Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018) | Viewed by 95378

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-2175, USA
Interests: water quality; environmental engineering; water microbiology; risk assessment; desalination biofouling; membrane process; harmful algal bloom
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Guest Editor
Water Globe Consultants, LLC
Interests: desalination; feasibility assesemnt; environmental review; reverse omosis; environmental permiting

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to invite you to submit a primary research paper or a review article for the Special Issue on Sustainable Water Supply. This issue will focus on the role of desalination and wastewater reuse in meeting the ever-increasing human demand for water resources. The recent advancements in science and technology have made it possible for the production of high quality potable water from municipal wastewater, ocean water and brackish groundwater. There is also an increasing market potential for adaption of treated wastewater effluent and household gray water for non-potable uses that traditionally require drinking water. These “new” sources of water have already made significant contribution to the water supply in many water stressed regions. However, significant challenges remain, including the concern of energy cost as well as the human and environmental health risks associated with water production and consumption. The goal of this Special Issue is to review the exciting progress that we have made so far in desalination and wastewater reuse as well as to share new developments and to look forward to the future of sustainable water supply.

Prof. Dr. Sunny Jiang
Mr. Nikolay Voutchkov
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable water supply

  • desalination

  • water reuse

  • energy

  • risk

  • membrane

  • fouling

  • policy

  • water-energy nexus

  • environmental impact

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 1385 KiB  
Article
What Germany’s University Beginners Think about Water Reuse
by Sarah Schmid and Franz X. Bogner
Water 2018, 10(6), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10060731 - 4 Jun 2018
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4015
Abstract
Water reuse is a new technology, not yet implemented, but discussed for use in Germany. Public opinion plays a major role in the success of the introduction of this new technology and was not yet analyzed for Germany. When monitoring 340 university beginners’ [...] Read more.
Water reuse is a new technology, not yet implemented, but discussed for use in Germany. Public opinion plays a major role in the success of the introduction of this new technology and was not yet analyzed for Germany. When monitoring 340 university beginners’ conceptions regarding water reuse, a variety of conceptions appeared. While usage of tap water is accepted for drinking purposes, acceptance of recycled water for oral consumption was low. When asked for reasons for (not) using recycled water, three groups of respondents were extracted: (a) The acceptors (convinced of quality, or naming sustainability as a reason); (b) the undecided (doubts about quality, rejection of its use for consumption, and psychological conflicts of logic and disgust); (c) the non-acceptors (unconvinced of quality and preference for bottled water). When asked about factors that would lead to accepting the use of recycled water, insights into treatment processes were identified as the most convincing, followed by educational films and guided tours. Participants showed high conviction about currently existing tap-water qualities. Having water that is cleaned before it reaches the consumer was reported to have high priority. To increase acceptance of water reuse, recommendations for appropriate outreach programs are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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19 pages, 2893 KiB  
Article
Coastal California Wastewater Effluent as a Resource for Seawater Desalination Brine Commingling
by Kelly E. Rodman, Ahron A. Cervania, Valerie Budig-Markin, Cory F. Schermesser, Oliver W. Rogers, Joshua M. Martinez, Julia King, Patrick Hassett, Jacob Burns, Malia S. Gonzales, Alexandra Folkerts, Peter Duin, Alyssa S. Virgil, Michelle Aldrete, Amanda Lagasca, Alejandro Infanzon-Marin, John R. Aitchison, Drew White, Brandon C. Boutros, Samantha Ortega, Brent Davis, Vu N. Tran and Andrea Achilliadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Water 2018, 10(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030322 - 14 Mar 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 6797
Abstract
California frequently experiences water scarcity, especially in high population areas. This has generated increased interest in using the Pacific Ocean as a water resource, with seawater desalination becoming a popular solution. To mitigate the environmental impacts of the high salinity brine from seawater [...] Read more.
California frequently experiences water scarcity, especially in high population areas. This has generated increased interest in using the Pacific Ocean as a water resource, with seawater desalination becoming a popular solution. To mitigate the environmental impacts of the high salinity brine from seawater desalination, California recommends commingling brine with wastewater effluent before ocean discharge. Results reveal that throughout the California coast, approximately 4872 MLD (1287 MGD) of treated wastewater are discharged into the ocean and might be available as dilution water. Most of this dilution water resource is produced in Southern California (3161 MLD or 835 MGD) and the San Francisco Bay Area (1503 MLD or 397 MGD), which are also the areas with the highest need for alternative water sources. With this quantity of dilution water, in principle, over 5300 MLD (1400 MGD) of potable water could be produced in California through seawater desalination. Furthermore, this study provides a survey of the treatment levels and typical discharge violations of ocean wastewater treatment facilities in California. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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18 pages, 1286 KiB  
Article
Irrigation with Treated Municipal Wastewater on Artichoke Crop: Assessment of Soil and Yield Heavy Metal Content and Human Risk
by Giuseppe Gatta, Anna Gagliardi, Grazia Disciglio, Antonio Lonigro, Matteo Francavilla, Emanuele Tarantino and Marcella Michela Giuliani
Water 2018, 10(3), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030255 - 1 Mar 2018
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4610
Abstract
Industrial and municipal wastewaters are often used for irrigating agricultural fields in arid and semi-arid countries, representing the most attractive option to alleviate pressure on fresh-water resources. However, the wastewater may contain various potentially toxic elements and organic matters with highly harmful effects [...] Read more.
Industrial and municipal wastewaters are often used for irrigating agricultural fields in arid and semi-arid countries, representing the most attractive option to alleviate pressure on fresh-water resources. However, the wastewater may contain various potentially toxic elements and organic matters with highly harmful effects on human and animal health. During two growing seasons of globe artichoke, the effects of irrigation with secondary (SWW) and tertiary (TWW) municipal wastewater on heavy metal soil and plant content were evaluated, together with the consequent human risk from artichoke head consumption. The heavy metal contents (i.e., Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, Zn, and Mn) of the irrigation water, soil, plant, and yield were analyzed. Total and extractable heavy metals were quantified to determine the bioaccumulation factors, and the health risks to adults and children were determined according to hazard indices. The heavy metal contents of the artichoke heads harvested after SWW and TWW irrigation were lower than the international threshold values, and low bioaccumulation factors suggested that these heavy metals did not accumulate in the edible part of the artichoke crop. The hazard indices that were based on the consumption of the artichoke heads remained <1.0 for both adults and children, thus indicating that the health risks involving the different heavy metals are not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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24 pages, 9852 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Stability of Low-Pressure Reverse Osmosis (RO) Membrane Operation—A Pilot Scale Study
by Hyung-Gyu Park and Young-Nam Kwon
Water 2018, 10(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020093 - 23 Jan 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 10847
Abstract
Reverse osmosis (RO) elements operating at a low pressure (LP) or a low energy (LE) are generally called “LPRO” or “LERO”, and the nomenclature “LP” and “LE” are convertible due to the interrelated features of the pressure and the energy in the RO [...] Read more.
