Brine competition aims to protect marine habitats

1 min read
The Red Sea is home to a number of endangered species, including the hawksbill sea turtle. (Image: TRSDC)
The Red Sea is home to a number of endangered species, including the hawksbill sea turtle. (Image: TRSDC)

An international competition, launched by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) in Saudi Arabia, is challenging scientists, academics, engineers and the water industry to come up with new ideas to protect marine habitats from brine discharge.

The lack of fresh water in the Middle East means that the region has the highest concentration of desalination plants and produces over half of the world’s brine effluent.

The Brains for Brine Challenge is part of TRSDC’s efforts to meets its sustainability targets, which include 100% reliance on renewable energy, a total ban on single-use plastics and complete carbon neutrality. The company also aspires to 100% wastewater reuse and no brine discharge into the Red Sea. The competition aims to identify new ways to minimise brine discharge, which has a negative environmental impact and threatens aquatic life.

The deadline for competition entries is 1 August and five potential winners will present their solutions during Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) which takes place 3-7 November. Three winning ideas will receive a US$10,000 cash prize and the solutions will have the opportunity for development in partnership with TRSDC with support from desalination and reuse experts at KAUST.