The game-Changing Water Revolution
Be aware: I lately revealed a chunk right here last month titled, Texas: From Shale Boom to Water Revolution and following the success of that article I wished to follow up with a dialogue I had with the CEO of one in every of the companies mentioned in the article.
Globally, water demand is threatening to dangerously outpace provide, whereas in the U.S. dry states such as Texas and California are affected by shortages and the long run forebodes extra suffering. For the North American shale boom, the lack of water is suffocating. Amid this doom and gloom, a water revolution emerges, led by power trade figures who realized the countless potential of tapping into new water sources and processing them with advanced desalination know-how that, for the first time ever, is economically feasible.
The water revolution is right here, in keeping with Stanley Weiner, CEO of STW Sources–a Texas-based firm that has the unique North American license for Dutch-developed next era Salttech desalination expertise.
In our interview, Weiner discusses:
• The brand new technology behind the water revolution
• How communities in Texas will be spared drought
• Developments that finally make desalination commercially viable
• How it is already working–and where
• How we will flip toilet water into faucet water
• What it means for the oil and fuel industry
• How important water is to energy independence
• How a lot oil and gasoline corporations can save with new desalination systems
• The following section of the water revolution
• Why everyone can lastly benefit from conservation
James Stafford: A world research warns that by 2030 demand for water will outstrip supply by forty%. What are we dealing with in the U.S. alone
Stanley Weiner: The situation can only be described as extraordinarily urgent. We’re taking a look at continual drought and predictions of a new ‘mega drought’ for Texas. The present drought began in 2010, and it is still in play. Within the meantime, we’re seeing lots of recent individuals transferring into Texas, as well as industry, and they all want water that they don’t have.
California is running out of water. A NASA scientist has recently warned that California has solely about one yr’s worth of water left in storage, whereas its groundwater is rapidly depleting. In line with scientists, 40% of the state is undergoing an ‘distinctive drought’–probably the most extreme it has seen in 1,200 years. Earlier this month, California Governor Jerry max petroleum iii Brown issued the state’s first-ever necessary water restrictions. It sounds apocalyptic because it is, even if we do not really feel it immediately.
And a dry California is a disaster for your complete U.S. California is our breadbasket–the place more than one-third of our vegetables come from and a few two-thirds of our fruits. What it means instantly is increased food costs across the U.S. It isn’t sufficient anymore to assume that if you don’t reside in a dry state you won’t be affected. The water crisis impacts us all in many ways.
Parts of Oklahoma are hard hit by drought. Drought conditions have intensified in Nevada and Utah, and Arizona is facing the same problem to California–it is rising thirstier by the day.
Water is behind every single sector of our financial system and our means of life. It is more invaluable than oil as a result of at the end of the day, there is no such thing as a oil with out water. It’s vital that everybody understands that discovering an answer for our rising water crisis is palms-down a very powerful endeavor of our time–from each a human and an industrial standpoint.
James Stafford: Okay, so where do we stand immediately in terms of new know-how that can tackle pressing water supply points on a worldwide degree
Stanley Weiner: Till not too long ago, new know-how that would realistically handle pressing problems with water provide all over the world had been relegated to the realm of science fiction. Though the expertise has existed and was regularly advanced, it was unfeasible on a commercial scale–until now.
So what we’re seeing in the present day is a breakthrough that’s much more significant than the technological developments in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that ushered within the shale revolution. Immediately, we can present an answer to droughts; we can present dry communities with more drinking water than they ever might have imagined–and we can prop up the shale boom by providing drillers with more sources of water, finally leading to max petroleum iii America’s vitality independence. We can even economically recycle the water they use in the process.
James Stafford: What you are describing is no lower than a water revolution, then
Stanley Weiner: Completely. This is a revolution, and it’s solely just rising, so we will expect loads of technological advancements along the technique to make desalination even more environment friendly and cost-effective. However there is no such thing as a turning back now.
On the desalination front, Netherlands-based Salttech has developed breakthrough expertise known as Salttech DyVaR, for which STW has the unique license in North America. Salttech is a suppose tank with good engineers and scientists who are always asking how they can make it better. After such a long time attempting to bring feasible desalination expertise to the world, that is finally the game changer.
Everything is related to every thing else–that’s the primary message to be heard loud and clear from this rising ‘water revolution’. Tighter environmental laws have expanded the marketplace for companies that encompass not only the usage of ‘inexperienced’ technology, but also of ‘blue’, or clean water know-how. However there’s a 3rd colour here that is simply as important, and we’ll name it black, which means it has to make sense economically. Until now, desalination technology has been too expensive, with initiatives working in the pink, rendering them economically unfeasible on a industrial scale. ‘Blue’ technologies have additionally till now not been ‘inexperienced’ enough to make sense for the setting.
