Water purification system strengthens CA central valley farm's brackish aquifer, water sources

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BAKERSFIELD, CA, April 29, 2014 -- As California farmers face zero water allocations following one of the worst droughts on record in California, one central valley farm is partnering with Desalitech, a supplier of high-efficiency water solutions, to irrigate farmland from a brackish aquifer in the San Joaquin Valley. This aquifer is large and easily accessible, but due to increasing salinity levels after decades of pumping and drought, it has been rendered unusable for many kinds of agriculture.

Fabbri Ag Services is using a Desalitech ReFlex™ reverse osmosis (RO) system featuring advanced Closed Circuit Desalination (CCD™) technology to provide affordable irrigation water and minimize waste generation and energy consumption. By utilizing a dormant brackish aquifer, Fabbri is making efficient use of local water resources without burdening the state's already-strained reservoir system. The installed RO system provides Fabbri with 300 gallons per minute of irrigation water to supply about 40 acres of land at a farm near Bakersfield, Calif. The produced water is highly pure so that it can be used to support high-value crops like almonds and grapes.

Conventional RO processes are unmanageable for most inland applications because of the high costs of energy consumption and disposing residuals from the process. Desalitech's ReFlex RO system reduces the costs of RO treatment by efficiently managing the concentration of salts, thereby maximizing water utilization, and cutting energy consumption by 35 percent or more. This changes the economics of inland desalination, making it possible for Fabbri to affordably supplement irrigation supplies at its locations.

Desalitech's ReFlex system has three distinct advantages that make inland RO desalination possible and ideal:

  • High Water Use Efficiency: The Fabbri installation operates at a recovery rate of at least 87 percent and has already been demonstrated at 94 percent; this results in up to a four-fold reduction in concentrate volume compared to conventional RO systems that typically top out at 75-percent recovery.
  • High Reliability: Brackish groundwater is notorious for changing composition and temperature on a seasonal or sometimes daily basis. Desalitech's system automatically adapts to feedwater variations, producing consistent product water quality with reduced operating costs.
  • Low Energy Consumption: The ReFlex system delivers superior performance while consuming 35 percent less energy than conventional RO systems that would require multiple stages to achieve similar recovery rates. Compared to thermal or solar desalination systems, energy requirements can be divided by a factor of 20.

See also:

"2013 Global Cleantech 100 list names Desalitech for clean technology solutions"

"Closed Circuit Desalination firm secures $5 million in new funding"

About Desalitech

Desalitech is a provider of high-recovery water production and effluent treatment solutions that deliver superior performance at lower costs. Its patented next-generation Closed-Circuit Desalination (CCD(TM)) solutions represent the first major improvement in reverse osmosis water treatment in decades, achieving more efficient use of water resources, reduced emission of brine waste, and lower power consumption using standard off-the shelf components. For more information, visit www.desalitech.com.

About Fabbri Ag Services

Fabbri Ag Services is a multi-generational agricultural operating company with experience growing more than 30 commercial crops in California's San Joaquin Valley, the highest yielding and most profitable farming area in the world. With roots as a family business dating back to 1938, Fabbri Ag Services is focused on acquiring, developing, and managing high value agricultural assets for clients and partners. For more information, visit www.fabbriagservices.com.

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