Reverse osmosis (RO) elements operating at a low pressure (LP) or a low energy (LE) are generally called “LPRO” or “LERO”, and the nomenclature “LP” and “LE” are convertible due to the interrelated features of the pressure and the energy in the RO process. Not only can LPRO be operated at lower pressures, which enables energy saving, but also at the standard operating pressure with an enhanced permeate flux. In this study, the feasibility of the LPRO element was evaluated in the face of high fouling potential feed water. The commercially available standard RO and LPRO were chosen, and the membrane properties including the fouling susceptibility and the surface characteristics were thoroughly evaluated. The variations of various performance parameters were monitored during an 872 h operation in a pilot system, which was operated in a constant flux mode. Then, the used membranes were analyzed to further verify the fouling load localization and the fouling intensities. The average flux variation of the individual RO elements in a vessel and the economic feasibility of LPRO were also evaluated through a simulation study using an RO system design software. This study showed that the localization of fouling load within a pressure vessel of an LPRO system caused about 20% higher flux decline and almost 2-times higher salt passage than those of a standard RO membrane system. Furthermore, the simulation study predicted that average operating pressure difference ratio (%) between two RO membranes decreased from 24.4% to 17.8% and a substantial quantity of LPRO elements (83.3%) must be replaced to meet the designated water criteria only after 2 years’ operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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5134 KiB  
Article
Role of Seawater Desalination in the Management of an Integrated Water and 100% Renewable Energy Based Power Sector in Saudi Arabia
by Upeksha Caldera, Dmitrii Bogdanov, Svetlana Afanasyeva and Christian Breyer
Water 2018, 10(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010003 - 22 Dec 2017
Cited by 87 | Viewed by 17206
Abstract
This work presents a pathway for Saudi Arabia to transition from the 2015 power structure to a 100% renewable energy-based system by 2050 and investigates the benefits of integrating the power sector with the growing desalination sector. Saudi Arabia can achieve 100% renewable [...] Read more.
This work presents a pathway for Saudi Arabia to transition from the 2015 power structure to a 100% renewable energy-based system by 2050 and investigates the benefits of integrating the power sector with the growing desalination sector. Saudi Arabia can achieve 100% renewable energy power system by 2040 while meeting increasing water demand through seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) and multiple effect distillation (MED) desalination plants. The dominating renewable energy sources are PV single-axis tracking and wind power plants with 243 GW and 83 GW, respectively. The levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of the 2040 system is 49 €/MWh and decreases to 41 €/MWh by 2050. Corresponding levelised cost of water (LCOW) is found to be 0.8 €/m3 and 0.6 €/m3. PV single-axis tracking dominates the power sector. By 2050 solar PV accounts for 79% of total electricity generation. Battery storage accounts for 41% of total electricity demand. In the integrated scenario, due to flexibility provided by SWRO plants, there is a reduced demand for battery storage and power-to-gas (PtG) plants as well as a reduction in curtailment. Thus, the annual levelised costs of the integrated scenario is found to be 1–3% less than the non-integrated scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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1973 KiB  
Article
Efficient Use of Water Resources in the Steel Industry
by Valentina Colla, Ismael Matino, Teresa Annunziata Branca, Barbara Fornai, Lea Romaniello and Felice Rosito
Water 2017, 9(11), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110874 - 10 Nov 2017
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 13083
Abstract
In the steel sector water management aims at improving the sustainability of the production cycle, resulting in resource efficiency benefits and in reduced water demand and costs. To be reused, water needs to be cooled and desalinized to avoid salt concentration in water [...] Read more.
In the steel sector water management aims at improving the sustainability of the production cycle, resulting in resource efficiency benefits and in reduced water demand and costs. To be reused, water needs to be cooled and desalinized to avoid salt concentration in water circulation systems. The presented work includes two case studies carried out in an integrated steelmaking plant, respectively, to evaluate the possible implementation of ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis to reduce salt concentration in water streams and to investigate, through modelling and simulation, a process integration solution to improve water efficiency. Results showed that most salts are removed by reverse osmosis and that its coupling with ultrafiltration allows obtaining very high quality water; reuse of desalinated wastewater resulted in being more suitable and economically viable than its discharge. Moreover, modelling and simulation showed that the considered blowdown could be reused without significant changes in the receiving water network area. The industrial implementation of water recovery solutions can lead to a decrease of fresh water consumption, effluent discharge, and to improvement of product quality and equipment service life. The considered desalination technologies are transferable and easily implementable, and modelling and simulation are very useful in order to evaluate process modifications before real implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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1665 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Algal Biotoxin Removal during SWRO Desalination through a Materials Flow Analysis
by Derek C. Manheim and Sunny C. Jiang
Water 2017, 9(10), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100730 - 23 Sep 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4845
Abstract
The operation of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination facilities has become challenged by the increasing frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs). The efficiency of algal toxins removal during SWRO and pretreatment processes has critical human health implications. Therefore, a probabilistic materials [...] Read more.
The operation of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination facilities has become challenged by the increasing frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs). The efficiency of algal toxins removal during SWRO and pretreatment processes has critical human health implications. Therefore, a probabilistic materials flow analysis (pMFA) was developed to predict the removal of algal toxins in source water by various pretreatment configurations and operations during SWRO desalination. The results demonstrated that an appreciable quantity of toxins exists in the SWRO permeate (ng/L–µg/L levels), the backwash of pretreatment, and final brine rejects (µg/L–mg/L levels). Varying the pretreatment train configuration resulted in statistically significant differences in toxin removals, where higher removal efficiencies were evidenced in systems employing microfiltration/ultrafiltration (MF/UF) over granular media filtration (GMF). However, this performance depended on operational practices including coagulant addition and transmembrane pressures of MF/UF systems. Acute human health risks during lifetime exposure to algal toxins from ingestion of desalinated water were benign, with margins of safety ranging from 100 to 4000. This study highlights the importance of pretreatment steps during SWRO operation in the removal of algal toxins for managing marine HABs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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4475 KiB  
Article
Membrane Bioreactor-Based Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saudi Arabia: Reduction of Viral Diversity, Load, and Infectious Capacity
by Muhammad Raihan Jumat, Nur A. Hasan, Poorani Subramanian, Colin Heberling, Rita R. Colwell and Pei-Ying Hong
Water 2017, 9(7), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9070534 - 17 Jul 2017
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 11034
Abstract
A membrane bioreactor (MBR)-based wastewater treatment plant in Saudi Arabia was assessed over a nine-month period for virus removal efficiency. Viral diversity was detected using omics-based approaches. Log reduction values (LRV) of Adenoviruses (AdV) and Enteroviruses (EV) were enumerated using digital polymerase chain [...] Read more.
A membrane bioreactor (MBR)-based wastewater treatment plant in Saudi Arabia was assessed over a nine-month period for virus removal efficiency. Viral diversity was detected using omics-based approaches. Log reduction values (LRV) of Adenoviruses (AdV) and Enteroviruses (EV) were enumerated using digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) and assessed for infectivity using fluorescence-based infection assays. MBR treatment was successful in reducing viral diversity. Plant viruses remained abundant in the treated effluent. Human enteric viruses were present in lower abundance than plant viruses, and were reduced by MBR at varying LRV. AdV copy numbers were reduced by 3.7-log. Infectious AdV was not detected in the effluent. EV copy numbers were reduced by 1.7-log post MBR and infectious EV decreased by an average of 2.0-log. Infectious EV was detected in the chlorinated effluent, occasionally in concentrations that approximate to its 50% infectious dose. Overall, results indicated that a MBR-based wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effectively reduces viral diversity, viral load, and infectious capacity by up to 4-logs. These findings suggest potential concerns associated with plant and human enteric viruses for reuse events in this country. Local guidelines for assessment of treated water quality should take into consideration both infectious viral concentration and LRV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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Review

