Why desalinate?
Why desalinate?

Water is a vital resource. Without it, we can’t exist, and neither can any other known form of life. And yet, current water management practices are unsustainable. Water demand is dramatically on the rise, while the global supply of fresh water is decreasing.
In the last 50 years, global fresh water use has tripled. And over the next 20 years, water use will keep rising—by at least another 50%. Why?
Population growth—an explosion of it.
Increasing wealth. Wealthier people consume more water, in the form of washing machines, industrial products, recreation (spas, golf courses), and meat—which requires nearly 10 times more water than plants to grow.
Industry. The world is becoming ever more industrial, and industrial processes require water. The most water-intensive industries are hydroelectric power, paper, chemicals, gasoline, and steel.
New industries. In addition to the traditional industries mentioned above, new water-intensive industries—particularly biofuels and fracking—are placing even more demands on our water supply.

There’s a finite amount of fresh water on Earth—the same amount that has been present for millions of years. But less and less of that water is available to drink. Why?
Water pollution. For millennia, rivers have been a source of fresh water. Now most are unsafe to drink.
Irrigation. Many rivers, lakes, and even seas have been diverted to provide irrigation water. Now they’re shrinking, or have already shrunk, to a fraction of their original size.
Depleted aquifers. Aquifers are underwater sources of water in the layer of rock below the earth’s surface soil. For many years, we’ve been using water from aquifers for irrigation, and we’re using it up.
Climate change. Changing weather patterns affect the formation of winter ice. With less winter ice, there are fewer melt waters—and less water in the aquifers. Climate change also leads to more and more severe floods, droughts, and storms, all of which reduce the availability of fresh water.

The world is facing a water crisis. In some places, like Dubai, desalination is already an important part of the solution. The possibilities for future applications are nearly limitless.