Although water is the one of the most abundant substances on the planet, only 0.5% of natural water resources are freshwater. The global need for freshwater is increasing dramatically, while natural readily available freshwater resources, such as rivers, lakes and aquifers, are diminishing. Numerous freshwater supply options have been employed in the past, but they cannot meet the rising freshwater demands in all sectors (municipal, industrial, electrical, irrigation, etc.). Desalination of brackish water and seawater has received a great deal of attention over the years as a viable means of satisfying freshwater demands around the world. Population growth, urbanization, and industrialization appear to be the main drivers in recent years of the need for desalination, as a reliable technique for producing freshwater from a relatively low-quality water resource. This book addresses seawater desalination processes, with a focus on sustainable approaches to providing freshwater. This chapter describes the status of desalination systems, including the number of desalination plants installed around the world and their freshwater production capacities as well as other important factors such as feed water type, geographical parameters, and desalting technologies. This chapter also provides insights into the historical development of desalination, and the potential for driving desalination systems using sustainable energy resources. Using sustainable energy in seawater desalination systems has the potential to permit continuous freshwater production with low impacts on the environment.
Marc Rosen, Aida Farsi, CHAPTER ONE - Introduction to desalination and sustainable energy, Editor(s): Marc Rosen, Aida Farsi, Sustainable Energy Technologies for Seawater Desalination, Academic Press, 2022, Pages 1-44, ISBN 9780323998727,