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15 pages, 10079 KiB  
Review
SWRO-PRO System in “Mega-ton Water System” for Energy Reduction and Low Environmental Impact
by Masaru Kurihara and Hiromu Takeuchi
Water 2018, 10(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010048 - 9 Jan 2018
Cited by 63 | Viewed by 10311
Abstract
Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have been widely applied in seawater desalination (SWRO) and wastewater reclamation as the main desalination technology since 2000. SWRO plants face challenges to reduce energy consumption and brine disposal to lessen marine pollution. To tackle these challenges, a SWRO-PRO [...] Read more.
Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have been widely applied in seawater desalination (SWRO) and wastewater reclamation as the main desalination technology since 2000. SWRO plants face challenges to reduce energy consumption and brine disposal to lessen marine pollution. To tackle these challenges, a SWRO-PRO (Pressure Retarded Osmosis) System was proposed in the “Mega-ton Water System” project under the Japanese national project of the “Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology” (FIRST Program). To reduce the energy consumption of the main SWRO plant, an innovative low-pressure SWRO membrane and a next generation energy recovery device (ERD) were developed by the “Mega-ton Water System” project. In addition to this research and development, a new membrane process has been proposed and confirmed as a low-pressure multi-stage SWRO (LMS). A brine conversion two-stage SWRO system was invented 20 years ago, and has been in operation for over 15 years. Application of the SWRO membrane process to actual commercial plants was an important research theme. The low-pressure multi-stage SWRO System (LMS) was an innovative method of introducing a low-pressure membrane and the membrane element in the pressure vessel was designed to avoid heavy fouling of lead elements. As a result of these developments at mega-ton scale SWRO plants, a 20% energy reduction was possible in the SWRO system of the “Mega-ton Water System”. In the development of the PRO process, a PRO hollow fiber membrane module with a maximum 13.3 w/m2 of membrane power density using a 10-inch module was established at a prototype PRO plant. Thus, a 30% energy reduction was possible using the SWRO-PRO System in the “Mega-ton Water System” at mega-ton scale SWRO plants. The brine disposal problem was also solved by this system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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Other

