Bounding the marginal cost of producing potable water including the use of seawater desalinization as a backstop potable water production technology [report]

James J. Dooley
2014 unpublished
ph: (865) 576-8401 fax: (865) 576-5728 email: Available to the public from the National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161 ph: (800) 553-6847 fax: (703) 605-6900 email: online ordering: This document was printed on recycled paper. ABSTRACT: The analysis presented in this technical report should allow for the creation of high, medium, and low cost
more » ... otable water prices for GCAM. Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) based desalinization should act as a backstop for the cost of producing potable water (i.e., the literature seems clear that SWRO should establish an upper bound for the plant gate cost of producing potable water). Transporting water over significant distances and having to lift water to higher elevations to reach end--users can also have a significant impact on the cost of producing water. The three potable fresh water scenarios describe in this technical report are: low cost water scenario ($0.10/m 3 ); medium water cost scenario ($1.00/m 3 ); and high water cost scenario ($2.50/m 3 ). 1 To be clear, desalinization of brackish waters (but not seawater) could take place in this medium water cost scenario as Ghaffour et al. (2013) note "brackish water cost is always lower than SWRO mainly due to lower salinity feed water which requires lower applied pressure and allows higher recovery. This causes a lower energy consumption per unit volume of water produced and a substantially lower investment cost." (Gray et al., 2011) notes that 77% of the installed desalinization
doi:10.2172/1129365 fatcat:ctuce2yhpnafjkthyzoqygzclm