Application of salinity thresholds in Spanish brine discharge regulations: Energetic and environmental implications

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Title: Application of salinity thresholds in Spanish brine discharge regulations: Energetic and environmental implications
Authors: Navarro Barrio, Rubén | Sola Macia, Iván | Blanco Murillo, Fabio | Del-Pilar-Ruso, Yoana | Fernández-Torquemada, Yolanda | Sánchez-Lizaso, José Luis
Research Group/s: Biología Marina | Recursos Hídricos y Desarrollo Sostenible
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias del Mar y Biología Aplicada
Keywords: Brine discharge management | Salinity thresholds | Seagrasses | Environmental impact statements | Reverse osmosis
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: 29-Dec-2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Desalination. 2021, 501: 114901.
Abstract: This paper reviews the application of salinity thresholds in the Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) in Spanish desalination plants. Lower salinity thresholds than those recommended by the scientific community for the protection of the Posidonia oceanica meadows were established in the EIS in 2005, whereas after this year thresholds more consistent with scientific recommendations were established. In addition, as a case study, the energy consumption of these lower thresholds was analyzed using the brine discharge of the Alicante desalination plants. The threshold of 38.3 psu was easily exceeded, which resulted in increased dilution ratio and higher energy consumption. The cost of the dilution was more than 600,000 kwh and €50,000 for a six-month period. The dilution ratio and energy consumption would have been considerably decreased without any negative environmental effects on marine environment if the applied value was 38.5 psu as it has been suggested. Therefore, it is recommended to unify the salinity thresholds in the applied Spanish regulations for the protection of P. oceanica meadows based on the best available scientific evidence to avoid additional energy-economic costs.
Sponsor: This work was funded by Mancomunidad de Canales del Taibilla.
ISSN: 0011-9164 (Print) | 1873-4464 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2020.114901
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - Recursos Hídricos y Desarrollo Sostenible - Artículos de Revistas
INV - BM - Artículos Científicos / Scientific Papers

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