It's a desalination plant installed in 40-foot cargo container able to treat up to 25,000 gallons of water a day — enough to provide about 50,000 people with clean, fresh water for reuse in irrigation and household uses.
Yoram Cohen, a professor at UCLA’s
"The key is that we've eliminated the need for on-site maintenance crews," Cohen said in an interview. "We can also modify the system by remote control as needed to cope with changing water quality conditions and reduce membrane fouling."
The system treats water at a cost of about $1.50 per 1,000 liters, said Cohen, who has installed desalination technology on
The unit will be on display at UCLA on Monday through Wednesday. After that, it will go to a test site in farmlands west of Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley, where poor drainage has increased salinity and levels of calcium sulfate — the main constituent of drywall — in agricultural runoff.
The experiment is supported by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Water Resources and several water districts in the San Joaquin Valley.
"The real beauty of this technology," Cohen said, " is that it can be scaled up in size to provide water for entire cities, or scaled down to serve individual households anywhere in the world."
For the record, 5:44 p.m., May 2: A previous version of this post referred to the California Department of Water and Power.