Brackish groundwater desalination transforms previously unusable brackish groundwater supplies into high-quality drinking water by removing not only salts, but also other contaminants such as nitrates and Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Improved technology to remove salt from brackish groundwater has made desalination an increasingly important tool for both augmenting water supplies and improving water quality.

Successful large-scale brackish groundwater desalination projects have been implemented through California, including:

  • Alameda County – The Alameda County Water District treats brackish water at the Newark Desalination Facility as part of its Aquifer Reclamation Program, producing 10 million gallons of drinking water per day.
  • Ontario – The Chino Basin Desalter Authority produces 14 million gallons a day of fresh water from brackish water pumped from wells throughout the Chino area.
  • Orange County – The South Coast Water District (SCWD) operates the Groundwater Recovery Facility (GRF), which adds a local water supply component into the District's water distribution system. Currently, 85 % of SCWD's drinking water is imported from northern California and the Colorado River. Through reverse osmosis, the GRF provides an additional 15% by removing brine from the local water source.
  • Perris – The Eastern Municipal Water District is currently constructing its third Desalter as part of its Groundwater Reliability Plus Program, which cumulatively will produce 14 million gallons a day of fresh water from brackish groundwater.
  • Torrance – The Water Replenishment District’s Robert W. Goldsworthy Groundwater Desalter in Torrance creates 5 million gallons a day of fresh water from brackish groundwater.
  • Carson – The West Basin Municipal Water District operates the C. Marvin Brewer Desalter Treatment Facility, which purifies a million gallons of brackish groundwater for potable use every day.
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