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Assessment of the Requirements within the Environmental Monitoring Plans Used to Evaluate the Environmental Impacts of Desalination Plants in Chile
Open AccessArticle

Numerical Prediction of Background Buildup of Salinity Due to Desalination Brine Discharges into the Northern Arabian Gulf

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Division of Engineering, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi 129188, UAE
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DELTARES, Boussinesq weg 1, 2629 HV Delft, The Netherlands
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Coastal Management Program, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Safat 13109, Kuwait
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Department of Environmental Technologies and Management, Kuwait University, Safat 13060, Kuwait
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Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering & Petroleum, Kuwait University, Safat 13060, Kuwait
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Parsons Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology15 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2284; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112284
Received: 13 September 2019 / Revised: 19 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 31 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design for Seawater Desalination)
Brine discharges from desalination plants into low-flushing water bodies are challenging from the point of view of dilution, because of the possibility of background buildup effects that decrease the overall achievable dilution. To illustrate the background buildup effect, this paper uses the Arabian (Persian) Gulf, a shallow, reverse tidal estuary with only one outlet available for exchange flow. While desalination does not significantly affect the long-term average Gulf-wide salinity, due to the mitigating effect of the Indian Ocean Surface Water inflow, its resulting elevated salinities, as well as elevated concentrations of possible contaminants (such as heavy metals and organophosphates), can affect marine environments on a local and regional scale. To analyze the potential effect of background salinity buildup on dilutions achievable from discharge locations in the northern Gulf, a 3-dimensional hydrodynamic model (Delft3D) was used to simulate brine discharges from a single hypothetical source location along the Kuwaiti shoreline, about 900 km from the Strait of Hormuz. Using nested grids with a horizontal resolution, comparable to a local tidal excursion (250 m), far field dilutions of about 28 were computed for this discharge location. With this far field dilution, to achieve a total dilution of 20, the near field dilution (achievable using a submerged diffuser) would need to be increased to approximately 70. Conversely, the background build-up means that a near field dilution of 20 yields a total dilution of only about 12. View Full-Text
Keywords: desalination; far field dilution; Delft3D; hydrodynamic modeling; background buildup; tidal estuary desalination; far field dilution; Delft3D; hydrodynamic modeling; background buildup; tidal estuary
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Chow, A.C.; Verbruggen, W.; Morelissen, R.; Al-Osairi, Y.; Ponnumani, P.; Lababidi, H.M.S.; Al-Anzi, B.; Adams, E.E. Numerical Prediction of Background Buildup of Salinity Due to Desalination Brine Discharges into the Northern Arabian Gulf. Water 2019, 11, 2284.

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