Located in the Pacific Ocean, 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles, Catalina Island, California, is in the middle of a severe drought with residents and tourists potentially facing a mandatory 50 percent cutback in water usage. To help alleviate the water shortage, Southern California Edison is expanding its desalination plant on the island using General Electric’s desalination technology that will convert seawater into clean drinking water.
GE is supplying its SeaTech-84 seawater reverse osmosis (RO) system, part of GE’s Procera seawater solutions for desalination, to SCE. The SeaTech system is a containerized desalination system, which will be configured for continuous operation, treating unusable seawater into a new, clean source of fresh water.
GE’s SeaTech-84 is a modular system designed for a fast delivery and simple installation, the company says. The equipment, arriving in Catalina in mid-August, will be operational in September 2015.
The island’s current water supply comes from local wells, supplemented by the desalination plant located at the SCE Pebbly Beach Generating Station. The existing desalination facility produces up to 200,000 gallons of water per day, and with this GE expansion, the overall future capacity will increase to up to 350,000 gallons of water per day.
California is at the epicenter of desalination activity, according to a report form the McIlvaine Company, which forecasts the market for desalination components will top $5 billion in 2015. Along that state’s coast, 17 plants have been proposed to convert saltwater from the ocean or bays.