The purpose of our preliminary workshops was to assemble state and national experts to explore the most important environmental, policy, economic, and technical aspects of desalination. From these workshops, all of which met our expectation of high attendance and active participation of experts, we developed new perspectives on desalination as a technology and desalination as a potential part of regional water supply.

Evaluating Environmental Issues with Desalination in CA

This workshop was held September 25-26, 2006 in Santa Cruz, CA. It was organized by Brent Haddad, Bob Raucher, and Elizabeth Strange.

Representatives were present from the following organizations:

NOAA - Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Water Resources, California Energy Commission, State Water Quality Control Boards, California State Coastal Conservancy, California Coastal Commission, Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, City of Santa Cruz Water Department, Coachella Valley Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Marin Municipal Water District, Soquel Water District, San Diego County Water Authority, Long Beach Water Department, California-American Water; Tennera Environmental, RBF Consulting, Stratus Consulting, Inc., Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., Poseidon Resources, Occidental College, UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, National Water Research Institute, WateReuse Foundation, The Planning and Conservation League, Surfrider Foundation, Affordable Desal Coalition.

We evaluated environmental impacts of desalination in California with panel sessions on regulatory issues, environmental justice and co-location, intake (impingement and entrainment, source water quality, intake technologies, intake alternatives), discharge (brine concentrate and concentrate management, inland brine disposal, chemical and thermal qualities of discharge, dispersion and dilution, and technologies), energy implications (fossil fuel consumption, greenhouse gas and other emissions, and alternative energy), and environmental benefits (water resource substitution, water resource augmentation, water supply reliability).

Economics and Policy of Desalination in CA

This workshop was held November 9, 2006 in Sacramento, CA. It was organized by Ed Means, Brent Haddad, and Robert Raucher.

Representatives were present from the following organizations:

California Department of Water Resources, California Energy Commission, State Water Quality Control Boards, US Bureau of Reclamation, California Bay-Delta Authority, Department of Health Services, Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, Division of Ratepayer Advocates, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., Stratus Consulting, Inc., Association of California Water Agencies, The Planning and Conservation League, and the Surfrider Foundation.

Dr. Raucher discussed the idea for the economic framework for evaluating desalination projects prior to asking questions of participants regarding core issues involved in planning, regulatory and permitting processes. The group discussed how to define the "baseline" situation a water agency experiences when considering whether to integrate desalination into the water portoflio. Throughout the day issues regarding the following subjects were discussed in terms of economics and policy: feed-water intake, product water, concentrate management and discharge, energy demands, emissions, implications of these environmental issues, environmental justice and equity issues, costs, pricing, financing, and implementation.

Technology and Finance of Desalination in CA

This workshop was held February 23, 2007 in Santa Barbara, CA. It was organized by Bob Wilkinson and Ed Means.

Representatives were present from the following organizations:

UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., Division of Ratepayer Advocates, California Energy Commission, RBF Consulting, Desal Response Group, MJF Consulting, Inc., Surfrider Foundation, Separation Processes, Inc., Cambria Community Services District, MWH Americas Inc., Larsen & Company, Inc., UCLA/CEE Department, California Department of Water Resources, Monterey Commercial Property Owner's Association, The West Basin Municipal District, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sherman May consulting, Affordable Desalination Collaboration, Poseidon Resources, City of Sand City, Flow Science Inc., Stratus Consulting, Inc., Metropolitan Water District, Bureau of Reclamation, MBC Applied Environmental Sciences, Central Coast State Water Control Board.

Dr Wilkinson, Mr. Means, and Dr. Haddad discussed the project and the contribution of this workshop toward the development of the research products. We heard from presenters who shared applied research related to the following topics: source water intakes, pretreatment, reverse osmosis, other desalination process options, plume modeling, permitting, energy, and finance.