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Water Desalination ReporT

awwa/amta membrane technology conference
The international weekly for desalination and advanced water treatment since 1965
Volume 51, Number 9

2 March 2015

The project, which includes construction of a 180km (112
mi) pipeline to convey RO concentrate to the Dead Sea to
help stop its 1m/y decline in water depth, has an estimated
cost of $900 million, and will take three years to complete.
Connecting the Red Sea (or Mediterranean Sea) to
the Dead Sea is not a new idea. A possible inter-basin
transfer to use the 400m (1,312 ft) elevation difference
for hydropower generation has been studied since the
mid-1800s. In an updated, 21st century scenario estimated
to cost $10 billion, the resulting energy produced could
power a SWRO desal plant with a production capacity of
up to 5.48 million m3/d (1,448 MGD), with the concentrate
not only stopping the decline, but restoring the Dead Sea’s
water level.
Although last week’s agreement proposes a much more
modest approach, the project will still face significant
engineering, environmental and political challenges.
Company News
Pall launches newly packaged system
In January 2013, Mitch Summerfield took over as the
president and general manager of Pall’s Process Systems
group. The group consists of fixed and mobile filtration
systems for municipal applications and—except for
microelectronics and aerospace—a broad range of
industrial markets. To most WDR readers, Pall is best
WDR at the MTC in Orlando
In addition to today’s issue, WDR will distribute a mid-week
conference issue on Wednesday, 4 March, and a conference wrapup issue next Monday, 9 March.

known for its Aria package treatment systems, which
incorporate the Microza membrane, one of the most robust
and popular low-pressure membrane products.
During the past two years, Summerfield, a former vice
president of Siemens Water (now, Evoqua), has overseen
the group’s reorganization. So, on the eve of this week’s
Membrane Technology Conference, WDR thought it was
appropriate to ask about the recent changes, as well as
the company’s newest product, the AriaTM FIT system, a
pre-engineered, factory-tested membrane system, which is
about to be formally introduced.
“Over the past two years, we’ve focused on leveraging
our municipal water and wastewater expertise in industrial
markets, where we haven’t always been as active. The
results have been great and we see a lot of industrial
opportunities, particularly in the ZLD and coal seam gas
markets.
Chart of the Week: How much does BWRO Cost?
Operating Cost ($/kgal) — Capital Cost ($/GPD)

Middle East
Red-dead Project moves ahead
Last week, following a December 2013 joint seawater
desal development and water sharing agreement, Israel
and Jordan signed an agreement to build a World Banksponsored SWRO plant at the southern Jordanian city of
Aqaba on the Red Sea. Up to 220,000 m3/d (58 MGD) of
desalted seawater will be shared by Israelis and Palestinians,
and in return, Jordan would be able to purchase 137,000
m3/d (36 MGD) of fresh water from Israel’s Lake Kinneret
(the Sea of Galilee).

4.50

Operating Cost
Capital Cost

4.00
3.50

2.50

1.50

3.76
3.91

3.19

3.00

2.00

3.66

2.49
2.03
1.59

1.00

1.78
1.32

2.04
1.50

1.09

0.50
0.00

1.2 (0.2)

2.0 (0.5)

3.5 (0.5)

1.2 (0.2)

7.5 (1.5) 27.5 (12.5)

Total Plant Production, MGD (blended portion, MGD)

This chart was adapted from a Texas Water Development Board
Report titled “Cost of Brackish Groundwater Desalination in Texas”
and shows the capital and operating costs of six brackish water RO
(BWRO) plants constructed in Texas. The plants were constructed
between 2004 and 2008 with feedwater salinities ranging from
2,500 to 4,365 mg/L, in 2011 dollar equivalents.

Tom Pankratz, Editor, P.O. Box 75064, Houston, Texas 77234-5064 USA
Telephone: +1-281-857-6571, www.desalination.com/wdr, email: tp@globalwaterintel.com
© 2015 Media Analytics. Published in cooperation with Global Water Intelligence.

WATER DESALINATION REPORT – 2 March 2015

“Instead of bidding low-price systems to spec, we’d
rather pursue challenging applications where we are able
to provide greater value to our customers. This approach
allows us to take advantage of all of our technologies
to address specific problems, such as utilizing our Disc
Tube RO in applications with high particulate loadings
or for high recoveries for brine minimization. We’re also
leveraging our Membralox and Schumacher ceramic
membrane experience to develop new filtration products
for oily water applications,” said Summerfield.

Page 2

do anything, our algorithm-based software does everything
and the process adjusts automatically.
“The vehicle’s diesel engine is the energy source. With
a 100-liter fuel capacity, a 1000km [620 mi] range or
60 hours of seawater desal operation is possible. The
GalMobile includes a 500-liter [130 g] integrated storage
tank and an additional 10 m3 [2,642 g] storage tank.”
The unit was formally launched in February and the
company has already received several orders. Aflalo said
the company expects to deliver a 200 units this year.

