The ugly reality of global warming and man’s indiscrete exploitation of natural resources is on display currently in many parts of the Middle East and Mediterranean. Nations are having to rely on desalination of sea water to meet with fresh water demand of the region and while this might provide temporary relief, it requires a huge amount of energy. However, a Solar Desalination Plant that is currently being tested in Abu Dhabi is probably a lot better alternative than one that works on fossil fuel energy.
While countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia are already using desalination process extensively, they are not comfortable both with the costs of the process and the carbon footprint that it leaves behind. The current desalination plants largely rely on combustion of fossil fuels to fulfill their energy needs. With the new Solar Desalination Plants that are currently being tested in in Hameem and Sweihan districts of UAE, not only will the cost factor come down but carbon emissions will be eliminated altogether.
With the ‘Zero-Carbon’ Process in place the Plant effectively eliminates pollution of the atmosphere from the equation while still providing fresh, clean water for the desert lands. Yet, with more and more fresh water being extracted from the seas the salinity of world’s great oceans is bound to go up and destroy the fragile marine ecosystems. Hopefully we will find a better way to deal with the water shortage across the globe (Like waste water treatment and water management) than desalination!