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California Startup Hopes to Harvest Desalinated Drinking Water from the Ocean Floor

California Startup Hopes to Harvest Desalinated Drinking Water from the Ocean Floor

A startup named OceanWell has partnered with southern California’s Las Virgenes Municipal Water District “to study the feasibility of harvesting drinking water from desalination pods placed on the ocean floor,” reports the Los Angeles Times:

The company says that by combining desalination with off-shore energy technology, it can solve many of the challenges associated with traditional, land-based desalination, including high energy costs and salty byproducts that threaten marine life. The process could produce as much as 10 million gallons of fresh water per day — a significant gain for an inland district almost entirely reliant on imported supplies…

OceanWell says its technology can use up to 40% less energy by harvesting the water in pods placed at depths of about 1,400 feet, where naturally immense water pressure can help power the filtration process… Land-based facilities try to squeeze out as much freshwater as possible to help balance high energy costs, with typical targets of 50% freshwater and 50% brine from every gallon processed. But because OceanWell uses “free” pressure from the ocean, it can operate at a lower recovery rate of 10% to 15%, producing a much less salty byproduct that can be dissolved back into ambient conditions within seconds, she said…

The partnership with Las Virgenes will allow OceanWell to “stress test” the technology’s capabilities in the reservoir and collect more data, said Kalyn Simon, OceanWell’s director of engagement. The current goal is to be fully operational by 2028, producing an estimated 10 million gallons of freshwater per day.
Thanks to Slashdot reader Bruce66423 for sharing the article.

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