Impact of seawater desalination on the marine environment.
What do we know (and don’t)?

Nurit Kress

National Institute of Oceanography

Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research

April 11, 2018
Pacific Forum—11:00 a.m.

With 18,000 desalination plants in 150 countries and an installed capacity to produce 86 million liters per day of fresh water, the desalination industry invests large amounts in the planning and construction of plants as well as in technological research and development. A wealth of publications exists in the scientific and professional literature. While about 65 percent of the global desalination uses seawater as feed-water and discharges the brine back to into the sea, the actual effects of seawater desalination on the marine environment are still poorly studied. In this talk I will describe and critically review the studies reporting on real impacts of desalination on the marine environment, as reported globally. I will emphasize seawater desalination in Israel, which produces about 80 percent of the country’s drinking water, and touch upon the debate over desalination in California.


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