Environmental Issues in Desalination

  • Robert Maliva
  • Thomas Missimer
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Desalination is an energy intensive technology, especially when applied to seawater. Therefore, desalination has both high costs and a very large carbon footprint when conventional energy sources are used to power the various desalination processes. A variety of renewable energy sources are available that can be applied to reduce the carbon footprint of desalination. The global environmental impact of desalination can be reduced in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, but at a cost. Seawater desalination facilities will still have some environmental impacts on local areas related to intakes and outfalls of concentrate. Brackish-water desalination of groundwater can create a potential resource depletion problem and also faces the challenge of finding an economical and environmentally sound means of concentrate disposal, particularly for inland facilities.


Injection Well Horizontal Well Desalination Plant Evaporation Pond Solar Pond 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Maliva
    • 1
  • Thomas Missimer
    • 2
  1. 1.Schlumberger Water ServicesFort MyersUSA
  2. 2. Water Desalination and Reuse CenterKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia

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