Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. A famous proverb referring to salty seawater covering much of planet earth but what is its use if it can’t be made drinkable? Well, technology has yet again done it! It has made the impossible possible! Plants have been developed exactly for the purpose of desalination of water - turning saline water into freshwater. All to prevent another global water crisis.
The Process of Desalination of Water
Reverse Osmosis is one of the most ingenious inventions in the desalination of water and the most widely used in Australia. The process entails seawater being driven against semi-permeable membranes under pressure in a continuous flow condition. The high salt content of seawater necessitates an operating pressure of 60-70 bar for reverse osmosis. As the water passes over the membrane, the majority of the dissolved pollutants are eliminated, as well as 99.5 per cent of the total salt. The contaminants are left in the running water, and the membranes' concentrated stream is dumped into the ocean. For maximum efficiency, the entire system must be designed to optimise the fluxes, membrane area, and other factors.
Why is Desalination of Water Necessary in Australia
With some of the worst effects of global warming on water resources, the availability of water has come into question for many countries across the globe, especially Australia. There is no doubt if Australia is running out of water. Still recovering from one of the worst droughts ever to hit the earth, the country has been suffering from water scarcity for more than a decade. Rains are depleting every year and additional natural disasters in Australia like bushfires set the country back even more in terms of water security.
Turning to desalination technology amidst other alternative sources of water like how to recycle water and means of conservation of water is Australia’s new hope for survival and sustainability. The majority of Australia's capital cities, all but one of which are on the coast, have made desalination a priority in order to achieve water security. This technique tries to climate-proof our cities' water sources by utilising the abundance of seawater as a source.
With all the water-related troubles that Australia has been facing for a very long, the technology of desalination of water offers solutions. It is a process of making saline water into freshwater which can be used for drinking and other purposes by removing salt and other impurities efficiently from seawater. This is necessary given that the country is still recovering from droughts and other water-related natural disasters, suffering from scarcity and poor water quality in Australia and even the threat of completely drying out! In other words, the technology is seen as a godsend to help Australia through its water crisis.