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Aruba’s Water Desalination Program

For a desert island, Aruba has plenty of drinking water. The water is clean and delicious. That’s because Aruba has been desalinating sea water since 1932. Up until that time, drinking water was scarce, especially during prolonged periods without rain. In the 1920’s people on the island died from lost crops and a lack of potable water. If not for leftovers distributed by the Lago Colony, many more would have perished. A major drought struck the island in 1931, and this was a major impetus for the desalination plant.
When Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies opened the plant, the island was changed forever. Without desalination, the tourist industry could never have grown to the extent it has. It is also doubtful that the Lago Oil Refining facility could have remained on the island.

In August it was announced that Veola had been granted a contract to open a new desalination plant in Aruba. According to the Waterworld website, “The desalination facility will utilize the latest reverse osmosis technology to replace thermal desalination units that were operating with low pressure steam from steam turbines. The turbines are fed with steam from fuel fired boilers. As a result, the new facility will be more economical to operate and better for the environment.”

The plant is located in Balashi, near the Balashi Beer factory and DePalm Island. You can take a tour of the plant, but for security reasons you must schedule in advance. Remember to wear long sleeves, trousers, and closed shoes.

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  1. J Johnson says:

    I would like to schedule a tour of the desalination plant in Aruba when we visit next week–11-21. Please let me know the phone number to call. I can’t find it on the web anywhere. Many thanks,

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