Desalination plants: a solution for water scarcity

Within 25 years England will not have enough water to meet demand, the head of the Environment Agency is warning. The impact of climate change, combined with population growth, will cause severe problems to the England water supply system.

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency (public body responsible for protecting the environment and wildlife in England), believes that England would reach, in around 20 to 25 years, a point in which the water will not be enough to supply their needs. The problem is due to the combination of population growth, improvement of living standards and potentially shrinking supply by 2040.

In order to face this situation, people needs to use less water, and to use it more efficiently. And as well as reducing demand for water, a big pressure on maximizing water supply is needed. This include the realization of new reservoirs to hold water for use in times of severe water stress, and desalination plants that convert salt/brackish water into clean drinking water.

Desalination plants are local and reliable systems that are able to supply infinite amounts of water. They are fundamental to fight against drought problems, that from now on will be more and more frequent. England water stress is not an isolated case. In fact, it affects every continent and was listed in 2019 by the World Economic Forum as one of the largest global risk in terms of potential impact over the next decade. Population has boomed in many water-stressed places and drought is occurring in many regions that not that long ago thought their supplies were ample.

For all these reasons, desalination systems are essential to guarantee the water supply and must be considered as one of the main solution.

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