Desalination is becoming an increasingly common way of increasing water supplies in the face of rising demand. The wider adoption of this technology is impeded by: the energy-intensive nature of water desalination, the high costs associated with the construction and ongoing maintenance of desalination plants and the effect by-products could have on the natural environment. Research and development efforts have concentrated on improving the materials used in desalination plants, as well as the process of desalination itself. While the widespread commercial application of those investigations is unlikely to occur within the next decade, it bodes well for the future of desalination as a source of freshwater.
- As global demand for freshwater continues to rise, there is an increased need to identify new sources of water to bolster supply.
- Desalination is one such method, particularly in arid and semi-arid parts of the world where other water supply options are limited.
- The energy intensity, cost and environmental effects of desalination remain key concerns globally, but research and development efforts are being made on each of those fronts.
- Despite some problems with Australian desalination facilities, on the whole the industry has helped to ensure that major population centres retain a high degree of climate-independent water security.
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In order to better target government climate change policies to influence citizens, it is critical that we have a good understanding of current community attitudes to climate change. In late 2016, Sustainability Victoria undertook one of the most comprehensive surveys of...Read more
We exist in a world where 30 percent of people are starving while the planet's human population continues to surge. Our natural resources like water and arable land are shrinking and pollution and dramatic changes in climate are increasing, all alongside whilst there are concerns about energy use and our food choices.
In December last year, the world negotiated and adopted the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. For the first time, all countries – rich and poor, large and small – agreed to take universal action to limit global warming to 1.5-2°C, to achieve net zero emissions, and to increase resilience to the emerging impacts of climate change.
The bulk of climate research has tended to underplay the risk of lower-probability, higher impact events. However, if climate policymaking is to be soundly based, a reframing of scientific research within an existential risk-management framework is now urgently required.