DESALTING SALINE WATER FOR IRRIGATION A CASE STUDY, COACHELLA AREA, CALIFORNIA1
.A case study was performed to evaluate potential applications of desalted saline water for agriculture using 2 distillation type processes and 2 membrane type processes. The investigation determined the costs and benefits associated with desalting saline water at concentrations of 1,500, 900, 400, 200, and 50 ppm. Benefits from desalting are generated by shifts to more profitable crops, reduced costs for drainage, and reduction in fertilizer and labor requirements with better quality water. Costs are based on the project features such as desalting plants, raw water diversion facilities, storage reservoirs, conveyance and distribution systems, brine disposal, blending facilities, and gypsum addition systems. Hydrologic studies determined the crop irrigation requirements, water demand schedules, desalted water storage requirements, brine disposal requirements, and size of facilities required. Reconnaissance design layouts were made for producing desalted water using a combination of 14 schemes. The study also included a review of irrigation practices. The benefit‐cost ratios range from 0.4 to 1.0 for 1,500 ppm irrigation water to 0.8 to 1.0 for 50 and 200 ppm water. Investment costs per acre are high, ranging from $12,900 to $20,900. Irrigation benefits are based on the increase in production from a desert condition with no water supply to the irrigation conditions studied.
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