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Desalination Research Paper

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Desalination technology provides freshwater for regions with water scarcity problems and can prevent from over-using natural water resources. However, operating the plants may have some environmental, social, and economic issues.
4.1 Environmental Impacts
¥ The marine environment can be affected by physical and chemical waste from the plants. Impacts can be caused by pollutant concentrations.
¥ Pollutant concentrations cause constant impacts within a local mixing zone until they are decreased to harmless level. The acute impact zone depends on the rate of the brine in the sea water.

¥ Pollutants can cause constant impacts and long-term effects if the accumulation rate exceeds the natural decomposition rate.
¥ Increase in salinity and temperature
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¥ Over-relying on seawater desalination can create dependencies. In the case of chemical accidents or oil spills which affect the seawater, the plant would have to be shut down and water supply might collapse.
¥ The use of desalination can lead to water wastage by creating the impression that water is sufficiently available and that capacities can easily be enlarged.
¥ Negative environmental impacts of desalination can cause social and economic problems. Decrease in seawater and air quality may result in the loss of recreational areas and possible health problems. The fishery industry can suffer from reduced fish populations and the tourist industry can suffer from environmental pollution and industrial activities.
¥ Due to the high operating cost, the use of desalination technology in poor countries is restrictive.
One reason for the opposing opinions is related to the socio-economic benefits of desalination. Seawater desalination contributes to economic and population growth and supplies fresh water to many of the water scarce countries. However, western countries still have enough alternative sources and the benefits of desalination will still be a privilege for richer countries. Even if desalination can be more cost-efficient than the overuse of natural resources, the high operation cost of desalination is a major problem for the poor
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