Waste Water & Desalination
Analysts Predict Desalination Boom.Water is becoming as precious and as difficult to obtain as fossil fuels. In an ever developing and industrialising global community, it is becoming essential to ensure a constant supply of fresh water:
“Water right now is a strain on this planet more than carbon,” Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said in an interview this month in London. “We mismanage water terribly. It’s going to be a big issue.”
Luckily, technology exists to turn previously undesirable water, such as sea water or waste water, into clean, fresh drinking water. This is desalination.
Governments and industries are beginning to understand the value in what is actually pretty ancient technology, and experts are predicting a boom period for the developing desalination industry. Analysts suggest that orders for desalination equipment will triple over the next five years and metamorphose into a $17 billion business.
Industry consultant Global Water Intelligence predicts that investments in desalination equipment will jump from $5 billion in 2011 to $8.9 billion this year and from then it will only be onwards and upwards globally.
This is largely thanks to a breakthrough in the desalination technology. A new process called forward osmosis works at lower pressures using less heat and power. Experts estimate that this new technology could reduce the cost of desalination by around 30%. In addition, demand is rising exponentially, with a crush of new companies entering the market and forcing costs down.
While the bulk of desalination plants are in the Middle East, though the technology is spreading, expanding the industry 10 percent to 12 percent a year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Construction is expanding rapidly in Asia, with 30 working desalination plants in China and eight in India. Both countries are planning further development.