Is Desalination the Answer to Water Depletion?

While the de-sal boom may sound like a good thing for people, it's important to understand that desalination isn't a cure-all for depleted and polluted water supplies. It can be a useful tool to replace water that has been polluted or depleted by pollution, and circumstances play a large role in how this technology is used. According to Michael Kiparsky, professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, desalination has the potential to replenish depleted and polluted water supplies.


The desalination process involves a series of steps. The feedwater is typically saline, drawn from oceanic or underground sources and then separated into concentrate streams and low-salinity product water. The process removes dissolved salts, such as sodium chloride and calcium carbonate, to create potable water. Previously, the desalination process was impractical, due to its cost and complicated design. Today, however, technology has come a long way, enabling a vast variety of uses for this process.


The growth of desalination technology is evident across the globe. The advantages of desalination technology are numerous and include reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. Brine, which is a product of desalination plants, has various chemical properties based on the source water and the quality of the brine. It contains both inorganic salts and chemicals that are used in the industrial process. Although desalination technology is a viable solution to water problems, it is not suitable for regions of the world that suffer from serious water shortages and high elevations.

Environmental impacts

Desalination plants are a major source of fresh water for the cities of the world, but they have many negative environmental effects. Increasing salinity causes a decline in dissolved oxygen, a condition called hypoxia. This condition can negatively affect organisms at the bottom of the ocean, affecting the entire food chain. Adding chemicals to the water used in desalination can also cause problems for the marine environment, as some compounds used in pre-treatment are toxic to organisms in the receiving water.


The costs of desalination vary widely by region. In some locations, the process of turning seawater into potable water can be costly, while in others it is a fraction of the price. For example, in Saudi Arabia, desalination plants are pumped 320km inland. In other regions, transport costs can match the cost of desalination. For example, a plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, pumps the desalinated water 320 kilometers inland.

Market size

Technavio's latest report analyzes the global Desalination market along with other chemicals and commodity markets. The report also includes information on the external factors affecting the parent markets, which will ultimately affect the market's growth during the forecast period. A detailed analysis of the key vendors in this market will provide a thorough understanding of the industry. The report will also identify upcoming market trends and challenges. To obtain a comprehensive market report, contact us today!

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