Is membrane-based desalination technology a game changer in water-scarce countries?

Dr Abraham Negaresh is an expert in Desalination

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It's #TechnicalTuesday and Dr Abraham Negaresh, Associate Director - Desalination Lead at WRc, is discussing the potential of membrane-based desalination technologies.

The demand for clean and potable water has skyrocketed due to global shifts in weather patterns, rising temperatures, expanding industrial developments, and growing populations. Only about 3.6% of the Earth's water is freshwater, and most is not readily accessible for human use. The current climate crisis has made water scarcity a pressing global challenge, requiring innovative solutions. Membrane-based desalination technologies can potentially convert abundant salt water (97.4% of Earth’s water) into freshwater, making it a viable solution.

Desalination has evolved from a niche concept to a scalable method of producing fresh water in the last two decades, thanks to advancements in technology and engineering. Countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia rely heavily on desalinated water for their water supply. At the same time, California and Texas in the United States use desalination water to recharge aquifers, and smaller-scale membrane-based desalination plants have been used during disasters where freshwater supply is critical.

Considering the great benefit of membrane-based desalination technology, energy consumption, and environmental impacts it should be assessed and addressed in the context of its application and regional needs. This will ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of global desalination projects, and avoid over-extraction of groundwater in dry areas which can cause land subsidence.

Membrane-based desalination technology is a game-changer in pursuing water security in our rapidly changing climate. It has the potential to improve water scarcity and promote sustainable development.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Dr Abraham Negaresh

Associate Director – Desalination and Reuse Lead

Abraham (CPEng) is a motivated process engineer with over fifteen years of experience in water production, engineering consulting and applied research. He has worked on various British and Australian municipal and industrial water and wastewater treatment projects, and was the technical manager of the only desalination plant in the UK. His experience includes technical and maintenance management of a Desalination Plan, technical lead and manager of engineering projects, commissioning and operating various pilot plants and assisting with front-end engineering design of a water desalination facility. He has applied various innovative technologies such as membrane filtration, ion exchange and chemical precipitation for the treatment of water and wastewater, including recycling and reuse of industrial wastewater and RO Brine treatment.

2023-09-05 10:36:00