What is it about?

Accessing a reliable and sustainable water source is becoming increasingly challenging due to the global water crisis. This emphasizes the need to invest in alternative resources like desalinated water. Throughout history, the desalination industry has constantly adapted to meet the specific needs of different eras and environmental conditions by incorporating cutting-edge technologies. The main focus of this paper is to explore the past, present, and future of the desalination industry. The research aims to examine how this industry has evolved over time, understand its current state, and shed light on important considerations for its future. During the review, it became evident that the prevalence of desalination technology in a particular region or era is heavily influenced by the energy market. The gathered information also suggests that other sectors, such as agriculture, may increasingly rely on this unconventional water supply in the future. However, there are several factors, ranging from socioeconomic to environmental concerns, that require ongoing and intensified research to ensure the long-term and sustainable development of this practice.

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Why is it important?

This paper holds significant importance due to several reasons. Firstly, it addresses the pressing issue of the global water crisis and the increasing difficulty of maintaining access to a sustainable water resource. By exploring alternative solutions like desalinated water, the paper contributes to the search for viable options to alleviate water scarcity. Secondly, the paper focuses on the evolution of the desalination industry over time, providing insights into how this industry has adapted to different eras and environmental conditions. Understanding the past can help inform current practices and decision-making processes. Moreover, by examining the current state of the desalination industry, the paper provides a valuable snapshot of its progress, challenges, and opportunities. This knowledge is crucial for policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders involved in water resource management and planning. Lastly, the paper aims to highlight important considerations for the future of the desalination industry. By identifying factors such as the influence of the energy market and the need for continued research, it offers valuable guidance for sustainable development and informed decision-making in the field of water resource management. In summary, this paper is important as it contributes to the broader discussion on addressing water scarcity, provides historical insights, offers a current assessment of the desalination industry, and presents considerations for its future development.


For close to a year, we embarked on a mission to explore every nook and cranny of desalination, specifically focusing on its potential within the agriculture industry while keeping sustainability in mind. It was not easy by any stretch, but the knowledge I gained was totally worth it.

Babak Zolghadr-Asli
University of Exeter

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A closer look at the history of the desalination industry: the evolution of the practice of desalination through the course of time, Water Science & Technology Water Supply, June 2023, IWA Publishing, DOI: 10.2166/ws.2023.135.
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