The new KSDF will embrace practical measures to minimize reliance on fossil fuels, and incorporate materials and systems that support a healthy environment. By maximizing opportunities to provide natural light, natural ventilation, and nighttime cooling, the design will result in reduced operational costs. Additional considerations have been taken to promote extended Facility life, ensuring BWS and the surrounding community receive the most benefit from the new Facility.

What is the Pilot Study?

KD will conduct a pilot test study to demonstrate the product water will comply with all regulatory drinking water standards. In addition, and in parallel, KD will assist BWS with assessing the potential for any impacts due to the introduction and use of the proposed product water as a new source of drinking water, within the Campbell Industrial Park area. The pilot test study will utilize a scaled down version of the desalination process and demonstrate a product of “reasonable match” to the existing BWS potable distribution system water quality.

Where will the plant be built?

The new facility will be located on a 20-acre empty lot in Campbell Industrial Park owned by BWS at 91-447 Olai Street (TMK: 9-1-31:28). The project site will include an administration building, laboratory, office, a building for the processing equipment, along with grading, drainage, roads, parking, utilities, fencing, landscaping, and security systems.

Why do we need this project?

The demand for fresh water from BWS’s ‘Ewa system is approaching capacity, as the district’s population is expected to grow by about 30 percent, or 50,000 people, by 2040. The seawater desalination plant will supplement BWS’s ongoing efforts to encourage conservation, use recycled water for non-potable water demands, and leverage brackish and saline aquifer supplies where possible.

What is the timeline for this project?

In 2023, BWS awarded a design-build-operate-maintain services contract to Kalaeloa Desalco LLC to design, build and operate the facility, with a targeted operational start date in 2027. This date is subject to change.

What are the benefits of seawater desalination?

For the City & County of Honolulu, the Kalaeloa Seawater Desalination Facility will produce high-quality drinking water for local customers, diversify O‘ahu’s fresh water production sources, and improve Hawai‘i’s water resilience to climate change.

What is seawater desalination?

Desalination describes the process of producing fresh water from a saline source, such as seawater. The process uses reverse osmosis, which pressurizes seawater to safely separate fresh water from the mineral salts when it is passed through a semi-permeable membrane within the system.

The reverse osmosis membrane separation method that the Kalaeloa Seawater Desalination Facility will use is the widely accepted technology for converting seawater into fresh water.

Learn More - Community Open House 2

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply and Kalaeloa Desalco LLC invite you to attend the upcoming virtual Community Information Meeting for the Kalaeloa Seawater Desalination Facility on Thursday, January 18, 2024 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m HST.

Meeting attendees will be provided with the results of a recent customer survey of Campbell Industrial Park businesses, have questions answered, and discuss how this innovative facility will:

  • Produce high-quality drinking water.
  • Diversify production of fresh water.
  • Improve water resilience to climate change.

To register, please click here.

The KSDF will draw seawater to be treated through seawater reverse osmosis treatment processes with a final production capacity of 1.7 million gallons per day (MGD), with additional expandable future phases. Treated water will ultimately be discharged and blended with existing BWS water. The new Facility will also feature an administration building with accommodations for public visitors. Design of the KSDF will support sustainability initiatives set forth by BWS.