The new technology, which was developed by ZDD at the University of South Carolina, uses a combination of separation processes in order to allow greater water recovery than more usual desalination techniques. It includes an electro-dialysis device in an ion substitution mode to remove divalent salts from water, preventing the salts from affecting the process of pure water production.

Veolia have the rights to commercialise ZDD internationally. Testing on ZDD has shown that it can achieve 97% recovery on brackish water. Large scale testing will be completed in 2009 to vaidate life cycle costs prior to the construction of a demonstration plant.

ZDD is expected to be used in new desalination sites and also in older sites, where ZDD will replace reverse osmosis facilities due to the enhanced recovery rate expected. ZDD is also expected to be used to enhance water resuse capacity and in seawater desalination plants to improve water recovery rates.