The Need for Solar Desalination in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and Israel

Authors: William Delgado*, University of Texas - Austin
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Energy, Arid Regions
Keywords: water resources, desalination, solar energy, arid climates, urban areas
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and Israel play important roles in world geopolitics. Ciudad Juarez sits on the US-Mexico border across from El Paso, Texas while Israel lies at the crossroads of the Middle East. Both places are also situated in arid climates in transboundary areas with limited water resources. Ciudad Juarez relies on the Hueco Bolson aquifer, a transboundary aquifer with diminishing freshwater supplies that it shares with its sister city of El Paso, Texas. El Paso has already constructed a desalination plant to continue relying on the Hueco Bolson for its water needs. Unless Ciudad Juarez uncovers adequate alternative water sources, it will have to consider building a desalination plant of its own. Israel already relies on desalination plants to meet some of its water demand given its limited freshwater supplies. But, desalination processes are expensive and energy intensive. Most desalination plants rely on fossil fuels as their energy source, which contributes to climate change. Because Ciudad Juarez and Israel lie in sunny regions, solar energy is a potentially viable carbon-free energy source to power desalination plants in these places. This poster will explore the reasons behind the need to build solar powered desalination plants in these two important locations as well as the potential monetary and carbon savings of desalinating water with solar energy in both places.

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