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22 pages, 1257 KiB  
Perspective
Reusing Treated Wastewater: Consideration of the Safety Aspects Associated with Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and Antibiotic Resistance Genes
by Pei-Ying Hong, Timothy R. Julian, Marie-Laure Pype, Sunny C. Jiang, Kara L. Nelson, David Graham, Amy Pruden and Célia M. Manaia
Water 2018, 10(3), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030244 - 27 Feb 2018
Cited by 85 | Viewed by 11440
Abstract
As more countries engage in water reuse, either intended or de facto, there is an urgent need to more comprehensively evaluate resulting environmental and public health concerns. While antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are increasingly coming under the spotlight, as [...] Read more.
As more countries engage in water reuse, either intended or de facto, there is an urgent need to more comprehensively evaluate resulting environmental and public health concerns. While antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are increasingly coming under the spotlight, as emerging contaminants, existing water reuse regulations and guidelines do not adequately address these concerns. This perspectives paper seeks to frame the various challenges that need to be resolved to identify meaningful and realistic target types and levels of antibiotic resistance benchmarks for water reuse. First, there is the need for standardized and agreed-upon methodologies to identify and quantify ARB and ARGs. Second, even if methodologies are available, identifying which ARB and ARGs to monitor that would best relate to the occurrence of disease burden remains unknown. Third, a framework tailored to assessing the risks associated with ARB and ARGs during reuse is urgently needed. Fourth, similar to protecting drinking water sources, strategies to prevent dissemination of ARB and ARGs via wastewater treatment and reuse are required to ensure that appropriate barriers are emplaced. Finally, current wastewater treatment technologies could benefit from modification or retrofit to more effectively remove ARB and ARGs while also producing a high quality product for water and resource recovery. This perspectives paper highlights the need to consider ARB and ARGs when evaluating the overall safety aspects of water reuse and ways by which this may be accomplished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
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