Desalination Cost Planning



The Desalination Feasibility Cost Planning Model (Model) was initially developed for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to provide the user with the ability to efficiently evaluate a large range of desalination project options to determine potential project impacts.


The Model was created as a spreadsheet cost model in Microsoft Excel and will run on any version of the program.  The spreadsheet layout is designed with a user-friendly interface that mimics a stand-alone Windows application. Incorporated into the user interface are dropdown menus for input selections, hyperlinks for more efficient navigation through the model sheets, and error messages that let the user know when an invalid input value has been entered.


The model consists of eight (8) cost analysis sheets that are visible to the user and five (5) additional hidden sheets that house the Model’s code.

Master Data Input

The Master Data Input sheet allows the user to input a series of values for various parameters that have been determined to materially affect the capital and O&M costs of the desalination facility.


– Project Name                                         – Land Cost for Disposal Pipeline                     – Raw Water Source

– Distance to Disposal Point                      – Source Water Quality                                    – Acquisition Method for Plant Site Land

– Source Water Temperature                   – Cost of Plant Site Land                                  – Distance to Source Water

– Type of Ownership                                 – Land Cost for Intake Pipeline                        – Subsidies

– Product Water Quantity                          – Rate of Growth                                              – Product Water Quality

– Nominal Interest Rate                            – Distance to Point of Use                                – Inflation Rate

– State Sales Tax                                      – Cost of Energy                                              – Land Cost for Transmission Pipe

– Local Sales Tax                                      – Concentrate Disposal Method

Capital Cost Outputs

– Surface Water Pump Station                 – Product Water Pump Station                         – Raw Water Structure

– Ground Storage Tanks                          – Intake Pipeline                                               – Transmission Pipeline

– Supply Well System                                – Engineering Services                                     – Pretreatment Equipment

– Permitting                                               – Membrane System                                        – Legal Services

– R.O. Pumps                                           – Subtotal                                                         – Energy Recovery System

– Contingency                                           – Post-Treatment Equipment                           – Sales Tax

– Disposal Pump Station                           – Subsidies                                                       – Disposal Pipeline

– Net Total                                                – Deep Wells                                                    – Capitalized Interest

– Building Cost                                          – Cost of Financing                                          – Cost of Site Work

-Construction Insurance                           – Land Cost for Plant Site                                – Grand Total

– Land Cost for Intake Pipeline                 – Land Cost for Disposal Pipeline                     – Land Cost for Transmission Pipeline

O&M Cost Outputs

– Pretreatment Chemicals                        – Replacement Parts                                        – Membrane Replacement

– Cost to Lease Land                                – Post-treatment Chemicals                             – Labor

– Water Quality Monitoring                        – Operation insurance                                      – Cost of Energy

– Annualized O&M Costs

Project Summary

The Project Summary sheet displays a listing of the key input parameters and output components that significantly effect the capital and O&M costs for the project. In addition, the Project Summary sheet displays the life cycle cost for water production based on both a 20 and 50-year life cycle period. The following is a list of the costs displayed on the Project Summary sheet:


– Raw Water Source                                – Transmission Pipe Diameter                         – Source Temperature

– Transmission Pipe Unit Cost                  – Source Quality                                               – Transmission Pipe Length

– Intake Quantity                                       – Plant Site Acreage                                         – Intake Pipe Diameter

– Intake Pipeline Acreage                         – Intake Pipe Unit Cost                                     – Disposal Pipeline Acreage

– Length of Intake Pipeline                        – Transmission Pipeline Acreage                     – Concentrate Disposal Method

– Subsidies                                                – Injection Wells Required                                – Nominal Interest Rate

– Disposal Quantity                                   – Escalation Rate                                             – Disposal Pipe Diameter

– Period of Construction                           – Disposal Pipe Unit Cost                                 – Total Capital Cost

– Length of Disposal Pipeline                    – Annualized O&M Cost                                   – Product Water Quality

– Unit Cost for Water Production              – Product Water Quantity