James Stafford: Ok, so first take us by way of what this next-technology desalination technology is capable of …
Stanley Weiner: First off, this is largely cell know-how, so it is easy to set up in all kinds of venues and to move around, which also contributes to value-effectiveness, however it will also be a hard and fast facility scenario. What it does is that this: It takes dirty water and turns it into potable water utilizing vaporization. It will possibly clear up the oil trade’s frack flowback water and the soiled water produced by oilfields, and it can also desalinate ocean water.
James Stafford: And the way does it work, precisely There was loads of speak these days about thermal distillation utilizing Dynamic Vapor Recompression (DVR), however for the layman, what does this imply
Stanley Weiner: Okay, yes, DVR is a key facet of the Salttech desalination system. DVR is a new type of mechanical vapor recompression–which is the means of evaporating water at average temperatures through the usage of a vacuum after which condensing it in a higher-pressure chamber. The heat of condensation is transmitted to the influent stream through a heat exchanger. All of this requires little or no energy compared to standard process that depend on “flash distillation” and large quantities max petroleum iii of vitality. Where the term “dynamic” comes into play within the DVR is in relation to using a cyclone during the evaporation process. This cyclone separates the crystallized salts from the brine by centrifugal power.
James Stafford: On a ‘green’ degree, how is this new technology expertise different What makes it truly ‘green’
Stanley Weiner: The important thing facet of this know-how is what we name zero liquid discharge (ZLD). All these ‘permanent’ desalination plants which might be being put up all over the world–including 9 simply in Texas and one in Carlsbad, California–are harming the fragile ecosystem of our oceans and waterways. They can not process greater than 35-50% of the water within the desalination course of, and what they don’t course of into potable water is rejected again into the ocean within the form of harmful liquid discharges. Studies have discovered that if they are processing 50 million gallons a day, they are putting 25 million gallons of dangerous liquids again into the ocean. The research are frightening, and they will impinge on the flexibility of these plants to get permits to keep feeding reject liquids back into the waterways. In Israel, for example, there are contracts to build these everlasting desalination plants, but now it seems to be like the permits aren’t going to come by way of.
James Stafford: So how does the Salttech system keep away from rejecting harmful liquids again into the waterways
Stanley Weiner: First, this new expertise processes around 97% of the water, so there’s much much less rejected. Second, the three% or in order that it can’t course of, it turns right into a stable, so there’s zero liquid discharge. And there aren’t any chemicals utilized in the method in any way. Let me put it this way: the ‘permanent’ desalination plants are discharging 50-sixty five% of what is rejected in the process in the form of a waste stream of extremely concentrated brine liquid–directly into the oceans. The brand new cell technology, developed by the Dutch, discharges its 3% reject in the type of stable salts and minerals, so there is no such thing as a dangerous discharge into waterways and no disposal problem. Importantly, this means there isn’t any want for deep nicely waste water injections, evaporation ponds and different acknowledged strategies for disposing of concentrated brine waste from desalination actions.
James Stafford: How do the prices compare with typical desalination technologies
Stanley Weiner: Sometimes, the value of desalinated oilfield water tasks has hovered around $four-$eight per barrel, but Salttech makes it doable at round $1.50-$2.00 per barrel. To process brackish or seawater, the associated fee is about $1,a hundred-$1,350 per acre-foot of water. These costs make contemporary water economically out there for everybody who needs it.
James Stafford: How important is water to the general power equation
Stanley Weiner: It’s completely an important part of the vitality equation. Water is what enables the US to drill more oil and gas wells and to wean itself off of international oil and cut back vulnerability to geopolitical whims.
James Stafford: Is there a point at which the energy industry–one in all the larger shoppers of water itself–can actually contribute to the solution rather than the issue
Stanley Weiner: Oilfield water use represents a lot less than people think: It’s solely about three% of total fresh water consumed. For 2005, a lot of the contemporary-floor-water withdrawals–about 41%–were used in the thermo-electric energy trade to cool electricity-producing gear. Water used in this method is most frequently returned to the water body from which it came. That is why the more vital use of surface water is for irrigation–in the agricultural sector–which makes use of about 31% of all contemporary surface water. Ignoring thermoelectric-energy withdrawals, irrigation accounted for about 63% of the US’ surface-water withdrawals. Public supply and the industrial sector have been the next largest customers of floor water. Nevertheless, the energy business can still contribute to the solution in a big way via water reclamation. Identical to we drill for brand new oil and gas, we are able to drill for brand new sources of water deep underground and tap into water resources that were by no means earlier than accessible for potable water.
James Stafford: The place can we discover new sources of water and the way do we faucet into them
Stanley Weiner: The brand new sources of water aren’t actually new at all–they’ve at all times been there; we simply didn’t have the economically viable know-how to tap into them on a commercial scale. These sources embody the ocean, brackish water from reservoirs deep underground and municipal wastewater, which shall be tapped into using our rest room-to-faucet technology.
