Water is desalinated in order to convert salt water to fresh water that is suitable for human consumption or irrigation. Desalination is a cost-effective means of providing fresh water for human use in regions where the availability of fresh water is, or is becoming, limited, especially in off-shore areas. Typically for remote locations, the desalination core process is based on reverse osmosis membrane technology, but there are many other considerations which, all together, provide the best outcome for a specific desalination application.
We work with clients to explore public and private markets to determine the best available funding sources for desalination projects, and have undertaken a wide range of project investigations covering the technical and economic aspects of various types and capacities of water desalination schemes. Selection of the type of desalination plant is part of the overall optimization of the desalination/power cycle. Studies are performed covering water balance, water cost calculations, thermodynamic considerations, and material properties to ensure minimum cost and optimum process. Efficiency, reliability, and maintenance costs are forecasted and reservoir capacity, blending plant, intake, and brine effluent systems are then considered to meet water consumption and site requirements.
Parsons Brinckerhoff has a clear understanding of the environmental issues that come with desalination projects. We have provided design, peer reviews, and construction management of multi-stage flash, multiple effect distillation, and reverse osmosis systems. Our engineers have hands-on experience with all types of pretreatment and membrane technologies, gained through involvement in desalination projects large and small.