HydroRevolution — a subsidiary of renewable-energy water reuse system provider WaterFX — has announced plans to develop a commercial solar desalination plant in the Panoche Water and Drainage District, located in California’s Central Valley.

Once the site is completed, HydroRevolution will be able to offer a sustainable water source to water districts by utilising solar energy to change salt water into freshwater.

Aaron Mandell, chairman of HydroRevolution, said: "The demonstration plant proved that we can reliably treat drainage water, and also showed that the treated water is not a waste product; it is a valuable new source of freshwater.  Using a sustainable source of energy to recycle or desalinate water will become a mainstay in regions with water scarcity."

The new plant will be built over 14 hectares of land, with the potential for the site to expand to 28 hectares. The spot that will hold the solar desalination facility makes up just a small fraction of the 2428-hectare area that is used to oversee and reuse irrigation drainage water for the Panoche Water District.

HydroRevolution will be able to produce 5,000 acre-feet of water annually — enough water for 10,000 homes or 809 hectares of cropland.

Dennis Falaschi, manager of Panoche Water and Drainage District, said: "Given the trend of highly uncertain inputs from the Delta, we need to develop a reliable supply of water in the Central Valley. This is a sustainable solution that can provide a substantial amount of additional water. After seeing the results from the demonstration plant by WaterFX, we're eager to get the HydroRevolution plant online quickly and optimistic about seeing others replicate what we're doing here. There is an enormous resource of subsurface water that can be utilized."