James Stafford: What’s going to the next development in desalination expertise be that may render it even more economically rewarding
Stanley Weiner: Now that it’s already commercially viable, the subsequent step shall be to lower the energy prices even further with wholesale photo voltaic, wind and geothermal energy. In actual fact, the primary desalination plant already in operation in Mentone, Texas, is fully run on solar energy and is offering the city of Mentone with as a lot drinking water as it may ever want.
James Stafford: This know-how was first deployed in Mentone, Texas
Stanley Weiner: Yes. This is where it really all began in July last 12 months–in this small town within the Permian Basin. This was a extremely profitable pilot undertaking that is now providing residents with all the drinking water they want. And, as I mentioned earlier than, your entire operation is run on solar power. It was this system that convinced me of the viability of licensing it and commercializing it to make water available to everybody in need of it.
However Mentone was simply the genesis of this water revolution. The desalination project in Fort Stockton–additionally in Texas–is far larger. Right now, in Fort Stockton’s Capitan Reef Aquifer we’re drilling our first production effectively, and can be drilling a number of extra wells right here and in different brackish aquifers. We’re drilling to new water sources about 2,000-four,500 feet below the surface, to tap into as a lot as 14 million acre-ft of latest water–or about 5.6 trillion gallons. Within the second quarter of this year we’ll begin promoting that water. The beneficiaries will be a number of west Texan municipalities suffering from drought.
James Stafford: What in regards to the oil and fuel industry Are they leaping on this water revolution bandwagon yet
Stanley Weiner: Our pilot mission within the Permian Basin has undoubtedly attracted the attention of oil and gasoline corporations who’re hurting for water supplies and struggling with low oil prices and thus have issues justifying prices. You’ve gotten to understand that Texas is each a highly aggressive enjoying subject for oil companies–with the sleeping big that’s the Permian Basin and the prolific Eagle Ford shale–however additionally it is water starved. So the competitors for water assets is simply as competitive because the competitors for oil and fuel licenses. There is also quite a lot of competition among industries who’re heavy users of water. With the arrival of hydraulic fracturing–which uses exponentially extra water–this competitors has grown even fiercer. Demand for water is soaring, and now we will meet that demand. Over half of the 40,000 wells People have drilled since 2011 have been in areas of drought, and in total these wells have used ninety seven billion gallons of water.
Over the subsequent six to nine months, we will likely be launching one other main desalination venture for an NYSE-listed oil and gasoline company–so the word is out.
James Stafford: Particularly, how much cash may oil companies doubtlessly save in Texas’ Permian Basin or Eagle Ford using this expertise
Stanley Weiner: The numbers are actually incredible: They could save roughly $150,000+ per well using this desalination expertise.
James Stafford: What is the future of water reclamation and desalination The place do you see the technology going over the subsequent 5-10 years The place is there room for improvement
Stanley Weiner: Advancements will continue however enhancements will all the time be about the underside line, making it cheaper and more economical to make use of. It may possibly solely get cheaper and extra efficient at this level. Listen, we used to think contemporary water was infinite, and we squandered it. Not any longer. Now we have to squeeze each drop out of brackish reservoirs and oceans desalination operations. There isn’t any turning back the tide now. It’s already the new preferrred: The technology makes use of no chemicals or filtration and requires very little power, and at the end of the process you have clear, fresh water. The revolution has begun.
James Stafford: So at the end of the day, from an investor’s perspective, the water revolution could outshine the financial glitz of the shale revolution
Stanley Weiner: You understand, after we initially arrange store with STW, we were merely planning on targeting frack water within the oil business. We did not see further than that. It didn’t occur to us that there have been infinite possibilities for really accessing and processing water that nobody would have thought could possibly be for human consumption. As soon as we realized the potential here–the potential that goes thus far beyond the oil and fuel trade–our targets turned clearer. We can provide water not solely to the oil and gasoline industry and to every different industry, but to municipalities in dry states; to communities. There is a superb deal of cash to be made in what quantities to conservation at the tip of the day, and for once it may be made with out harming the surroundings. That is strictly what is revolutionary about it. Everybody benefits.
James Stafford: What’s the bigger picture right here
Stanley Weiner: That is all about conservation, and the first probability we’ve got seen the place it is possible to actually make money on conservation. If a mission will be power efficient–such as the pilot Salttech project in Mentone, Texas, which is run fully on photo voltaic energy–and may course of vastly more than it rejects, then we’re talking about conservation. We’re wasting our treasured contemporary water sources each minute of daily after we may very well be reusing it. Everyone needs to understand that water is our most precious commodity and it needs to be conserved in every method potential.
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