Estimated Future Production of Desalinated Seawater in the MENA Countries and Consequences for the Recipients

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


Seawater desalination constitutes an important source for water supply to the population bordering the Arabian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea. Desalination has advantages and disadvantages which may depend on the region, location, technology, impact and amount of fresh water production. Desalination may also have other impacts. For example, chemicals added in the pre-treatment stages could harm the fish production as well as the marine life in general.

The total land area in the three regions represents about 11.8% of the world land area and the countries host approximately 9% of the world population in the three years 1950, 2008 and 2050. Population statistics for a 100-year period has been used inclusive a prognosis from 2010 to 2050. Data on desalination plant capacity covering 12 years from 1996 to 2008 has been summarized and a prognosis of the increase in desalination for the three regions until 2050 developed. The results obtained for desalination capacity in the study area were 62%, 58%, and 60% of the world capacity for 1996, 2008, and 2050, respectively. This study also included estimates of the desalination capacity in cubic meter per capita of fresh water in the years 1996, 2008, and 2050: this capacity is about 1.2, 2.5, and 4.7 m3/capita/yr in the world compared to 7.7, 15.6, and 30 m3/capita/yr in the study area.

The increase in the recovery ratio is considered as one important factor in this study. In 1996 this ratio was about 30 to 35%, and in 2008 it was 40 to 45%, yet in some plants reaching up to 50%. Brine discharge will increase the salinities of the Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea, with respectively some extra 2.24, 0.81 and 1.16 g/l in the year 2050.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Social Sciences
  • Water Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
EventProceedings 12th IDA World Congress & Water Reuse, Nov. 7-12 - Atlantis, The Palm Jumeira , Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 2009 Nov 72009 Nov 12


ConferenceProceedings 12th IDA World Congress & Water Reuse, Nov. 7-12
CountryUnited Arab Emirates

Total downloads

No data available