G.A.L. Water Technologies GalMobile
Pall’s Aria FIT Membrane Filtration System

He said that the new Aria FIT system further leverages
Pall technology, offering a more flexible, configurable
platform with modular subsystems, smart diagnostics and
an intuitive dashboard interface, which can be quickly
learned and easily operated. All of the systems incorporate
Microza MF membrane modules and are available with 10
to 120 modules per skid to provide production capacities
of up to 2 MGD (7,570 m3/d).
Last month, the company received its first order for a
1.5 MGD (5,678 m3/d) Aria FIT system that will supply
potable water to a mid-sized city in Alaska.
“Last year was a very good year for our group. In addition
to Aria FIT, we launched new mobile and service platforms,
to bring greater value to our municipal and industrial
customers. We are very excited about the response we’ve
seen and our prospects for 2015,” said Summerfield.
Company News
Have RO, will travel
A ‘mobile RO’ usually calls to mind an RO system that is
installed within a trailer or on an easily transportable skid.
However, a new mobile system developed by Israeli-based
G.A.L. Water Technologies is integrated within a fourwheeled, all-terrain desal vehicle.
According to company CEO Rami Aflalo, the GalMobile
is a self-contained system that can produce 23 m3/d (6,075
GPD) of desalted seawater, “without the operator having to

Texas
BWRO project considers expansion
El Paso Water Utilities’ board has approved the submission
of an application to the Bureau of Reclamation for a grant
to fund $150,000 of an estimated $440,000 feasibility
study to consider a 5.3 MGD (20,112 m3/d) expansion of
its Kay Bailey Hutchison Treatment Plant.
The 27.5 MGD (104,088 m3/d) SWRO facility was commissioned in August 2007.
Libya
Project unlikely under current situation
Omar Al-Hassi, the prime minister of the GNC-Libya
Dawn coalition’s salvation government that is currently
ruling Tripoli, is reportedly said to be considering the
construction of a 200,000 m3/d (53 MGD) SWRO plant
near Tripoli. His proposal is part of a plan to reduce the
city’s dependency on Man-made River water, and had
been discussed by previous governments.
However, a Libyan desalter familiar with the country’s
water situation told WDR that he was very skeptical that
such a project could go forward in the near future.
He said, “The Hassi Government lacks both the legitimacy
and authority to proceed with a project of this size, and
the Internationally recognized government is now in
Tobruk, 1,500km away. Libya is severely short of cash
and even the very basic needs for medicines and hospitals
are not being met. There are simply no funds available to

WATER DESALINATION REPORT – 2 March 2015

undertake a project of this size, and no foreign contractor
would consider bidding under Tripoli’s present security
situation.”
Company News
Universal MF/UF rack project to ship
Wigen Water Technologies will introduce its new Spectrum
Series™ Universal Rack system at this week’s MTC. The
new rack is designed to accommodate MF or UF modules
from suppliers that include Dow, Econity, Hydranautics
and Toray.
Michael Bourke, Wigen’s vice president of business
development, told WDR that the rack is designed so
that spool pieces can be interchanged on the header to
accommodate different size membrane modules, varying
port locations and connection sizes.
The company will ship its first commercial Spectrum
Series rack to the Santa Barbara’s El Estero Wastewater
Treatment Plant this week. The 3 MGD (11,355 m3/d) UF
system will be used to replace an existing tertiary filtration
system in advance of the addition of RO polishing.
When designing the facility, CDM Smith specified that
the MF/UF system OEMs furnish a membrane skid
and ancillary equipment that can accommodate at least

Page 3

In brief
Avista Technologies has introduced a new line of RO
membrane antiscalants under the Vitec® trade name.
The specialty liquids are targeted products designed for
wastewater systems, potable water and large capacity
municipal operations. Avista’s Doug Eisberg told WDR,
“These products are designed to optimum system
performance while remaining economically attractive
and will be a key element in satisfying a broader range of
global customers.”
Victoria’s Water Minister has reportedly said that with
Melbourne’s water storage currently at 75 percent, the state
government will not place an order for any water from the
Victorian Desalination Plant in Wonthaggi during the
next financial year. The plant has not produced any water
since 18 December 2012.
Parker Hannifin Filtration Group has partnered with
SIM, a North Carolina-based NGO, and Water Missions
International, a South Carolina-based NGO, to supply
three containerized water purification equipment systems
for the ongoing Ebola crisis in Monrovia, Liberia. The
units were delivered last month.
Professional Water Technologies (PWT) will supply its
phosphate-free antiscalant membrane scale inhibition and
cleaning chemistry for the new, 7 MGD (26,495 m3/d)
membrane drinking water plant at Delaware, Ohio.
In advance of this week’s MTC, Hydranautics has
released two new RO software programs:
• IMSDesign-2015 (Integrated Membrane Solutions
Design), the latest version of its membrane
projection software with the option to mix three
different membranes in a first-stage pressure vessel
in the Hybrid Designs. More information is available
at: http://tinyurl.com/mdkpm79.
• ROData XL, a normalization program that integrates
proven normalization equations with the power and
versatility of Microsoft EXCEL. For information,
visit: http://tinyurl.com/maz36yq.

