Resume: Dr. Michael Mickley

March 1, 2018

Dr. Mickley has over 48 years’ experience in the field of desalination and process technology including over 32 years since the 1984 founding of Mickley & Associates LLC. Since 1990 most of Dr. Mickley’s efforts have focused on addressing challenges of higher salinity water management – brine management. He has been principal investigator in several projects addressing water management issues that include:

  • AwwaRF: Membrane Concentrate Disposal, 1993
  • AwwaRF: Major Ion Toxicity in Membrane Concentrate, 2000
  • Bureau of Reclamation: Membrane concentrate Disposal: Practices and Regulation, 1st edition 2001; 2nd edition 2006.
  • Saint Johns River Water Management District: Demineralization Plant Database, 2002.
  • Office of Naval Research: Pretreatment Capabilities and Benefits of Electrocoagulation, 2004
  • WateReuse Foundation: Survey of Zero Liquid Discharge and Volume Minimization for Water Utilities, 2008
  • Office of Naval Research: Field Tests for Pilot Electrocoagulation System, 2008.
  • Bureau of Reclamation: Treatment of Concentrate, 2009
  • WateReuse Research Foundation: Development of a Knowledge Base on Desalination Concentrate and Salt Management, 2013.
  • WateReuse Research Foundation: Database of Permitting Practices for Seawater Concentrate Management, 2016.
  • BlueTech Research: Brine Management; report available for BlueTech Research clients, 2015.
  • update of BlueTech Research Brine Management report, 2018
  • (ongoing project) Bureau of Reclamation: Update and Extended Survey of U.S. Municipal Desalination Plants.
  • (ongoing project) Bureau of Reclamation: Emerging Technologies for High Recovery Processing.

Dr. Mickley was also a subcontractor in the following projects:

  • WateReuse Foundation project: Beneficial and Non-Traditional Uses of Concentrate where he authored the chapter on Salt Separation of Membrane Concentrate; (as a subcontractor to CH2M-HILL); 2006
  • Bureau of Reclamation: The Southern California Regional Brine-Concentrate Management Study – Phase I, (as subcontractor to CH2M HILL); 2010.
  • AwwaRF: Guidelines for Implementation of Desalination Facilities; (as subcontractor to Stratus Consulting); 2011
  • WateReuse Research Foundation and Water Research Foundation project: Desalination Concentrate Management Policy analysis for the Arid West; (as subcontractor to El Paso Water Utilities); 2013.
  • WateReuse Research Foundation project: Regulatory Workshop on Critical Issues of Desalination Permitting; (as subcontractor to NRS Consulting Engineers); 2013.

In 2015 Dr. Mickley finished a project as technical consultant to the Peoples Moss Landing Seawater Desalination Project in the Monterey, California area. The work has included determination of desalination project permits and permitting sequence.


Dr. Mickley is presently conducting laboratory research on the development of a water treatment product suitable for the binding of heavy metals and destruction of organic compounds.


Dr. Mickley has collaborated with several engineering companies on projects evaluating saline water disposal alternatives. He has worked or is currently working as subcontractor to different engineering companies with several cities including Southern Nevada Water Authority, Thornton, Colorado, the City of Aurora, Colorado, the County of Maui, the City of San Antonio, City of Brighton, Colorado, and others (including projects in South Africa, Australia, and Oman). These projects generally involve analysis of water quality and local regulatory policy to identify treatment/mitigation needs, evaluate treatment schemes, and evaluate wastewater management/disposal options. Within the past 9 years most of the projects have involved a wide range of industries and locations (produced water, mining water, food processing water, municipal wastewater effluent) involving more complex water conditions than generally found in municipal potable water treatment situations.


Dr. Mickley is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading expert in the issues of saline effluent management and in the past fifteen years has given invited presentations in France, England, Israel, Costa Rica, Cyprus, and across the U.S. Dr. Mickley is a member of the Technology Assessment Group of BlueTech Research (an O2 Environmental Company) bringing expertise in the areas of desalination, brine management, and zero liquid discharge processing.


His most recent presentations include:

