Desalination, the reasons against it


David Zeitland of Aquanomics explains why desalination is an bad idea and why wastewater treatment is a much better choice. Desalination will always be much more expensive than wasterwater treatment because it is essentially the same process but salt must be taken out too. Plus, if a desal plant goes down, then you are faced with a major crisis.

Against a backdrop of worldwide depletion of freshwater sources, desalination is frequently put forward as a panacea that would help us tap into an inexhaustible reserve of water. Skeptics, however, point to its still-high cost in terms of money, energy and environmental impact. Besides, as is the case most supply-side solutions, the increase in supply at lower prices leads to an increase in quantity demanded, resulting in little net impact on scarcity.
In this interview, David Zetland (Wageningen University) takes us through these arguments against desalination and points to wastewater treatment as a more economical, more sustainable alternative.