Home | Dossiers | Water stories from the Arab Region | Stories from the Arab World | The Hidden Costs of Desalination

The Hidden Costs of Desalination
Desalination is often presented as a panacea that would help the water-scarce Persian Gulf states tap into an inexhaustible resource- seawater. Advocates, however, fail to point out the grave danger posed to marine ecology by hot, hypersaline brine—inevitable end products of known desalination processes that are invariably expelled into the sea. This Al Jazeera report captures environmentalists’ concerns and responses by various responses in the region: http://goo.gl/cBjFOM
Then, there is the economics of it all. Desalination is a supply-side solution to water scarcity. Increase in supply at lower prices leads to increase in the quantity demanded, resulting in little impact on scarcity. Economist David Zetland explains this in this detailed interview: