Innovative Solar-Powered Pipe Will Desalinate 1.5 Billion Gallons Of Drinking Water For California

This design could help solve California's severe water shortage problem.

Credit: LAPI

Credit: LAPI 2016

It’s no secret that California is in the midst of a devastating drought. Though Governor Jerry Brown implemented California’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions last year, the drought still encompasses more than 98% of the state.

Considering that California is the world’s fifth-largest supplier of food, this is bad news. As the world’s population grows, the amount of energy needed to produce water will surely increase.

Fortunately, a recent competition has revealed a number of solutions to California’s severe water shortage problem.

Inhabitant reports that for the LAGI (Land Art Generator Initiative), which is a competition for Santa Monica, designers were asked to submit proposals that incorporate either an energy or drinking water component – or both.

One of the submitted innovations is the Pipe, which “represents a change in the future of water,” according to the Canadian engineering firm, Abdolaziz Khalili and Associates which designed it. If installed, the innovation could generate 10,000 MWh and desalinate 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water each year.

The design brief reads:

“Above, solar panels provide power to pump seawater through an electromagnetic filtration process below the pool deck, quietly providing the salt bath with its healing water and the city with clean drinking water.”

Credit: LAPI

Credit: LAPI 2016

“What results are two products: pure drinkable water that is directed into the city’s primary water piping grid, and clear water with twelve percent salinity. The drinking water is piped to shore, while the salt water supplies the thermal baths before it is redirected back to the ocean through a smart release system, mitigating most of the usual problems associated with returning brine water to the sea,” write the Khalili Engineers.

Credit: LAPI 2016

Credit: LAPI 2016

Credit: LAPI 2016

Credit: LAPI 2016

Credit: LAPI 2016

Credit: LAPI 2016

While a winner has not yet been chosen for the LAGI competition, this innovation certainly seems to be a crowd pleaser. The winner will be announced on October 6, 2016, at Greenbuild 2016. 

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