Whenever the word "desalinization" comes to my mind, I picture a giant spaghetti strainer being dipped into the Pacific Ocean and sifting out all the salt as the clean, drinkable water falls into our waiting faucets below. I know enough about the process to know that it is infinitely more complex than that, but apparently the result is similar. Today, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act announced it will send $3 million in stimulus funding to the Long Beach Water Department to continue their desalinization efforts in the middle of California's worst water shortage. That'll buy a lot of spaghetti strainers.
The desalinization project to convert seawater into drinkable water has been viewed as a progressive and innovative attempt for conservation during a statewide water shortage. The press release is provided below as we continue to follow the story:
Today, the United States Department of Interior announced that the Long Beach Water Department will receive $3,006,005 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the Long Beach Desalination Project. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Bureau of Reclamation has identified 27 water reclamation and reuse projects that will share in a total of $134.3 million under ARRA. These water projects – known as “Title XVI” projects for the title of Public Law 102-575 that established the program – facilitate the reclamation and reuse of wastewater and naturally impaired ground and surface waters.
According to a Department of Interior press release, the $134.3 million for these projects is part of President Barack Obama’s $1 billion investment of ARRA funding provided by the Department of the Interior for water projects across the West. In April, Secretary Salazar announced an additional $260 million in ARRA funding to address California’s current drought conditions and to meet the state’s long-term water supply infrastructure needs. Today’s announcement brings total funding for California water-related activities funding under the Interior portion of ARRA to $381 million.
These 27 projects team non-federal sponsors with local communities and the federal government to provide growing communities with new sources of clean water while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Federal funding will be leveraged to construct a total of more than $675 million in Title XVI projects, according to the Department of Interior.
The funding that will be received by the Long Beach Water Department will be used for the optimization of a 300,000 gallon-per-day seawater desalination prototype facility, primarily for on-the-ground installation of various types of nano filtration membranes; construction of testing facilities to address post-treatment strategies; and pipeline removal and site restoration as part of the testing, pilot, and demonstration of under ocean floor seawater intake and discharge facilities.
The Long Beach Desalination Project is the largest project of its kind in the United States. In partnership with the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Long Beach has constructed a 300,000 gallon-per-day desalination facility and an under ocean floor intake and discharge demonstration system to undertake the most extensive, innovative research on seawater desalination being done anywhere at this time. Long Beach research is focused on cost-effective, environmentally responsive desalination operations.
Disclosure: The Long Beach Water Department is an advertiser of the LBPOST.com.