO, Montgomery Watson Harza, Lovettsville, Virginia KIMBERLY L. JONES, Howard University, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM J. KOROS, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta JOHN LETEY, JR., University of California, Riverside THOMAS M. PANKRATZ, CH2M Hill, Houston, Texas RICHARD H. SAKAJI, California State Department of Health Services, Berkeley CHARLES D. TURNER, University of Texas, El Paso MARK WILF, Hydranautics, Oceanside, California National Research Council Staff STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Study Director MARK C. GIBSON, co-Study Director until September, 2003 JON Q. SANDERS, Senior Project Assistant 1   The activities of this committee were overseen and supported by the NRC’s Water Science and Technology Board (see Appendix B).

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Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap Preface Water is a nutrient vital to human life, just as it is a fundamental element in the economic vitality of any country. In arid regions across the globe, people have long depended upon desalination to supplement limited fresh water resources despite its historically high costs. Based on recent decreases in the costs of desalination, this technology is increasingly being considered to expand existing water supplies in the United States as local regions are facing water shortages. The Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap (Roadmap), developed by the Bureau of Reclamation and Sandia National Laboratories, has identified desalination and water purification technologies as one component of the solution to the nation’s future water needs. The Roadmap was developed to present “broad research areas that are representative of the types of scientific and technical advances that will be necessary for desalination and water purification technologies to find wide acceptance” (USBR and SNL, 2003). The Roadmap will be used to guide desalination research and investments in the United States, in hopes of contributing to a water supply that is safe, sustainable, affordable, and adequate. This report is a product of the Committee to Review the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap, which was organized by the National Research Council (NRC) upon request by the Bureau of Reclamation. The committee was charged to review the Roadmap and produce two reports. An interim letter report (see Appendix A ) was produced in June 2003 that addresses whether or not the Roadmap represents an appropriate and effective course to help address future freshwater needs in the United States. In this final report, all remaining questions of the statement of task (see Chapter 1) are addressed. Broadly, the committee evaluated the research areas presented in the Roadmap and presented general priorities for investments. Issues of implementation are also discussed. The NRC composed a committee representing a range of expertise in desalination technology, environmental engineering, water resources planning, and public health. The findings of the committee are based on their own expertise as well as discussions with some of the creators of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap and experts in the desalination field during two information gathering meetings. The committee is grateful to the many individuals who provided information to assist in the completion of this study, including the following people who made presentations to the committee: James Birkett, Peter Fox, Michael Gritzuk, Shannon Cunniff, Drew Downing,

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Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap Lisa Henthorne, Michael Hightower, Thomas Hinkebein, Thomas Jennings, Jack Jorgenson, James Lozier, Jerry Maxwell, Wade Miller, John Pellegrino, Kevin Price, and Robert Reiss. This report is also based on analysis of the Roadmap and is supplemented by review of pertinent peer-reviewed literature. I would like to thank and express my appreciation to our committee members for recognizing the high priority of this effort and for dedicating their time and talents to produce this report on an accelerated schedule. We were guided in our efforts by the Water Science and Technology Board and its director Stephen Parker. Study directors Stephanie Johnson and Mark Gibson set the pace, focus, and agenda for our work, maintained contact with the study sponsor, and acted as liaison to ensure compliance with NRC policies. Stephanie and Mark worked tirelessly to assemble and edit the two reports, making sure that the final product represented our best thinking and advice. Jon Sanders, senior project assistant, provided project support including meeting logistics, research assistance, and help with editorial tasks. This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with the procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Mr. Leon Awerbuch, Leading Edge Technologies, Ltd.; Mr. James Birkett, West Neck Strategies, Inc.; Dr. Menachem Elimelech, Yale University; Ms. Virginia Grebbian, Orange County Water District; Dr. Bruce Macler, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Mr. Thomas Seacord, Carollo Engineers; and Dr. Rhodes Trussell, Trussell Technologies, Inc. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Henry Vaux, Jr., University of California, Berkeley. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carefully carried out in accordance with the institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. David Marks Chair

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Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   8      Water Availability,   8      Desalination,   11      Desalination Technology Roadmap,   15      Charge to the Committee,   18 2   OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF THE ROADMAP   19      Vision,   20      Critical Objectives,   21      Technologies,   22      Implementation,   22      Conclusions and Recommendations,   23 3   KEY TECHNOLOGICAL AND SCIENTIFIC ISSUES FOR DESALINATION   24      Membrane Technologies,   25      Thermal Technologies,   32      Alternative Technologies,   37      Water Recycling and Reuse,   39      Concentrate Disposal,   45      Proposed Cross-Cutting Technology-Related Research,   51 4   IMPLEMENTATION   54      Implementation Steps,   54      Conclusions and Recommendations,   58     REFERENCES   59     ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS   63

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Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap     APPENDIXES         A   Letter Report to John W. Keys, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation   66     B   Roster of the Water Science and Technology Board   72     C   Biographical Information of Committee   73