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Desalinating brackish water gains popularity

As populations grow and surface water projections become less reliable, desalinating brackish water looks set to dramatically increase in viability and use.

According to the latest report from market researcher IDTechEx, desalinating brackish water will grow globally, to become a $35 million market by 2028.

Not only does the desalination of brackish water use less energy than desalinating seawater, but the final product is much cleaner.

Furthermore, brackish water accounts for much of the groundwater present in arid and semi-arid areas, with desalination offering a way to provide irrigation in usually dry climates.

It is also the byproduct of drainage from irrigated agriculture, excess water from oil production and geothermal plants, as well as wastewater from industry and intensive farming.

And with all wastewater now increasingly being considered a resource in and of itself, mobile desalination plants are expected to increase over the next 10 years.

IDTechEx CEO Raghu Das said by combining sustainable energy sources with the desalination of brackish water, the desalination industry is predicted to boom in the coming years.

“Costs will be particularly low when the desalination plants used for any purpose are entirely zero gaseous emission, making all their electricity from wind, sun or water power,” he said.

“Brackish-water irrigation does not have to result in increased salinisation of the soil though sometimes farmers must use water from a rainstorm to carry salts back down to below the root zone.

“Accordingly, perhaps this story can even go full circle. Areas with almost no water, brackish or otherwise, could be irrigated with partially desalinated seawater at much lower cost than full desalination and all those wonderful salt-tolerant crops grown.”

Register now and learn more about the fate of organic matter fractions within pre-treatment processes in seawater desalination plants at Ozwater’18.

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