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Open Access Feasibility of Co-Locating Desalination Facilities with Power Plants in South Florida

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The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) manages water resources for approximately 7 million people. With depleting groundwater sources of supply (Biscayne aquifer), seawater desalination is increasingly being considered as an alternative to brackish groundwater sources. The SFWMD faces significant challenges in identifying and prioritizing possible locations for co-locating desalination facilities with existing power plants. This paper summarizes results of the evaluation of the technical, regulatory, and economic feasibility of reverse osmosis seawater treatment co-located with electrical power plants in South Florida. Candidate sites were screened to evaluate source water characteristics, concentrate disposal options, electric utility interest, water utility demand, regulatory and environmental issues, political and public support, planning level costs and degree of risk. Three sites (Ft. Myers, Lauderdale, and Port Everglades) were identified with favorable screening results and recommended for further evaluation including conceptual design and specifications for a pilot study or demonstration project.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-04-01

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