Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2017

First Advisor

Charles Howe

Second Advisor

Dale Miller

Third Advisor

Kristen Averyt

Abstract

Desalination Technologies have become an increasingly viable option to provide drinking water to people by desalting brackish and seawater. It is an extremely energy intensive process that creates a large impact on the environment, economy and local communities. Since the amount of energy required for breaking the salt and water bond is large, the best way to reduce the carbon footprint of the desalination plant is to use renewable resources as the energy source. This study examines three large-scale desalination plants in Australia, Israel and the United States in order to better understand how renewable resources could possibly be used to power the desalination plants. It compares factors among the three different desalination projects that impact the production of fresh water. The investigation concludes that using renewable resources as a source of power with current technologies is best utilized on smaller scales, but can also be used to offset the environmental impacts of large scale operating desalination plants. The investigation recommends the Sorek desalination plant in Israel as the best candidate of the three case studies to implement renewable energy because of unique governmental characteristics and opportunities for investments.

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