CSU Bakersfield teams up with OriginClear to treat industry wastewater for agricultural benefit
OriginClear Inc., a leading provider of water treatment solutions, has announced its growing research and commercialization activities in California’s Monterey Shale region, with a focus on treating produced water for reuse. The company’s collaboration with California State University at Bakersfield, has garnered interest from area oil producers who are seeking to comply with new, tougher regulations, and farmers who are looking for new, safe sources of irrigation water.
“Even while the oil industry is struggling with low prices, the demand for water treatment is growing due to the need for fresh water,” said Dr. Luis Edgar Cabrales Arriaga, assistant professor at the Department of Physics and Engineering at CSU Bakersfield. “Many of my students used to be oil industry workers who are now finding new opportunities in water technology because they see it’s solving a real problem in the community.”
“Long-term drought and environmental concerns are leading petroleum producers to invest in water treatment technologies in the Kern River region,” said Jean-Louis “JL” Kindler, President of OriginClear Technologies. “With Professor Cabrales and his students, we’re changing the way the community thinks about water reuse.”
Bakersfield’s Kern County is the nation’s number one oil producing county and its fourth most productive agricultural region. Due to the state’s ongoing drought, the two water-intensive industries are competing for fresh water resources, with agriculture accounting for 80 percent of the state’s water usage.
“Working with OriginClear technology has been a win-win because our students are helping to address water security and we’re also giving back to the largest industries in the region,” added Professor Cabrales. “We are now working with OriginClear engineers to provide specific data for potential large-scale adoption by producers in this region”.
“California regulators are no longer allowing oil waste water to be put down disposal wells”, said Nicholas Eckelberry, OriginClear co-founder and Chief Research Officer. “We are finding tremendous producer interest in reclamation of this water, for irrigation and other uses. The key is to do it safely and economically, and that’s where our technology comes in.”
“Our work with the CSU Bakersfield team, led by Professor Cabrales, has been really productive in generating valuable field data, and I’m very grateful,” added Eckelberry.