What is desalinated water used for?

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What is desalinated water used for?

Water is the world’s most important resource. It is used by numerous industries and by people in everyday life. Sadly it is a resource that is becoming scarce due to this usage, which is why there are new innovations to create potable water using reverse osmosis for the removal of salts and minerals from water. This process is known as desalination and is useful for water shortages where the water supply might be dwindling.

Desalination plants use sea water or even brackish water to create clean, drinkable water. But it can be used in other applications, such as producing scale-free water for boilers in manufacturing plants and in pharmaceutical productions. This water source allows industries to continue functioning without using too much of the drinking water in the area. So, if you want to find out more about what desalinated water is used for, read on for some handy information.


To create potable drinking water

The desalination process involves using a reverse osmosis membrane in order to filter the water, removing the salts and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This creates clean, potable drinking water for those who need it the most, and one of the benefits is that the process mimics the natural process of salt being evaporated from the sea.

Recently, the city of Cape Town in South Africa has been experiencing a drought and has needed to use a desalination plant. This plant has been helping to provide clean drinking water to communities, allowing them to remain functional when there is little to no access to fresh water. The water from these plants is moved to communities who need it, or they can invest in mobile water treatment systems for ease of use.


For farm irrigation

Some farms in areas that are more arid or drought-stricken have come to rely on desalinated water as it has come to replace the highly-saline and brackish water found in many boreholes on these farms. The water that is produced by desalination plants is clean and pure, making it ideal for crop and livestock farming purposes.

Using this water for farming means that the farms will have a lower impact on the environment, allowing them to use drinking water for drinking purposes. Livestock farmers will be able to use desalinated water for their animals to drink without having to worry about its quality. Farmers can speak to service providers about how to access this water, but it is easily available to many industries who utilise water.


Mining water can be repurposed

Water from mines is often full of chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. But this can be changed by desalination plants as this water can be treated and reused for potable water. This process is known as Zero Liquid brine generation (ZLD) mine water treatment and is widely used in the mining industry, especially by those mines that are trying to be more environmentally friendly.

The reverse osmosis process is used in this case in order to filter out the harmful chemicals, salts and minerals. This water will then be thoroughly filtered and cleaned in order for it to be used for drinking and other purposes. Mines are also concerned with brine treatment, as there are numerous salts to be found in the water and environment surrounding the mine. This is where desalination can come in immensely handy as it will remove these salts.


Effluent water can be treated

Effluent water might not sound like something that should be repurposed, but by using reverse osmosis technology, as well as other techniques to remove the pollutants, making it safer to return to the environment. This water will not be reused as other waters but by treating it, there will be a lower impact on the environment overall.

The water will be treated to remove chemicals, and this process is known as the activated sludge process. It involves grit removal, primary clarification and equalisation, as well as sand filtration, ultra-filtration, maturation, disinfection. Combined these will produce effluent water that is not as polluted as before, making it better for the environment overall. This water can originate from household waste as well as municipal waste.


It can be used for municipal applications

Many municipalities in drier areas suffer from a lack of resources, especially when it comes to water resources. By using desalination plants, they are able to provide water to their communities, such as providing drinking water to schools and hospitals. And this water is easily accessible when combined with a portable water treatment plant provided to the area.

Municipal water is often used by businesses and even factories, and this can diminish the source significantly. But if desalinated water is provided to these businesses, they will not need to tap into the municipal water supply as much, which can save water and money for all parties involved. Saving water is the goal of many municipalities but it can be difficult when there are limited options to choose from.

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