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Desalination Plants to Double by 2020

Increasing global water scarcity has opened up vast avenues for growth in the desalination market, according to a Frost & Sullivan report.

Analysis of Global Desalination Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $11.66 billion in 2015 and estimates this to reach $19.08 billion in 2019. More than 17,000 desalination plants are in operation in 150 countries worldwide, a capacity that is expected to double by 2020.

As drought situations intensify, desalination will evolve into a long-term solution rather than a temporary fix, the report says. Developing cost-effective and sustainable solutions will enable technology providers to capitalize on this immense potential.

While a number of desalination projects are under construction in the US, India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, adoption is slow in other drought-struck portions of the globe. The lack of regulatory support in several regions limits uptake.

Moreover, the desalination process is highly expensive and is prone to contamination. Thermal desalination technology uses large amounts of energy and releases significant volumes of highly salty liquid brine back into water bodies, which massively impacts the environment. Brine disposal will remain a prime challenge until a technology upgrade puts this issue to rest.

In the US, California is at the epicenter of desalination activity, according to a report form the McIlvaine Company, which forecasts the market for desalination components will top $5 billion in 2015. Along that state’s coast, 17 plants have been proposed to convert saltwater from the ocean or bays.

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2 thoughts on “Desalination Plants to Double by 2020

  1. The excessive costs of thermal desalinization can be greatly offset by latest designs which incorporate solar energy to power the process. I wonder if Frost & Sullivan’s report takes into account the growing use of solar energy in the desalinization process when it made its predictions.

  2. Your correspondent’s statement that concentrate return to the sea from desalination “massively impacts the environment” is plain wrong. Presenting such an emotive statement without a shred of evidence to back it up is misleading and damaging to genuine efforts to help solve water shortages.

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