Azara Blog: Desalination plants are allegedly not the solution for water scarcity

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Date published: 2007/06/20

The BBC says:

Turning salt water into drinking water is not a solution to tackle global water scarcity, the WWF has said.

A report by the environmental group said a growth in the energy intensive technology would increase emissions and damage coastal and river habitats.

More attention should instead be paid to conserving supplies, it suggested.

The study was published as Australia announced plans to build one of the world's biggest desalination plants to supply drinking water to Melbourne.
Desalination plants already play a major role in providing water for drinking and irrigation in areas such as the Middle East, where freshwater supplies are scarce.

But many other nations, including the US, China and Spain are turning to the technology to meet growing demands.
The WWF report acknowledges that the technology had a "limited place in water supply", but each project should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, it argued.

It recommended: "Desalination plants... should only be constructed where they are found to meet a genuine need to increase water supply and are the best and least damaging method."

A gold medal to the WWF for writing a report stating the totally obvious. They almost seem to believe that people are building these plants for the fun of it. It's trivially obvious that when you spend tens of millions of pounds building something then it has been "assessed on a case-by-case basis". If the WWF spent less time writing silly reports and more time funding research into solving real problems, the world would be a better place.

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