  • (December, 2004) ‘Costs of Concentrate Management,’ 2004 Middle East Desalination Cost Modeling Workshop, Cyprus, December 6-7.
  • (December, 2004) ‘Separation of Salts,’ 2004 National Salinity Management and Desalination Summit, December 13-14, Las Vegas.
  • (July, 2006) “Zero Liquid Discharge”. AMTA Biennial Conference & Exposition Pre-Conference Workshop: Concentrate Treatment Technologies
  • (June, 2007) “High Recovery and Zero Liquid Discharge Processes,” 11th Annual Water Reuse Research Conference, El Paso, TX
  • (July, 2007) “Feasibility of High Recovery and ZLD Technologies,” AMTA Conference and Exposition: AMTA / NWRI Pre-Conference Workshop: Inland Concentrate Management. Las Vegas.
  • (January, 2009) “Economics and Energy Requirements for Various Water Treatment / Brine Management Options,” Mountain States Salinity Council 2009 Annual Salinity Summit, Las Vegas.
  • (January, 2009) “Options, Challenges, and Opportunities in concentrate Management for Inland Desalination Facilities,” Ground Water Protection Council 2009 UIC Conference, San Antonio.
  • (July, 2010) "Overview of Global Inland Desalination Concentrate Management - Situations, Challenges, and Technologies," AMTA Annual Conference and Exposition, San Diego.
  • (May, 2010) "Brackish Water Concentrate Management," CHIWAWA Concentrate Management Workshop, El Paso.
  • (March, 2012) "U.S. Municipal Desalination: Plant Statistics and Concentrate Management Practices and Issues," First Annual Joint Membrane Conference, AWWA/AMTA, Glendale, Arizona.
  • (January, 2014) “Recovering Value from Wastewater,” Water Reuse Tech Summit Showcase 2014, San Antonio.
  • (June, 2014) “Inland Municipal Desalination in the United States,” 2014 EWRI Congress, Portland.
  • (June, 2014) “Concentrate Management Practices in U.S. Municipal Desalination Plants,” 2014 EWRI Congress, Portland.
  • (June, 2014) “High Recovery Processing of WTP and WWTP Desalination Concentrate,” 2014 EWRI Congress, Portland.
  • (January, 2015) “Regulation of Municipal Concentrate Management Alternatives,” 2015 Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition, Orlando.
  • (September, 2015) “Knowledge Base on Desalination Concentrate and Salt Management,” 2015 IDA World Congress, San Diego.
  • (February, 2016) “Database of Permitting Practices for Seawater Concentrate Disposal,” 2016 Membrane Technology Conference, San Antonio.
  • (November, 2016) “Current and Emerging Technologies for High Recovery and Zero Liquid Discharge Treatment,” Southern California Salinity Management Summit, Los Angeles.
  • (February, 2017) Overview of Efforts to Reduce High Recovery and Zero Liquid Discharge Costs. AWWA-AMTA Membrane Technology Conference, Long Beach.
  • (March, 2017) Permitting Practices for Seawater Concentrate Disposal, Multistate Salinity Council Summit, Las Vegas.
  • (March 2018) Results of 2017 Survey of U.S. Municipal Desalination Facilities, AWWA-AMTA Membrane Technology Conference, West Palm Beach.


Recent other writings include:

  • October, 2005 State-of-the Science paper: “Membrane Concentrate Management” for the Joint Water Reuse and Desalination Task Force used as background for updating the National Desalination Roadmap
  • Chapter 19 “RO Concentrate Management’ in Mark Wilf’s ‘The Guidebook to Membrane Desalination Technology’ published by Balaban Desalination Publications. 2007.
  • Arakel, A. & M. Mickley (2007). Membrane concentrate treatment for byproducts recovery and waste minimization. Ozwater Conference, Sydney, March 4-8, 2007.
  • (as a co-author with Dr. Arakel) White paper entitled "Inland Desalination Brine Management" prepared for National Center for Excellence in Desalination, National Desalination Research Roadmapping Workshop, Freemantle, Australia, October, 2009
  • White paper entitled "Brackish Water Concentrate Management" prepared for New Mexico State University and El Paso Water Utility, 2010.
  • U.S. Municipal Desalination Plants: Numbers, Types, Locations, Sizes, and Concentrate Management Practices, IDA Journal, 4,(1),2012).
  • High Recovery Processing for Municipal Desalination: Approaches and Issues (submitted to Desalination and Water Treatment) - with co-author A. Arakel
  • Permitting Practices for Seawater Desalination Concentrate, World Water: Water Reuse and Desalination, Autumn 2015.- co-author with Nikolay Voutchkov.

Recent international webinars given include:

  • January, 2013 “Zero Liquid Discharge Overview” as part of webinar entitled Zero Liquid Discharge hosted by BlueTech Research
  • December, 2013 “High Rate Recovery in Oil and Gas Overview” as part of webinar entitled High Rate Recovery in Oil and Gas; hosted by BlueTech Research
  • November, 2015 “Database of Permitting Practices for Seawater Concentrate Disposal”; hosted by WateReuse Research Foundation.
  • December 2015 “Brine Management”; hosted by BlueTech Research.
  • November 2017 ‘Brine Management Update’ hosted by BlueTech Research.

Expert witness experience:

  • 2001: hired by Poseidon Resources as an expert witness regarding concentrate discharge for the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination project; Dr. Mickley attended and spoke at a mediation session involving environmental groups and desalination groups; no deposition was taken.
  • 2010: hired by Appalachian Mountain Advocates to review engineering reports on various treatment technologies to remove selenium from mine drainage water at Patriot Coal West Virginia mining facilities; a deposition was taken; Dr. Mickley did not testify at trial.
  • 2012/2013: hired by the law firm of McKool Smith Hennigan on behalf of Starrh and Starrh Cotton Growers of Bakersfield, California; Dr. Mickley reviewed water treatment process designs by a consultant to Aera Energy LLC to prevent further migration of contaminated groundwater from the oil patch into aquifers underlying the farmer’s land and to remediate the groundwater in those aquifers underlying the farmer’s land; the design was not feasible; he developed a conceptual design that was less costly and was feasible; a deposition was taken; the issues were settled out of court before Dr. Mickley’s testimony was needed.
  • 2014: hired by Appalachian Mountain Advocates to prepare a conceptual design for treating acid mine drainage water from 18 outfalls associated with 4 mountaintop valley fill mines in West Virginia; deposition taken; issues were settled out of court.

Dr. Mickley is on the editorial board and Desalination and Water Treatment and reviewer for papers for Desalination Journal. He is a member of the Technology Assessment Group of BlueTech Research a subsidiary of O2 Environmental, an international company providing water technology marketing intelligence. He provides expertise in the area of brine management.



• Ph.D., University of Colorado, 1976
• M.S., University of Colorado, 1970
• B.S., Illinois Institute of Technology, 1966
All in Chemical Engineering (B.S. included a minor in Gas Technology)



Professional Engineer, State of Colorado # 18485



Mickley & Associates LLC
2742 Bristlecone Way
Lafayette, CO 80026
303 499 3133