Water shortages drive desalination technologies

The Frost & Sullivan report, entitled Desalination - Technology Benchmarking and Stakeholder Analysis suggests that thermal and membrane desalination in particular are driving the ultra pure water and potable water sectors in the water market and are highly favoured in countries where energy is cheap and abundant. While RO has a bright future in the desalination market, research is ongoing for ion exchange processes and thermal technologies that involve utilisation of waste heat.

At the same time, other industries such as concentrated solar power, produced water treatment, and ballast water treatment are exploring the possibility of converting their effluent water into potable grade water.

According to Frost and Sullivan, the world's growth rate since 1960 to the present year has marginally dropped from around 2.5% to 1.17% according to the World Bank, but the total world population has risen from 3 billion in 1960 to about 7 billion now. On an average, the water requirement per person varies from about 80 liters per capita per day (LPCD) to 200 LPCD, depending on the place and country.