CA water district awarded Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize for water reuse efforts

Published on : March 4, 2014

    SINGAPORE, Feb. 18, 2014 -- The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2014 was recently awarded to The Orange County Water District (OCWD) in the state of California for its exceptional work in groundwater management and water reclamation using advanced water reuse technologies, as well as for its achievements in public policy and community outreach. The highlight of the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize is an international water award recognizing outstanding contributions toward solving global water problems by either applying innovative technologies or implementing policies and programs that benefit humanity. The sixth recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, OCWD piloted Water Factory 21 in the 1970s, the first facility in the world to successfully demonstrate that potable-grade-quality recycled water can be reliably produced from treated used water effluent through an advanced water purification system relying on reverse osmosis (RO) and granular activated carbon. Since then, based on research and demonstration efforts by OCWD, a three-stage advanced treatment process of microfiltration, RO and ultraviolet (UV)/hydrogen peroxide has been established as the standard for potable water reuse in the industry. With this track record, OCWD launched the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) in 2008 to replace Water Factory 21. The reclaimed water that GWRS produces is injected into a series of injection wells to create a hydraulic barrier that guards against seawater intrusion, preventing contamination of drinking water wells. It also provides a new source of high-quality water for year-round recharge to the aquifer. The GWRS is currently capable of supplying 70 mgd (or 265,000 m3/d) of water, enough to meet the needs of about 600,000 people. This water supply is produced using half the energy required to pump water from Northern California -- saving enough energy to power 21,000 homes each year. To date, 125 billion gallons of water (443,000 megalitres) have been produced by the GWRS.More