LA2O translates wave energy into hydraulic pressure to pump seawater into an inland desalination machine composed of an expandable system of panels that use the sun’s trapped heat to evaporate the seawater. The evaporated seawater vapor, from which the salt has been removed, rises with the warmed air until it comes in contact with the closed seawater supply lines, around which the freshwater will condense, drip into gutter channels and flow into the city’s reservoirs. One fourth of LA2O’s fresh water is gravity fed to a farm growing above the concrete bed of the LA River. The Farm component will provide access to farm fresh produce in proximity to lower and mid-income neighborhoods and will help educate visitors about water usage in food production. The proposed 8 mile length of the LA2O machine, between the Willow Street and Century Freeway overpasses, would produce roughly 65 million gallons a day, which would reduce LA’s reliance on the Los Angeles and Lake Havasu Aqueducts by 20%.
Host: The Arid Lands Institute, UCLA’s Inst. of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES)
Program: Large-scale desalination with re-purposed civic infrastructure
Area: 48 miles
Project Architect: Thomas Kosbau
Design Team: Sergio Saucedo, Blanca Eleta
Awards: Professional Honor Merit Award 2012 William Turnbull Competition