People in the water filtration business agree that demand from agricultural users will gradually lead irrigation costs higher until treated produced water becomes more economically feasible.
At some point farmers will have to cross what Arian Edalat, president of Los Angeles-based Pacifica Water Solutions LLC, sees as the psychological barrier of agreeing to pay for treated wastewater.
That’ll become necessary, he asserted, because processed water will always cost more than freshwater. Maybe regulation will provide the incentive, he said, or perhaps it’ll be a creative commercial arrangement.
There’s no question the technology is improving, added Edalat, whose company has done produced-water treatment work in Kern but isn’t currently operating in the county. Technological progress is to be expected because oilfield wastewater filtration is part of a global push for more efficient desalination processes.
Edalat predicted growing demand will make produced-water treatment commercially viable on a larger scale within two to five years. But it’ll take infrastructure investment.
“It’s more a commercial development as opposed to technological development,” he said.”
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