A Short History Of Desalination Technology

1436 WordsMay 30, 20166 Pages
Approximately 72% of the earth is covered in water, however, of that amount, 97% is undrinkable because of the saline content. Theoretically, the ability to make that portion drinkable would mean creating a renewable source of fresh water-- a concept that, if executed properly would mean the end of water insecurity worldwide. The first record of desalination technology being used came from the writings of Aristotle, a Greek philosopher who lived during the fourth century BC. Ancient Romans used evaporation to remove the salt from water to make it potable. Since then, desalination has become much more sophisticated, but the latest technology being used is still decades old ("A Short History Of Desalination - Abengoa"). Although…show more content…
One of the greatest reasons for water scarcity over the past decade has been population growth in heavily concentrated in urban areas- an excellent example of this phenomenon being China. Already the world 's most populated country, China 's largest cities have evolved into what the United Nations have begun to call "megacities"- defined as cities with a population of over ten million. With urbanization expected to increase 60-65% by 2030, water insecurity is already a concern for the Chinese government and one that is emphasized by Shanghai and Beijing (populations 14.35 and 11.51 million respectively) being coastal cities with little access to water inland ("Market Report: Developing Desalination In China"). In recent years, China has begun to rely heavily on water sourced from desalination plants, and desalination has grown into a 4 billion dollar industry, but both the economic and environmental effects have become apparent. Water from desalination plants is, on average, twice as expensive as naturally sourced fresh water. Although energy usage accounts for much of the total cost of a desalination plant, China current technology is almost completely imported and therefore very costly to ship and maintain. Introducing domestic technology would be one solution, however, in China,
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