Water-starved Saudi Arabia confronts desalination's heavy toll

By Robbie Corey-Boulet

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There are much worse ways to spend oil money that advancing technology both for energy production and production of water for human consumption. Any money spent by Saudi Arabia on these projects can end up helping other places in the world that can benefit from better technology to reach the same goals.

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I was hoping the article would mention the damage done to the environment by the chemical laced brine dumped back into the ocean from the desalinization process. Desal is literally the worst possible way to produce fresh water for human use.


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The "heavy toll" of desalination is that it uses energy?

Why do I keep hearing such horrifically inane arguments against desalination? Don't people know that pumps use electricity.

Fresh water from wells, reservoirs or canals all have environmental impacts.

The actual price of any given option is based on how that cost compares to other options. It is NOT ever a problem that work requires effort. That's called a scientific fact. The cost of desalination can only be compared with the cost of getting water other ways. An existing method is not free of cost simply because it's already in use.

Pet peeve? People who think salt in the ocean is pollution. All you ever have to do to eliminate brine as a pollutant is to dilute it with enough seawater while it's released to keep ambient saline level in a safe range. That means for the cost of a pump you have no brine problem.

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