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Yoga Korunta

Life & Politics

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Location: United States

One learns, as nothing endures but change.

10 July 2007

Tuesday's Word: desalination

Desalination refers to any of several processes that remove excess salt and other minerals from water in order to obtain fresh water suitable for animal consumption or irrigation, and if almost all of the salt is removed, for human consumption. Sometimes the process produces table salt as a by-product. Desalination of ocean water is common in the Middle East (because of water scarcity) and the Caribbean, and is growing fast in the USA, North Africa, Singapore, Spain, Australia and China.[citation needed] It is used also on ships, submarines and islands. Desalination typically requires large amounts of energy as well as specialized, expensive infrastructure, making it very costly compared to the use of fresh water from rivers or wells (bores).
Desalination of brackish water is done in the United States in order to meet treaty obligations for river water entering Mexico. Several Middle Eastern countries have energy reserves so great that they use desalinated water for agriculture. Saudi Arabia's desalination plants account for about 24% of total world capacity. The world's largest desalination plant is the Jebel Ali Desalination Plant (Phase 2) in the United Arab Emirates. It uses multi-stage flash distillation, dual-purpose and it is capable of producing 300 million cubic meters of water per year.
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