Three groups of consultants—Cabinet Merlin/ILF
Consulting Engineers, Tractebel Engineering and Veritas/
Paymacotas—are being considered for an €1.8 million ($2
Wigen Water’s Spectrum Series Universal Rack with multiple modules million) contract to advise the Republic of Djibouti as it
considers a €46 million ($51.5 million), 22,500 m3/d (6
three different membrane modules with minimal system MGD) SWRO project that is to be tendered as a 5-year
modifications.
DBO contract. A shortlist of DBO contractors is expected
to be released soon.
The plant is scheduled to be operational this summer.

WATER DESALINATION REPORT – 2 March 2015

History
It seems like yesterday
When cleaning out some old files last week, Arcadis’ Brent
Alspach came across this photo of a July 2000 AwwaRF/
Bureau of Reclamation workshop titled Assessment of
Membrane Applications and Research Needs. Twentynine people from six countries participated in the meeting
held in Golden, Colorado.

Page 4

People
Jay Garcia has been named vice president of business
development for the New York-based Scinor Water
America. Formerly with Pall, Wigen Water Technologies
and a consultant for Roberts Filter; he may now be
contacted at jay.garcia@scinor.com.
After a 35-year career in the membrane industry, during
which he worked for Fluid Systems, Hydranautics and
CDM Smith, Ken Klinko is retiring. He told WDR that
while he may do some intermittent consulting, his main
focus would now be to try to get his golf score to converge
with his age before he gets too old. Ken may be contacted
at membranepro@gmail.com.
Gary Crisp, formerly of GHD and Western Australia’s
Water Corporation, has been appointed the USA water
business development director for Sacyr Environment
USA, an affiliate of Valoriza Agua. Initially, he will be
based in Washington, DC and may be contacted at gcrisp@
sacyr.com.
Debra Coy, a veteran research analyst covering the water
sector, has joined XPV Capital as a partner. Formerly with
Janney Montgomery Scott and Svanda & Coy Consulting,
she will remain based in Maryland and may be contacted
at debracoy@xpvcapital.com.
Eric Geibel has been appointed Wigen Water Technologies’
Chicago, Illinois-based sales manager. Formerly with
Veolia Water and Pall, he may now be contacted at eric.
geibel@wigen.com.
Tonkin Consulting has appointed Neil Palmer as principal
water engineer. He will be based at the company’s head
office in Adelaide, Australia and will continue to fulfill
his role as CEO of the National Center of Excellence in
Desalination Australia on a part-time capacity. He may be
contacted at neil.palmer@tonkin.com.au.

The attendees, along with their affiliations at that time are: Front (L
to R): Traci Case, Jeff Oxenford, Kim Linton, AWWARF Row 2: Joe
Jacangelo, MWH; Paul Gagliardo, San Diego Water; Pia Lipp, TZW;
Adam Kramer, Minneapolis Water Works; Kevin Price, USBR Row
3: Rick Sakaji, California DOH; Jim Lozier, CH2M Hill; Shankar Chellam, Univ of Houston; Scott Irvine, USBR; Gary Amy, Univ of Colorado Row 4: Randy Truby, Koch Membrane Systems; Steve Allgeier,
USEPA; Nilaksh Kothari, Manitowoc Public Utilities; Herve Buisson,
Vivendi Water; Jim Green, MWD.; Bob Kenyon, Boynton Beach Utilities Row 5: Larry Landness, Wisconsin DNR.; Nic Booker, CSIRO;
Steve Duranceau, Boyle Engineering; Greg Leslie, Orange County
Water; Warren Johnson, USFilter; Bill Suratt, CDM Row 6: Jan Schippers, KIWA; Jim Taylor, Univ of Central Florida; Pierre Cote, Zenon

Kent Goh has been appointed as the director of AsiaPacific sales for Avista Technologies. Formerly with
Bekaert Progressive Composites and Hobas, he will
remain based in Singapore and may be contacted at
kgoh@avistatech.com.
Levi Brekke has been named as the new chief of research
and development for the Bureau of Reclamation, following
the retirement of Dr Curt Brown. Dr Brekke began doing
research for Reclamation’s Science and Technology
Program in 2004 and may be contacted at lbrekke@usbr.
gov.

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WATER DESALINATION REPORT – 2 March 2015

Page 5

WATER DESALINATION REPORT – 2 March 2015

Page 6

Rate for one year: £305 or US$550. Subscribe and renew online at: www.desalination.com/wdr Reproduction or electronic
distribution is forbidden. Subscribers may circulate their copy on their immediate premises. To email or create additional
copies for other office locations, contact Ekaterina Edmondson (ee@globalwaterintel.com) to arrange a site license.


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