SONOMA COUNTY, Calif., July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — HydroRevolutionSM, a California subsidiary of WaterFX™, today announced plans to build a commercial solar desalination plant in the Panoche Water and Drainage District in California’s Central Valley. Once constructed, HydroRevolutionSM will provide a highly sustainable water source to local water districts by using solar energy to recycle salt impaired water into freshwater. This technology will be the first of its kind in the Central Valley but the company hopes this project is merely the first step in revolutionizing the way California uses water.
The HydroRevolutionSM plant will be an expansion of the demonstration plant operated by WaterFX™ in the Panoche District in 2013. “The demonstration plant proved that we can reliably treat drainage water, and also showed that the treated water is not a waste product; it is a valuable new source of freshwater,” said HydroRevolutionSM Chairman Aaron Mandell. Both representatives from WaterFX™ and officials from the Panoche Water and Drainage District are eager to see the possibilities for sustainable and consistent freshwater in the Central Valley grow through the construction of the HydroRevolutionSM plant. “Using a sustainable source of energy to recycle or desalinate water will become a mainstay in regions with water scarcity,” added Mandell.
The new plant will be built on 35 acres of land currently farmed with salt-tolerant crops, with the potential of growing to a 70-acre site. This land that will house the solar desalination facility is a small fraction of the total 6,000 acres currently used to manage and reuse irrigation drainage water for the Panoche Water District and other participating water districts. HydroRevolutionSM will treat this water in order to recycle unusable irrigation water, thereby providing a new, local source of freshwater to offset the loss of imported water into the region.
“Given the trend of highly uncertain inputs from the Delta, we need to develop a reliable supply of water in the Central Valley. This is a sustainable solution that can provide a substantial amount of additional water,” said Panoche Water and Drainage District’s manager, Dennis Falaschi. “After seeing the results from the demonstration plant by WaterFX™, we’re eager to get the HydroRevolutionSM plant online quickly and optimistic about seeing others replicate what we’re doing here,” said Mr. Falaschi, “there is an enormous resource of subsurface water that can be utilized.”
HydroRevolutionSM will ultimately be able to generate up to 5,000 acre-feet of water per year, enough water for 10,000 homes or 2,000 acres of cropland. All freshwater generated will be made available to Panoche and other nearby water districts. The HydroRevolutionSM plant will utilize Aqua4™ technology developed by WaterFX™. The system is a concentrated solar still that uses large solar arrays to capture solar thermal energy from the sun. The sun heats mineral oil that then flows to the Multi-effect Distillation system (MED) that evaporates freshwater from the source water. Over 90% of the freshwater is recovered in this process while the briny remainder can be further treated to produce minerals and salts as useable solid co-products.
Learn more about Aqua4™ technology in these news clips produced by PBS and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Hydro 1 Inc, dba HydroRevolutionSM is a project of WaterFX™ established in California in 2014. The company is planning a community-based financing (a/k/a investment crowdfunding) campaign for the construction of a commercial solar desalination plant. The plant will be built in California’s Central Valley and investment will be open to all California residents. The HydroRevolutionSM project is an expansion of a demonstration project operated by WaterFX™ in the Panoche Water and Drainage District in 2013 and will operate using the same Aqua4™ technology developed by WaterFX™. To learn more about investment opportunities, please visit our website at http://hydrorevolution.co.
WaterFX™ builds and operates distributed water reuse systems powered by renewable energy. The company’s Aqua4™ solar powered water distillation system purifies impaired water from any source. The company’s first full scale plant, HydroRevolutionSM, will be built in Firebaugh, CA to serve the Panoche Water and Drainage Districts and other surrounding districts. The plant will treat irrigation drainage to generate freshwater and maintain farmland productivity. The plant will ensure a local and sustainable water supply for water districts in California’s Central Valley, an area that has faced chronic water shortages due to the changing climate and weather pattern of California as well as increased regulatory curtailment of water exported through the Delta. To learn more, please visit our website at http://waterfx.co
About Panoche Water and Drainage Districts
The Panoche Water District provides irrigation water to about 38,000 acres and the Panoche Drainage District provides drainage service to approximately 44,000 acres (including the Panoche Water District) in Firebaugh, California. Panoche is continually making improvements to increase water use efficiency and supply reliability and to improve drainage water management. The Panoche Drainage District operates the San Joaquin River Improvement Project, a drainage reuse area that is combining irrigation efficiency, system improvements, and water treatment in order to cease discharge of salt impaired water into the San Joaquin River. The district is currently working with WaterFX™ on a commercial solar desalination plant to manage irrigation drainage water.